Dental emergencies can be one of the hardest things to fit into your budget. Unlike your semi-annual check-ups, you don’t get to schedule an appointment six months in advance.
A dental emergency arrives without any warning, which means you can’t prepare your budget for the expense. It might exceed your annual insurance. And worse yet, emergency treatments can wind up costing more than the average cleaning.
With possible x-rays, moulds, veneers, and fillings on the horizon, you might be wondering how you can cover these bills. Here are some ideas that will start the ball rolling.
Talk with Your Dentist
Once you understand how your dentist plans to fix the issue, you can get a good idea of how much you’ll pay.
This is an opportunity to discuss possible payment plans with your dentist. They might be willing to let you pay off what you owe in installments, so you don’t have to come up with all the money right away.
In many cases, payment plans are similar to personal loans, except you’ll owe your dentist rather than owing a lender. This means you may have to pay fees to opt into this plan.
Use a Line of Credit
A line of credit is designed as a safety net for emergencies, so it might be the right option for expensive, essential dental procedures.
A lender like Fora may offer you a line of credit with as much as $10,000 in available funds. If you qualify, you may have the means to pay your full bill at once without relying on a costly financing plan.
If you don’t already have a line of credit, take some time to compare your options online. You’ll want to understand how much a line of credit will cost, so pay particular attention to its rates, fees, and payment schedule.
If you can safely wait to deal with a chipped tooth, take this time to compare dentists in your area. Every dentist sets their own prices to reflect their costs and overheads, so each clinic may charge something different for urgent care.
You might find a professional who charges less than your usual dentist. Some low-cost facilities offer a sliding scale for struggling families. You may even find free clinics that offer emergency dental care at no cost at all.
Don’t forget to check dental schools in your area, as they usually provide care at a discounted cost. You don’t have to worry about the level of care your family receives at these colleges. Only senior students provide treatments under the supervision of a certified and licensed dentist.
Sign Up for Government Help
If switching dentists, a line of credit, and a financing plan don’t offer enough relief, you might qualify for government relief programs for low-income families. These programs vary depending on where you live, so it may take some time to research your options.
If you live in Ontario, you can check whether your family is eligible for the following programs:
- Canada Dental Benefit
- Health Smiles Ontario (HSO)
- Ontario Works (OW)
Never Skip a Genuine Emergency Again
Once you handle today’s emergency, think about the next one. While it may not arrive until months or even years from now, you can be prepared by tweaking your budget. Set aside some money into an emergency fund, so you don’t have to worry about qualifying for government relief or a line of credit next time.
Interesting Related Article: “What Is A Dental Emergency And How To Deal With It”