Introduction

Having the perfect smile can make a big difference to your life. 
That’s why people visit the orthodontist at different phases in their life to get their teeth straightened.

You can opt for different types of orthodontic treatment depending on the severity of your misaligned teeth, and the amount you are willing to pay for them.

Here’s an estimate of how much each type of braces cost:

Dr. Satish Pai

Author

Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Rome Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. 

Teeth brace options and costs

$3000 – $7000

Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces consist of metal brackets which are bonded with wires on the outer surface of the teeth. Metal braces typically cost between $3000 and $7000.
Pros and Cons:

Affordable

Most effective

Not Visually Appealing

Hard to clean

$4000 – $8000

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces consist of clear or tooth-colored ceramic brackets attached to the surface of your teeth with similarly colored wires and rubber bands. Ceramic braces cost between $4000 and $8000
Pros and Cons:

Affordable

less noticeable than metal braces

More noticeable than lingual or clear braces

Hard to clean

$4000 – $7500

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces have metal brackets tightened on the back surface of the tooth, rather than the front. Lingual braces will cost in the region of between $4000 and $7500.
Pros and Cons: 

Hardly noticeable

As effective as normal braces

Expensive

Need to be customized for the patient.

Hard to clean

$8000 – $10,000

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are almost invisible plastic mouthpieces that slip onto your teeth. Invisible braces are one of the more expensive options and will cost between $8000 and $10,000.
Pros and Cons:

Almost invisible

You can take them out to clean

Most expensive option

Not for severe cases

Easy to lose

Does Insurance Pay for Braces?

Dental insurance may be covered by your employer — check with your HR department to know if your orthodontic treatment is covered by your company’s health plan. 

If you don’t qualify for this, you can check if your health insurance provider covers orthodontic treatment.  If you have enrolled in the Affordable Care Act, you may enroll in a dental plan through it.

But most health plans don’t pay for a visit to the orthodontist. This can vary depending on different insurance providers. A few dental plans pay for orthodontic treatment for children under 18, and a few even provide supplemental dental insurance. 

You also need to check if your dental insurance plan covers orthodontic services. Check your policy for coverage limits – (how much you can spend each year, and if your orthodontic treatment will be covered fully). A few providers also apply a lifetime maximum to orthodontic treatment. 

You also need to check if there may be a waiting period between dental treatments. If your insurance doesn’t cover dental plans, you may be eligible for discounts on orthodontic services if your dentist is included in your plan’s network.

Can You Deduct the Cost of Braces for Taxes?

Since orthodontic treatment is a medical treatment that is necessary, it is tax-deductible. You can not only deduct it as a medical expense for yourself but also as a medical expense for your dependents. But the cost has to exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income. The percentage can change every year (it changed from 7.5% in 2018, to 10% in 2019) so research the limits before heading for orthodontic treatment.

Is the First Consultation Free?

Since orthodontic treatment is a medical treatment that is necessary, it is tax-deductible. You can not only deduct it as a medical expense for yourself but also as a medical expense for your dependents. But the cost has to exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income. The percentage can change every year (it changed from 7.5% in 2018, to 10% in 2019) so research the limits before heading for orthodontic treatment.

Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

You might think of orthodontic treatment as a costly affair, and might be having second thoughts. But opting for teeth braces along with proper oral hygiene has many benefits: 

  • Having a perfect smile means that you will be more confident. 
  • Having straight teeth will also mean that you can clean your teeth properly and avoid dental problems. 

Straight teeth also reduce grinding or clenching. It improves the ability to chew and reduces jaw pain.

To get the right orthodontic treatment, make sure you choose an orthodontist that you are comfortable with, and can help you pick the right treatment for yourself.

Dr. Satish Pai

Author

Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Rome Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with this family.