Most cosmetic dental problems are not covered by the National Health Service in the UK, so unless you qualify for treatment in extreme circumstances, you will have to pay for it yourself, and it’s not usually cheap. Prices range from around eighty pounds for a filling, to in excess of ten thousand pounds for a full set of dental veneers; for most people, this is out of their price range by some margin, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be able to get their smile restored. If you need some type of orthodontic or cosmetic treatment, but you don’t have the money to pay for it upfront, you could benefit from a financing scheme, many of which can be organised by the clinic you are attending. Finance plans are very helpful for patients who really need or want their dental issues dealing with, but can’t find all the cash right away; they break down the costs into monthly payments over several years – usually up to five – to make sure that even the people in less affluent sections of society have access to cosmetic dentistry.
How does dental finance work?
There are lots of different packages available, depending on your financial constraints, the amount of treatment required, and your credit history. Most finance plans are based on monthly repayments, which make it easier for both borrower and creditor to organise the incomings and outgoings. The best deals will also offer interest-free instalments for a certain period of time after the treatment begins, this helps the patient begin payments right away and it can really lower the overall price. Advisers that act as a middle man between the clinic and the insurance company would probably suggest opting for a finance scheme rather than taking out a loan from the bank, as you will end up paying much less back and you may find approval easier to obtain from a dental insurer.
When your dentist is explaining the necessary treatment to you, they should also go through the applicable costs and discuss which payment technique you would prefer – it is best to be upfront and direct in these situations, otherwise there could be some confusion between you and your provider, regarding what you are paying for and how. If you feel that the pricing scheme is too confusing, or the team member seems to be quite vague about finances, you might want to take some time out to consider your options – it might be worth your while speaking to another clinic, one that is clear about how much you will be paying and when you will be paying it.
Once you and your provider have agreed on a suitable finance plan, they will contact their insurance company to start the application process; this should be put through fairly promptly, to get the treatment moving as soon as possible. When applying for this type of service, the paperwork will be processed in much the same way as it would be with a bank loan; the insurers will take some personal details and perform a credit check, to make sure you are in a position to pay the money back at a rate that is satisfactory to them. If you are approved for financing, the insurance company will then pay for your treatment in full and you will begin paying them back in instalments at the agreed time. It is very important that you read the entire contract before signing anything, and be careful to stick to the repayment schedule; otherwise you could run into trouble at a later date, with regards to your credit rating and any future loans you might want to take out.
Am I eligible for dental finance?
A credit check is the only real barrier between you and financing for your dental treatment, so if you have a good credit score, this shouldn’t represent too much of a problem. Your current income could also come into play if your credit is not ideal, as the practice and their finance providers need to be sure that you are capable of paying them back on your salary. If your credit rating is not very good, your application could be rejected, so it might be helpful to get some idea of where you stand before you apply, to save yourself the trouble.
To check your details and process your application, the insurance company will need proof of your identity – something with photographic ID on it, such as a passport or modern drivers licence, and proof of your permanent address – such as a bank statement or utility bill.
Can I get dental finance even if the treatment is not strictly necessary?
Most cosmetic enhancement procedures are not crucial to maintaining good health; they are normally something that makes the patient feel better about their image and gives them more confidence; things like straightening very crooked teeth or repairing superficial damage. These problems do not necessarily pose a serious health risk, but they can be detrimental to self-esteem and lifestyle. There are plenty of people in the UK that take out loans for expensive restorative treatment, such as dental veneers or implants, mainly because most people are not in a position to pay for it all at once, and they don’t qualify for treatment on the NHS. Loans are probably offered more frequently for cosmetic procedures than any other kind of dentistry, due to the high price of this kind of treatment and the large number of people requesting it.
With more expensive methods and products, an extended finance plan is normally called for, which could last up to five years, providing you pass the necessary credit checks, but the process itself is not usually affected by what sort of treatment is being provided; cosmetic or otherwise. The Pearl Dental Clinic can offer various financing options for all type of dental restoration; call them today if you think you could benefit from a payment scheme. Money is an issue for the majority of working people in the UK today, but don’t let that put you off getting treatment for your dental problems.