One of the main reasons people hesitate to go for dental appointments is the cost of braces. Braces are beyond most people’s budgets, even financially stable individuals. But why are they so expensive?
The primary reason braces are so expensive is the materials and supplies used to make and install them. Braces need to be made of sturdy materials to last in your mouth for a long time. Intricate parts, labor costs, and payment options also contribute to the price of braces.
This article looks at why dental braces are so expensive. Keep reading to learn some of the cheapest ways to get braces.
How Much Do Braces Cost?
The price of braces varies depending on different factors including brand, type, and whether you have insurance. Prices also vary between kids and adult braces.
However, as a rough estimate, you can expect to pay anywhere between $3000 and $10000 for braces without insurance.
The American Dental Association also conducted a survey that placed the price of comprehensive orthodontic treatment (which includes braces) between $5,000 and $6,000.
Why Are Braces So Expensive in America?
After seeing the prices above, one can’t help but wonder why such a small implant costs so much. Here are a few reasons:
1. Materials and Supplies
Additionally, the hardware of the braces is not the only material used during treatment. Several supplies can be used at each visit to the orthodontist and should be sterilized after use. These materials are necessary for the patient’s well-being and add up to the cost of braces.
2. Intricate Parts
The little square-looking metal objects aren’t as simple as they seem. They have many mechanisms that help them hold onto teeth as they’re moved. They require complex engineering and sturdy materials to last in your mouth for a long time.
3. Time in Braces
Teeth should be moved slowly to maintain their health. Most people use braces for 1 to 3 years although some cases are more complex. Patient cooperation also plays a huge role in how long they’ll have the braces in their mouths.
Braces correct the teeth while rubber bands help with the bite. Patients who use their rubber bands correctly reduce the time they’ll be in braces.
Braces have to be well designed to last in a patient’s mouth for that period. This contributes to their price.
4. Braces Installation Labor Costs
Orthodontists are skilled professionals who go through years of training before being allowed to practice. When you need braces installed, you also pay for the other materials used, the orthodontist’s working time, and some of the following costs:
- The dental assistant’s working time.
- The auxiliary personnel who clean the office after the patient has left.
- The front desk assistant who handles appointments.
5. Payment Options
It’s impossible to know exactly how much you need to pay for braces before an orthodontist examines you. Every individual is different.
Therefore, braces might be more expensive for some people than others depending on how much work they require. Some insurance companies and health care credit companies also pay for orthodontist appointments.
This might include a partial payment for braces. As a result, it’s much more expensive to pay from your own pocket.
Are Braces Expensive With Insurance?
The amount an insurance company can pay for braces depends on several factors including the patient’s age, the braces’ type, and how long the patient will use them.
However, CostHelper reported that out-of-pocket patients with insurance paid an average of $3407 for standard metal braces.
That said, the amount covered by an insurer is subject to a maximum benefit, so it’s important to check with your insurance provider and confirm your coverage ceiling.
How Much Are Braces Without Insurance?
As we established earlier, the price of braces primarily depends on their type. Even so, all types of braces are pretty costly without insurance.
Here are some estimates according to the type of braces:
- Standard metal braces: These use metal brackets to realign your teeth over some months or years. These are the cheapest but most noticeable in your mouth. They cost between $3,000 and $7500.
- Ceramic braces: These are much like metal braces, but they are tooth-colored or clear so that they’re less noticeable. Ceramic braces are just a little more expensive than standard metal braces and cost between $3500 and $8500.
- Lingual braces: Lingual braces work the same way as dental braces but they are attached to the backside of your teeth. They are almost invisible, but they’re also the most expensive. Their prices range between $5,000 and $13,000.
- Invisalign braces: These are clear braces made from a blend of plastic. They fit over your teeth and are custom made for your dental formula. Your orthodontist will design a custom pair of Invisalign braces for you by taking a mold of your bite. Invisalign braces cost anywhere between $4000 and $10000.
Most Expensive Braces in the World
When you think about expensive braces, you probably think about Invisalign braces. However, lingual braces are much more expensive.
Although they’re not common, they are slowly gaining popularity, especially among adults. They are bespoke and aren’t meant to be seen in your mouth. Prices range from $5000 to $13,000.
Cheapest Way to Get Braces
Braces can be expensive, however, you can use a few tricks to get a good deal. Here are a few things you can do to reduce the costs associated with braces:
- Buy dental or orthodontic insurance covers.
- Try getting quotes from different orthodontists.
- Get your braces from dental schools that offer discounts and reduced-cost treatment.
- Use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA).
- Take care of your braces to avoid repair fees.
- Have your braces installed early to avoid more serious problems in the future?
- Pay the full price upfront to get a discount (confirm if your orthodontist offers discounts first.)
- Take advantage of nonprofit dental programs like Smiles Change Lives, which offers braces to low-income families.
Are Braces Worth the Money?
Although braces are expensive, their impact is long-term. After installing braces, your teeth will be well aligned for years to come. Good dental health is invaluable, so if you can afford them, they’re definitely worth it.