We all want straighter teeth, especially nowadays, when a straight smile is a major beauty must-have. Sporting a perfect smile gives its wearer a boost of confidence and pride. However, braces are not just cosmetic. By aligning your jaw, braces can also help alleviate symptoms of various oral disorders, such as TMJ.
Today, most people wear braces from a young age, after their baby teeth have fallen out, and once most of their adult teeth have grown in. Childhood is the optimal time to remedy crooked teeth and other oral health complications because children’s teeth and jaws are still malleable. Perhaps the most important reason to get braces young is that adult braces cost much more without financial assistance or dental insurance. Braces are quite an investment, and you should undoubtedly consider prices before deciding on the best brace option. Hopefully, this article can help you understand some of the factors that affect the cost of braces.
What Factors Influence the Average Cost of Braces?
Many different factors affect the cost of braces. Adult braces cost more when compared to children’s braces due to insurance coverage and the time required to achieve the desired results. Based on your location, the material of the braces, and the severity of the orthodontic treatment, you can expect to pay between $3,000 and $10,000. Generally, an orthodontic provider in a rural area charges less than those located in larger cities. Similarly, orthodontists located in certain states are more pricey than in others.
These factors, coupled with the type of braces and their material, significantly affect the price range.
Another factor determining the price of braces is how long they need to be worn. Furthermore, to maintain and tighten braces, patients must schedule regular check-ups with their orthodontist. Based on the number of trips required, the overall expense of braces may increase or decrease.
The Average Cost of Braces for Patients without Dental or Orthodontic Insurance
Without the help of dental insurance, you can expect to pay a substantial amount for any comprehensive orthodontic treatment, including braces. However, the specific cost of most braces varies significantly based on their type:
- Traditional metal braces;
- Ceramic braces;
- Self-ligating braces;
- Clear aligners;
- Lingual braces.
#1: Traditional and Ceramic Braces
The most common braces are traditional metal braces, which use metal brackets and wire to slowly realign teeth. Traditional metal braces are generally the least expensive option because they are the most noticeable.
Ceramic braces are similar to traditional braces but with one major difference: the material is much less noticeable. Both standard and ceramic options cost between $5,000 and $6,000 without orthodontic insurance.
#2: Self-ligating Braces
Self-ligating braces are very similar to traditional metal braces but use a built-in system to secure the archwire to the brackets. Unlike traditional braces, which use tiny elastic bands or metal ties, self-ligating braces are applied to the brackets to hold the archwire in place. Because self-ligating braces allow for shorter orthodontist visits, easier cleaning, and slightly less discomfort, they are a bit more expensive, averaging around $5,500.
#3: Clear Aligners
Clear braces or aligners such as Invisalign are more discreet teeth straightening options. Invisalign is made from a plastic blend custom-made to fit your bite. These clear braces operate similarly to other types of braces by applying constant pressure to gently straighten teeth. However, unlike other braces, they are easily removed for eating or brushing your teeth. Because of these added benefits, aligners are a more expensive option, ranging from $4,000 to $7,000.
#4: Lingual Braces
Lingual braces function similarly to traditional braces, except that they are attached to the backside of your teeth rather than the front side. Nearly invisible, lingual braces are the most expensive type of braces falling between $5,000 and $13,000.
How about Medicaid Coverage for Braces Treatment?
While Medicaid coverage varies depending on the state, there are some minimum standards set by the federal government. For example, all states must cover children for the following:
- Dental treatment to relieve pain and infections;
- Teeth restoration;
- Medically necessary orthodontic service (including braces).
In some states, Medicaid may cover braces for adults if the treatment is deemed medically necessary. To learn more about your state’s coverage for dental procedures, visit the Medicaid website.
Average Costs for Braces with Insurance Coverage
The cost of your braces may be covered depending on your health insurance provider and dental plans. While many health plans do not cover orthodontic treatment for those over 18 years old, they may offer some coverage for kids’ braces. Supplemental orthodontic insurance is another option for those whose dental or health plan does not include orthodontic coverage. It is common for insurance to cover up to 50% of the total cost of a child’s braces. If the braces are medically necessary, some plans may partially or wholly cover the cost.
A separate dental insurance plan increases the likelihood of insurance covering your braces. In 2017, patients with insurance plans paid an average of $3,407 out of pocket for traditional metal braces. Dental insurance plans may also cover prescription products such as anti-cavity fluoride rinse after removing your braces.
Can I Deduct My Orthodontic Treatment Expenses without an Insurance Plan?
What happens if you do not have an insurance plan? Luckily, there are still ways for you to deduct orthodontic treatment expenses. If your braces are considered a medical necessity, your dental health care costs are tax-deductible. However, in order to qualify for a deduction, your costs have to exceed a certain amount. If this is your situation, keep records of all expenses, including co-pays and check-ups, as these small expenses can add up.
We understand that braces are a costly investment, which is why you should consider the following payment options:
- Flexible Spending Account;
- Health Savings Account;
- Dental Discount Plans;
- Personal loans or credit cards;
- Orthodontist-offered payment plans.
If your health insurance includes a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), then you may qualify for reimbursement for orthodontic care. Or, depending on your employer, you may be able to set aside funds from your paycheck to pay into your FSA tax-free. A Health Savings Account (HSA) is similar to an FSA and is available if you are on a high-deductible health insurance plan. An HSA lets you invest tax-free money that you can then use for most medical or dental fees.
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Contact Loudoun Orthodontics for More Details about Orthodontic Treatments!
Contact Loudoun Orthodontics if you think that an orthodontic treatment may be a solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of wearing braces or simply have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (703) 858-0303 or send us a message through our contact us page to connect with our friendly staff today to book a free consultation! Our office, located at 19465 Deerfield Ave, Suite 304, Leesburg, VA 20176, proudly serves not just Loudoun County but also the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Ashburn, Lansdowne, or Sterling, and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Virginia, don’t hesitate to visit our office! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health as well as follow us on social media to become a part of our smiling community!