Understanding the costs of braces and Invisalign
So you are ready to invest in your smile and ready to have your teeth straightened. But how much do braces actually cost?
You may quickly find out that there are many different options and quotes. So how do you choose? Do you go with the cheapest? Or do you go with the most expensive thinking it has to be the best?
Factors that contribute to the cost of braces can include:
- severity of the condition being addressed as to the length of treatment required;
- type of braces used; and
- the level of experience of your treatment provider.
Firstly, the more involved the treatment, the higher the cost of braces may be. A simple treatment that may take six months would be less than that of someone who requires two to three years of orthodontic treatment including the removal of teeth and oral surgery to correct their bite or position of their jaws.
Secondly, the type of braces used will impact upon the cost of your treatment.
Traditional Braces Costs
Conventional braces are still the most commonly used orthodontic appliance and many still consider these the “gold standard”. It’s one of those rarities in life: effective, efficient and the least expensive.
However, if the appearance of metal is not to your liking, there are also ceramic or clear braces. These often achieve the same result but are more aesthetically pleasing. This will often cost you more due to the increase in value of the materials used.
Clear braces are made out of a ceramic material and there are many brands on the market. Together with the use of white wires, clear braces eliminate that feeling of a “metal mouth” and many patients have embraced this treatment, whether for a professional image or for a more aesthetically pleasing look.
Then we have the more exotic customised options including special wires and/or customised braces to sit in front or behind your teeth (lingual braces). These are best compared to a tailor-made dress or suit as opposed to something off the rack. It is made fit you and no one else and, hence, this is reflected in the cost.
A different customised option involves a series of clear removable plates or aligners, such as Invisalign. Although popular especially amongst adults, these are not suited to everyone.
Invisalign aligners must be worn for 22 hours per day with aligners updated every two weeks, moving the teeth gradually into their new positions. There are three tiers of Invisalign treatment: I7 aligners (approximately 3 months of treatment), Invisalign LITE (approximately 7 to 9 months of treatment) and Invisalign Full, which provides unlimited correction and usually 12 to 18 months of treatment. Seeing a specialist orthodontist will help you decide which tier will suit your desired correction.
Specialist Orthodontist or General Dentist?
Finally, the cost of braces will also depend on who your clinician is. You choose between treatment with a specialist orthodontist – someone with three-plus years of full-time post-graduate specialist training and whose job is dedicated solely to the mechanics and biology of moving teeth. Or a general dentist – someone who dabbles in orthodontics beside their regular duties of fillings and cleanings and who may have undertaken a two-day Invisalign course, a series of weekend courses or worse still, doing it because “it looks easy”. At Smile Solutions, your orthodontic treatment will only ever be performed by a specialist orthodontist.
Furthermore, for those with health insurance, it will likely benefit you to seek out an orthodontist as rebates are often maximised if treatment is provided by a registered specialist.
Your treatment and smile is an important investment and the aforementioned factors should be carefully considered when seeking the best course for you. There are more ways than one to straighten teeth but your money should be spent with someone you’re comfortable with, who has the experience to give you a range of options to suit your particular needs.