Students walk the tightrope of life with minimum budgets and learn to cut corners along the way. With such a tight budget, they need to reduce the expenditure and know to increase their savings.
In such a scenario, unexpected spending on orthodontic treatments like braces and other dental options adds to the expenses. More often than not, students prefer to choose affordable options.
Unlike adults with a job, students have no means of earning money other than part-time jobs and financial dependency on their parents. Even the earnings from a part-time job are insufficient and won’t cover a dental plan or treatment cost.
After all, a visit to the orthodontist can undoubtedly affect your savings, especially when you’re a student. Let’s take a closer look at the options available for you:
Types of Braces
Initially, there are many dentists and dental clinics that offer a free consultation. You should benefit and visit them to get an accurate idea about the dental treatment’s total estimate.
First, let us take a look at the different types of braces available:
1) Metal braces
The oldest and the most common types of braces in the market are the metal brackets. Using them, you not only get your set of teeth aligned but also in a quicker manner. However, many people, mostly the students, don’t prefer this option because of the visibility level. The wires are seen and are extremely uncomfortable too.
2) Lingual braces
A relatively new and advanced type of dental treatment is the lingual braces. The fitting of these types of braces occurs on the back end of the teeth. Hence, hiding the brackets appears quickly, and no one would know that you’re wearing braces. They’re relatively expensive because of the nature and mode employed to fit in the braces.
3) Ceramic Braces
These types of braces are of the same color as that of the teeth and stay hidden well. Since they are the enamel color, you don’t have to worry about the wires or the metal brackets showing. The major limitation is the material itself, which is hard and resistant in comparison to metal braces. Also, without proper hygiene, discoloration occurs rapidly.
Saying no to brackets couldn’t be more straightforward than with Invisalign. A highly advanced form of technology that employs clear and transparent molds fits the teeth. The entire process takes longer, and they are very expensive compared to the other options.
Comparative Analysis of the Prices
Governed by two significant factors, the dental treatment prices vary to a large extent. The former is the intensity of the dental problem, and the next one is your consistency with maintaining dental hygiene.
Firstly, we will consider the base price of the dental treatments:
The approximate cost of the metal braces varies between $3,000 to $6,000, respectively.
Further, the ceramic braces cost anywhere between $4,000 to $8,000.
The cost of the Invisalign procedure varies in the range of $3,000 to $8,000, respectively.
Last but not least, the Lingual braces are the most expensive and cost $8,000 to $10,000 respectively.
Also, depending upon the individual’s age, the length of the dental treatment varies, and so does the cost of the treatment. Before the treatment, there is little you can do to fasten the process altogether; however, once the treatment has begun, you can always take utmost precaution and care so that the alignment occurs in a safer and faster manner.
The values mentioned in the table below indicate the distinct difference in the duration of the treatment and the accompanying costs per the person wearing them.
Source: Cost of Braces
Affordable Options for Students
Being a student does have its perks too. Students can easily choose from the below options to support their dental treatments:
1)Dental Assistance plans
Certain charitable trusts and non-profit organizations provide schemes and plan to choose the best-suited treatment and get it done. These plans are solely designed and introduced for families and individuals who are unable to carry the expenditure. There are free clinics that you can visit for free consultations and procedures after that.
2) Flexible spending accounts
If you work on a part-time basis or request your parents for money, you can benefit from flexible spending accounts. Hence, the repayment of the amount can take time, but due to its flexible nature, negotiation can occur quickly with the bank officials.
If you’re covered under your parent’s insurance scheme or have a separate insurance policy, then do check the regulations and coverage. Not many policies consider dental treatments under the medical category and consider them as cosmetic procedures. Hence, it won’t offer coverage. However, in some instances, where dental surgery occurs, you can benefit from an insurance scheme.
4) Dental Schools
As per the American Dental Association (ADA), the orthodontist students require to search for volunteers they can practice over. You can volunteer in such schools provided that the one studying dentistry is confident about the procedure and had sufficient practice. They charge a nominal fee and, in most cases, get ready to do it for free.
In addition to the options mentioned above, some dentists and clinics offer comprehensive payment packages or plans. They’re curated to make the expenses less and reduce the burden on your shoulders.
An essential factor that needs consideration is that though affordability is an attribute, it isn’t the only one. You should also weigh the benefits and look through necessary details like the extent of damage to the teeth, the type of correction method, ways to maintain oral hygiene, and the treatment plan’s duration.
Once you’re aware of all the factors, you can look for methods to support you in financing the dental treatment rather than looking for uncomfortable options. You can always browse for more choices and decide which suits your teeth and pocket the best.