The Cost of Dental Braces

a smile with braces on the teeth

People around the world are concerned about the beauty and brilliance of their smiles. Crooked teeth can have a negative impact on self-esteem and even tooth functionality. To address these problems, orthodontics can often correct these issues with dental braces. Exploring the cost of braces can help you determine if braces are your key to a straighter smile.

How do braces work?

Orthodontic treatment with braces can be used for cosmetic as well as functional improvement. A general term, “braces” are the actual devices that are attached to teeth. Braces usually consist of brackets that are bonded to the teeth and a metal wire that is inserted into the brackets. The metal wires are gradually tightened, working together with the brackets to move teeth into the desired positions.

How much do braces cost?

According to American Association of Orthodontists, fees for orthodontic care vary with the complexity of treatment plan and geographic region. Be sure to ask your orthodontist about anticipated treatment fees, payment options, and insurance benefits.

Dental braces are available in a wide variety of forms and prices. Below are a few you should discuss with your orthodontist.

  • Metal Braces (traditional braces) : $3000-7000
  • Ceramic Braces :$4000-8000
  • Lingual Braces : $8000-10,000
  • Invisalign: $4000-7400

Prices may also depend upon where you live. Orthodontists in more rural areas are often less expensive than ones in larger cities.

How can costs be reduced?

Here are various tips to help keep the cost of braces low:

Orthodontists recommend an early checkup for a child by the age of 7, and they often know years in advance whether a child will require braces. Use this to your advantage and budget in advance for the orthodontic care.

  • Different braces have different features and costs. So consult with your orthodontist for the proper selection of dental braces that works for your lifestyle and budget.
  • Many offices offer payment plans for orthodontic care. Ask your orthodontist if any such plans are available.
  • If a university near you has a dental or orthodontic program, check to see if it provides dental work. Orthodontic departments in these schools can offer services at a reduced cost, and the procedures are fully supervised by experienced orthodontists.
  • Keep in mind that if you have a flexible spending account, health saving account, or medical savings account, you can set aside pre-tax dollars to help pay for these treatments.

Can insurance offset the cost of braces?

If you have health or dental insurance, check with your provider. Most of the insurance plans don’t pay for the orthodontic treatment of people over 18 years of age, but they may partially cover children. If your insurance plan does not include orthodontic care you can also buy supplemental orthodontic insurance.

It’s also recommended that you keep the same insurance plan during your entire orthodontic treatment. Most insurance plans don’t cover braces placed on the teeth before the effective date of the policy. This would be considered a pre-existing condition, making it an out-of-pocket expense.

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