Perhaps your child has just finished up an orthodontic checkup, and you've been informed that they will need braces. Or maybe you're an adult who's dreamed of aligning your smile for years and now feel you're ready to do so. Regardless of why you're considering braces, you probably have a lot running through your mind about the cost! It's normal to have plenty of questions, like how much are braces with insurance? Will my health insurance even cover the expense? We want to put your mind at ease and give you the knowledge to make an informed decision. So we've gathered some facts about the average cost of braces, how insurance coverage can help, and different payment options.
How Much Are Braces With Insurance?
Unfortunately, there's no easy answer when it comes to the "average" cost of orthodontic treatment. The amount of money you'll need to spend depends on you or your child's age, the nature of their problem that needs fixing, if you have dental insurance and what their coverage will be, where you live, and the type of braces your or your child's orthodontist recommends. The good news is that there are ways to estimate the cost of braces based on reports from past and current orthodontic patients.
Authority Dental notes a wide range, from $1,100 to $13,000! We know this "average" range looks quite large, but there are ways to narrow down the suspected cost of treatment by what type of braces you or your child will get. Authority Dental lists the average price of different types of braces as follows:
- Metal braces: $5,350
- Ceramic braces: $5,500
- Self-ligating braces: $5,500
- Invisible braces: $5,700
- Lingual braces: $12,000
If you're fortunate enough to have dental insurance, you're probably wondering, how much do braces cost with dental insurance? If you have health insurance for your family, the first step is to determine if it includes coverage for braces. Your policy can contribute at least part of the cost of your or your child's orthodontic care. Your dental insurance may also support prescription products such as an anti-cavity fluoride rinse, which helps ensure healthy, beautiful teeth when braces are removed.
How much do braces cost once your insurance has covered part of the treatment? Out of pocket, patients with insurance paid an average of $3,407 for traditional metal braces, per reader reports from CostHelper. Insurance usually pays a part of the down payment and spreads the rest of the benefit across the treatment duration. The total amount covered by insurance is typically subject to a maximum benefit, so check with your insurance provider to determine your coverage ceiling.
You can pay for your or your child's orthodontic treatment in several ways:
- If you have health insurance with a Flexible Savings Account (FSA) option, you may find that you qualify for reimbursement from the FSA for orthodontics. Through your employer, you may have the option to set aside funds from your paycheck to go into your FSA. You will still pay the same amount, but your money will be tax-free.
- Like an FSA, you can open a Health Savings Account (HSA) if you're on a high-deductible health insurance plan. You can invest tax-free money into your HSA that you can use for most medical and dental bills. This type of account can even move with you from job to job, so it's not dependent on your current employer.
- Methods of financing, such as personal loans or credit cards, are frequently used to fund orthodontic treatment. You should speak with your child's orthodontic office to see if you can get a discounted price and avoid interest charges by paying a sizable percentage of the cost upfront.
- Many orthodontists offer payment plans for certain patients, as long as they're eligible. Some can be very flexible and may even be interest-free!
Whether or not you have insurance, some of these options can help you cover some of the cost of your or your child's braces. Unfortunately, a lot goes into the question: How much are braces with insurance? So there's no easy answer. But we recommend starting this conversation with your child's orthodontist office as soon as possible! It's worth it to research the various ways you can pay for braces with a combination of insurance, payment plans, health, and flexible savings accounts.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.