Everyone deserves a straight, healthy smile at any age. While braces are often thought of a procedure mainly for teens and young adults, they’re increasingly popular among adults and seniors, too.
Unfortunately, braces are among the most expensive types of dental procedures. Paying for them out-of-pocket can be a significant and on-going expense. Interested in ways to save on braces? Here’s a closer look at whether dental insurance can help, as well as other potential payment options.
What are the Different Types of Braces?
Conventional braces are the most common type. Also called traditional braces, they typically made from either metal or ceramic. Although they’re the most visible type of braces, they’re also worn for the shortest amount of time.
The biggest drawback to conventional braces is their visibility. But adults are usually less likely to feel self-conscious about visible braces compared to kids and teens. Plus, conventional braces are often the least expensive type.
Lingual braces are a slightly different type of conventional braces. The brackets are placed behind your teeth, where they’re basically impossible for other people to see. However, lingual braces are more expensive than the front-facing type.
Clear Plastic Aligners
Aligners use a series of clear, plastic trays to slowly shift your teeth into the proper position. Although not permanently affixed to your teeth, the trays should be worn between 20 and 22 hours a day.
Aligners are the least visible type of braces. However, they also must be worn between 20 to 22 hours a day. You’ll only remove the trays for eating and brushing.
A series of trays are created for your unique needs and mouth shape. You’ll switch trays usually every few months or so. Aligners shift teeth slower than traditional braces, which means you need to wear them for longer.
How Much Do Braces Cost?
Traditional braces range from about $4,000 to $8,000. Generally, metal braces are less expensive than ceramic. Lingual braces are a bit more expensive. They typically start at $6,000 but can exceed $10,000.
Aligners range from around $5,000 to $8,000. However, you’ll also need to wear them for longer than conventional braces, which means extra visits to the dentist’s office. An increased number of checkups can increase total costs.
Does Insurance Cover Braces for Adults?
Most dental insurance policies don’t cover braces for anyone over the age of 18. However, you might be able to buy special riders to cover orthodontic care. Keep in mind most policies, even ones which cover orthodontic care, typically impose annual limits. Considering the average annual limit is about $1,500, dental insurance might not make a significant dent in your orthodontic costs.
Do Dental Savings Plans Help Lower Orthodontic Costs?
Absolutely! If dental insurance isn’t the best option for your orthodontic needs, consider an Aetna dental savings plan. They’re an affordable alternative to dental insurance.
Aetna and other major insurers understand dental insurance doesn’t make financial sense for every situation, so they offer dental savings plans as another way to save. Savings plans offer discounts between 15% and 50% on many different treatments, including orthodontic care.
Dental savings plans have no annual limits. Discounts are available for every eligible procedure performed during the year. You can save not only on the braces but also the related dental visits. And there is no maximum lifetime limit on savings for braces, unlike dental insurance which usually covers only $1,000-$1,500 in orthodontic treatments per person covered under the plan. After that benefit is used, you are no longer covered for orthodontic care.
Not only do savings plans often make sense for adults, but they’re usually a good choice for kids, too. Aetna offers family plans which cover every member of your household.
Straight teeth are easier to keep clean and less likely to develop serious problems. Plus, an even smile is beautiful, too!
While braces and other orthodontic appliances can be expensive, Aetna dental savings plans can help make them affordable. You don’t have to spend big to have a beautiful smile.