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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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Ask the Expert: Fredericksburg Orthodontics

Making it easier to afford the perfect smile

As families face higher costs for food, gas and other necessities, paying for orthodontics can be stressful. As a mother of four who has practiced in the Fredericksburg community for 17 years, Dr. Diana Almy of Fredericksburg Orthodontics has always wanted to make high-quality orthodontic treatment accessible to as many families as possible. As our August Expert, Almy talks about programs she has built into her business to take some of the sticker shock out of orthodontic treatment and to make it accessible to as many families as possible.

Q: Many parents know that orthodontics can be a big out-of-pocket expense. When treatment is needed, what are some ways you can help families access treatment at Fredericksburg Orthodontics?

A: We are really proud of our in-office payment plan here at Fredericksburg Orthodontics. Because we have become such a trusted resource for orthodontic treatment for families in this region since we opened in 2005, we are able as a business to offer payment plans that are an alternative to the third-party financing options patients may encounter at other practices. Some of the benefits of these plans are:

  • Low down payment.
  • No interest.
  • Flexible monthly payments on a sliding scale, based on the length of the plan.
  • No credit check.
  • No need to pre-qualify.

For patients, the experience is seamless, as we present monthly payments based on individual needs. We also bill insurance directly and deduct insurance payments from what a patient owes. We are all parents ourselves here, and we know that every time we can eliminate that one extra call—whether to a third-party financing company or to an insurer—accessing orthodontics becomes that much more convenient for our patients.

Q: Are you ever able to offer a discount?

We do offer a discount to patients who pay in full for their treatment. We also want to honor the contributions of professionals who are essential to keeping our community running, but whose pay doesn’t always reflect the huge role they play. We offer Hero Discounts to first responders including fire, police and EMTs. We offer teacher discounts for our educators, pastoral discounts for those who lead our communities of faith, and we offer military discounts for those who sacrifice to serve our country.

We also have a family discount, for households who come back to us with multiple children. We love treating siblings!

Q: Fredericksburg Orthodontics offers both braces and Invisalign clear aligners. Is cost a factor in choosing between these treatment options?

A: At many practices, it often is, because Invisalign treatment programs typically cost more than traditional braces. But in our 15 years of experience treating patients, we have learned that choosing the right treatment option is a very individual decision and depends on the habits and preferences of every patient

We truly want each of our patients to be able to choose the option that is the best fit. That is why we offer uniform pricing for our treatment plans, no matter which option you choose. Our goal is for our patients to have the perfect smile and for the experience of attaining that smile to be as pleasant as possible.

Q: Why do you feel strongly about the pricing options you offer?

A: Fredericksburg Orthodontics is a family-owned practice. From day one, we have wanted to not only serve our patients but also make a positive contribution to our community. During the pandemic, we saw first-hand how many families struggled with the decision to start orthodontic treatment, especially as many went from two incomes down to one. But the nature of orthodontics is such that delaying treatment can have costly and cumbersome impacts on the type of treatment a patient may need down the road.

We just really wanted to be able to find a way to allow more families to afford quality orthodontic treatment.

Q: How early should parents start thinking about orthodontics?

We typically like to see patients by age 7. We offer a complimentary baseline consultation where we can identify whether the patient would benefit from early treatment. In some cases, it can make a difference to start treatment while a child is in a growth phase. This early treatment can help some patients to avoid more invasive surgeries down the road. Many other children won’t need to start treatment until much later. And we are always happy to see adults, too.

Parents can take some actions to prepare that can make budgeting for orthodontics easier when the time comes. In addition to investigating whether you could be contributing to an HSA or FSA, it could make sense to look at the range of health plans your employer offers. Often, choosing a higher-level health insurance plan that has a dental rider that includes orthodontics can help reduce out-of-pocket expenses once children reach the age where they need orthodontic treatment.

Whether you are seeking treatment for yourself or your child, visit our website at fredericksburgorthodontics.com and request your Complimentary Consultation to get started on your new smile journey.

Emily Freehling
Emily Freehling
Emily Freehling is an award-winning journalist who helps Fredericksburg Parent and Family's advertisers tell valuable stories through magazine advertorials and videos. Emily also produces content for a wide variety of other clients and outlets. Find her on LinkedIn and at emilyfreehling.com.

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