Deciding to straighten your teeth and get a smile you love can be a life-changing experience, giving you a huge boost in confidence, not to mention improving your oral health. Yet, before most patients kick off treatment, they ask Dr. Kothari two important questions: How much do braces cost? How much does Invisalign cost? While we can’t give you one set number because there are a few things that influence the price tag, you can be rest assured that at 914 Orthodontics, we always go over the fees upfront with our patients and strive to make treatment work for their budget with affordable rates and convenient, competitive payment plans. When evaluating treatment options, it’s important to keep in mind that not only does the cost of Invisalign or braces vary case by case but also from orthodontist to orthodontist. We’ll go over some of the factors that can cause fluctuations in your teeth-straightening expenses.
If you’ve researched the average cost of braces or the average cost of Invisalign, you’ve probably noticed the huge range between the high and low end of the price spectrum. Here’s what comes into play:
- Treatment Duration – How long your treatment lasts is a big factor as far as price. This really boils down to the fact that the longer you wear braces or Invisalign, the more materials and office visits you’ll require. Treatment duration depends on some things that are out of your control, like how severe your bite issues are and how fast bone remodeling occurs (this is doctor-speak for the natural process that happens in the bones and allows the teeth to move into their new places). Yet, a study found that patient compliance had a significant influence on treatment length too, meaning when patients took care of their appliances, brushed and flossed as directed, attended all of their appointments and followed the orthodontist’s instructions, their smile makeover went a lot more quickly.
- The Complexity of Your Case – While our practice doesn’t price based on how complicated a patient’s tooth movements will be, some offices do. For example, since a person with a significant crossbite will require more dramatic movement than someone with minor crowding, their bill could be higher depending on where you seek treatment.
- The Type of Appliances You Go For – Invisalign and clear braces tend to cost more for the orthodontist to purchase than metal braces, which, in turn, means these choices can add a little more to the patient’s bill. Depending on each person’s needs and their treatment duration, at 914 Orthodontics, the price can be similar or the same for ceramic braces, Invisalign or metal braces. Again, every practice is different and some automatically charge more for an option without taking into account how long treatment will last.
- Your Age – How much do braces cost for adults versus for kids or teens? Often, there’s no difference and your age won’t directly be a factor in the price of treatment. However, indirectly, it may have an effect because when you’re done growing, the teeth and jaws don’t shift as quickly so it could take longer to achieve the outcome you want.
With certain types and severities of malocclusion, the earlier the problem is addressed, the cheaper and easier treatment will be. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children visit an orthodontist no later than age seven. Usually, it’s just an observational period and we let you know if and when your child needs treatment. However, if the doctor sees red flags, we can jump in and use appliances or techniques to guide jaw growth or make space for the permanent teeth to erupt in a better position so braces or Invisalign will be more efficient and effective in the teen years. Sometimes, waiting until adulthood will lead to a patient needing more complex treatment, including jaw surgery or extra procedures like extractions, to get stable results.
- Where You Live – Surprisingly, your location plays a role in the price of orthodontic treatment. The cost of living is directly correlated with the cost of everything else, including braces and Invisalign. That’s why treatment typically has a bigger price tag in a large city as opposed to a suburban or rural area.
- Insurance Coverage – Does insurance cover braces? Well, that depends. If your dental insurance plan does include orthodontic care, it can be a huge help as far as out-of-pocket costs. Certain insurances only extend coverage to kids and teens. For example, Medicaid in New York covers patients until they reach 21-years-old if they fulfill the eligibility requirements. However, many private insurance carriers do include adult orthodontics. Since we know how frustrating the world of insurance can be, the 914 Orthodontics team will check with your plan to see what percentage of treatment will be covered and we’ll even file claims on your behalf.
In addition to insurance, you can put your health savings account (HSA) or flexible savings account (FSA) to work. Many allow you to reimburse yourself for orthodontic expenses not covered by insurance for both you and your dependents.
- In-Office Payment Plans – We pride ourselves in offering extremely affordable payment plans with interest-free financing to let you spread out the cost of treatment over a longer period of time with low monthly payments. This is an important consideration when deciding on an orthodontist because even if braces or Invisalign seem out of your price range at first glance, a good payment plan can make it manageable for almost any budget.
Now that you know what’s behind the price of orthodontic treatment, if you’re ready to achieve a smile you’re proud of and are interested in braces or Invisalign in Sleepy Hollow, NY and the surrounding area, schedule a free consultation at 914 Orthodontics. Dr. Kothari and our friendly team will evaluate your bite, come up with a diagnosis and chat with you about your goals and preferences. We’ll then present you with your treatment options, the cost and go over ways we can make straightening your teeth suit your financial needs. We don’t think the price should hold anyone back from experiencing a beautiful grin and we’re here to help!