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How Much Do Braces Co$t?

a loosely compiled survey

How much will your braces cost? 

The short answer is: in most parts of the US, two years of full traditional braces costs (on average) about $5,000-$7,000. Ceramic brackets are about $500-$1,000 extra. These costs do not include x-rays, extractions, or special appliances. Invisalign treatment (in most cases) costs about the same as traditional braces.

But that varies. Let me explain.

If you have a health insurance plan that covers orthodontics, you might pay less, especially if you go to a provider that is in your insurance network. But be careful. Just as you wouldn't choose a medical specialist only because he is on your plan, don't choose an orthodontist soley based on this criteria. Get a consultation (usually free or minimal cost) and see how comfortable you are with that person. No amount of money saved can make up for two years with an orthodontist you don't like or don't have confidence in. Also, remember that most dental plans cover braces only before treatment begins. So if you've already started treatment, you may be out of luck.

OK, that said, let's move on. If you live in Europe or other parts of the world, there may be government health plan that covers your braces. Again, remember to scope out the other professionals in your area. You may pay more for an independent dentist, but it may be worth the extra cost.

If dental insurance isn't an option and you don't want to pay full price, you may consider going to a nearby dental school. Usually orthodontic treatment is done under the watchful eye of an instructor who has many years of professional orthodontic experience. Call your local dental school and ask how much they charge.

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