Braces end the embarrassment of crooked teeth by enhancing your appearance and boosting your self-regard. They’re expensive, though, costing thousands of dollars, and some braces are more costly than others. So, you naturally want to know exactly what you’re getting for your money, and you probably have many other questions about getting braces. Here’s what you need to know...
There are several different types of braces, and they come in different price brackets. Here are a few examples. (The pricing is a rough guide only).
It’s difficult to put a precise figure on the average cost of braces because estimates can vary a lot. The average price point of braces in Canada is probably somewhere between $5,000 and $6,000.
How much you’ll pay for your braces also depends on how long treatment takes. For instance, if you need to wear braces for two years, you may have to pay twice as much as someone whose treatment can be completed in one year.
While cost is a crucial consideration when considering getting braces, you’ll also want to know how long it will take to achieve that confidence-boosting smile.
No one wants to be wearing braces any longer than they have to, so, along with costs, treatment time is an important factor for new orthodontic patients, particularly adults, who often need to wear their braces longer than youngsters.
On average, it takes about two years to complete treatment with braces - depending on how complex the orthodontic problem is. For example, in some cases treatment may be completed in 12 months or less. In more difficult cases, treatment can take up to three years. Plastic Clear aligners boast provide faster treatment times – usually 12 to 18 months.
The reason orthodontic treatment is a lengthy process is that your teeth are connected to your jaw bone. This means that repositioning teeth requires a lot of pressure. However, if too much force was exerted to move teeth quickly, it could cause long-term damage to teeth and gums. Therefore, the only safe solution is to apply gentle, consistent pressure on teeth over time.
Besides the severity of the orthodontic issue, the fact that each individual’s mouth is unique also plays a part in how long braces treatment will take.
Two other considerations that influence the length of time you may need to wear braces are:
Orthodontic treatment can take a sizable bite out of your budget but there’s one way to significantly reduce the cost of straightening your teeth – finding a safe, effective alternative to traditional braces.
Clear plastic aligners have changed the landscape of orthodontics and offer multiple advantages over standard braces. There’s one problem, though. In-office aligner treatment from your dentist or orthodontist is typically even more expensive than getting braces.
The solution: home teeth straightening with the help of dental experts such as NewSmile®, whose invisible aligners cost thousands less than in-office aligner treatment (about 75 percent less cost than braces). You also get free retainers and whitening foam, and have the option of night aligners that are worn only during evenings to straighten your teeth while you’re asleep.
Apart from financial considerations, at-home teeth straightening with clear plastic aligners offers other advantages, including:
Orthodontic treatment isn’t covered by Provincial Healthcare in Canada, so you’ll pay out-of-pocket if you don’t have another type of plan.
According to the Canadian Association of Orthodontics (CAO), coverage for braces treatment – generally at 50 percent – is typically separate from a dental insurance contract.
Orthodontic coverage varies between providers and plans. If you have health or dental insurance, ask your plan administrator about coverage.
If you have an HSA (Health Spending Account) plus insurance coverage through work, you can claim the eligible amount for your braces and then use your HSA to pay for the balance as a pre-tax expense.
There are a few payment options with braces, including paying for the whole treatment up front, which should get you a discount.
If you do get a loan or payment plan from a bank, you should be able to spread the cost over a longer period, but bear in mind the interest charges that will add to the overall cost.
As with traditional braces, you can pay up front for plastic aligners or find a provider who offers monthly payment options with no interest.
Braces used to be the only solution for crooked teeth until aligners came along. These removable trays are made from medical-grade plastic that’s virtually invisible when worn, so no one will know you’re straightening your teeth, although they’ll certainly notice the end result – your newly straightened, winning smile.
Besides discretion, clear aligners hold many other advantages over conventional metal braces, such as:
Attempting to straighten your teeth yourself can result in irreversible damage. Don’t be tempted by DIY teeth straightening so-called “easy fixes” you may come across online. Trying to use objects such as paper clips, string and elastic bands to straighten your teeth is never a good idea.
If you want to straighten your teeth at home safely, you should get plastic aligners licensed by Health Canada and provided by a professional company with dental expertise.
If you have protruding front teeth, you need professional help to rectify the problem – you can’t simply push them back yourself.
Repositioning teeth is a biological process requiring gentle, constant pressure as bone in the jaw dissolves and rebuilds. This is why you need traditional braces or plastic aligners to address problems such as protruding front teeth.