Why do braces cost so much

Dental Fashion or Not: Why Do Braces Cost So Much?

Braces are devices used in orthodontics to align and straighten teeth. They ultimately help to improve dental health because straightened teeth are easier to clean and are more resistant to damages. Braces also help to fix gaps and they help position a person’s teeth to aid biting. Some of the uses of braces include: correction of overbites, underbites, deep bites, cross bites, open bites, crooked teeth, and other defects that affect the teeth and jaw.

Braces are used by Orthodontists with other appliances to help widen the palate or the jaw to accommodate the changes the teeth would undergo. The four elements needed when applying braces include: brackets, bonding materials, arch wire and ligature elastic.

Braces help to align teeth by putting constant pressure on the teeth which eventually helps move the teeth to the desired position over time.

Many people who have problems with their teeth prefer not to go to the dentist because it is costly. Why do braces cost so much? There are many reasons why braces cost so much. A lot of factors are put into consideration for teeth to be successfully straightened.

Do I Need Braces?

It is a fact that braces are not only a very costly expense, but it is also time-consuming and inconvenient. And we will explain the reason why later on. So how come some people are willing to put themselves in that situation? Are braces really worth it in the first place? Well, that depends on your needs.

For one, not everyone of us needs to wear braces. Some of us have perfectly aligned teeth, and so we have no use of braces, but for those that have misaligned teeth, braces are preferable. The main purpose of braces is to align your teeth, but it isn’t only limited to that.

Crooked teeth won’t give us the most pleasant smiles, but for the most part, a person can live with it. However, that isn’t the only downside of crooked teeth. Crooked teeth are a problem for your oral health.

If you have crooked teeth, it can be quite difficult to thoroughly brush your teeth, and this can potentially cause some teeth issues later on. Plus, a crooked teeth is prone to biting the tongue, the cheeks, and the roof of the mouth. The wounds caused from biting can cause canker sores. For me, canker sores is something I really find annoying.

When To Get Braces

Studies have shown that visiting an orthodontist no later than age 7 can help a child’s development. An orthodontist can help identify if the child needs a braces or not. Treating crooked teeth early can help avoid many problems later on. It will also reduce the need to wear silver teeth. Even if the child has no problems with crooked teeth, an orthodontist checkup can still be beneficial.

The best age to get braces can differ for each person. But for the most of the time, braces are applied once the child has grown a full set of permanent teeth, these are ages between 9 and 14. But due to the costs and inconvenience of having braces, many parents chose to opt out. It will only be later on when the children turn to adults that they can afford braces.

Any Alternatives?

There are only two ways in correcting your teeth alignment, braces and surgery. The surgery process can differ depending on how severe the teeth misalignment is. If it is only minor, only the teeth need changing, and if it is a severe case, the jaw also needs to be corrected.

Reasons Why Braces Are Costly

There are so many benefits of having one’s teeth straightened but the outrageous prices attached to having braces put in makes people avoid getting them done. Why do braces cost so much?

Time – Why Do Braces Take So Long?

It takes a long time to move teeth effectively. Teeth treatment time can take up to about two years because the processes involved need to be carried out with care and precision. Although, in some extreme cases, it could take longer; it varies from patient to patient. This long time costs a lot of money considering the number of appointments and the appliances needed for adjustments in each stage. It takes longer to align an adult’s teeth than to align that of a child.

Why do braces take so long? Teeth alignment procedure takes a long time because using light pressure to move teeth is more effective than using heavy force. The first step to take when applying braces is to determine if the braces are the perfect fit for the patient. If the braces are appropriate, appointments are set up for x-rays, mold and for impressions to be made. This process is used to determine the problem and the right course of action to take for the treatment, this costs money.

Also, the time spent wearing braces and going for doctor’s appointments depend on the patient’s cooperation. Using the appliances the right way would make work faster and more effective. 

Some of the appliances used when using braces are out-sourced. The time it would take to provide these appliances also affect the time spent having braces on.

A patient can visit the orthodontist once in every two months or less, depending on the appointment schedule for the necessary adjustments to be made. The time it takes to achieve the desired positioning of the teeth also affects the cost.

Materials – Why Are Braces So Uncomfortable?

There are different types of braces used when straightening teeth. Some are: traditional metal wired braces, gold-plated stainless steel, lingual braces, or titanium braces. (You can learn more about types of braces here) The wires push and pull the brackets which helps move the teeth. This force makes the teeth sensitive and causes discomfort. Why are braces so uncomfortable? Braces are uncomfortable because your mouth is not used to having brackets and wires in it.

Braces aren’t the only materials needed when treating teeth. Other appliances are used in each visit to the Orthodontist. The appliances and equipment used are always sterilized after each use. These materials and equipment add to the cost of applying braces.


After the braces come off, patients would need to undergo certain procedures to help improve their gum line. They also have to use retainers to prevent the teeth from going back to the previous position. Retainers help to maintain and position the teeth long enough for realignment to become complete. Using retainers is very important for the straightening of the teeth and it costs money to put them in. There are different types of retainers used for different types of braces; Hawley retainers, essix retainers or bonded retainers.

Headgears are also worn for a number of hours every day to help correct overbites. They also have to do this for several months depending on the severity of the case. Headgears help to maintain the position of the jaw. All these processes add to the cost of teeth treatment.

Payment Options

When a dentist recommends that you should see an orthodontist, he only wants your teeth to be healthy. But the cost of having this procedure done scares people away from the orthodontist’s office.

When visiting an orthodontist, the payment options vary between different doctors. There are various methods used by Orthodontists when receiving payments from their patients. The payment methods employed are:

  1. In-house payment: this is a payment option where the orthodontist tells his patient a specific amount of money that needs to be paid for the entire procedure. He would also set up a payment plan where the cost of payment is divided over a number of months without charging interests. A lot of people prefer this option because of the flexibility of the payment.
  2. Open ended payment: this is a payment option where the orthodontist charges a fee for every appointment. This places pressure on both the doctor and the patient. The patient is pressured to make decisions about the number of times to go to the doctor’s office to save cost; this is not the best option because it could make the work unsuccessful. The doctor is also pressured to work quickly to finish the procedure; no procedure can be faster than the required number of years.
  3. Full payment: this is one of the best methods of payment used for this procedure. This is because the money is paid in full before the braces are put in. Because the payment comes before the procedure begins, the doctor deducts a percentage after the treatment to give back to the patient.
  4. Personal loan.
  5. Third party credit companies.


Why do braces cost so much? The time involved when carrying out the treatment, the materials and supplies used during and after the treatment makes the entire procedure expensive.

Some patients prefer to discontinue their treatment because they do not have enough money to pay for their treatment. This makes the process of straightening the teeth incomplete. Also, trying to remove the braces by yourself could harm your teeth and create worse problems.

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