What is the cost of metal braces?
Traditional metal braces tend to cost anywhere in the range of $3,500 to $5,000. Dental insurance coverage for traditional metal braces on a child is typical $1,000 to $2,000.
This depends on the complexity and length of time needed to straighten your child’s teeth. Also relevant is whether the braces are on both the lower and upper sets of teeth. The type of braces chosen will further set the cost. So the first step is identifying the type of braces for your child, and the likely length of the child’s treatment. This will help you understand your best course. It all starts with the consultation. Professional advice and guidance help you choose the type that fits your child’s needs. Omega Dental orthodontists offer a free consultation and X-ray and payment plans. Contact us to make an appointment.
A confident smile makes a great first impression. And it’s a beautiful thing when teeth come together as they should. Eating, sleeping, speaking, and daily living life just feels a whole lot better. Some young patients can benefit from braces to get that confidence and comfort. Here are some frequently asked questions about the process and the cost of braces.
How Much Do Kids’ Braces Cost?
It depends. Different types of braces can cost different. Some kids stay in braces longer than other kids. Most will wear braces for one to two years, as the braces align and straighten teeth through steady pressure over time. Rarely will a child’s issues take more than 24 months to correct. You do need to anticipate retainers and follow-up appointments, though, and the associated costs of following through for best results.
Now and then, special alignment challenges crop up requiring extractions or oral surgery. If your child’s teeth need complex realignments, extractions, and frequents visits to the orthodontist, the cost rises. In some cases, treatment might need to include headgear, to be worn 12 to 14 hours per day, together with the braces.
The way your child complies with the orthodontist’s instructions matters as well. It affects both the success and the cost of the work. And don’t forget to factor in regular dental checkups. Kids with braces still need them.
Does insurance cover cost of braces?
Out-of-pocket costs will likely be higher if you and your child go forward with non-metal braces. Our office can help you check your coverage and learn how your plan can assist in paying for orthodontic treatment.
The general rule is this: Insurance plans that cover orthodontic treatment do so partially. Often the plan will give you 50% coverage for the work your child needs, and cap it at $1,500. Your out-of-pocket expenses may include co-pays and deductibles. Most insurance plans set maximum amounts they’ll pay out in one year, as with any dental work.
How do I know if my child needs braces?
If your child’s teeth are misaligned, you can see it, or your child can feel it. The problem is known to most people as a “bad bite”—and to dentists as malocclusion. Many kids have it. And it can usually be corrected.
In malocclusion, the teeth tend to crowd up or appear crooked. There could be an overbite—what dentists call a Class II malocclusion. Or the lower teeth might jut out—forming a Class III malocclusion, also known as an underbite.
A crossbite occurs when the teeth close slightly off-center. An open bite means the upper and lower teeth aren’t meeting each other when the child bites down or smiles. Sometimes, kids can have trouble with eating or speaking because of a problem with the bite. These issues are just part of growing up human. Some are caused by thumb sucking, early tooth loss, or even an injury on the playground.
What’s the best age for a kid to get braces?
According to the American Association of Orthodontics, kids should have an early orthodontic screening by age seven. This preliminary planning does not mean your seven-year-old needs braces today. But kids should be fitted with their braces not too long past their twelfth birthday. By then they’ve lost their set of baby teeth, and their 12-year molars are visible. Why is that a key start time for braces? Because an issue that could be corrected in months could go on for two years if the child is fitted for braces when some of the baby teeth haven’t dropped out yet, or the permanent teeth aren’t in.
Sometimes, the matter doesn’t seem urgent. The most common reason parents ask about braces is simply the way their child’s smile looks. Even in these cases, there can be underlying dental problems. These issues can become worse if not treated early in life.
Are there other kinds of braces we could consider?
Alternatives to traditional metal braces include:
- Ceramic braces
with brackets designed to blend in with the teeth. They can be clear, or designed with a shade to match the teeth. They do need a careful and steady cleaning routine to prevent stains. Ceramic braces usually move teeth faster than other invisible options like clear aligners (discussed below). The minimum in cost for this alternative is around $4,000. So they’re somewhat costlier than traditional metal.
- Damon braces
Damon braces are typically more expensive, at least at the start. They do away with the steel ties. Only brackets fixed onto the wires keep them in place. These don’t need tightening. So they will require fewer trips to the orthodontist for adjustments. They aren’t removable so that they won’t get lost. The length of treatment will be different for everyone, but clinical studies cited by Damon indicate that the Damon System works up to six months faster than traditional metal braces. Damon Clear offers a blended-in look. Headgear is almost never necessary. These braces will cost around $8,000.
- Lingual braces
Lingual braces are tucked behind the teeth. They can be harder to clean. And kids can feel them against the tongue. They’ll likely cost $8,000 to $10,000.
- Invisible aligners
Invisalign is an option for some clients. Aligners look like mouthguards. But they shift teeth like traditional braces. In addition to their nearly invisible look, they’re chosen for comfort, and because they can be removed. But they do not need to be taken out for eating or drinking. They allow normal brushing of the teeth and flossing too. Costs range from $4,000 to $6,000.On the high end is the well-known Invisalign® system. Up to $3,500 of the treatment with invisible aligners can be recovered through insurance. With Invisalign®, the client gets several aligners. The teeth move as the aligners are changed in sequence. Different people will need different numbers of aligners. This impacts the cost of the whole treatment.
Am I a candidate for braces as an adult?
For various reasons, many adults opt to get fitted for braces. It could be an alignment problem making the teeth grind in specific places due to a bad bite. Or difficulty in keeping crowded teeth clean. In some cases, the dentist will recommend realignment. Space might be needed for an implant or some other dental work. And some adults just want a better-looking smile.
Adults have many of the same choices in braces that teens have. Financially, the biggest difference is that past age 18; insurance doesn’t help with braces.
Adults have other challenges here too. Moving teeth or expanding the palate isn’t as easy in adults. So dealing with crowded teeth might mean extractions that a teen wouldn’t need. Braces and headgear just aren’t as effective in fully formed adult mouths. So expect treatment to take longer as an adult.
On average, an adult spends 18 months to three years wearing braces for the desired result. And adults too wear retainers, to keep their bite looking and feeling good over the long term.
The good news? You’re not alone. The population of adults with braces rose nearly 40% in the past two decades. Many adults who finish the treatment find that not only their teeth have changed—so have the contours of their faces. An improved facial balance is an effect as Damon Braces describes it. We can help you decide if braces are a good plan for you.
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