How Much Are Braces for Adults?
Determining how much braces cost depends mainly on the type of treatment and length of time they’ll need to be worn. However, taking into consideration those variations, insurance, and location, the average cost of braces for adults could be between $4,800 and $7,135, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Orthodontic treatment can be expensive, but there are many ways to find affordable braces for adults. Here are some ways to make paying for braces fit into the budget.
Go the Traditional Route for Low-Cost Braces
Traditional braces or metal braces are generally the least expensive option compared to removable aligners or lingual braces, and effectively correct most orthodontic issues. Although they don't look particularly glamorous, traditional braces now come in a variety of models – stainless steel, tooth-colored ceramic and even gold-colored. Traditional metal braces, which include orthodontic adjustments usually occurring every six weeks, will range in price from $3,000-$5,000.
Visit an Orthodontic School Clinic
Instead of visiting a full orthodontic practice, consider visiting a dental school. Most states have schools that are open to taking patients on certain days. Students are required to do supervised treatments as part of their orthodontic education with their orthodontic faculty members. Check the Commission on Dental Accreditation's list of dental schools across the country to find one nearby. Costs are usually much lower, according to the American Dental Association (ADA) Mouth Healthy site. Only partial payment is required to cover the cost of the materials and equipment used.
Ask for a Payment Plan
Most orthodontic clinics offer payment plans for patients without insurance. For example, many clinics partner with financing companies to provide flexible payment options that cost less than conventional credit financing. You can choose between plans with little to no interest, and payable by up to two years. These types of plans help tremendously when investing in affordable braces for adults.
Not all dental plans cover braces, so check your policy. If you're in the market for a new plan, focus on the orthodontics coverage offered. Insurance plans that do cover braces typically pay around 50 percent of the cost. Cutting the price in half can be a relief!
Flexible Spending Accounts
If your employer offers this benefit, channel the maximum amount allowed into your flexible spending account (FSA). The money you put in the account is not taxed, which means your dollars will go further. Use these funds to pay for expenses not covered by insurance, including the braces, deductibles, and co-pay.
Regular credit finance, such as personal loans or credit cards, is always another option. Even though they cost more in interest than other payment methods, you can spread repayments over as long as you can negotiate with your bank.
Look for Dental Assistance Programs
Many states have dental assistance programs to help low-income families get the dental treatment they need. In some cases, not-for-profit organizations can assist. Other options include free clinics run by medical and dental volunteers or grants to cover costs that you may not be able to cover under extraordinary circumstances.
How To Get Braces
The type of treatment your orthodontist recommends can create an even more specific difference in cost. For example, while traditional braces may generally be more cost-effective, self-ligating braces require fewer in-office visits. Your orthodontist may recommend removable aligners or lingual braces, which can create a more subtle appearance during treatment but also come at a higher cost.
The primary factor affecting the cost of treatment is the degree of correction the patient needs. Patients requiring minimal or basic straightening wear braces for a shorter time. Still, the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) states the average patient's treatment is less than two years but can range from one to three years. Don't feel overwhelmed; advances in today's practices typically require visits just once every six weeks.
Keep in mind, finding cheap braces shouldn’t be your only goal. It's essential also to consider the numerous benefits of braces. Straighter teeth can improve the smile and are easier to clean. Correcting the bite reduces the likelihood of fractures, gum recession, grinding, clenching, jaw pain and more. In most cases, you'll find that the benefits of braces far outweigh the cost. Your orthodontist can help you find the right treatment plan for your smile and budget.