Removing the Budget Blocker for Dental Implants, Veneers, and Other Procedures
Dental practices must be concerned with more than just a patient’s dental health – you also need to be aware of their financial constraints and ability to pay for recommended treatment.
When patients can’t afford the treatment they need, they’ll usually just avoid getting that treatment. Your office needs a variety of financing options available for expensive procedures like dental implants, veneers, and more.
A single dental implant can cost as much as $3,000 per tooth, and even more if there’s gum or jaw restoration required. Dental implants are considered an elective procedure and aren’t covered by most insurance plans, leaving the patient with substantial out-of-pocket costs. The average American reports less than $1,000 in savings, so it’s difficult for most people to pay for a dental procedure that costs thousands of dollars.
What are the options available to help pay for dental implants?
A few options to finance dental procedures like implants and veneers are available. In order to treat more patients your office should consider each option, weighing the costs and benefits.
Traditionally, the route patients take when they need to finance a dental procedure is a credit-based option like a medical credit card. These credit accounts are like a healthcare spending account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA), so the cardholder only able to use the card for healthcare transactions.
Unfortunately, credit-based options don’t work for almost half of patients. Lenders have high standards for approval and it’s entirely based upon the patient’s credit report. If they have a low credit score or little to no credit, it’s unlikely that they’ll be approved for a line of credit through a traditional lender.
In-House Financing Plans
One option for capturing those patients that are denied traditional credit-based repayment options is in-house financing. These plans allow your practice to approve as many patients as you can accommodate, increasing overall revenue. You won’t have to pay a lender discount with in-house financing plans, and you’ll be able to collect the interest on the loans.
There are significant limitations and drawbacks with in-house financing. Unlike a third-party credit-based plan, your practice won’t receive a payment immediately after treatment. Instead, the payments will come in month installments until the principal is paid.
Even more impactful on your bottom line is that you’re solely responsible for managing the loans. Your office will need an internal finance department to chase down delinquent payments.
Dental practices often launch their own payment plan before realizing that over the long-term the costs associated with chasing payments and loss mitigation may cancel out the additional revenue acquired through financing.
Flexible Pay-Over-Time Plans
A third option for busting the budget blocker of expensive dental care is a flexible pay-over-time plan from a provider like HFD. HFD gives patients a better option than credit-based repayment plans, with the cost of the procedure paid over a period of time with monthly debits from their bank account. Your practice gets a down payment from the patient at the time of the treatment and collects interest on the balance.
Credit-based lenders only use a patient’s credit score to determine eligibility, but HFD considers the bigger picture. They use a data-driven underwriting algorithm that uses information aggregated from thousands of patients to assess the risk of default and set the interest rate.
Unlike in-house financing plans, your practice won’t need to expend resources on managing the loans and chasing down delinquent payments. Because HFD auto-debits the patient’s payments from their bank account, it’s convenient for them and ensures you’ll receive your payments.
Interested in a flexible pay-over-time plan for your practice? Read our eBook!