putting coins in a glass, with a tooth model beside it

Financing Dental Work: What You Should Know

DF7 General Dentistry

Dental care is essential to keeping both your mouth and your body healthy. Those who go without regular dental work are at risk for painful abscesses, tooth loss, systemic infections, and even heart disease. Yet dental work is expensive, and most people don’t have dental insurance. Fortunately, there are several ways to finance your vital dental work.

Understand the Costs

The first step is to understand all the costs of the proposed treatment. Your dentist will develop an itemized treatment plan, which the office staff can turn into a full cost breakdown. Some do this automatically, while you may need to request it from others. Regardless, make sure you know exactly what you will pay before you begin.

Understand the Time Factors

While it is always best to treat dental problems when they arise, some are more critical than others. For example, if you are missing a tooth, waiting a few weeks or months to replace it is not generally risky. If you have an infection, though, waiting to treat it could cause it to spread. Ask your dentist to prioritize your issues and to develop a list with acceptable time frames in which to treat them.

If you need a multi-stage treatment such as dental implants, your dentist may be able to break up the work to maximize what insurance will pay. For example, you might have extractions at the end of the year, and then have implants placed when your insurance rolls over.

Credit Cards

Credit cards can be an excellent choice for financing out of pocket dental expenses, but only if you are disciplined about managing credit. If you have the ability to pay off the charges within a year, look for a no-interest introductory offer. This allows you to finance the work without paying interest for the privilege. After you pay off your dental work, keeping the card open can actually improve your credit score.

If you are not good at managing credit, though, do not choose this option. There is no reason to run yourself into a potential bankruptcy when other solutions are available.

Financing Plans

Care Credit and similar programs are specifically designed for health care financing, including dental work and veterinary bills. If you do not qualify for a zero-interest credit card, you are not known for your ability to manage credit, or you need extensive work done, these programs may be the best choice. It is worth applying even if your credit score is low, as qualification is far easier than for a traditional credit card. These plans carry high interest rates, but often have zero-interest promotions available.


Dental offices are committed to helping patients find a way to afford the care they need. If you are worried about how to pay the bills, talk to the office staff before work begins. In many cases, the dentist and staff can work together to find a way to give you the care you need without destroying your finances. Again, we are here to support you and improve your health. Please do not hesitate to contact us and let us know how we can help you!

Smile Shack is a leading dentist in Port Jefferson Station, NY. We pride ourselves on offering a full array of dental services, from cleanings to dental implants, and root canal treatment to Invisalign. If you are searching for a caring, trustworthy, and professional dentist, we invite you to call 631-928-7500 to make an appointment today.