The Biggest Cost To Run An Orthodontic Office?
Believe it or not this is a major issue facing orthodontic offices all over the world. Besides marketing needs, medical needs can put a dent in the budget of an orthodontist just getting started with his or her own practice.
Lithographic x-ray film is heavily used in orthodontic offices and the printing cost of these types of x-rays can be monumental.
This type of film is usually used in the newspaper and printing industry, most common use of the lithographic film is negatives but also used as positive film; Recycling of negatives from a photo offset printing process. -special thanks to Phoenix Graphics for providing information on this process.
Naturally, orthodontist and (dentists alike) have attempted to cut corners in printing costs by turning to national brands and online print services. However, saving money has had horrendous backlashes to these medical practitioners when they turn to these national chains and online stores for their printing needs.
“They (national chains) also lack the knowledge and production ability for things like business cards, mailers, etc. that require industrial offset printing presses.” Mari Sawtelle (Sawtelle Dunn Consulting) (source)
How To Choose An Orthodontist?
Interview three orthodontists. Why three?
You will at least have a good chance of encountering one you do NOT want to go to and you will learn this in the free consultation session (if this is not offered at a particular practice do not waste time going there.
A family discount can be HUGE (Especially when you see how expensive orthodontic work can be in North Carolina) Whether a practice is right for you has a lot to do with the personality of the orthodontist and how good you feel when you’re there.
Is the staff on point and friendly and, most of all, knowledgeable? Trust your instinct too.
What Will I Pay?
Costs for orthodontic work vary by doctor and region. In North Carolina you can pay a lot if not careful. $6K for children and $6.5K for adults is about average. The 2014 average cost for braces alone was staggering.
Just look at the printing costs for orthodontics mentioned above. The overhead is in the least likely places so orthodontists’ may attempt to raise their price to alleviate these costs.
Leading orthodontists in the past have pointed out in the past that a good orthodontist can work with his patients when it comes to cost. It’s not just about teeth but patient care on all levels. Other practices take fewer patients per day as little as 10-20 patients daily so earning business by alleviating cost is part of a marketing strategy.
More expensive doesn’t always mean better. Meet any orthodontist you consider face to face to see how they react when money comes up.
Many orthodontists offer interest-free financing for clients with good credit. And most also offer financing through banks.
In 2010, 60% of all new patients had dental insurance that include orthodontic benefits, according to the AAO.
Dental Insurance and The Affordable Care Act
Dental coverage can be obtained (for free in some cases), which is part of certain health plans. Through the designated health insurance exchange one can find plans that offer both dental and health coverage. A single monthly premium for such a plan would cover dental and health insurance as well as adding on the dental insurance separately from a chosen health plan. In this case, a separate monthly premium for dental insurance will have to be paid.
While dental coverage for children under age 19 is a required benefit under the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, and is included in their health insurance plans, that’s not the case for adults. Covered California is the second to last among the state-run exchanges to offer dental coverage for adults.
Since Covered California came to fruition for dental care Berkeley Dentists in the area have been receiving a flurry of calls regarding inquiries about everything from teeth whitening to dental implants.
Dr. Whitley is no stranger to providing dental care to those who can’t afford it. Through “Give Kids A Smile Day” and Dental Lifeline, Dr. Whitley has chosen to provide free dental care to the needy of California through the CDA Cares clinics which run multiple times a year.
The dental plans are optional, and there’s no tax penalty for not enrolling in them.
I heard Japan is doing big things in Orthodontics. Is this true?
Yes. Japan’s orthodontics graduate programs have been expanding. The following diagram can expand on key difference in Japanese style orthodontics:
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