When contemplating orthodontic treatment, the cost of braces can be a major concern. Though there's plenty of variation depending on where you are and what sort of treatment you want, on average, dental braces cost about $5,000.
Dental insurance does not always cover orthodontics. Some dental plans may offer supplemental orthodontic insurance plans. If you are insured, you should check with your insurance carrier to see if they will cover getting braces.
In general, teen braces tend to be the most affordable braces option. (Since teens' teeth are still developing, it can be technically easier to straighten crooked teeth.) Adult braces can cost a little more, especially if you choose cosmetic dentistry options like invisible braces or ceramic braces that have tooth-colored ceramic brackets.
"Clear braces" are a popular choice. Invisalign braces are not actually braces per se; they are clear plastic aligners that straighten teeth. Patients get a progressive series of aligners that move crooked teeth into the desired position. Cosmetic dentists and their patients often prefer the look of Invisalign. The average Invisalign cost is about the same as for adult braces.
Your braces expense will also depend on what sort of braces dentists you see. Orthodontists tend to charge about $600 more than general dentists for orthodontic work. While a general dentist may be fully qualified to offer braces, an orthodontist will have completed several extra years of study, and will be capable of handling more complicated orthodontia.
The cost of dental braces varies by region. Orthodontic treatment costs the most in the Northeast, the Pacific states, and Canada. Affordable braces can most easily be found in the Western mountain states. In addition, urban dentists charge more for orthodontic treatment than do suburban or rural doctors.
Whether it's for yourself or your child, getting braces is a big choice, and can be a significant expense. But in the long run, straight teeth are a priceless reward.