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Why Are Braces So Expensive?

By February 4, 2023 August 12th, 2023 No Comments
braces with various colors rubbers

So, you’re thinking about getting braces. You know you need them. In fact, you really want them. But the more research you do, the more you are left asking, “Why are braces so expensive?” You’re not alone. As necessary as braces are for many people, there’s no getting around the fact that they aren’t exactly affordable. I couldn’t wrap my head around it, either, until I started doing some digging. 

It was then that I understood why braces cost as much as they do. To help you cope with the sticker-shock associated with braces, I’m going to share with you everything that I learned from my research. 

Why Are Braces So Expensive and How Can I Afford Them?

It’s true. Braces are going to take a big bite out of your savings. With the average cost of braces ranging in the thousands of dollars, straightening your teeth isn’t cheap. 

The price of braces is enough to turn many people away, as it’s hard for them to justify such a high cost for metal and wires. I thought that way at one time. But after researching everything that goes into them, I started to realize that there’s more to braces than meets the eye. 

You are transforming your teeth, after all. That’s a big deal in itself. But it’s the way in which they do it that makes the average braces cost so high.

As you will soon learn, braces are an impressive feat of engineering and ingenuity. But more importantly, they work. You are sure to get your money’s worth, and that’s half the battle right there.

I’m also going to share some ways that you can make paying for braces more manageable. Don’t think that you can’t get the dental care you need just because you can’t afford to fork over the total cost of braces all at once.

Keep reading to find out how to afford braces, even if you don’t have insurance.

closeup of braces on person's teeth

What Are The Average Costs For Braces?

OK, so how expensive are braces, exactly? Although it’s different for everybody based on their individual needs, the typical cost of braces is anywhere between $5,000 and $6,000.

However, there are instances where a patient may only need to pay $3,000. Conversely, some patients can pay as much as $10,000. Why such a chasm between pricing? And for that much money, are braces worth it?

Consider this. Orthodontic treatment is different for everyone. Your dental needs and the care you receive won’t be the same as the next person’s. You may require extensive treatment options to get your teeth to where they need to be for optimal oral health and hygiene. 

Your orthodontist will tailor your dental care to your needs and your needs only. In the world of orthodontia, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all option for straightening your teeth. And that’s a good thing.

You want your dental treatment to be designed just for you. This ensures that you are receiving unique care that is crafted solely for the purpose of improving your dental health.

Now, if you are paying for braces without insurance, you can expect to pay more than someone with insurance. Fortunately, there are ways you can make paying for your braces easier, which I will share shortly.

How much are braces with insurance? It varies. I found some insurance providers that will foot around 20% of the bill. But other factors like age and treatment needs can affect the bottom line.

The average cost of braces per month also varies when you have insurance. You’ll need to speak with your insurance company to find out what kind of coverage you can expect. Then, you can talk to your orthodontist’s office about payment options.

Ready for a confident, healthy smile?

a stack of dollar bills and teeth model with braces

Why Do Braces Cost So Much?

Why are braces so expensive? As we have just discussed, you’re getting treatment and care that is designed with your needs in mind. Anything custom-made is going to cost more. Think about it this way: let’s say you’re interested in buying a Corvette. Give or take a couple of thousand bucks, they are about $60,000.

Now let’s say you want that Corvette completely refitted so it fits your body perfectly. The seating, the steering column, pedals, shifter – everything. You want it redone so that the entire vehicle conforms to you and you alone.

The price just increased exponentially. The same is true for braces. Although one could argue that they aren’t nearly as intricate as an automobile, braces are a unique orthodontic appliance that serves a very special purpose. 

Think about how many options you have when it comes to choosing a vehicle to drive. Braces offer nowhere near the selection. That’s because braces meet a need that is uniquely different for everyone.

I look at braces like this: teeth, braces, price. The health and safety of your teeth are what matters most. Then come the braces. They need to be capable of safely straightening your teeth. The price comes last because the first two are much more important.

Intricate Parts

Furthermore, braces cost a lot because they are designed to work with your teeth. By that, I mean that your teeth are constantly being used throughout the treatment of braces. 

So, not only do braces have to reposition your teeth, but they have to do so while still allowing you to use them every day.

There’s a lot of internal pressure taking place inside your mouth. Your braces are designed to gradually shift your teeth at a pace that is safe for both you and your teeth. Too much pressure could result in a broken tooth or damage to your bone structure. 

The better the material used to move your teeth, the higher the cost of the braces. Remember, your braces have to continually do their job for upwards of two years; sometimes longer. 

They need to be strong, durable, and long-lasting which is why you need take good care of your braces. Anything less would lead to breakage of the braces and damage to your mouth and teeth. 

You also have to consider the bands that work to keep your bite intact. Shifting teeth can lead to an over- or under-bite, so it’s important to have carefully positioned bands that ensure your bite stays in place. 

Time in Braces - Length of Treatment

As I mentioned, it takes time to change the positioning of your teeth. When your teeth move, your bone has to integrate with the movement. This doesn’t happen overnight. On average, dental patients wear braces for anywhere between one and three years.

Depending on the severity of a patient’s teeth, more time may be needed to get the desired results. When you get braces, you are on a treatment plan that is custom-made for your dental concerns. 

You can help this along by following your dentist’s instructions to the best of your ability. Patients who do everything they are told and take the best care of themselves and their braces, often find that their treatment times don’t take as long as expected.

But patients who are lackadaisical about their dental care can expect their treatment time to go longer. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of your orthodontic care.

Throughout your treatment, you will need to come in to see your orthodontist regularly to ensure that everything is working properly. You can expect to visit the office every one or two months. 

During this time, your orthodontist will thoroughly examine your mouth and braces and make adjustments where needed. These appointments are important, so you want to make sure that you attend every one of them. Failure to do so will result in your treatment time taking longer.

Ready for a confident, healthy smile?

Materials and Supplies

There’s a lot more involved than simply slapping your braces on and calling it a day. Your orthodontist has to carefully align your braces using various instruments. This includes sterilizing everything to ensure the health and safety of each and every patient. 

All of this gets factored into the final price. Why do braces cost so much? Because there is a lot of work that goes into giving you the best care. Without it, you couldn’t get the continual attention you and your teeth need to complete your treatment.

This carries on after you get your braces off, too. Your dental retainer’s cost needs to be considered, as well. Your retainer is what maintains all of the hard work that your braces did for however many years you had to wear them.

a woman on her dental exam

Getting Dental Insurance to Pay for Orthodontics

Most insurance providers don’t cover dental. As such, it’s important to speak with them and your orthodontist about what you can expect. 

You might want to consider switching to an insurance provider that does cover dental if you can’t work out a reasonable payment plan.

They are out there; you just have to be diligent in looking. It’s also wise to weigh your options. Don’t jump on the first one you find. Compare each plan to ensure that you get the best deal possible.

Remember, anything that’s not covered is coming out of your pocket. First, find out how much money is braces without insurance. Get a baseline for how much you can expect to pay for your treatment.

Compare plans to find the company that will cover the most care and then budget accordingly.

Discounts on Braces Without Insurance

How much are braces for teeth when you don’t have insurance? Fortunately, you have options. Affordable braces for adults are offered at many places. If you don’t have insurance, you can still find ways to make your dental bill more manageable. 

Depending on the orthodontist, they may allow you to make monthly payments until your braces are paid off. 

But your braces’ monthly cost needs to be settled before you start treatment. If you’re having a hard time paying for your care, you might want to consider a third-party credit company.

Some even offer interest-free payment plans and low monthly payments. This allows you to pay a rate that is easier to work into your budget. By financing your dental care, you can get the help you need without the wait.

Ready for a confident, healthy smile?

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