Part 1 : Thinking About Braces
Before you spend the time and money to straighten your teeth, here are some things you should know
- If you don't already have an orthodontist, get recommendations from friends or your regular dentist.
- Get at least two opinions, if possible, as a "sanity check." Orthodontists can vary in their treatment approach. If you don't like what one ortho says, get more opinions until you reach a consensus of opinion - especially if extractions or jaw surgery may be involved. Consultations are usually free.
- How much do braces cost? Typically, around $5,000 (US dollars) for braces on upper and lower teeth for two years of treatment. This cost may be slightly lower or higher, depending on where you live.
- If you can't afford braces from a private orthodontist, search the dental schools in your area. Many times, they provide low-cost orthodontic care. The orthodontists in training are under the watchful eye of their experienced professors, who are often orthodontists in private practice
- Sometimes dental chains offer lower prices for orthodontic work, but you will be limited to their list of dentists.
- Some discount dental plans offer lower prices on orthodontic work (it cannot be in progress; usually only new work is covered). One example of such a plan is DentalPlans.com, whose link is on the righthand side of this page. You are usually limited to their list of dentists.
- Research your health plan (or your spouse's) to see if any of the treatment will be covered. Note that once you begin orthodontic treatment, many plans will not cover you! They only cover treatment that is not already in progress! So get your insurance straightened out before you begin! If you need any type of jaw surgery, this is usually covered under your medical insurance, not your dental insurance.
- Be realistic about your own expectations, and the impact of braces in your daily life. Are you ready to have them in your mouth and deal with them 24/7?