Having bad teeth can be horrible. From being self-conscious and losing confidence to bearing pain and difficulty maintaining hygiene, there is no end to the woes they can bring. That is why millions of people are willing to go to great lengths, embracing months and even years of braces to correct bad teeth. But unfortunately, braces can be pretty expensive and too costly for many patients.
Getting braces can be a significant financial investment. So it pays to do some research and go through your options before you commit to braces. This article will discuss the various ways you can pay your bills and get the perfect teeth of your dream.
But before we get there, let us see what types of braces are out there in the market. There are different categories that you can choose from according to your budget and personal preference.
Types of braces
These are the traditional braces that have been around the longest and the ones we’ve all seen. Metal braces are constructed with metal brackets glued on teeth and then tied with wires to move teeth in the desired direction. They are much cheaper than other braces, but they look apparent, which may cause cosmetic concerns. However, younger patients may enjoy wearing colorful plastic bands and bold designs on traditional braces.
Ceramic braces are like traditional metal braces. However, the only difference is that they are made of tooth-colored ceramics. The wires may be silver, white, or colored. Because they are less noticeable, they are better options for those who do not want their treatment to be too obvious. However, they are slightly more expensive than metal braces.
Lingual braces work the same way as metal and ceramic braces, but they are attached to the back instead of the front. Lingual braces are invisible and fast but can be uncomfortable to wear.
Invisalign is the latest addition to misaligned teeth treatment options. If you opt for this, you will wear a set of aligners that guide your teeth into the desired position. Each set is a progression from the last, pushing misaligned teeth into place. They are also quite expensive.
How much do they cost?
Braces in the United States can range from $3000 to $6000. However, the actual price you pay can vary according to the type of treatment, your age, and length of treatment. However, according to American Dental Association, the average cost for comprehensive orthodontic care costs around $5000 to $6000. The pricing can also vary according to region. For example, in Manhattan, braces cost a whopping $11,500 on average.
As there is no standard length of treatment for any orthodontic patient, it is difficult to estimate the standard price. Depending on the case, you may need to wear a brace anywhere from 6 months to 3 years, which is a lot of difference. If you wear braces for three years, you will incur hefty expenses. It might be a good idea to visit one or more orthodontists and get a quote. If you have multiple quotes, you can choose one that fits your budget and plan the payment accordingly.
Ways To Pay For Braces
Now, let us explore your payment options.
If you are economically sound, you can pay all your bills at once. Because orthodontic treatment can be costly, many clinics offer some discount if you are willing to pay the enormous sum at once. You may avail of 3 to 8 percent discount on the total cost. But that is if you can afford it. If you are less fortunate with money, don’t worry. Read on to find more options.
Pay in installments.
As you guessed, not all people can pay the entire cost at once. Most clinics offer a payment plan where you make a down payment and then spread the remaining cost over the treatment period.
Get your braces to form a dental school.
You will get your treatment from an intern rather than an experienced orthodontist, but a senior doctor supervises the treatment, so it’s very safe. You may pay only a third of the cost in a renowned clinic, so it is quite a bargain.
Use your dental insurance.
Dental insurance does not cover the entire cost. They only finance about 25% of the price, but it may still be helpful.
Use your Health Savings Account.
You can use HSA without tax, but the downside is they only cover orthodontic treatments if it qualifies as a medical expense and not for cosmetics.
CareCredit is a credit card that helps you to pay medical expenses. You can use it to pay the costs in full and then pay the credit on the card over time. They have promotional financing options that can help you avoid paying interest if you pay off some amount during the promotional period. You can apply for a CareCredit card online.
If you come from a very low-income family and braces are necessary for medical purposes rather than cosmetics, you can get help. You can check the Medicaid website to learn if you qualify for their programs. If you do, they will cover some part of the cost. If you fall under the category of age 10-18, you can also check out if you qualify for help from charities. Smile Changes Lives and Smiles for a Lifetime are two significant charities that cover the bulk of the cost.
Getting braces may not be as difficult as you imagined or even impossible. As you’ve seen, there is a wide range of options to finance your orthodontic treatment. Thanks to all the health plans, insurances, and charities, fixing a smile is now a reachable dream for many.
We hope we’ve been able to help you figure out a way to pay for your braces according to your income and convenience. With all those options up your sleeve, you won’t be so lost as to how you should pay your bills when you hit your doctor’s office.