The Average Cost of Braces
Orthodontia typically is associated more with discomfort and expense than a beautiful smile. But today’s braces are far from the torturous devices of horror movies – and often not nearly as terrifying to our bank accounts.
Regular dental checkups usually determine whether you or your child needs a visit to the orthodontist. Straight teeth are important for more than merely cosmetic reasons: they’re easier to clean and therefore less susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues which can become quite problematic if allowed to worsen. Braces, if recommended, can be an essential part of good dental hygiene.
The cost of braces varies, depending on your needs, age, and type of braces desired. A broad figure of $5,000 is the norm, but additional costs may be incurred for lingual (behind the teeth) braces, ceramic brackets (which are less visible), molds, x-rays and extractions (to make room for moving teeth). The process can last anywhere from a few months to two years. The good news is many types of dental plans cover orthodontia. Dental discount cards and Dental Health Maintenance Organizations (DHMOs) are best for offsetting the cost of braces. Your orthodontist will also likely offer payment plan options.
Contrary to the general perception that braces are painful, newer materials and techniques have made many orthodontic appliances much more comfortable than they’ve ever been, requiring fewer adjustments and office visits.
It’s important to remember that braces aren’t just for children. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five orthodontic patients is an adult; the biological process of correcting misaligned teeth is the same no matter the patient’s age.
With proper care, our teeth can last a lifetime. By understanding what goes into maintaining a healthy mouth, we ensure our smiles for years to come!