Braces removal is the most exciting part of any orthodontic treatment. There are numerous costs associated with having braces removed after the teeth straightening process. This page discusses the types of expenses which can be incurred and whether they are included in the total cost of treatment.
What does the Cost of Braces Removal Include?
On your final visit to the orthodontist where you have your braces taken off, the orthodontist carries out a number of steps in order to completely detach them from your teeth. In the first instance, the brackets are plied away from your teeth one by one using a specialized plier. This process only takes around 2 to 5 minutes.
After the brackets are disconnected, there may be some residue of cement or glue left over on your teeth which will be scraped away by the orthodontist. This is also a quick process, taking around five minutes.
The costs of this visit are usually included in the cost of braces altogether. However, some dentists may charge this visit separately. If charged individually, or if you have moved and are getting your braces taken off by another doctor, the cost of having braces removed will typically be around $60 to $250.
In addition to braces removal, there is also the crucial element of retainers. These are specialized orthodontic devices which help mold your soft tissues and bones after the teeth have been straightened. Retainers are essential in maintaining the results of your braces and will need to be worn for any period ranging from six months to the rest of your life following braces removal. Retainer outlays may not be included in the total cost of braces and the pricing will depend largely on the type of retainer you require.
Cost of Braces Removal Followed by Removable Hawley Retainer
This is the most recognized retainer which is used after braces have been removed. It consts consist of a metal wire that sits along the front teeth (incisors) and is backed by a molded plastic which extends over the roof of the patient’s mouth. This type of retainer clasps onto the teeth and is removable.
Since these types of retainers are adjustable, they are preferred by some orthodontists because they enable the patient to finish their treatment and continue moving the teeth. The price of a Hawley retainer will depend on the complexity of the impression since it will need to be created in a laboratory setting. The costs can be more or less $500.
The traditional removable Hawley retainer is made of a metal wire at the front. However if the patient selects the newer clear wire in order to disguise the retainer then additional fees are charged. This more aesthetically pleasing removable retainer will add an additional $50 to $100 to the price.
Additional costs can be incurred where the retainer is lost or damaged even though these types are quite durable. Replacement fees are not covered by most insurance plans. However, many orthodontists do provide one or two replacement retainers free of charge. The cost of a replacement retainer can be around $100 to $200.
Another aspect which can increase the price of a Hawley retainer after braces removal is the ability to choose the color of the plastic which sits on the roof of the mouth. Patients are able to select from a selection of styles and colors and even provide their own images or artwork for creation. The cost of having a custom styled retainer is approximately $30 to $150 extra.
Cost of Braces Removal with Invisible Retainers
Depending on how your teeth have moved and your orthodontist’s preference, you may be advised to get a vacuum-form or Essix retainer after having your braces removed. These types of retainers are similar to Invisalign aligner trays in that they are a clear plastic removable tray and are typically more cosmetically pleasing than the traditional Hawley orthodontic retainers.
Some dentists prefer not to use vacuum-formed retainers since they do not allow the upper and lower teeth to touch, therefore hindering the ability for the teeth to settle in a favourable position for the patient. VFR retainers, are cheaper than the Hawley retainer, however there can be instances where the costs of getting these retainers can add up to more. This is because invisible retainers are more prone to breakage and deterioration especially during chewing, requiring replacements to be purchased more regularly.
You will be required to visit your orthodontist to have these retainers remolded over time. The average cost of having vacuum formed retainers is approximately $400 to $600 with replacements costing around $200 each.
Cost of Braces Removal with Fixed Retainers
Where the braces have affected huge alterations in the patient’s bite and there is a great risk of the changes reversing after braces being removed, orthodontists will typically prescribe fixed retainers in these situations. A fixed retainer is one which is bonded to the tongue or lingual side of the incisors. Normally this is required only for the bottom teeth but may also be needed for upper teeth depending on the patient’s treatment.
Bonding the wire to the back of the front teeth is usually a one off cost. However you may require some follow up visits which may or may not be included in the total price of having your braces removed. The average cost for having a fixed retainer attached is approximately $300 but can be as high as $800.
There can be additional dental costs associated with fixed retainers since the teeth are more difficult to floss and clean with the wire present. The difficulty of thorough cleaning can lead to tartar build up and gingivitis. For this reason you should be visiting a dentist regularly if you have a permanent retainer in order to provide professional teeth cleaning and to avoid developing these dental conditions which can spiral dental costs.
Is the Cost of Braces Removal Worth It?
The cost of having braces removed is an essential part of the braces procedure. You will need to have your braces taken off at one stage and you should definitely be following your orthodontist’s advice in relation to retainers. Whilst some orthodontists include the cost in the overall price at the commencement of treatment, others will charge this separately. If the requirement to pay is postponed, you will be able to budget for the cost of braces removal over a period of two to three years whilst you are wearing braces.
If you do not have retainers after braces are removed then your teeth may revert back to their original pre-braces position, which would be a waste of your efforts and the money you have already paid. Retainers are certainly worth purchasing and following through with.
In order to save on costs with the retainer process after braces removal, you should follow your orthodontist’s advice for wearing a removable retainer. For example, you will be required to leave the retainer in day and night for the first few months or even up to nine months. You will then be able to reduce this to only wearing it during the day for another required period of time. Whatever your orthodontist prescribes after your treatment ensure to follow their instructions precisely, otherwise your teeth may reposition themselves, requiring further braces treatment and escalating your costs.
The cost of having your braces taken off is a particularly small one compared to the amount you’ve paid to have your braces put on and adjusted over this long period of time. It is an essential and integral part of the orthodontic process and should not be taken lightly. Whilst removing the braces from your teeth is a simple procedure and is relatively inexpensive, retainers are the most expensive part of the braces removal process.
You should not skimp on the retainer aspect since this is the essential ingredient which maintains the success of your treatment. After your braces are removed, you will also have additional costs for visiting a dentist since your orthodontist may advise you to have your teeth cleaned and thoroughly checked. Other than these expenses, there should not be further fees and charges involved in the typical case.