Orthodontic treatment is expensive, and often out of reach for the average person. But that doesn't mean you should give up; there are a number of ways to find affordable braces for adults if you know where to look. Here are some of the channels you can use to get the treatment you need at a price you can afford.
Go the Traditional Route
Relative to Invisalign® or lingual braces (brackets placed on the back of the teeth), traditional metal braces are the least expensive option. Traditional braces are an effective method to correct most of the orthodontic issues that plague adults. Although they don't look particularly glamorous, these braces are now lighter in weight too. According to Delta Dental, you can expect to pay out-of-pocket expenses of around $5,000 without insurance, though milder problems and dental coverage could lower these costs significantly.
Visit an Orthodontic School Clinic
Instead of visiting a full orthodontic practice, consider an institution. Most states have dental schools that are open to taking patients on certain days, and 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, because 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 offer flexible payment options that cost less than regular credit financing. You can choose between plans with little to no interest, and payable by up to two years. This helps tremendously when investing in affordable braces for adults.
Use Credit Options
Regular credit finance such as personal loans or credit cards are always another option. Even though they cost more in interest than other methods of payment, you can spread repayments over as long a period 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, assistance is provided by not-for-profit organizations. For example, the North Carolina Dental Health Fund covers short-term dental treatment through its Missions of Mercy program. 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.