Provided by CareCredit

For many of your patients, dentistry is a part of their overall health and wellness routine. But for others, paying for care is a concern and may cause them to delay appointments and needed dentistry. Here are a few key data points from the 2023 Synchrony Dental Lifetime of Care study that may provide dental teams with insights to help patients be more prepared for the cost of care.

Perception of Affordability May Be a Barrier to Care

One key findings of the study was 58% of surveyed consumers expressed that dental care is not affordable. Part of this perception may be patients do not fully understand dental costs and their dental benefits. The study found:

  • 46% of respondents indicated they were not ready/prepared for their largest out-of-pocket dental expense, which ranged from exams to implants.
  • Only 30% find understanding dental health expenses easy
  • Half of respondents that had insurance did not know their annual maximum.

The reality is dentistry is valuable and does cost money. The study found the average out-of-pocket costs for the average adult aged 20 – 79 is $51,000 to $95,000+ over their lifetime. This range includes dental benefit premiums for single coverage, couple coverage and family coverage, but does not include more specialized or complex care like implants, veneers, orthodontics or other cosmetic dental procedures.

The good news is that dentists, their teams and the dental industry as a whole are in the perfect position to help improve patient understanding of the costs associated with dental health and the critical role it plays in their overall health. They can also help patients gain clarity around the cost of treatment and how their insurance benefits contribute to the cost of care.

Perception of Affordability May Affect Patient Behavior

Another key data point from the study was about intended behavior. The two data points that may link perception of affordability to patient behavior are:

  • 30% of respondents said they would hold off on dental care if cost was $500 or less.
  • 52% would hold off on dental care if cost was $1,000 or less.

Providing payment options, especially those with promotional financing, like the CareCredit credit card may help. 58% of study participants indicated they would probably or definitely choose a payment option that provided predictable, set, equal payments.

Yet to accept CareCredit as a financing solution? Now may be a good time. To get started, call 800.300.3046 (option 5) or go to