I get very stressed about finances and covering large expenses. In fact, I’m so stressed out right now about paying for our son’s next round of braces that I procrastinated writing this article. I just don’t want to think about it.
While it is true that orthodontics is an expense that most of us would rather avoid (only four of my six kids have needed braces – score!), the necessity of it in some cases makes choosing wisely when picking an orthodontist very important.
“If there’s a family that wants orthodontics, that values it, I don’t want the financial hurdle to be what keeps them from coming to me,” says Dr. Kevin Knapp at Knapp Orthodontics in Byron Center.
Melissa Dekker, office manager at Knapp Orthodontics, says their office understands that paying for braces can feel overwhelming.
“Braces are a huge commitment, and we understand this. It can be daunting thinking about the investment and the time commitment.”
When you attend an orthodontic consultation, make sure you clearly understand that office’s procedures and requirements for payment. There will be a down payment and monthly payments that will span your child’s treatment.
Some orthodontist offices have very rigid payment plans.
“Our consultations are free, and we would love to have anyone come in so they can better understand the whole process, and we can go over our affordable financing options,” says Melissa.
Families who go to Knapp Orthodontics get to choose their down payment and their monthly payments. The down payment can be as low as $250, which, believe me, is pretty amazing compared to other consults I’ve had.
At Knapp Orthodontics monthly payments are also interest-free for the length of treatment.
Often families have more than one child in orthodontics at the same time. Paying for one child is intimidating enough. How do families pay for more than one set of braces at once?
Dekker says at Knapp Orthodontics, if a family has more than one child in treatment at the same time, the down payment and monthly payments can be made even more affordable in order to have the convenience of having both kids in treatment at the same time.
“We understand that it is a big financial commitment, so we work hard to have as little barriers as possible for them to get started,” she says.
“We think of braces as an investment because you are putting money into something that will last a lifetime and give you the confidence to succeed.”
I wish I had attended more orthodontic consultations two years ago when we learned that two of our kids really, really needed braces. I had no idea that orthodontists can have widely different financing plans. If I had found someone like Dr. Knapp, we would not have postponed my younger son’s orthodontics during his sister’s treatment.
Consultations are, or at least should be, free. Find someone you like who will work well with your family. Orthodontists are not all the same.
Dr. Knapp agrees that it is very important to work with families and have incredibly flexible payment plans.
“If there’s a family that wants orthodontics, that values it, I don’t want the financial hurdle to be what keeps them from coming to me,” he says.
“If it is coming down to finances, let us see what someone else gave as an estimate, and we can work with that. What I would hate is for someone to walk out of the office and want to work with us but go somewhere else because of the price.”
Michelle Smith lives in Lowell with her husband. She’s an avid homeschooling parent: three of her children are homeschooling graduates and the remaining three are still at home under her tutelage. Michelle also enjoys classical ballet and live theater, especially musicals, both being in the audience and working backstage.