Goals page health expense photo: Covering health expenses.

Your Smile Can Say A Lot About You

What does your smile say about you? When you’re introduced to someone new, your smile is the first impression they have of you. A warm, confident smile can help you build trust and leave a positive impression. Whether you’re trying to make new friends or land your next career, a brilliant smile can make a lot of things easier. Investing in dental care to improve your smile can be investing in your future career and relationships.

However, advanced dental care can be expensive. If you are receiving payments from a structured settlement or annuity, your next dental treatment could be closer than you think!

Americans Notice Your Smile

A study reported by the Washington Post showed that people think that more attractive people are more intelligent. This is not true, there is no link between beauty and intelligence. But, because so many people believe it, Americans spent more than $11 billion on teeth whitening in 2016.

How straight your teeth are can also influence what a person thinks about you. Think about the last movie you saw. The hero likely had perfect teeth, while the villain’s smile was likely to have crooked teeth. A staple in almost every “ugly duckling” story, where an awkward teen grew into the attractive lead, started the story with them in braces until they were removed to reveal a perfect smile.

The link between a brilliant smile and intelligence doesn’t really exist, but many people think it does. If you’re hunting for a job, it’s important to keep this in mind. Employers aren’t supposed to judge based on appearance, but many do. The almost subconscious belief that straight, white teeth are sign of intelligence could influence who they offer an open position to.

One of the most popular ways to correct crooked teeth is with braces. While these are viewed as a cosmetic procedure and are rarely covered by insurance, there are multiple options for patients to choose from. Metal braces are still usually the most affordable option, but for patients who want something that’s a little less noticeable, several companies offer transparent alternatives. Braces tend to be a long-term investment for adults and teenagers. Considering most patients wear braces for 6 to 24 months, monthly payments can be an ideal option for spreading out the cost.

By shopping around, you increase the likelihood of finding a treatment plan that meets your lifestyle on a payment plan that matches your budget.

Poor Dental Health Can Lead to Other Health Problems

A recent article put out by Small Business Trends helps put the true cost of not caring for your teeth into perspective. Insurance agents estimate that an employee loses out on $720 per year because of a lost tooth. Losing a tooth is not only painful, but it can cost you money. The cost of losing your tooth includes lost work hours that come from tooth pain or having a tooth pulled, and the time spent recovering from the procedure.

For business owners, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that dental issues result in 164 million lost man hours each year. Unfortunately, your dental health doesn’t just affect your mouth. Bacteria and infections are able to spread to other parts of the body or weaken the immune system.

While pulling a tooth might take a day, getting sick from an infection can take you out of work for far longer. Along with thinking of your teeth as an investment in your career, think about dental procedures as an investment in your overall health. Today’s filling is tomorrow’s clean checkup.

Health Insurance Plans Don’t Cover Dental Care

While health insurance plans occasionally cover dental procedures, it’s common for employees to have to take out additional dental insurance to cover the cost. Even government-funded programs like Medicare don’t provide dental coverage, instead listing it as an optional add-on or suggesting customers find dental insurance elsewhere.

Before you sign up for a health insurance plan, it’s important to learn whether dental treatments are covered and how much it would cost to add them. While regular brushing can help reduce how often you have to go to the dentist, skipping dental insurance can lead to a large bill when you do need to go in for a checkup.

Even Covered Procedures Can Be Expensive

Even if your health insurance covers dental procedures, you might end up paying more than you planned. Office copays and partial coverage add up, surprising customers with a large bill, even for simple procedures like getting a cavity filled. Dental insurance is never a complete guarantee that your bill will be covered, which is why it’s important to review potential expenses with dental professionals before agreeing to a procedure. By knowing what your bill will look like when you leave, it’s easier to make sure you have the funds to pay for the treatment and avoid debt.

Selling Future Structured Settlement Payments Can Help Manage the Costs

If you’re looking to undergo major dental procedures to get the smile you want -- or are facing unplanned emergency treatment -- you might be able to get the cash you need by selling some or all of your future structured settlement payments in exchange for a lump sum. This would allow you to pay most of the dental bills and even cover the cost of braces upfront instead of paying off debt through monthly payments.

This is your money; we’re just giving you another option for when you can spend it. At Peachtree Financial, we’ve helped thousands of customers achieve their goals. If you want to improve your smile, you should be able to use your own money to pay for it.

To learn more about your options, get in touch. We’ll ask you a few questions and offer you a quote with a lump sum payment that gets you the money you need.

Peachtree Financial does not provide legal, tax or financial advice. Please contact independent professionals for those services.

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