Dental Orthodontic braces are costly investments, but can be very much worth the price. Depending on the severity of the problem, expenses can range anywhere from four to ten thousand dollars. This depends mostly on the length of time the braces must stay on, how many orthodontic appointments are needed, the nature of the problems, or if new technology must be utilized.
Braces are used for many different problems. Some are used just for cosmetic purposes, like straightening teeth and closing gaps. Cosmetic reasons for getting braces are often not covered by insurance companies. The good news is that braces may not have to be on for very long if teeth just need to be straightened. They shift fairly easily over the course of six months or so. Provided you wear your retainer after as recommended by the orthodontist, teeth will stay straight forever.
Other times there are intense jaw problems that need braces to realign the bones and joints. They can relieve headaches, locking or clicking jaws, tension through the upper body, and even vision and hearing problems. This is because the jaw has a very close proximity to other organs. Inflammation of the jaw joint can cause hearing loss or trouble with vision. If you have these problems, your braces may be partially or fully covered by health and dental insurance.
These problems may be more expensive because your jaw is more difficult to shift than just a few teeth. The orthodontist must also be more careful and exact with this movement, since shifting jaw bones will have a bigger impact on your whole head than just a few teeth. The more extensive time frame and more numerous visits to the orthodontist office may mean a higher cost.
Since the medical field is always inventing new ways to get better and faster results, you may have the option of a faster treatment. There have been many structural innovations when it comes to braces. New equipment has the potential to be more costly, but you have to weigh the options of faster treatment at a higher initial cost, or longer treatment with more visits over time. Ask your orthodontist for a recommendation and price estimates. Ultimately, you must do what is best for your health.
The cost may continue even after the braces have been removed. For some, the problems reappear or were never fully corrected. In this case, braces may have to go back on or surgery may have to commence. One way to help combat this is by wearing your retainer or any other equipment the orthodontist gives you as frequently as you are supposed to.
Remember that bones need a chance to settle. Usually it takes at least two years after all corrections have been made for teeth or jaws to fully adapt to their new position. Not treating your mouth properly after the braces come off could mean you let your bones shift back to their old positions that they were so used to. You could undo a lot of expensive and painful orthodontic work simply by not wearing your retainer.
Take care of your retainer, too. This is where orthodontic work could likewise get expensive after the dental braces come off. If you break or lose your retainer, it can be remade for a fee of about a couple hundred dollars. Failure to have the retainer remade could mean a return of pain and a need to have braces put back on.