Can you imagine buying a car and having the dealership offer you a no-interest loan?
How about a builder who would finance your new house for no interest at all? Although these scenarios seem improbable, no-interest financing is a reality in many orthodontic offices today.
Besides being an incredible bargain when compared to other medical procedures like Lasik or emergency room care (see my article entitled “Orthodontic Treatment is the Medical Deal of the Century”), no-interest financing offered by many orthodontic offices makes getting orthodontic treatment even more affordable. Paying for anything over time costs money. For example, if a $6,000 orthodontic treatment was financed like a car over 24-months, the total amount paid would be about $6,400 (at 6% interest). If your orthodontist offers you no-interest financing however, he is actually paying that $400 of interest for you. That’s a great deal!
The biggest costs associated with your orthodontic care take place right at the beginning of treatment. Models, pictures, x-rays, the diagnosis and treatment plan, and the cost of the braces themselves add up before your first tooth is ever straightened. For this reason, most offices require a significant down payment to get your treatment started. In the above $6,000 case, a typical down payment might be anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000 (25% to 33%). This covers the office’s initial startup costs. Any down payment less than this represents additional financial aid that the doctor extends to families to help them get treatment started.
Jorgensen Orthodontics wants to offer families the best payment arrangements available any place. Most families are able to choose their own financial arrangements. This has nothing to do with their income, only with how they’ve handled their previous financial obligations. Many families choose to make no down payment at all. Others choose to pay their entire fee up front in exchange for a discount. Most arrangements fall somewhere in between by combining a reasonable down payment with regular monthly payments.
We also want to help those who have hit some financial “speed bumps” along the way. Using guidelines developed by our credit management company (that handles our contracts so we can concentrate on your teeth), we are able to offer some level of financing to ALL patients no matter what their credit history. Many families we help could not qualify for financing anywhere else. And while we want all patients to be able to receive the care they need, we don’t want them to start into treatment that they cannot finish (think Fannie Mae).To avoid this, we require a little more down at the beginning of treatment. Following these guidelines has allowed us to offer financial help to more than 8,000 patients.
24 to 36 months of orthodontic visits for about the same cost as a single 30-minute Lasik procedure is incredible enough, but having an orthodontist provide you with a 24-month no-interest loan is even more unbelievable. Not only is orthodontic care “the medical deal of the century,” you’ll also receive a smile that is attractive and healthy for the rest of your life. Now that’s really amazing!
NOTE: The author, Dr. Greg Jorgensen, is a board-certified orthodontist who is in the private practice of orthodontics in Rio Rancho, New Mexico (a suburb on the westside of Albuquerque). He was trained at BYU, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Iowa in the United States. Dr. Jorgensen’s 25 years of specialty practice and 10,000 finished cases qualify him an expert in two-phase treatment, extraction and non-extraction therapy, functional orthodontics, clear aligners (Invisalign), and multiple bracket systems (including conventional braces, Damon and other self-ligating brackets, Suresmile, and lingual braces). This blog for informational purposes only and is designed to help consumers understand currently accepted orthodontic concepts. It is not a venue for debating alternative treatment theories. Dr. Jorgensen is licensed to diagnose and treat patients only in the state of New Mexico. He cannot diagnose cases described in comments nor can he select treatment plans for readers. Because he has over 25,000 readers each month, it is impossible for him respond to all questions. Please read all of the comments associated with each article as most of the questions he receives each week have been asked and answered previously. The opinions expressed here are protected by copyright laws and can only be used with written permission from the author.