Orthodontic treatment cost is an important deciding factor for most individuals and families who need treatment
“How much do braces cost?” and “How much does Invisalign cost?” are consistently among the top searched phrases in Google. Many individuals who need treatment for themselves or a family member are understandably concerned about orthodontic treatment cost. There is no doubt that orthodontic treatment is a relatively large investment especially when more than one family member needs it. The goal of this journal post is to answer the most frequently asked questions about the financial aspect of orthodontic treatment.
How much do braces cost?
Orthodontic treatment is not a “one size fits all” procedure, which is why there is no simple answer to this question. The overall cost of braces depends on the following factors:
1. Type of treatment (limited treatment versus full treatment)
2. Type of braces used (metal braces versus clear braces or Invisalign)
3. Estimated treatment length (some cases can be finished in 6 months while others can take years to be finished)
4. Will any appliances be needed in addition to braces (palatal expander for example)
5. Complexity of treatment
6. Type of retainer(s) used
With that said, a survey conducted by the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics in 2012 found that national average of full orthodontic treatment fees was $5,200 while the Illinois average was a little over $5,500. The same survey however found a wide range of fees from $2500 up to $9000 depending on the factors listed above. So the takeaway message is that it is impossible to know your braces cost without proper evaluation and treatment recommendation (which is why we provide complimentary consultations)
How much does Invisalign cost?
Invisalign cost also varies depending on the length of treatment and case complexity but in most cases the fees are either the same or somewhat higher than the fees of traditional braces for a comparable treatment. We at Band & Wire do not charge additional fees for Invisalign, see below for more details.
Orthodontic treatment is an investment
A common misconception about orthodontic treatment is that it is a purely cosmetic treatment with little or no health benefit. This is unequivocally false! While the benefit of having a beautiful smile should not be underestimated, orthodontic treatment also ensures proper form and function and almost invariably improves the oral and dental health. On the other hand, the lack of orthodontic treatment may result in significant negative consequences, which may be more expensive than braces to fix! So for the financial gurus out there, the return on investment for orthodontic treatment is certainly worth it for the great majority of individuals.
What is your smile worth?
Rather than asking how much braces cost, the question you should ask yourself is how much is your smile or your child’s smile is worth? The average American spends over $1,800 every year on clothing! You wear your smile every single day of your life so why wouldn’t you invest in your smile the same way you invest in your clothes?
Braces are not expensive (if you know what the process entails)
Orthodontic treatment lasts for at least 2-3 years with constant professional care by an orthodontist in addition to clinical and administrative staff. Not to mention the materials, equipment and instruments that are needed. Nonetheless, you as an informed consumer, have every right to ask questions and understand the process before making a decision. Here are some important things to think about when considering your options:
Apples to apples
Having choices is a blessing, but when comparing these choices, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Treatment fees can vary quite a bit from one orthodontist to another but is what they’re offering the same? Always make sure you ask about what’s included in your treatment fee, the type of braces to be used, will appliances be used? Does the fee include all visits including emergencies? Ask about retainers; are they included? what type of retainers will be provided and to what extent are retainer follow up visits are covered? Ask about the need for additional services (laser surgeries, cosmetic bonding, etc…) after braces and whether they’re included or not. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, ask whether additional orthodontic treatment will be needed in the future or not.
We at Band & Wire Orthodontics are transparent about what’s included in our treatment fees. Our quoted fees include all diagnostic records before, during and after treatment; placement of braces or any appliances as needed; all visits including emergencies if any; retainers and follow up on retainers for two years after finishing treatment.
Is Invisalign more expensive than traditional braces?
We at Band & Wire would like each of our patients choose the treatment type they feel is best for them without having to worry about the finances. Therefore, our treatment fees are the same for any given case regardless of the type of braces used including Invisalign. Most other orthodontists charge a premium for Invisalign or clear ceramic braces, we do not.
Do adult braces cost more?
Most orthodontists charge a premium for adult orthodontics. We do not! In fact, often times adult braces cost less because treatment can be more limited in scope and duration.
What are the payment options?
One of our primary goals at Band & Wire Orthodontics is to make your smile investment as convenient for you as possible. We accept all forms of payments including cash, credit cards, HSA & FSA and offer more than one payment option including in-office zero interest payment plans with down payments as low as $250 and low monthly payments.
Zero-interest financing for 24 months or extended payment plans for up to 60 months
We at Band & Wire orthodontics provide in-office payment plans with low down payments and without any interest for the duration of your orthodontic treatment. For larger investments or for those interested in longer payment plans, we offer third party financing through Lending Point which offers zero-percent financing for up to 24 months with $0 down payment! There is also an option for extended plans up to 60 months. You can get pre-qualified by clicking here or on the banner below. The application process is simple and quick with an immediate decision.
1. Apply online or in-office
2. Soft credit pull to find out if you pre-qualify, with NO effect on your credit history.
3. Instant decision upon application submission
4. Secure and easy application
5. Up to 24 months of no-interest payment plans and up to 60 months of low-interest payment plans
6. Can be used for Invisalign or braces
Does dental insurance cover braces or Invisalign?
Some dental plans cover orthodontic treatment and some do not. The only way to find out is to verify your insurance benefits, a service we provide for you at no cost. Orthodontic benefits can be used toward braces or Invisalign treatment. During our complimentary consultation, we will provide you with a detailed smile investment which includes an explanation of your insurance benefits as well. We accept all PPO plans and file claims on your behalf throughout treatment.
Should you buy dental insurance for your braces or Invisalign?
In order to figure out the answer to this question, you would have to calculate how much you will be spending yearly on your dental insurance premiums and compare to what benefits you will be receiving in return. You should also be mindful of the “fine print” such as waiting periods and age limits when it comes to orthodontic coverage. Most plans bought through the individual healthcare marketplace do not provide good orthodontic coverage so most likely they would not be beneficial for this purpose. The benefits of employer provided plans tend to be better and may therefore be helpful; consulting with your HR would be the right thing to do in these situations.
What you should do next
Please come and see us for a complimentary consultation. We will gladly answer any questions you have and help you make the best decision for your or your child. We look forward to meeting you soon!
Dr. Ramzi Daibis is a board-certified orthodontist and the owner of Band & Wire Orthodontics in Clarendon Hills, IL. He specializes exclusively in Invisalign and braces for children and adults. Band & Wire Orthodontics serves Clarendon Hills, Hinsdale, Westmont, Downers Grove, Oak Brook, Willowbrook, Burr Ridge, Western Springs, La Grange, La Grange Park and Chicago.