If you’re considering getting braces for yourself or your child, your main concern will likely be the cost. As of right now, the average cost of braces in the United States is around $6,000.
But the cost of braces will ultimately depend on a variety of factors from the type of braces you’re looking to get, whether or not you have dental insurance, and several other things.
Here’s what we’ll share with you in this read:
- The current, typical cost of braces
- 6 primary factors affecting the cost
- How to assess if braces are a smart investment for you
Keep reading to learn if braces could be just what your teeth need!
The Average Cost of Braces in 2023
While the average cost of braces right now is around $6,000, the right dental insurance plan will have you paying between $1,638 and $4,933. Without dental or orthodontic insurance, you can expect to pay between $2,750 and $7,000.
Of course, dental insurance isn’t the only thing that can make or break the cost of braces. There are multiple factors that come into play. Below, we’ll go over 6 of the primary factors that affect the cost of braces.
1. The Type of Braces You Get
One of the biggest factors in determining the cost of braces is the type of braces you select in addition to the alignment issues you’re facing. Metal braces are the standard and often the cheapest, whereas Invisalign is among the most expensive.
- Metal braces: Metal braces are what we refer to as traditional braces, and they cost between $2,750 and $7,000. They’re the oldest and most common means of orthodontic treatment for misaligned teeth and excessive overbites or underbites.
- Ceramic braces: Ceramic braces are designed to blend in with the teeth to make them less noticeable, and they cost between $3,000 and $65,000. Ceramic braces serve the same purpose as metal but are better suited for those with metal allergies or for those who require medical imaging tests for other health conditions.
- Invisalign braces: Invisalign braces have become incredibly popular as they’re a series of clear plastic molds designed to fit right over your teeth. They cost between $3,250 and $8,250, and they can be removed when eating or for other activities, making them the more convenient and comfortable options. However, tooth alignment will straighten over a slower period of time compared to metal and ceramic braces — and they won’t work for severe misalignment.
- Lingual braces: Lingual braces are installed behind the teeth in order to hide the brackets from plain view. They’re much harder to install and adjust, which means the orthodontist in question must have specialized training. This is what makes lingual braces so expensive, costing between $6,500 and $11,500 as well as harder to come by.
2. How Old You Are
Adults and children will have different needs when it comes to having braces put on.
Generally speaking, an adult jaw is already fully formed, meaning the teeth won’t move as easily. This means the braces can take a lot longer to do their job. Children, on the other hand, have jaws that are not fully formed, making them more malleable and easier to realign.
On average, adults pay 5% more for braces compared to children or adolescents. This works out to a difference of almost $300, as the average cost of braces for an adult is $6,139, while the cost of braces for children and adolescents is around $5,842.
3. How Long You Wear The Braces
How long you have to wear braces will directly affect the overall costs of having them. Most braces are worn for an average of two years, with the initial positioning of your teeth determining the length of time it’ll take to correct misalignments.
However, you’ll need to come to your orthodontist for monthly appointments to evaluate progress, tighten the braces, and make any necessary changes.
4. Where You Live
Where you live will also affect how much you can expect to pay for your braces. Orthodontic care typically costs less in smaller cities and towns compared to larger metro areas.
Your location will also factor into the availability of the type of braces you want or need. Smaller towns may not have access to certain types of braces, which means you may end up spending more or less depending on what’s available.
5. What Your Orthodontist Charges
Orthodontists typically charge different rates for their appointments, materials, and procedures. These rates vary based on their level of experience, among other things, such as the quality of materials they prefer to work with.
While you shouldn’t expect orthodontist rates to vary by much, it’s still a good idea to shop around to find one you can afford and prefer to work with. Most orthodontists offer free consultations, so shopping around shouldn’t cost a thing.
6. How You Maintain Your Braces
Braces may feel like a very permanent and solid attachment in your mouth, but they can be vulnerable to damage if you don’t care for them as advised by the orthodontist.
Keep in mind that if you break the brackets of your braces or any other part, you’ll have to pay for both the appointments and the procedure for the repair. So, stay away from those hard, sticky candies and anything else your orthodontist tells you to avoid!
Is Dental Insurance Worth It For Braces?
If you’ve recently found out that you need braces as an adult, you may be wondering if purchasing dental or orthodontic insurance to mitigate the cost of braces is worth it or not.
The short answer here is yes, it’s worth it to get a dental insurance plan if you need orthodontic treatment. It may mean you have to wait for your policy or deductible to kick in, but depending on the plan you purchase, it could save you anywhere between $500 and $1,400.
Having dental insurance will also provide you with coverage for your routine dental cleanings and other needs, which is just as important as correcting a misalignment.
So when you’re ready for your next dental checkup, book an appointment with our dental professionals at Wayzata Dental. We’ll take care of everything from preventative care to restorative services, and we can recommend the best orthodontist for your needs and budget.