The Cost of Braces
On average, braces cost between $3,000 and $10,000, depending on the extent of treatment and the type of materials used. With a range of options available, your orthodontist can recommend the type of braces that best meets your budget as well as your oral health needs. The experience of the orthodontist you choose, the area in which you live, and the degree of correction needed will also play a part in the overall cost of treatment.
Today, there are several alternatives to traditional metal braces, including ceramic "tooth-colored" braces and clear aligners. Each material comes with its own cost.
Traditional braces typically cost between $3,000 and $7,000. Minor cases of misalignment will generally cost less than more severe jaw-related issues.
Ceramic braces are a popular choice for patients who are looking for a more discreet alternative to metal brackets and wires. If you are interested in ceramic braces, you can expect to pay a bit more than you would for traditional braces. The price ranges from $4,000 to $8,000.
Lingual braces are one of the more expensive forms of treatment, with an average cost between $8,000 and $10,000. These braces are affixed to the back of teeth rather than the front. They generally function the same way as traditional braces, but they are not visible when you smile.
Aligners such as Invisalign® are comparable in price to traditional braces, typically costing between $3,000 and $8,000. Invisalign offers several types of aligner trays depending on the extent of your misalignment.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Treatment
Extent of Treatment
More complex cases of misalignment may require more specialized techniques. In addition, a longer treatment timeline will involve more trips to the orthodontist for adjustments. This can increase the cost of braces.
On average, braces cost between $3,000 and $10,000.
Another important consideration is the additional cost of retainers, which are necessary to maintain the results of orthodontic treatment. There are several types of retainers available, including fixed and removable. A fixed, or bonded retainer, can cost between $250 and $500 for each arch. Removable retainers vary in price from $150 to $300 per arch.
Choosing an Experienced Orthodontist
As with any medical procedure, it is important to choose a reputable orthodontist. Though an orthodontist with more experience may charge more for their services, they can help you achieve your desired results and minimize your risk of complications.
Where you live can impact the overall cost of treatment. In major urban areas, especially those on either coast, costs are often much higher. Often, larger overhead costs in cities translate to a higher price for orthodontic treatment.
In some cases, dental insurance will cover the cost of orthodontic treatment if straightening teeth will provide a medical benefit. However, if you want braces simply to improve the appearance of your smile, your insurance will probably not provide coverage. Insurance is more likely to pay for braces for a child under the age of 18.
Braces represent a large financial investment for many adult patients and the parents of young children who need orthodontia. However, financing options and payment plans can help make treatment more affordable. Many doctors accept third-party financing with no or low interest, and others offer in-house plans to cover out-of-pocket costs. Talk to your dentist about your options.
Invest in a Healthier Smile
When your teeth are misaligned, you are vulnerable to a host of oral health concerns. Overcrowding can make cleaning your teeth more difficult, which can result in decay and gum disease. While braces involve a time commitment and financial investment, they can help to preserve the structure of your smile for years to come.