Braces are a crucial part of a healthy smile for many people young and old. According to one recent study, approximately 32 percent of American and Canadian adults are getting some form of orthodontic treatment.
If you’re considering getting braces as an adult, you may wonder, how much do adult braces cost?
Read on as we break down the expenses of braces to help you navigate the process. This information may help you determine which option works best for your dental needs.
Why Do Some Adults Need Braces?
When you think about braces, you likely imagine them being worn by a young child. But if dental problems aren’t corrected properly at an early age, some people might need braces later in life.
If you have crooked or crowded teeth, an overbite, an underbite, or a cross-bite, then you may need braces to correct the issue. Other common reasons adults might need braces include if your jaw is in an incorrect position, or you’re suffering from a jaw joint disorder.
Without a plan in place, these issues may lead to bigger problems like tooth decay, gum disease, or TMJ. You might also end up with unexplained headaches or earaches or even have difficulty swallowing or chewing.
Many people realize their parents simply couldn’t afford to get them braces as a child. Now that they’re older and able to pay for it, some adults choose to continue with the procedure.
How Long Do Adult Braces Take?
The length of time you’d need to wear braces as an adult depends on several factors. One of those factors includes the type of braces you get and how well patients adhere to their dentist’s specific treatment plan.
On average, most adults will wear braces for anywhere from 18 months to as long as three years. Each situation is different, but the minimum time required is usually over one year.
Some mild cases of crooked teeth or misalignment may require patients to wear braces for a slightly shorter duration. More severe and complex cases will typically require patients to wear their braces for a longer period that can extend past three years.
Clear dental aligners offer patients a newer, easier way to correct various issues. This alternative provides adults with a much more flexible and versatile solution that could take less time than traditional braces.
One way to ensure your braces do their job is to always follow up with your orthodontist and follow his or her instructions. Keep a good oral hygiene routine and attend appointments as needed to make sure your new braces are giving you the solution you need.
Types of Adult Braces
The best braces for adults depend on each individual patient’s unique needs. Traditional braces are comprised of brackets and wires that are affixed to the teeth. The wires are threaded through the small slots in the brackets and formed to “reshape” the teeth over time.
Clear aligners are made of a thin plastic material that creates a mold of the patient’s teeth. These aligners are usually worn overnight and in time, they help to straighten and correct the teeth.
While they’re not exactly braces, retainers are designed to prevent certain teeth from moving. This orthodontic appliance can either be fixed inside the mouth or removable, depending on the doctor’s recommendation.
Damon braces are tie-less braces that never need to be tightened. These braces are gentler than metal braces and move the teeth quickly using special memory-shape wires. They also require patients to make fewer office visits and usually have a much shorter treatment duration than some other alternatives.
Ceramic braces work just like metal braces, but they’re a lot less noticeable. These braces use clear brackets, which makes them a much more appealing option for adults.
How Much Do Adult Braces Cost?
So how much do adult braces cost? While much of the cost depends on the type of dental insurance you have, there are some general price ranges for most of these options to keep in mind.
Invisalign or clear aligners tend to cost from $2,500 to $7,000. If you want or need traditional metal braces, they usually start at $2,500 up to $6,500. Damon braces tend to run between $2,800 to $6,800, on average.
Ceramic braces cost a bit more, starting at around $2,800 to $7,000. Special lingual braces tend to be the most expensive form of treatment and usually start at $7,000 to $11,000.
Remember that these prices are just averages, and they largely depend on the practice you go to, length of treatment, your dental insurance plan and how much it will cover. Talk to your orthodontist about the cost of adult braces before you make a decision. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or a Health Care Savings Account (HSA), they may cover part of the cost of your braces.
If you’re an adult who’s had orthodontic treatment as a teen, it may be that you just need a smile touch up and can achieve a straight smile in a matter of a few months with corrective treatment. Talk to your orthodontist so you can look at all of your options together.
Medicaid and Braces
If you have Medicaid, the specifics of your coverage will vary based on the state you live in. However, there are some minimum Medicaid standards set at the federal level.
All states must cover dental treatment to relieve pain and infections for children as well as medically necessary orthodontic services like braces. Adults should check with their current Medicaid plan to find out if these things are also covered for them. In some states, Medicaid may cover the cost of braces for adults if they need them to treat a medical condition.
Improve Your Smile Today
If you’ve ever asked, how much do adult braces cost, remember the information from this guide as you navigate the process. While braces are usually thought of for children, they’re also a wonderful device that can help people in every age group.
If you’re an adult who may need braces, reach out to the team at Owl Orthodontics today to find out how we can help! We offer a wide range of treatments and participate with most major dental insurance companies to help you improve your smile.