In just about every other industry, you will find seasonal or product special offers and orthodontics is no exception. Every January, a time when we all like to make some New Year resolutions that we may or may not stick to, quite a few orthodontic practices promote their services with offers to entice new patients to their door. These offers are not just limited to the cold winter months with many practices offering incentives during the year to help make the decision easier for those thinking about treatment.
Many of these offers relate to reduced fees for orthodontic treatment with typically £500 or more off the treatment cost, a considerable saving for those thinking about starting and worrying about the cost. Some offers involve additional services such as a second set of retainers or free whitening at the end of your treatment. Again, great to have and a further incentive to get started.
So what happens if you see a great incentive with the practice you wish to go with but find yourself in the position of not being able to start treatment before the expiry of the offer? In this situation, it’s always worth having a chat with the practice. Explain that you would love to start and you are very tempted by their offer but that you are not able to commit right now. See if they can be flexible on the start date of your treatment or if they would be prepared to extend the offer for you for a reasonable period of time. You should find most practices are more than happy to accommodate your request as it would be in their interest to keep you as a patient rather than to risk you going elsewhere.
Make sure you fully understand the offer, are you getting the same treatment as you would have got if you had paid full price or does the offer relate to a limited treatment option or for something you have little use for during or at the end of treatment. Make sure you keep a record of any post-treatment offer as a couple of years into treatment, it’s easy to forget that you were offered something at the end. Find out if you can exchange an offer for something else so rather than having ‘free’ whitening after your braces are removed, see if you could use the ‘credit’ for an additional set of retainers if you feel this would be of more use to you.
Although orthodontics can appear very expensive, it is quite a competitive profession with high overheads so be aware that not all practices can or do offer incentives. This does not mean you should shop around for the best offer, you should always seek the orthodontist who, in your opinion, will offer you the best treatment options and best meet your needs as a patient. This might be due to opening hours, the facilities at the practice, their professional reputation or the range of treatment options they offer.
Whilst some practices do regularly entice new patients with special offers and discounts, some very good practices rarely need to incentivise patients and as a prospective new patient, you should consider this in your decision making when weighing up the merits of one practice against another. Whilst price is one factor, it isn’t the only metric to use when deciding where to undertake treatment but who doesn’t love an offer too good to refuse?
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