Are you thinking about getting braces for yourself? Maybe you have a son or daughter that has crooked teeth, and you would like to get some orthodontic work done for them. Many people do not have dental insurance, which can make this a very difficult situation. The cost of getting braces can be several thousand dollars, and if they have relatively straight teeth. It can take several months, if not years, to actually straighten teeth that have a variety of problems. If your children have an overbite problem, or if they need to have surgery, it can increase the cost of getting them by several thousand dollars more. Here is a quick overview of what you can expect to get, as well as how much the average cost for braces is, plus you will find out if orthodontic work is something that you, or your loved ones, will need.
Why Do You Need Braces
People all over the world are born with crooked or unsightly teeth. Depending upon your genetics, you may have a predisposition toward having your teeth come out the wrong way. I am sure that you have seen people that have absolutely beautiful smiles, that have never had braces. Unfortunately, if that is not you, straightening your teeth is something that you will have to inevitably do.
When Should You Get Braces?
The American Dental Association, as well as the American Association of Orthodontists, recommends that children should go in for orthodontic treatments around the age of seven or eight. Although it may seem a bit early, since kids are still losing their teeth, it is a prescreening which can help make sure that the teeth coming in are going to descend into the right position.
Consultations usually involve looking at a child’s facial structure, taking some x-rays to see what is actually happening behind the scenes, and to begin making a dental record upon which the orthodontist can make recommendations. By the way, your general dentist doesn’t actually have to make a referral for this. If you are concerned about your children’s teeth, you can set an appointment with any orthodontist. Since most dental insurance does not cover orthodontic work, this is the primary reason why a referral is not needed.
Anyone that needs braces may have to have them for a variety of reasons:
1 – If their teeth are not in the right position, causing an improper bite which is called occlusion.
2 – If your lower and upper dental arches, and your first molars, have a misalignment, which is called malocclusion.
3 – If you have a Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 misalignment, which can include overcrowding, and overbite, or in underbite, respectively.
Additional Problems from Having Crooked Teeth
There are many problems that can also occur as a result of having misaligned teeth. You may have trouble chewing or eating. You could have sleep apnea which can cause snoring. You may also get gum disease, tooth decay, and also grind your teeth at night causing additional damage to the enamel. Speech impediments, as well as TMJ or jaw pain is also a possibility.
If you have any of these problems, or if your teeth simply do not look right, then orthodontic work is probably something that you should get before any additional problems, other than their unsightly appearance, start to manifest.
When you go to the dentist, and they tell you that you will need to get braces, this can be a very unsettling time. You may have a crooked smile, and really want to get it fixed, but you may not have dental insurance, and even if you do, it can cost quite a bit of money. There are many different types of braces that you can get, or that the doctor will recommend based upon the condition of your teeth.
Just getting regular braces, which are typically made of stainless steel, it can cost several thousand dollars. When you have these braces put on your teeth, you have to be careful, in that they can actually stain your teeth if you don’t take proper care of them while they are in your mouth. If you spend a little more money, you can actually get a nickel titanium combination which is much better for your teeth, in that they use smaller brackets (which are cemented to each tooth), which are necessary when connecting the wires together. You can, of course, decorate them with a variety of colors, as well as use elastics and ligatures as well.
Ceramic braces are becoming much more popular, especially among teenagers that have to have this procedure done. The main benefit is that they are almost clear, and cannot be seen as easily in comparison to middle braces. The ceramic actually blends with the color of your teeth, so when people look at your smile, especially from a distance, they are not so easy to see. They are visually appealing, yet they can break quite easily. Depending upon the thickness of each bracket attached to each tooth, it can help prevent the potential damage that can come from not using metal.
Goldplated Stainless Steel Braces
If you are allergic to certain types of metal, or have an allergy to the metal nickel, you might want to go with goldplated stainless steel. These are much more noticeable than the ceramic variety, but are decidedly different from the straight metallic so-called ‘bling” look. Of course, these are much more expensive because the brackets are actually made of a gold alloy which can cost several thousand dollars more.
For people that are nervous about what people will say if they see braces on their teeth, they can go for lingual braces, the type that are actually attached to the back of your teeth. These are sometimes even more expensive then goldplated ones, but you have the added benefit of people not noticing that you have orthodontic work in your mouth. Adjusting these braces is extremely difficult, mostly because of how your tongue is situated in your mouth. Speech problems are bound to arise, plus you may actually injure or damage your tongue with this type of apparatus at the roof of your mouth.
Invisalign braces are all the rage right now, especially for people that do not have significant problems with the positioning of their teeth. They are nearly invisible, and can effect a gradual change in your teeth, and since they can be removed, it is easier to maintain proper oral hygiene while wearing them. These are extremely expensive due to the novelty of using them, yet they may be exactly what you need to wear based upon your particular situation.
Average Cost For Braces
If you finally determine that you actually need to get braces, or any type of orthodontic work, you need to consider the cost. Some people are fortunate enough to have dental insurance that will cover the cost of braces, sometimes up to $2000 per family member. Other people may have a savings account, which will allow them to pay for the braces up front. Other orthodontist will offer payment plans, which is usually determined based upon your credit rating. Here are the actual costs that you may encounter when getting a quote on how much your orthodontic work will actually be.
If you’re getting standard metal braces, it may cost you as little as $1500, and go well over $8000, or more, based upon the condition of your teeth. For instance, if you have a slight overbite, or you simply need to maneuver a few teeth back into a straight position, the cost will be much lower, and it will also take far less time to accomplish.
If, however, you have in underbite, or you have several teeth that are going in the wrong directions, you may need to spend several thousand extra dollars, and also have them in your mouth considerably longer, in order for the adjustments to be made.
Colored braces, ceramic braces, or Invisalign braces can cost well over $5000. You are paying for the novelty of having something other than standard metal, plus the cost of titanium, gold, ceramic and the other materials used for nonstandard braces can cost several thousand more because of the material itself. It also is more difficult for the orthodontist to use some braces, especially if your mouth is very small, or if you have a considerable amount of work done that would best be served with standard braces.
What You Are Actually Paying For
When you receive a quote for the braces you will get, understand that you are paying for several different things, not just the braces in your mouth.
First, you are going to pay for all of the orthodontic visits in which the dentist will make the plaster cast, create the braces, add the brackets and wires, any future visits (of which there will probably be 10 to 20) and the cost of the retainer once the entire procedure is complete. You will also have to pay for x-rays, and any other additional costs that may arise.
So if you do decide to get braces, be prepared to spend thousands of dollars, as having them is more of a luxury opposed to the necessity, which is exactly how insurance companies look at this type of procedure.