Crooked teeth could cause issues with speech the ability to chew, and affect your self-confidence. Thankfully, braces are an effective treatment option to help realign them without surgery.
Braces could also help eliminate gaps between your teeth on the upper and lower jaw. While they have long-term benefits, many people find braces an expensive option.
Braces have different prices in different countries, but in Canada, they go for about $3,000 to $10,000 depending on the type of braces. You can talk to your orthodontist, who will help develop a payment plan that suits your budget.
Does Insurance Cover Braces?
One of the best ways to help cover the cost of braces is using health insurance. If you have orthodontic coverage in your dental plan, the insurance might pay for some of the expenses for your braces.
The Canadian Association of Orthodontists says that orthodontic insurance should pay for up to 50% of the costs for your braces.
When taking a health insurance policy, see if it covers braces installation or repair costs and what percentage it covers. To determine how much your insurance will pay, get a quote from the orthodontist, then submit it to the insurance company.
If you have insurance at your workplace, look if it covers braces, and if not, take personal health or dental cover that has that coverage.
Other Ways To Finance Braces
If you don’t have a health or dental cover, some options you can use to pay for your braces or save on the cost include:
Ask for a payment plan
Most orthodontists will be willing to develop a payment plan for you, depending on your budget and the total amount of the treatment.
This way, you will make the payment monthly throughout the treatment period. Some clinics even have financing services you can use with lower interest rates.
Flexible spending account
Ask your employer if they can offer a health spending account or flexible spending account.
The money you save on those accounts is not taxed, which means you will have more money. Some HAS and FSA accounts might refund you for office visits or co-pays.
Factors That Affect The Cost Of Braces
Type of braces
This is one of the significant factors that affect how much you will pay in the long run. Your orthodontist will determine the best braces for you depending on your age and the severity of the issue. The options include:
These are the traditional and most common braces. They are the most suitable for severe teeth alignment issues and offer the fastest treatment but are usually visible. Their average cost is between $3,000 and $7,000.
These are usually more preferred than traditional metal braces because their color blends with the natural teeth’ color, making them less visible.
They are also bigger than metal braces, meaning that they can be more uncomfortable and are usually most suitable for upper teeth.
They do not move the teeth as rapidly as metal braces, requiring more extended treatment periods. Their average price is between $4,000 and $8,000.
Also called concealed braces, these are usually attached at the back of the teeth, making them completely invisible. They move your teeth the same way traditional braces would, which means the treatment period is similar.
They are, however, more expensive, with costs ranging between $8,000 and $10,000.
These are transparent, plastic, removable braces suitable for minor dental misalignment. You have to be disciplined to wear them for around 12 hours daily. Otherwise, your teeth will go back to their original positions.
They are easier to maintain dental hygiene with because you can remove them, unlike other braces. The average cost is around $4,000 to $7,500.
The orthodontist you visit
Apart from installation costs, you also have to pay orthodontist charges. Different orthodontists will charge differently depending on where they are located and their experience level.
People living in more developed areas with high living costs will charge more. Also, more experienced orthodontists charge more because they assure you of quality services.
Consider their prices before choosing an orthodontist, but don’t always go for the cheapest because that could mean lower-quality services. You should also consider their credentials and read customer reviews.
The severity of your issue
The severity of teeth misalignment or spaces in the teeth will determine how long you will have to keep the braces in and how much additional work and gadgets you will need.
If you have issues like cavities or tooth decay before getting the braces, you have to treat those issues first then get the braces, making the process more expensive.
Most orthodontists recommend that patients, especially children, have the braces for around three years. However, the period can increase if the orthodontist notices that the teeth are not perfect by the end of the three years. That means more regular visits to the orthodontists, which means more money.
You might also need additional orthodontist devices like palatal expanders, positioners, or spacers, increasing the cost.
Also, after the treatment, your orthodontist might recommend that you use retainers to prevent the teeth from going back to their original positions, which could be permit or temporary.
After treatment maintenance
After initial installation, the orthodontist will require you to go in for regular checks to see if there are any issues and examine the progress.
In addition to those appointments, you might have to make more appointments for repairs or reinstallations if you don’t take proper care of the braces.
Ensure that you practice good oral hygiene to avoid plaque and tartar buildup, which could make the orthodontist remove the braces.
You should also avoid eating hard or sticky foods that could cause your braces to bend or break because repairing or reinstalling them will cost you more money.
Braces are an effective way to straighten your teeth and boost your confidence. However, you need to look for the best way to cover the costs and educate yourself on what will affect the price. Get dental insurance with orthodontic cover to get up to 50% coverage.
You can also use a family member’s insurance, work insurance, or open a HAS or FSA. You can also ask for a payment plan from the orthodontist clinic.