How Much Do Orthodontic Braces Cost: What You Need to Know

Have you started to notice that your adorable child has gotten a little older and now their cute little smile could actually use a little attention? Or have you been considering options for yourself to improve some crooked teeth and achieve a confident smile? Choosing to get some treatment for these things is a smart move because not only will it improve your appearance but there are also many health benefits as well.

Understanding the cost of braces is a crucial first step to take to begin the journey but (hello!) I'm sure you know that getting them is not one of the cheapest things you can do. With a variety of dental plans and types of braces available, from traditional metal braces to clear aligners like Invisalign, the average costs can vary significantly. In this article we'll review the different types of braces, options, and prices and then discuss some things you can do that can help you save on the total cost.

Key Takeaways

  • Orthodontic braces costs vary based on type and treatment length.
  • Dental insurance and payment options can help manage costs.
  • Consultation with an orthodontist is essential for an accurate cost estimate.
Smiling teenage girl wearing braces.

Understanding the Costs of Orthodontic Braces

When you're considering orthodontic braces for straighter teeth or to correct crooked teeth, the cost of braces is a significant factor. Generally, the average cost of braces can range widely from $3,000 to more than $10,000, influenced by various elements like the types of braces, the complexity of your case, and the length of your treatment.

  • Clear braces and clear aligners like Invisalign typically have a higher starting invisalign cost due to their less noticeable appearance.
  • Traditional metal braces might be a great way to achieve a beautiful smile at a lower upfront cost.

Orthodontic coverage in dental insurance and dental plans may cover part of these expenses, reducing out-of-pocket costs. However, this depends on the individual policy and whether there is an available insurance benefit or lifetime maximum. A dental discount plan could provide additional savings at your orthodontic office.

When budgeting for braces, consider the following:

  • Down payment: Some orthodontists require a down payment before starting the treatment plan.
  • Monthly payment: Many orthodontists offer payment plans, spreading the cost over the treatment duration.
  • Dental insurance: Check your insurance plan for orthodontic coverage—some plans have a specific lifetime maximum benefit for orthodontics.

Types of Braces and Their Costs

When considering orthodontic treatment, you'll find there are various types of braces to choose from, each with its own cost considerations. Your final decision may influence not only your smile but also your pocket.

Traditional Metal Braces

Typically the most affordable option, traditional metal braces remain popular for their efficacy in correcting a wide range of dental alignment issues. Average costs for metal braces can range from $3,000 to $7,000, and are often partially covered by dental insurance plans. Such braces are a reliable solution for straighter teeth but might require a down payment and monthly payments.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are similar to traditional braces but use tooth-colored brackets to blend with your teeth, which makes them less noticeable. These clear braces can be more costly than metal ones, with prices typically between $4,000 and $8,000. This option marries efficiency with aesthetics, giving you a more confident smile while undergoing treatment.

Lingual Braces

Among the most discreet options, lingual braces are attached to the back of the teeth. They are hidden from view, making them a great choice for adults concerned about the appearance of braces. Due to their placement and customization, lingual braces can be more expensive, sometimes even double the cost of traditional braces. The average costs can be quite high, so discuss with your orthodontist whether dental insurance or a dental discount plan might offset some expenses.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, offer a virtually invisible way to align your teeth. Unlike traditional braces, these are removable and don't involve brackets or wires. The Invisalign cost can range from $3,000 to $8,500, depending on the complexity of your treatment plan. Many dental plans offer orthodontic coverage that can reduce out-of-pocket costs.

Selecting the right type of braces for your dental health needs and budget requires careful consideration of the cost of braces, insurance benefits, and the length of your treatment. Discuss each option thoroughly with your orthodontist to set a clear treatment plan and ensure your path to a beautiful smile is a financially savvy one.


Man calculating cost of braces and other dental work.

Insurance and Payment Options for Braces

When considering the cost of braces, understanding your insurance and payment options is crucial. These can significantly affect your out-of-pocket costs and how you manage the financial aspect of achieving a confident smile.

Dental Insurance Plans

Dental insurance plans often come with orthodontic coverage that can lower the cost of braces. Typically, these plans have a lifetime maximum benefit for orthodontic services, which is the total amount the insurance will pay for your treatment. For braces, dental insurance may cover anywhere from 25% to 50% of the cost, up to the lifetime maximum. It's important to check with your orthodontist or dental insurance provider to understand the specifics of your coverage, including any down payment or monthly payment plans that might be available to you under your policy.

  • Average costs covered by insurance: 25% - 50% of total treatment cost
  • Lifetime maximum: Varies depending on the plan

Dental Discount Plans

For a more affordable price than tradition insurance, a dental discount plan will save you on the cost of all dental work. For braces, the savings can be over $1000. gives you  By paying a small fee to join, you get access to a large network of dentists which includes both general dentists and specialists. These plans are a great way to manage your dental health expenses if traditional dental insurance plans are not accessible to you.

Flexible Spending and Health Savings Accounts

Using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) can be a great way to cover out-of-pocket costs with pre-tax dollars. Both accounts allow you to set aside money for medical expenses, including orthodontic treatment. The key difference is that FSAs are generally use-it-or-lose-it each year, while HSAs roll over and can grow over time.

  • FSA: Pre-tax dollars set aside, typically must be used within the plan year
  • HSA: Pre-tax dollars set aside, funds can roll over year to year

Remember, it's crucial to discuss with your orthodontic office to understand all possible payment plans and determine which financial option aligns with your budget and treatment plan.

Factors Affecting the Price of Braces

When you're considering orthodontic treatment, it's important to know that the cost of braces can be influenced by several factors unique to your situation. These aspects will directly impact the overall investment you need for a confident smile.

Length of Treatment

Your treatment plan may last from several months to a few years, and this duration is a key price determinant. The length of your treatment will depend on the complexity and the degree of misalignment of your crooked teeth. Generally, more extended periods mean higher costs, as it requires more visits to your orthodontist. It's not unusual for treatment involving clear aligners like Invisalign to have different time frames and associated costs than traditional braces.

Degree of Misalignment

The complexity of your case, including jaw alignment, overbites, underbites, or the severity of crooked teeth, also affects the price. Minor misalignment may require less adjustment and shorter treatment, resulting in a lower cost. Conversely, severe cases may result in higher orthodontic coverage needs and more intricate treatment plans, increasing the cost ranges for achieving straighter teeth. Your orthodontic office will outline these costs as part of your individual treatment plan.

Getting Started with Orthodontic Treatment

Embarking on the journey to a beautiful smile begins with key preparatory steps to ensure that your orthodontic treatment aligns with your dental health goals for straighter teeth. This pivotal first step towards a confident smile establishes the foundation of your treatment plan.

Initial Consultation

Your initial consultation at an orthodontic office is a crucial step in beginning your journey. During this visit, you'll discuss your desire for a beautiful smile and the issues you're looking to correct, such as crooked teeth. The orthodontist will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth and may recommend diagnostic imaging. You'll learn about different treatment options, including braces and clear aligners, and discuss potential orthodontic coverage with your dental insurance or dental plans.

Developing a Treatment Plan

Once your needs are assessed, your orthodontist will craft a personalized treatment plan that outlines the recommended approach for achieving straighter teeth. This plan will include details on the types of braces or clear aligners suitable for you, the approximate length of your treatment, and a breakdown of costs. Expect a conversation about any required down payment, monthly payment options, and how your dental insurance may offset the total out-of-pocket costs.

Do You Have a Dental Plan?

If you don't have a dental plan in place to help save you money braces then you might want to consider joining a discount dental plan. A good discount dental plan will save you 20% off the cost of the braces. In addition, you will save on all other dental services through general dentists and dental specialists. Click here to see our recommendation for the top dental plan for braces. You must join the discount dental plan before treatment begins, for a couple of reasons. First, once work has begun and you have agreed to a price you are locked into it and joining after the fact won't change it. Second, you want to make sure that you find a dentist that is in the network and accepts members of the plan.

Starting orthodontic treatment is a commitment to a future of a brighter, healthier smile. The professionals you choose and the plan you develop together will pave the way for a great and transformative dental health experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

When considering orthodontic braces, understanding the factors affecting cost is essential to plan your budget and treatment.

What factors contribute to the overall average cost of orthodontic braces?

The average cost of braces is affected by the types of braces you choose, the complexity of your crooked teeth, necessary adjustments, where you live, and the experience of the orthodontist.

How do different types of braces, such as clear aligners and ceramic braces, vary in cost?

Ceramic braces can range from $4,000 to $8,000, while clear aligners present a more varied range potentially going as low as $1,500 up to $8,000 depending on treatment complexity.

What are the typical down payment and monthly payment options for orthodontic treatment plans?

Orthodontic treatment often requires a down payment, followed by a series of monthly payments. The initial payment can be a significant portion of the total cost, and the monthly payments depend on the length of your treatment and the specifics of your treatment plan.

How can dental insurance and dental discount plans affect your out-of-pocket costs for braces?

If your dental insurance includes orthodontic coverage, it may cover a significant percentage of the treatment cost. Alternatively, a dental discount plan can provide discounts that reduce out-of-pocket expenses, though coverage may have a lifetime maximum.

What should you expect as the cost range for orthodontic braces for children compared to adults?

Children may generally incur lower orthodontic costs due to earlier and potentially simpler intervention. As reported by the American Dental Association, comprehensive orthodontic treatment tends to average between $5,000 and $6,000, with adult braces often at the higher end due to more complex dental issues.

How does the length of treatment and type of orthodontic coverage influence the total cost of achieving a straighter and more confident smile?

The longer the length of your treatment, the higher the total cost tends to be. Additionally, the type of orthodontic coverage you have can significantly affect the final cost, with plans potentially covering a portion or none of the cost, impacting Invisalign cost and other orthodontic options.


Tens of thousands of dentists nationwide - no waiting!