There is no questioning the fact that braces are expensive.
If you want straight teeth, it’s going to cost you several thousand dollars.
For those with several children who all need braces, you may wonder what makes braces so expensive.
There are quite a few reasons braces are expensive, but let’s look into the top five.
Why Are Braces so Expensive? (Top 5 Reasons)
1. Lack of Insurance
Medical procedures are expensive when you don’t have insurance.
Once you get the insurance, you will still pay quite a bit for the insurance, and for the procedure as well, but at least you can help avoid a disaster.
The problem with braces is that most insurances will not cover them.
Some dental plans will cover part of the cost but not all.
It is nearly impossible to find a dental plan that will cover the entire cost of the braces.
Some companies will offer an insurance plan which helps pay for orthodontics, but you have to determine whether or not the plan makes sense for you.
Braces are expensive, but so is the cost of insurance plus the cost you will still pay for the braces.
We can hope that, as time goes on, braces are going to be considered part of more insurance policies, but as of right now, they are not.
Sometimes braces are considered to be a cosmetic thing.
Of course, there are times when straight teeth are needed for medical reasons, but most of the time, it is a cosmetic thing.
Therefore, the insurance companies look at the braces as not being entirely necessary.
Our best advice here is to start putting a little bit of money away each year so that, by the time your children need braces, it won’t hurt the pocket quite so much.
2. Office Staff
For many businesses, the highest costs incurred are for the staff.
People and personnel cost a lot of money.
The reason office staff is going to increase with braces is that you will need more than just one office personnel to make this entire process work.
Orthodontist offices need the actual orthodontist, an x-ray technician, front end staff, accountant, back end staff, cleaning staff, and more.
If you ever look around an orthodontist office and think about the fact that all of those people need to make a living, you can see why the costs are so high.
This is not to say that the jobs of the people working in an orthodontist office aren’t necessary.
In fact, each and every one of those jobs is essential to make the process work.
If there was no appointment setter, the orthodontist might as well quit.
If the accountant doesn’t bill the customers and make sure all payments are collected, then there is no point of staying in business.
As you can see, each part of the puzzle is necessary, but it certainly adds to the cost of the braces.
Employees at an orthodontist office will probably have their own insurance, and there will be taxes and other fees associated with the hiring of employees.
Overall, a large portion of what you are paying for your braces will be to pay the staff in the office.
Many people think that orthodontists make tons of money and that the price of braces is not justified.
When you break down the expenses involved in this business, you can start to understand why they charge what they do.
Although orthodontists do just fine financially, they are paying out quite a bit of money on every pair of braces they put on, most of that in labor.
3. Slow Movement of Teeth
Braces are also very expensive because of the slow movement of teeth.
Teeth do not move fast, and although some claim to have processes to speed things up, it is debatable how effective those practices are.
In order for teeth to move to the right place and stay in the same spot for years to come, the process has to happen slowly.
Unfortunately, there is also a lot of tinkering that goes on with braces.
Orthodontists need to go in and adjust braces, usually about once a month.
The average person will have braces on for about two to three years.
When you consider coming in each month for an appointment that lasts twenty to forty minutes, this is quite a bit of time invested in your teeth.
The slow movement combined with the high number of appointments really increases the cost of braces.
Braces come in several different types now, but they all seem to take just about the same length of time to move the teeth.
This is something that should be considered when choosing the type of braces you want.
You may want braces that are not so visible, but since all braces take about the same amount of time, you won’t notice any major discounts from one type to the next.
The braces themselves do not usually cost that much money to produce.
Brackets can be a little costly, but luckily there are not many of them needed to complete the braces in their entirety.
The equipment that really costs a lot is the X-ray equipment and some other tools that dentists use in the office.
They will need to make sure this equipment is up to date and top of the line.
An orthodontist with outdated equipment will not be giving their patients the highest level of care, and patients may start seeing other providers.
Having top of the line equipment for fitting and removal of braces also helps patients have a more pleasant experience with their braces.
Most orthodontists also need furniture and other office supplies.
These added costs of doing business will have to be factored into the price you pay for braces.
After all you can’t expect an orthodontist to break even after the number of times they will take care of your teeth in a two- to three-year period.
Chances are you will know each other very well by the end of the contract, and you will have probably seen some equipment be replaced and upgraded during that time.
Many people who are not part of the dental industry underestimate the costs of these machines and instruments that are used.
The cost of new equipment can be hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on what is purchased.
Those prices may make you think a bit differently about your $2500 braces.
5. Contract Price
Another reason people think braces are expensive is that they are usually a contract price.
Most of the time, the orthodontist will give you a total amount of what the braces are going to cost.
This cost will include the initial x rays, follow-ups, removal, and any other work that seems necessary.
When you are signing a contract for braces, you should be very clear as to what you are paying for and what you still might need to pay for during the process.
When you look at the total package price for braces, it seems like it is a lot of money.
However, once you break that down into monthly and yearly visits, you will see how the pricing adds up.
You have to consider that this is very likely a three-year long deal that will require quite a bit of attention, therefore increasing the cost.
Are Braces Worth It?
With all this talk about how expensive braces are, you may be wondering if they are worth it.
It’s hard to say what is worth it for one person and what is worth it for another.
The thing to consider here is that your teeth are a very important part of your life.
They are used for eating, speaking, and your overall look as well.
It’s important to consider this when deciding if braces are worth the cost.
The best time to do braces is when children are younger, and they can move their teeth into a good position at the beginning of their lives.
Braces always seem to be less intrusive in a person’s life when they are young.
For adults who are conducting business meetings and leading large groups of people, the braces can be a bit of an issue.
There are options for braces that are less visible, but most of the time, they can still be seen.
The bottom line is that braces are worth it, but they take a bit of financial planning.
Are There Different Types of Braces?
There are several different types of braces.
The cost of some of the braces will vary.
You can speak to your orthodontist about the types of braces they recommend, and which ones will offer the best results for the best price.
Here are a few of the different types of braces that are available.
1. Traditional Braces
These are the braces you probably had as a kid.
They are metal brackets that go across your teeth, and they are highly visible.
The brackets’ bands are usually different colors, so you will have some choice to customize the colors, but these braces will be seen.
Traditionally these types of braces are also going to be the least expensive.
2. Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces work very much like traditional braces, but they blend in with the color of the teeth.
With ceramic braces, you will notice that the brackets’ coloring and the bands are the same as the teeth.
Although you can sometimes tell that a person has ceramic braces, it is not nearly as obvious.
3. Lingual Braces
Lingual braces are placed on the back of the teeth.
Since they are on the back of the teeth, it is hard to see these braces.
You will still have to be careful with what you eat, and you will also have to work harder to keep these braces clean.
Since they are a bit more hidden, they can be harder to get to.
The lingual braces help if you are worried about stains on the teeth from the use of braces.
Invisalign is the most expensive type of braces.
These braces are kind of like plastic molds.
They get put on the teeth, and they work in a progression to eventually get the teeth lined up properly.
The problem with the Invisalign braces is that they are only good for moderate issues.
If a younger child has teeth that are all over the place, the Invisalign is not an option that will work all that well.
Hopefully, our guide has helped give you some insight into why braces are so expensive.
It is not just so the orthodontist can drive a fancy car!
There are lots of moving parts in an orthodontic business, and it needs to be profitable to keep the doors open.
The good news is that, in the end, you will have some beautiful, straight teeth.