Close-up of female with open mouth during oral checkup at the dentist

7 Factors That Can Affect the Cost of Orthodontic Treatment

Posted on September 14, 2021

Close-up of female with open mouth during oral checkup at the dentist

The question is not just how much braces or other forms of orthodontic treatment are going for in your area, but how much you should pay for them. No one wants to spend more than they need to on anything these days (we’re all ballin’ on a budget, right?!), and the cost of braces or Invisalign is no different. Many factors can affect how expensive your orthodontic treatment will be, so it pays to know what those things are before deciding how much you want or can afford to spend. For information regarding how much are braces, here’s an overview of the factors that commonly affect the cost of braces.

1. The Cost of The Initial Consultation

When trying to determine how much braces will run you, the first step is the initial consultation with the orthodontist of your choice. The first appointment should always be a FREE initial consultation that includes a detailed evaluation of you or your child’s teeth and an overview of the recommended plan to correct them. The orthodontist should review key information with you that includes what aspects of the smile need to be treated, a rough estimate of treatment time to correct those issues, and what the best course of treatment would be for you or your child’s needs. In this meeting, you’ll have plenty of questions, and the orthodontist should take their time to answer them all.

2. The Type of Braces You Select

There are many types of braces available today, so it’s important to know how each type affects how much you’ll pay for customized teeth correction. The two main types of braces are traditional metal brackets and Invisalign aligners.

Traditional metal braces: Traditional metal braces consist of brackets held in place by wire. The length of treatment with traditional metal braces will depend on how severe your particular orthodontic issues are and how well you care for them at home between appointments, including how often you brush and how carefully you floss. Of course, how well you follow your orthodontist’s instructions can also impact how long your treatment takes and how much it costs.

Invisalign aligners: These transparent plastic trays are custom-made for each patient and their unique smile needs. They are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while wearing them, unlike traditional metal braces, which require more care to clean around the brackets and wires. The convenience and subtlety of Invisalign are a big selling factor for the invisible aligners, making them a more popular and slightly more costly option- but the great news is that dental insurance often covers the majority if not all of the cost of Invisalign, and Dr. Lineberger & his team can work with you on insurance options and flexible payment plans to make this an affordable option for YOU, as well!

3. Who Is Performing the Work?

How much braces cost is often affected by who performs the treatment, since there can be a wide range of fees for different orthodontists. Those fees can vary based on level of experience, and that orthodontist’s reputation within the community. In other words, you often get what you pay for- but as stated above, our team and most orthodontists in your area will be willing to work on creating a customized payment plan built for and around your family’s monthly budget to make the smile of your dreams a reality!

4. Location and Availability of Discounts

It’s true that how much a particular procedure costs can oftentimes have a correlation with where you live in the world – and location is one of those factors that can impact the cost of orthodontic treatment (big city livin’ is expensive, y’all!) Also, some orthodontic offices provide discounts for multiple family members, and often run monthly specials – if you are seeking out orthodontic treatment for yourself of your children, make sure to ask about any special offers the practice might be running at that time!

5. Complexity of Care

If you need braces or Invisalign, you’ll want to talk with your orthodontist about how much they charge for the specific treatment you need. For instance, there is a big difference between minor smile imperfections that will only take six months versus more complicated orthodontic issues that will require a year of treatment or longer. However, we must preface that to say, don’t let the estimated treatment time for your specific orthodontic needs scare you away from taking care of it- typically, the more complex orthodontic issues you have now, the more serious problems they can give you down the road if left untreated!

6. Availability of Zero Percent Interest Financing

In some cases, how much braces cost is affected by how you pay for that treatment. If your orthodontist offers free financing with a certain amount of money down, then this will likely reduce how much braces cost in general. Likewise, if they offer a discount on their fee when you write the check at the time of treatment, it’s also likely to be less expensive than paying all at once upfront.

7. Insurance Coverage and Your Orthodontic Plan

Finally, how much braces or Invisalign costs can depend on your insurance coverage. Some dental policies cover most or even all of the expense, while others might not include orthodontic treatment or certain types, such as Invisalign.

So, How Much ARE Braces?

As this post has detailed, the cost you will pay for orthodontic treatment depends on a variety of factors that include location, insurance coverage, your specific smile needs, and more. No two smiles are exactly the same, so the best way to get determine the exact cost of perfecting your smile is by scheduling a FREE consultation with Lineberger Orthodontics today!