Usually braces are considered to be an orthodontic treatment for children and teenagers. However many adults also get braces these days as a means of straightening their teeth and improving the smile. If you are aged 18 years or over and did have braces whilst you were young, whether because your parents could not afford the treatment or if your teeth are crooked again from not wearing retainers, then you may be considering braces now. As with any dental care, the cost of braces can be expensive and can become a burden if you don’t budget or research your options thoroughly. This page discusses braces options including costing and fees and charges for adult braces.
Is the Cost of Braces More Expensive for Adults?
In most situations you will find that acquiring braces for an adult is more costly than brackets for a child. The average cost of braces for children is much more affordable than paying for standard adult orthodontic care. This is especially the case since many states offer charity funded care for children, making orthodontic braces much more affordable for children than for adults, especially where low income families are concerned. Comparatively, purchasing braces for a child privately is around $2,000 to $3,500.
Why Do Adult Braces Cost More?
The most common reason why braces are more expensive for an adult is that adult teeth are already firm in place take longer to realign. Children’s gums are softer and provide for faster and easier movement of teeth. The common timeframe to have teeth straightened for a child is approximately 18 months. Teeth realignment for an adult may take up to three years, depending on the case. This involves more visits to the orthodontist and additional teeth alignments than would usually be the case for treating a child.
Another reason why braces are more costly for older patients is that adults often have pre-existing conditions such as cavities which need fillings or even gingivitis or periodontal disease. These ailments must be corrected before any orthodontic treatment can commence, adding further treatment costs even before braces work begins. Also, older patients who suffer from periodontal disease or bone degeneration can experience significant problems when trying to manipulate teeth. This can result in a significant increase in cost to the teeth straightening process.
Some adults also require jaw surgery prior to having braces installed in order to elongate the jaw and allow for a correct bite. This is rarely required for children since their bones are still growing and therefore malleable. Due to the difficulties which can be experienced and also the tougher gums and stronger teeth that adults have, the cost of braces can be much more than for kids.
How Much Is the Cost of Braces for Adults?
The price for getting braces for adults can range between $5,000 and $11,000. The total amount will depend on the orthodontist that you choose, the extent of their skill and expertise, where you are located (whether you live in a rural or suburban popular area), the degree of your teeth deformity or malocclusion and which type of braces you choose. For example, standard metal braces for adults will usually be the cheapest form or orthodontic teeth straightening and may cost as low as $3,000 in some areas. On the other hand, specialty treatments such as Invisalign and braces on the back of teeth can cost upwards of $11,000.
How Can I Reduce the Cost of Braces for Adults?
Just because teeth realignment is a more involved process and therefore costs more in an adult situation, this does not mean that the costs can’t be reduced. There are many options available for adults seeking orthodontic treatment. Some orthodontists provide discounts where a group of people are receiving treatment. If you and your partner or your family need orthodontic care, then see the orthodontist together and ask for a group discount. They may provide you with savings which could even end up being cheaper than children’s braces.
Another option for reducing adult braces costs is by researching insurance possibilities. The cost of braces with insurance can be significantly lower however there are ongoing monthly premiums and deductibles which need to be taken into account. Alternative options include discount cards and trying to receive treatment through government programs such as Medicaid. Whilst Medicaid may provide some orthodontic treatment for adults, the circumstances in which orthodontic services are offered are very limited and you must also fall within one of the restricted groups entitled to treatment. However, it may be an option worth exploring.
Is the Cost of Braces Worthwhile for Adults?
There are many benefits to purchasing adult braces where teeth were not straightened whilst you were a child. The main advantages include getting your bite corrected and reduce teeth grinding and wear. Having teeth straightened may relieve headaches and ear aches in some situations. It can improve your speaking, biting and chewing problems, reduce decay and gum disease due to overcrowding by enabling easier cleaning of teeth and it can also prevent or improve Temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
Adults with bad teeth or embarrassing smiles also consider seeking orthodontic care in order to improve their aesthetic appearance as opposed to alleviating problems associated with misaligned teeth. Straight teeth can boost your self-esteem in terms of finding or maintaining personal relationships. It can also enhance your confidence in a professional setting. If you are suffering from lack of self-image due to your crooked teeth, then getting braces would be meaningful regardless of the additional costs which you may encounter as an adult.
Many adults are getting or considering getting braces these days. Even though the cost can be much higher, there are options available for reducing orthodontic expenses. The American Association of Orthodontists states that people are having braces well into their 80s. It’s never too late to have your teeth straightened and attain that perfect smile but you should consider and research the cost before you do so since it may be more expensive than standard children prices.