Dental Work is Expensive!!

I like to serve as a warning sign for people. A big giant STOP sign in life. Or even "Achtung! Danger!" My silly mistakes and costly experiences can serve as guideposts for you all, so that you may go forth and conquer your worlds without my ridiculous regrets. Take, for instance, paying too much out of pocket for dental work.

As a member of the Mom Advisory Board for Invisalign, I received payment for treatment to cover my orthodontic treatment. After my initial assessment with my Invisalign preferred provider, I was off to the dentist to get a check up before starting treatment. I practically skipped over to the dentist's office, happy in the knowledge that I'd soon be wearing my new Invisalign aligners, and getting my teeth straightened.

Boy, was I wrong.

Rewind to a not-so-great dentist I had about ten years ago who do not-so-great work. I had several teeth filled and oddly shaped crowns attached. I wasn't happy with the level of care I received, but at the time, we didn't have insurance that would allow me to go to many dentists in the county, so I was sort of stuck with her. Over the years, many of the filling have not held up. One in particular, came out, causing a serious issue with a molar that ended up having to be removed.

Fast forward to Dr. Lawson, or as I like to call him, Dr. Awesome. He was very empathetic as he listened to my story of woe. I usually break down in tears when I talk about all that I've gone through with my teeth. He's been super kind and has delivered outstanding work.

But Dr. Awesome doesn't work for free.

Since I don't have dental insurance, that initial payment I received to cover the costs of my orthodontic work got a huge chunk deducted from it to cover the costs of dental work. I didn't think to go out and buy insurance before starting. I figured I would just bite the bullet and pay. With still have a few more fillings to have refilled, I really wish I would have stopped for a moment to consider buying dental insurance.

Most dental insurance allow a yearly max of $1,000. And since almost all dental insurance companies use what is called a Usual, Customary and Reasonable (UCR) fee guide (meaning that they set their own price that they will allow for every dental procedure that they cover, not what a dentist actually charges, but what the dental insurance company wishes to cover) I could burn through my insurance coverage in one appointment. Still, for the cost of actually buying the insurance, I save quite a few pennies that can be put back towards the cost of my orthodontic treatment, estimated at about $5,000.

Now... getting Orthodontic Insurance...

One thing people ask me all the time is "Will my insurance cover Invisalign?" I always ask them if their insurance covers braces. Usually, the answer is yes, but they seem to think that Invisalign falls under cosmetic, which is not covered by insurance.

Okay... let's get this straight people (pun intended)...

Invisalign is NOT cosmetic! It's actual orthodontic work!! So, yay! Your insurance likely covers this under that section. How much it covers is a different story. In my research, most companies will cover about $2,500 to $3,000 in orthodontic costs. As I mentioned above, my estimated cost of treatment is $5,000. Well, having half of it covered is way better than having NONE of it covered, am I right? And the way my orthodontist works, she takes that half up front to cover the costs of all the trays that are specially designed for me at the outset. So all I have to do is make minimally monthly payments to her as my treatment is carried out.

For the low cost of buying insurance, even though not everything is covered, it's still smart money to get that insurance on your own.

Now... go forth and conquer... with a beautiful smile!

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As a member of Invisalign's Mom Advisory Board, I received payment for orthodontic treatment. The dental costs to Dr. Awesome were all on me.

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