Dear Nancy,

The last time I had a cavity, I didn't get it treated at first because I don't have insurance yet with my employer. It ended up costing me a lot more than it would have if I'd seen a dentist when my tooth first got sensitive. My dentist said something about how my "treatment plan" can be scheduled with a "payment plan" so that this doesn't happen again, but I don't understand the difference between the two. Can you help? Thanks.

Hi, I would be more than happy to answer your questions about the difference between treatment plans and payment plans.

First, let's talk about treatment plans. When a patient comes in for an examination, the dentist takes radiographs, pictures and models in order to study them and determine the best course of action to restore your oral health. Usually, there are several options available to do this. For example, if you have a cavity, there are different types of fillings, which have different costs, different benefits and different drawbacks. Your dentist will present you with different options for what needs to be done. Together, you will come up with a plan, broken up over several visits, that best suits your oral health needs.

A payment plan is one way of helping you budget to complete your treatment plan. Payment plans are different from patient to patient and from clinic to clinic. At Longworth Dental, it usually consists of a downpayment of approximately 30% of the total cost of the treatment, followed by several smaller payments. Once the downpayment is submitted, the next step is to provide the dental office with either post-dated cheques or automatic credit card withdrawal. These payments are generally done on a monthly basis, and most cases are broken down over a 3 month span. Again, keep in mind that every patient is different. Our office will work with each individual's financial situation to determine a plan suited to them.

To summarize, a treatment plan is how you want your dentist to revitalize your oral health, whereas a payment plan helps adapt your treatment plan to your financial situation. I hope you will always consider your oral health as an important part of your lifestyle and we here at Longworth Dental hope that we can help you make those decisions as easy as possible.

If you have any other concerns, please don't hesitate to call, stop by or leave a comment below. We will be sure to help you answer any other questions you may have.