The cost of braces in the Houston area varies by patient, by doctor and by the exact treatment that you select. In 2019, the average cost of metal braces is between $3,000 and $5,000. Depending on your specific needs and a lot of other factors, you could pay as little as $3,000 or as much as $6,000.
Having your teeth straightened and your bite corrected can give you numerous benefits in health and in confidence. When your orthodontic work is complete, you’ll enjoy a smile that you can be proud of! But even when you know about the benefits, planning for the cost of braces can be a challenge.
Will Insurance Pay the Cost of Braces?
If you have dental insurance, it may cover a portion of your orthodontic fees. As well, in rare cases some medical insurance plans may cover orthodontic work, primarily if the misalignment of teeth is causing health problems like jaw pain. The amounts that each policy will pay varies and must be determined by talking to your plan provider.
Even in cases where insurance plans do cover a portion of orthodontic expenses, the maximum amount covered for braces averages between $1,000 and $2,000, so you’ll still need to pay some costs out of pocket. Be sure to contact your insurance company to make sure you understand what is and is not included in your policy.
What Factors Determine the Cost of Braces?
The cost range for braces is wide, and that’s due to the many variables that can impact your treatment. Traditional dental braces use a series of metal brackets placed on each tooth, connected via wires that can be gradually tightened to align crooked teeth. You may spend more for braces that use a material other than metal or you may require additional time or appointments for your circumstances. Here’s a more in-depth look into the most common factors that affect the price tag for your braces.
Type of Braces
While metal braces are still the most popular option, some people prefer to minimize the look of their braces and avoid the obvious metal brackets and wires. Compared to the average cost of metal braces (between $5,000 and $6,000), braces that use tooth-colored ceramic brackets, called ceramic braces, can cost as much as $8,000. Ceramic braces may be more aesthetically pleasing, but they can also break or crack and may stain if you drink dark colored liquids like coffee, tea, wine or colas.
Another option is lingual braces, sometimes called incognito braces, where the brackets are positioned on the back side of the teeth so they won’t show. Because these type of braces are more difficult to install and adjust, the cost is typically between $8,000 and $10,000.
Invisible braces, commonly known as Invisalign, use a series of clear trays that fit around your teeth. Though they are removable, they must be worn for at least 22 hours a day to achieve ideal results. While the cost of Invisalign used to be more expensive than metal braces, the increased familiarity that many orthodontists now have with this type of straightener mean that they can be comparable in cost to the traditional option. Invisalign costs in the Houston area typically range between $3,000 and $8,000.
Adults may pay more for braces than children do, usually because adult teeth require more time and additional appointments to see results. The actual average cost of 1 year of braces for an adult is $2,546 compared to $2,457 for a child under 18 (based on national statistics). But an adult is more likely to need braces for longer than the average of 24 months. Adults are also more likely to have previous dental issues that could impact the placement and timing of braces.
Level of Involvement and Care
The cost of having braces will increase if you fail to maintain them properly. Patients must maintain good oral health. It’s extremely important to follow your doctor’s instructions for brushing and flossing. You should also take care to avoid foods that can shatter your brackets or stick to your wires so you don’t need to pay for extra work and appointments.
If you have a removable alignment option like Invisalign, you need to wear them for the recommended time each day and avoid any foods or drinks that could cause the plastic to stain. Though this is rare, your doctor can give you more information on the best way to keep your Invisalign trays in good shape and avoid additional costs for replacement aligners.
Once your treatment is complete, continue to wear a retainer and practice good oral health measures to keep your teeth looking fantastic. That will reduce your need for future orthodontic work.
Is There a Medical Reason to Get Braces?
Braces do more than simply increase your confidence and make your smile more beautiful. Significantly crooked teeth are at greater risk of decay, leading to more future dental work and an increased risk of gum disease. As well, untreated decay can lead to infection that may increase your chances of developing diseases like heart disease and diabetes. A misaligned jaw or incorrect bite can put pressure on your jaw, wear down your teeth unevenly and lead to muscle tension and headaches.
When you consider the cost of getting braces, it’s important to consider what you’ll need to pay for other medical and dental treatments required due to these side effects of having misaligned teeth. With the proper orthodontic treatment, you won’t have to deal with or pay the high costs for these issues in your future.
How Can You Find the Best Cost for Braces?
It’s important that you don’t budget shop for braces. While cost is an important factor, your top consideration should be finding an experienced orthodontist who can answer all your questions and provide the type of braces you’re looking for. You may also want to ask your regular dentist for a referral as well as talk to former patients and check reviews of any doctor you’re considering.
Even the lowest cost for braces in Houston can be considerable, so ask your orthodontist’s office about a payment plan. At Omega Dental Specialists, we can set up a plan with a low down payment that allows you to pay for your braces, no matter what type they are, over several months or even years. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.