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Every year, almost 3.5 million children and teens begin wearing braces. However, braces aren’t an orthodontic treatment limited to children only. Almost 20% of all braces patients are adults, so braces are a great treatment for a wide variety of orthodontic issues no matter the age of the patient or the condition of their teeth.

However, before you or your child begins the process of getting braces, you’ll likely be asking yourself: “How much do braces cost?” The cost of braces can be affected by many factors, ranging from the type of braces you are getting to the length of time you will have your braces. While we can certainly help you get some of the basic information out of the way, you’ll definitely want to get a free consultation with an orthodontist to figure out what your specific orthodontic needs are and what procedures and materials would be best suited for you.

How Much Do Braces Cost?

How much should I budget for braces?

So, how much do braces cost? The cost for braces can vary based on each case depending on different factors. 

Types of Braces

  • Metal braces are the most common type of braces and tend to be the least expensive of all the braces options.  Braces have stood the test of time as the standard answer for braces. Metal braces tend to be more durable than other alignment options and have a more permanent mounting to keep patients from losing or misplacing their braces, thus leading to fewer costly replacements. Metal braces are also the best options for those with more severe dental issues, such as larger gaps, overcrowding, and under/overbites. With that in mind, metal braces are fairly invasive as a procedure and are far more noticeable.
  • Invisalign is a great option if you are looking for something that is less invasive and won’t force you to change your eating patterns or your dental hygiene. Metal braces can require specialized flossing procedures and you may want to avoid certain foods while wearing metal braces, but with Invisalign, you can simply remove the braces when you are eating or cleaning your teeth. Invisalign is so named because they are virtually invisible, so you don’t have to worry about people seeing your braces. Invisalign treatments tend to come at a higher cost, ranging from $4000 to $7000, and in order for Invisalign to work, you must keep the braces in for at least 21 hours a day. 
  • Ceramic braces can provide a nice middle ground between traditional metal braces and Invisalign. Ceramic braces are far less noticeable than metal braces, but they generally fix teeth in less time than Invisalign. Ceramic braces tend to run $4000 to $8000 over time. While they are affixed to teeth in a similar fashion to traditional metal braces, they can also be two times more likely to break than traditional metal braces, which can increase the overall cost of the braces with replacements and repairs. 
  • Lingual braces also fall under the banner of ‘invisible braces’ as they are affixed to the back of the teeth. They can fix the same kind of alignment issues as traditional braces, more effectively than removable, clear options like Invisalign, and are as durable as the traditional methods, but they can cause users to have a lisp
  • Gold braces can be a good option for something that is a bit more stylish and unique while also providing the same durability and speed of treatment as metal braces. Gold braces are also hypoallergenic, as they are a combination of 24-karat gold and stainless steel, and require significantly less adjustment and specialized care. Gold braces tend to cost between $6000 and $8000, but the jump in price commonly comes with the peace of mind of knowing that your teeth are being aligned with high-quality, durable material.

Length of Time

After the cost of the initial installation of the braces, the next thing that will cause an increase in the cost of braces is the amount of time that you will be using your braces. The length of time you will have your braces in is commonly related to how much correction is needed. The average amount of time most people wear braces is between 18 and 24 months, though relatively small alignment issues in younger patients will be corrected, generally, within 6 to 12 months. However, more severe issues can require up to three years of treatment, especially in older patients. Costs can also be increased if the braces need to be adjusted, repaired, or replaced.

What will insurance cover?

If you have dental insurance, it is common for the insurance to cover a percentage of your orthodontic care. However, dental insurance doesn’t tend to cover braces for patients over the age of 18, so adults will likely have to cover most of their expenses out of pocket. However, if you have dental insurance for your children, braces will at least be partially covered and are worth getting while your child has coverage.

Not all braces may be covered under insurance or may be seen as an upgraded service, such as Invisalign. Metal, ceramic, and lingual braces are the most commonly covered types of braces. It is not uncommon for braces to only be covered once in a lifetime, even if insurance plans are changed, so once you have completed your braces treatment, remember to follow your orthodontist’s recommendations on how to keep your smile aligned and beautiful.

Are braces worth it when you are an adult?

Not only do braces help your confidence and self-esteem by giving you a smile you can be proud of, but they can also help alleviate pain and discomfort that can come from misaligned teeth. Properly aligned teeth are also easier to maintain with regular brushing and flossing and can keep your mouth from experiencing more severe dental issues in the future that can affect not only your mouth health but your overall health.

If you are considering braces for yourself or your child, Birmingham Orthodontics can help alleviate your worries that come from the question, “How much do braces cost?” We offer free consultations to help you find not only the right treatment plan for your specific needs but also payment plans to help you afford the costs, with or without insurance. With in-house financing, no down payments, and an assortment of discounts, we can help you begin your journey to better dental health and improved confidence with a beautiful smile.

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