The Average Cost of Braces


Both young kids and some adults may require braces to fix dental problems at some point. Regular health insurance policies may not cover orthodontic work for adults and may only cover some of the costs for kids. If your treatment doesn't qualify for coverage, you may have to pay the full cost yourself. The average cost of braces varies depending on the type of braces you use and where you live.

Metal Braces

  • Metal braces are the traditional types that have been used the most for the past several decades to move teeth. These types of braces are generally made from stainless steel that are affixed to the teeth with glue. The cost of metal braces to straighten an individual's teeth can range between $3,500 and $6,000 or more. People who can afford the cost can pay a little more for ceramic brackets that match the color of teeth more closely. The average cost of these braces is between $4,000 and $6,500.

Concealed Braces

  • Concealed braces are a newer type of brace that are known as lingual braces. This type of brace is affixed to the back side of the teeth so they cannot be easily seen. Concealed braces are more expensive because they take more work to place on the teeth. As a result, the cost of concealed braces may start at around $8,000.

Plastic Trays

  • Plastic trays are another way in which teeth can be straightened and unlike traditional braces there is not metal attached to the teeth. One company that offers plastic trays to straighten teeth is called Invisalign. Plastic trays are manufactured using impressions of your own teeth that are changed every two weeks until the teeth have been straightened. The cost for plastic trays averages between $3,500 and $6,000.

Costs by Region

  • According to the Braces Info website, the average cost of braces across the U.S. in 2012 was $5,200. The actual range of costs started at $2,500 and went up to $9,000. Prices can differ depending on the region of the country where you live and whether you live in an urban or rural setting. For example, the average cost of treatment in New York in 2012 was $5,980; the average cost in Iowa was $5,220.

Additional Costs and Discounts

  • Individuals who pay for braces may not want to pay for any additional options that are available beyond the basic cost. However, there are braces that come in various colors that an individual can use to customize the look of the braces. These options can add up to $250 to the cost of the braces. Discounts may be available to apply toward the cost of braces for low-income patients from various dental societies located in each state.

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