Your dentist or orthodontist and you have decided the type of braces you will have, the duration of the treatment, and all other factors associated with correcting the alignment of your teeth and bite. The most substantial cost associated with braces is the treatment itself. Creating and installing brackets or aligners may require the services of a dental technician, and maintaining treatment will also be associated with some cost.
Treatment is easily the most expensive aspect of orthodontic braces. Depending on the difficulty of your case and the amount of time it will take to achieve the desired results, costs will vary considerably. Moreover, whether you have chosen traditional stainless steel braces, gold-plated braces, or more advanced technologies such as Invisalign, your costs will vary. Remember that even the office you are working with will provide different costs and payment options. For example, some dental offices offer an all-inclusive fee, while others break down the cost to different services. Will you pay for each appointment? Are x-rays and photographs included in their quote? Will you have to pay for adjustments? These are all important questions to ask during your initial consultation.
When it comes to treatment time, your cost will most likely be based on the type of treatment. Traditional braces using metal brackets and wires and rubber ties will be the cheapest. These are often the go-to treatment for children as aesthetic concerns are not as important. However, adults may want clear or ceramic braces in order to hide the treatment as much as possible. Remember that as the technology for your braces becomes more advanced, the cost will increase.
After your treatment is complete, your dentist will remove your braces, but you must work to maintain the results you have achieved. Most people who wear braces will use a retainer overnight to stabilize their teeth and ensure that the teeth do not migrate to their original positions. Retainers are custom fitted to individual patients, and your dentist should instruct you as to when and how often you must wear your retainer. During the maintenance phase of treatment, you will have fewer dental visits, but you should expect to see your dentist at least on a yearly basis so s/he can track the progress and effectiveness of your treatment.
As you can clearly see, there are many factors that influence the cost of braces. It can be incredibly difficult to provide an estimate of the costs associated with orthodontic treatment without having a clear idea of your individual case. In most circumstances, braces should cost no more than $6000, but with very complicated treatment comes increased cost. Speak to your dentist in advance about all the components of treatment and how that will affect the total cost including consultation, diagnostics, treatment, and maintenance.