If you are looking to have your teeth straightened and/or bite corrected than most likely you are shopping around for orthodontics, more commonly referred to generally as braces. While “braces” is a broad word for general orthodontics, there are many types of braces that will affect the cost of which one you decide to go with for your treatment. As with anything, it is important to consider many factors when shopping for the best price.
In short the average cost of braces in 2012 is $5,200. While this is the average across the United States, the range stems from $2,500 up to over $9,000 depending on the case.
A light case of orthodontics could include closing small gaps on just the upper teeth. In this case braces may be applied to just the uppers and cost significantly less. Many orthodontist prefer not to apply brackets to just one set of teeth as they prefer to keep a close eye on the bite correlation and apply adjustments as needed when teeth move into new positions.
A more costly case would include a case where surgical orthodontics is needed. Here teeth may be pulled or jaw (orthognanthic) surgery may be used. These cases are far more involved and patients will see the upper end of the industry averages when paying the bill. Average cost of braces when combined with orgthognathic surgery is $8,500 based on orthodontist query.
A braces candidate will get started with a consultation by an orthodontist or dentist. While dentist offer orthodontics, we recommend patients to see an orthodontist as they are more specialized with modern techniques in most situations. The consultation may be free or for an average cost of $250. This includes molds and sometimes x-rays in which the orthodontist will use to get a better look at your teeth. Once the molds are manufactured you can sit down with the orthodontist and go over options that are best for your case.
You do not have to move forward with this orthodontist. You may request to take your molds home and get several more consultations. You will most likely not have to pay the consolation fee going forward as you have provided the molds and possibly x-rays. It is highly recommended that you get several opinions before making a decision.
When shopping for an orthodontist we recommend you find one that is in private practice and not a franchise or “mall-type” establishment. In private practice you will normally receive more attention with your orthodontist and not have to worry about your doctor quitting or being replaced mid treatment which is a common problem at the franchise type offices.
Once you have picked out your orthodontist, your treatment plan including the cost of braces will be provided to you. The cost will depend on the type of braces and treatment plan.
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You may use our “braces cost calculator” to determine the braces cost for your area.
Depending on the form of braces you choose will determine the next step for getting your braces on. The cost of metal braces, ceramic braces, Invisalign, iBraces, Damon Braces, etc. will all vary as the orthodontist will pay different prices to obtain these.
Braces Insurance is available through your dental program to cover a portion of your braces. If you have dental insurance, than you will want to find an orthodontist on your coverage plan. The savings can be very significant depending on the provider, however we will caution you again that many of the high level orthodontist in private practice may not be under your insurance.
If the cost of braces is stressing you out, you will also find that most practices offer payment plans. With little or no down payment you can make installments over the life of your treatment or longer if needed. Here is an example:
Estimated treatment time is 24 months.
Michael makes a down payment of $500.
$4,600 – $500 = $4,100
$4,100/24 = $170/month.
The cost of braces will vary by treatment plan and type of braces. It is wise for you to shop around with the frame of mind on treatment and not just cost. While the price is important, it should not be your deciding factor. Many people have had braces on 2, 3 and even 4 times because they did not have the right doctor or treatment plan. A referral by a friend or family member can go a long when in selecting the right professional to get the results you want.
Pricing of braces will continue to change with the rate of inflation and as the cost for the dental products increase for the providers. Oil directly impacts many industries and the manufacturing of dental products such as braces brackets, rubber bands, etc is no different.
You can expect to pay much higher prices in big cities such as Miami, New York and Los Angeles. Premium prices will also follow at well known professionals that have reputations for great work.
Take the time to do your research on our braces information site and you will be sure to be happy with your beautiful smile.
The following average cost was done by using a bracesinfo.com sample of orthodontist in large cities (50,000-500,000) by region and with the 2011 JCO (Journal Of Clinical Orthodontics) Orthodontic Practice Study MEAN FEES BY GEOGRAPHIC REGION based on 10,956 orthodontist. These numbers were compared closely to give a the best average costing of braces in the beginning of 2012. These figures are based purely on adult treatment which generally runs slightly higher than children.
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*Population more than 500,000
These numbers are just estimates and used in small surverys to determine a sample average cost. When pricing treatment you may find treatment plan to cost lower or higher of these mean averages. Pricing will vary based on several other factors not mentioned including years of experience by orthodontist, size of city, adult vs child, overhead, etc. Use the figures provided in this table as a starting basis.