How Much Do Braces Cost? 2021 Guide To Orthodontic Treatments

How Much Do Braces Cost? 2021 Guide To Orthodontic Treatments

Braces can help effectively treat skew teeth or a bad bite. Depending on the severity, type of braces you want, and your overall oral health, the cost of braces varies significantly. 

If you’re looking to get treatment with braces, considering the cost, your insurance benefits, and possible Medicaid or Medicare cover is essential before choosing an orthodontist office or treatment plan. 

This article covers the main types of braces, their cost for kids and adults, and how to lower the total cost of your treatment.

Quick Summary: How Much Are Braces?

Type of Braces

Average Cost with Insurance

Average Cost Without Insurance

Metal

$3,400[1]

$6,500[2]

Ceramic

$4,000[3]

$6,000 – $8,000

Clear Aligners

$2,000

$1,895 – $7,000

Self-Ligating

$2,000[4]

$5,000 – $7,000

Lingual Braces

$6,000[3]

$8, 000 – $10,000[3]

Accelerated Orthodontics

Not usually covered[5]

$2,000 – $6,000[5]

What Is the Average Cost of Braces in 2021?

The average cost of braces varies according to a variety of factors, although a general range is between $2,000 and $10,000. Clear aligners are cheaper and faster than traditional braces, but only for mild to moderate teeth straightening.

Often, clear aligners offer a cost-effective, faster treatment plan which is why they are becoming all the more popular. For more information on clear aligners or invisible braces, check out our Byte Aligners review.

How Much Do Braces Cost?

Braces can cost anywhere from $1,895 to $10,000. The cost of getting braces treatment depends on the type of braces and the extent of the treatment needed. 

What Affects Braces Cost?

Several factors can affect the price of getting braces, including:

how much do braces cost
  • The type of braces: Self-ligating braces are the most affordable as they require fewer visits to the dentist, while lingual braces generally are the most expensive as they have to be custom made and require a more complex installment process.
  • Whether your insurance plan will cover braces: Despite most providers offering orthodontic insurance, they may not cover all treatment routes like accelerated orthodontics or invisible aligners. Thankfully, most dentists and orthodontists will offer a payment plan for your treatment. 
  • Orthodontic treatment time: Depending on the severity of your misalignment, your treatment may vary in length and therefore in price as well, with shorter treatments typically costing less.
  • Age: Child braces are typically cheaper than those used for adults. 

Cheaper Braces Alternatives

If you can’t find suitable payment plans for traditional treatment and insurance companies don’t cover the pathway you wish to pursue, you may benefit from looking at clear aligners as an alternative.

For more information on high-quality clear aligner brands, check out our Byte Aligners review and AlignerCo review.

Cost of Braces According to Type 

The cost of braces varies greatly according to the type of braces you wish to use. The most commonly chosen options are reviewed below. Prices also vary according to whether you are buying an adult or child’s braces treatment plan. 

Traditional Metal Braces

Avg. Cost for Adults

$3,000 – $7,000

Avg. Cost for Kids

$2,500 – $7,000

Insurance

Dental insurance will typically include cover for this type of orthodontic treatment. General medical insurance may or may not include dental benefits, depending on the insurance provider.

Pros

Cons

Traditional braces are the most well-known form of orthodontic treatment for misaligned or crowded teeth. These braces realign your teeth using metal brackets that move them in incrementally small sections to your desired position. 

Metal braces are still the most popular type of braces for children, and their affordability spurs many parents to choose them for their kids. Most kids also like picking different colors for the rubber bands used to secure the braces.

However, these braces may be too noticeable for adults, who will likely opt for ceramic or lingual alternatives. The restriction of your diet due to wearing traditional braces may also spur many people to choose alternatives that allow them to still eat their favorite sticky or crunchy foods.

In most cases, insurance will cover most of the costs of getting traditional metal braces as long as the realignment of your teeth is deemed medically necessary. Otherwise, there are typically a variety of payment plans available to help you finance your treatment. 

Ceramic Braces

Avg. Cost for Adults

$4,000 – $8,000

Avg. Cost for Kids

$3,500 – $8,000

Insurance

Dental insurance plans will typically cover part of the costs for ceramic braces. General medical insurance plans will vary in coverage from provider to provider.

Pros

Cons

Ceramic braces are similar to the traditional metal type of braces except that the brackets are ceramic, clear, or tooth-colored. This means they’re not nearly as noticeable as metal braces and often help the people wearing them feel more confident, especially if worn by teens or adults. 

However, because they’re not made of metal, they aren’t quite as strong as traditional style braces, and the light-colored brackets are more prone to getting stained than their metal counterparts. 

Ceramic braces are typically in the same average price range as self-ligating braces. Most insurance companies should offer plans covering around half of the total cost depending on your plan preferences and where you get treated.

Clear Aligners

Avg. Cost for Adults

$1,895 – $7,000

Avg. Cost for Kids

$4,000 – $7,000

Insurance 

Some dental insurance plans will cover clear aligners as they do traditional braces.

Pros

Cons

Compared to traditional style braces, clear braces are nearly unnoticeable, comfortable alternatives. Clear aligners usually involve wearing a transparent aligner tray that gently repositions your teeth for at least 22 hours a day. 

Clear braces are an excellent option for people who don’t want to make their orthodontic treatment noticeable. This type of braces is typically not recommended for people with extremely skew teeth as more intensive treatment may be necessary in this case. 

The most well-known clear aligner brand is Invisalign, which provides clear aligners alongside a comprehensive dental treatment plan. Invisalign is quite expensive compared to other transparent aligner brands. 

Alternatives like Byte Aligners are not only cheaper but can be obtained without visiting an orthodontist for imaging or evaluation. Instead, you use a home impression kit to provide the company with the correct impressions required to create an aligner that fits your teeth and treatment goals. 

Although mail-order clear aligners aren’t approved by the American Dental Association, many types of clear aligners are recommended by dentists under their supervision. They also offer a much more affordable and convenient option for tooth alignment.

Another disadvantage is that only some insurance plans cover clear aligners like Invisalign or Byte Aligners. Thankfully, Byte Aligners are affordable, at around $1,895 for complete treatment, and also offer various payment plans to finance your treatment.

Self-Ligating Brackets

Avg. Cost for Adults

$3,500 – $7,000[6]

Avg. Cost for Kids

$2,500 – $7,000

Insurance 

Dental insurance and medical insurance with dental benefits may cover a portion of the costs for these braces.

Pros

Cons

Self-ligating braces work in precisely the same way as traditional metal braces. The only difference is that conventional braces hold their wires in place with elastic bands, while self-ligating braces hold them in place with metal brackets. 

This type of braces often reduces the amount of time in the dentist’s or orthodontist’s office after the initial installation as they don’t have rubber bands that need to be removed and replaced each time. Because the actual body of the braces or the part stuck to your teeth, are smaller than traditional braces, they can also be easier to clean. 

The only downside is that the hinges that hold the brackets in place may break and require a visit to the dentist to repair or replace them. 

In most cases, self-ligating braces receive the same insurance cover as any other traditional kind does and will have at least a part of the costs paid by your dental or medical insurance plan with dental benefits. 

Lingual Braces

Avg. Cost for Adults

$8,000 – $10,000

Avg. Cost for Kids

$6,000 – $10,000

Insurance

Medical insurance plans don’t usually cover the full costs of these braces.

Pros

Cons

Lingual braces are an excellent option if you’re interested in making your orthodontic treatment almost entirely invisible. Instead of being fitted to the front of your teeth, these braces are placed on the back, making them very difficult to see under normal circumstances. 

As the installment of lingual braces is more complicated than other types of braces, a dentist or orthodontist with greater expertise is usually necessary, which makes them more expensive than other options. 

Lingual braces can also slightly impair your pronunciation of the letter “s,” leaving you with a temporary lisp. 

Another factor to consider when choosing the type of braces you want is that not all insurance plans will cover lingual braces. In some cases, the best you can hope for is that your insurance benefits will refund some of the costs required for the initial orthodontic treatment. 

Accelerated Orthodontics

Avg. Cost for Adults$2,000 – $6,000
Avg. Cost for Kids$2,000 – $6,000
InsuranceNot typically covered by insurance

Pros

Cons

Accelerated orthodontics involves the scraping or slight irritation of your jaw bone by an oral surgeon, promoting jaw bone growth and faster movement of your teeth into the desired position. Instead of wearing braces for one to three years, accelerated orthodontics can help reduce this time to 6-18 months. 

Due to the rapid rate at which your teeth move, many patients who undergo accelerated orthodontics treatment experience a slight itching sensation after the minor surgical procedure. 

Besides this slight side effect, the primary disadvantage of this treatment is its cost. Generally, accelerated orthodontics costs between $2,000 to $6,000 in addition to the cost of your braces. 

Although insurance plans will cover braces, they don’t cover additional treatments like accelerated orthodontics. If you are interested in this treatment, your dentist or orthodontist may offer payment plans to finance the procedure.

How To Save Money on Braces

There are several ways to reduce braces costs, including:

How Much Do Braces Cost
  • Buying dental insurance, adding supplemental orthodontic insurance, or investing in a health reimbursement account: All of these health insurance options can help cover a part or most of your treatment costs. They typically pay out during treatment or, in the case of a reimbursement account, after your treatment is paid. 
  • Higher rentals for offices mean higher treatment costs. Opt for a dentist or orthodontist with excellent reviews based in a non-prime real estate location.
  • Enquire about payment plans that allow you to pay off the total cost of treatment over time.
  • Consider your options: Often, prices will vary significantly between dentists and orthodontists. Don’t settle for the first quote you get, but instead get a few opinions and prices and evaluate your options. 
  • Take good care of your braces: Staining, plaque build-up, and breakages due to the food you eat could mean more trips to the dentist and higher treatment costs. Looking after your braces, brushing regularly, and minding what you eat can help reduce these visits and the costs associated with them. 
  • Ask about cash discounts: Many dentists or orthodontists offer discounts if you pay all fees upfront. Discounts may range between 5-10% and can help you save hundreds of dollars on your treatment.
  • Get your kids treated early on: The older you are when you get treatment, the more expensive the treatment costs. Getting your kids treated as early as possible, between the ages of seven and ten, can help significantly reduce the costs compared to getting the treatment when they’re teenagers. Children’s braces can be used as soon as most of their baby teeth are replaced with permanent ones.
  • Check out braces programs for low-income households: Some companies offer to sponsor treatment for low-income families, often reducing your overall charges to as little as $500.

FAQ

Here are the most commonly asked questions about the cost of braces.

How Much Do Braces Cost Without Insurance?

Without dental or orthodontic insurance, braces can cost anything between $1,145 and $10,000 or more. This greatly depends on the type of braces and the extent of treatment required. 

How Much Do Braces Cost Monthly?

The monthly cost if you wear braces depends on the type of braces and your health insurance. Medicaid coverage varies between states, and you may choose a monthly payment plan to finance your treatment plan. 

This means monthly payments can vary from as little as $75 up to $300 or more.

What Is a Good Price for Braces?

Depending on your insurance provider and the type of braces chosen, a reasonable price range for dental treatment could be anything between $1,145 and $8,000.

How Much Are Braces for Kids?

Depending on the type of braces and your state’s Medicaid coverage, children’s braces could cost anything between $2,500 and $8,000. 

How Much Is Dental Insurance?

Dental or orthodontic insurance costs between $300 – $700 a year[7]. This usually involves comprehensive orthodontic treatment and the medical procedures necessary to maintain your oral health. 

Insurance coverage also varies in cost between insurance companies.

Conclusion

There are many different types of braces available for treating skew teeth or a misaligned bite. If you’re looking for supervised treatment, lingual or self-ligating braces are great options. More affordable options, like clear aligners, can even be ordered without visiting a dentist. 

If you’re interested in invisible braces, take a look at our Byte Aligners review and AlignerCo review.

Whether you are looking at traditional, lingual, or even invisible braces, to improve your oral health and correct any dental problems, there’s an option to suit every budget. 

References

1. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/adult-orthodontics/how-much-are-braces-with-insurance

2. https://www.1dental.com/braces/

3. https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/braces/how-much-do-braces-cost/

4. https://diamondbraces.com/braces/self-ligating-braces/

5. https://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/accelerated-orthodontics.aspx

6. https://braceshaven.com/self-ligating-braces/

7. https://www.deltadentalwa.com/dental-insurance-101/how-much-does-dental-insurance-cost

How Much Do Braces Cost? 2021 Guide To Orthodontic Treatments

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