To tell you the truth, braces are not cheap. Nor should they be: Applying braces and managing them is a medical procedure, and it pays to have that procedure done correctly by a licensed professional. But wait a sec--if it’s a medical procedure, does insurance cover them? How much do braces cost with insurance?
We understand that cost is a big consideration when deciding to get braces for yourself or your child. Here, we’ll try to get a handle on what braces typically cost with insurance, and ways to bring that cost down.
Braces: The Range of Prices
A comparison of the prices of braces from many different dental offices and websites shows that prices vary a lot. Part of this is due to geography: Some states are pricier than others. Part of this also has to do with what type of braces are being asked about.
Here is the range of prices for each type of braces (this doesn't include insurance in the cost):
Another factor in the price is how long the braces need to be worn. Maintaining and tightening braces requires regular trips to the orthodontist. The number of trips a person may need can be seen in the final price. Some offices build in a set number of visits into their initial price tag, while others charge per visit.
So, How Much Do Braces Cost With Insurance?
First and foremost, does insurance cover braces?
The above price ranges are for the cost of treatment without taking insurance into account. As you can see, fancier types of braces, such as lingual braces or Invisalign, can be up to 50% more expensive than traditional metal braces.
Health insurance coverage for braces varies with provider and plan. Some health plans will not cover orthodontic treatment for people over 18 years old but do offer some coverage for kids under 18. It is not uncommon for insurance to cover up to 50% of the total cost of a child's braces (at a $1,500 maximum). Some plans will partially or wholly cover braces if they are medically necessary. If you carry separate dental insurance, of course, your chances of insurance covering your braces go up.
Out of pocket, patients with insurance paid an average of $3,407 for traditional metal braces in 2017.
Braces Might Also Be Tax-Deductible
Fair warning, we are *not* tax experts, and tax laws change all the time, so you will want to check with a CPA about this. You may hear that braces that are considered a medical necessity are tax-deductible, however, the cost has to exceed a certain amount. That said, all the costs associated with braces can add up, so keep track of office visits, x-rays, and so on (see below).
Prices for braces typically cover everything that's necessary, from the orthodontist’s services to the braces materials themselves. But keep in mind that some offices breakout separate charges for certain things. For example, you might pay more for:
- Initial consult ($100-$300) (Though most good Orthodontists, like those at the Happy Tooth, will offer this for free!)
- Dental X-rays ($50-$250)
- Separate retainer ($500-$1,000)
- Replacement retainers ($100-$500)
The Happy Tooth is Here to Help With Braces
If you're still asking yourself, "how much do braces cost with insurance?", we'd like to ask you how can we help? We understand that braces are an investment, and we want to make them work for you and your family. Come in for a FREE consultation and we’ll see what we can do for you. And why not download one of our seasonal deals, too?