What Is The Cost For Braces?

Cost For BracesThere are many variables when one is comparing the cost for braces. First, the orthodontists prices can differ significantly for providing care, just as dentists prices do. The next variable is exactly what type of braces are needed and what the intent of the braces are. Having some knowledge about the different costs that will be included in getting braces will help an individual greatly when comparing the overall cost for braces.

Most people can see a visible need for braces and seek the advice of their dentist when they feel they are ready to have them applied. In many cases dentists partner with orthodontists and recommend all of their clients to a specific orthodontist when their patients request braces. Therefore it is very important that one compare prices and not depend on the recommendation of one orthodontist.

When a person gets braces, whether for a child or for themselves, they are going to have a long term relationship of at least two years with that orthodontist. Finding out about the orthodontist, the practice, and the policies of the office are very important. There is normally a contract involved to get financing for the braces which very clearly details the total cost of braces. However, one also wants to have any dental care included in the contract that result from damage to the teeth caused by the braces. One also wants to have inclusions for adjustment of payment plans if there is a significant change in the income of the family or individual.

One of the variables that will dictate the cost for braces is what the intent of the braces will be. While straightening the teeth is the end product. There are other factors that are included in the application of braces. In some cases individuals may need some teeth pulled to make room for the straighter teeth. This usually involves the inclusion of an oral surgeon in the cost of the braces. There are some instances when having teeth pulled an individual’s teeth will become straighter just from that process. So discussing with an orthodontist whether or not braces will be necessary after the teeth have been removed is important. Some orthodontists will recommend braces because although the teeth will straighten after removal of the molars, it will take longer than if braces were applied. For an individual who is cost conscious it may be worth the wait for the teeth to straighten on their own.

Another surgery that may be necessary is jaw surgery. This surgery can involved the need to widen a person’s jaws to accommodate their teeth after they are straightened. This can add a significant expense to the overall cost of braces and takes some recovery time, especially on older individuals.

The cost for braces usually is more expensive than the funds that an individual has on hand. Therefore many orthodontists have payment plans available that require a substantial down payment and monthly payments that run for the expected term that an individual will be wearing the braces. During the straightening process it is usually necessary to have the braces adjusted on a bi-weekly basis. This process only takes a few minutes but if an individual has partnered with an orthodontic office that has a long waiting time it can mean sitting in a waiting room for up to an hour for this short visit. One wants to make sure when comparing costs that the orthodontist has assistants who tighten the braces and perform the maintenance tasks so that there is not a long wait each time one visits the office.

There are many types of braces available today that also will impact what braces cost. There are also hidden long term costs that one should be aware of as well. In many cases people choose the standard metal braces for teeth straightening as they are the most cost effective braces for the short term. However, these braces have a tendency to require more dental work done over the course of their application and have a tendency to permanently stain the teeth in the areas where the brackets are applied. The resulting need to have the teeth regularly treated for the staining and to have dental work done because the teeth have softened can make the cost of these braces more in the long-term than other types of braces.

Orthodontic research and development have created many types of braces that range in price from a very inexpensive $3,500 to costs that easily exceed $10,000.  Determining what they will cost you will come down to your unique needs, type of braces, and your orthodontists price point.

The field of orthodontia today does not relegate the application of braces to an elite few who can afford them. There is a great difference in the cost for braces and the dental needs that accompany their application. It is important when one is considering having this type of orthodontia that they consider more than the cost of braces. One must examine the long term cost of the braces as well as the orthodontist that they will be working with. Having an orthodontist that is customer service oriented and is looking out for the best interest and needs of their patients will make the experience of orthodontia much more effective in the long term.


  1. Pamela Waterman, 15. October 2009, 20:37

    This is a great summary of the factors that go into the cost of braces of various types. I’m going to post it on my own blog because this question comes up a lot. If you know of any group that helps pay for adult braces, I know someone is desperately seeking this information. I’m associated with a great group called Smile for a Lifetime Foundation (www.S4L.org) that provides orthodontic scholarships to under-served teens, and I know there’s a similar wonderful group called Smiles Change Lives (www.SmilesChangeLives.org), but they both are targeted to children and teens, not adults. Would love to hear some advice – thanks!

  2. katterine re: getting teeth braces, 12. November 2009, 7:44

    Good to see your breakdown on the range of the price of braces. In my experience, the prices vary tremendously, even over $12000. On the low end, they cost less if they are upper or lower only. This is rarely recommended though.

  3. anonymous, 23. October 2010, 14:36

    how much would it be for metal braces on a child that has some crooked teeth?


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