position and align your teeth by consistently exerting pressure to move
the American Association of Orthodontists, treatment for braces begins
between ages 9 and 14, and an increasing number of adults are getting braces,
factors can affect the cost of your dental investment.
of braces: Braces come
in a variety of types, which directly determine how much you'll pay. It's best
to do your research on the pros and cons of each before making a decision.
issues: In addition to
getting braces and having them adjusted, dental preparation is often needed and
will affect your overall cost. Sometimes you'll need standard dental work, like
a deep cleaning or filling replacement, before the orthodontist puts your
braces on. In some cases, you'll require teeth extractions to facilitate the
movement of your teeth. If you need to wear headgear before brackets and wires
are put on your teeth, this will increase the cost. You may also need to buy a
retainer after the braces are removed to keep your teeth from returning to
their original spot.
of service: The more
preparation and dental work you require, the longer the process will take
to complete, and the more you'll pay. Once your braces are on, you typically
have to see the dentist once a month to have the braces adjusted. The longer
the process drags out, the costlier it will be.
dentist: Not all
orthodontists charge the same prices for their services. Things such as
operational overhead will affect how much they charge. Money saving tip: Shop around before making a choice. If the
dentist accepts your insurance (and assuming your insurance covers a portion of
the cost), you can end up paying significantly less. In addition, ask if the
price of braces is negotiable. Check the price in your area with Healthcare
Blue Book, a free online
guide that lists fair prices for healthcare services. The fair price is what a
health service provider typically allows from insurance companies as full
payment, which is substantially less than the billed amount.
Angie's List Tips: Choosing
- What is your background? An orthodontist is a specialized dentist
trained to align and move teeth. These professionals have trained for two to
three more years than a family dentist, continuing in the field after they have
completed dental school.
- Are you certified? Some orthodontists are certified by
the American Board of Orthodontics. The process is rigorous, as they are tested
through written and performance assessments using a series of exams and patient
- What appliances are used? Some practices use both removable and
permanent retainers, while others offer one or the other. Some practices offer
both metal and ceramic braces, while others offer one or the other. Still other
offices offer clear, removable braces.
- Take a tour: Take a moment to visit during peak times
to see how the staff interacts with patients. Are they running on time? Do they
have exceptional billing and insurance practices? Is the office
patient-friendly for the demographic it serves? By answering these questions,
you can select a doctor that aligns with your treatment goals, wallet and