Cost of Braces
How Much Braces Really Cost?
Have you been to several orthodontic offices and each gave you a different estimate for your patient’s Orthodontic treatment? Well don’t be surprised! There is a reason behind this complexity that we will try to explain what affects real cost of braces.
Braces cost has a very wide range and defers from office to office and patient to patient. At Optima Dentistry, our prices can fluctuate from $0 for the free treatments, to 5 digit figures for our most difficult challenging cases that require special appliances or procedures with all the bells and whistles. Multiple factors affect pricing of orthodontic services:
- Type of appliances used
- Difficulty of treatment
- Duration of treatment
- Dental insurance
- Private or Corporate Dentistry
- Added upgrades (buying Retainers for Life or Lifetime Guarantee, Clear Braces, lingual Braces, Invisalign, etc).
Private (PPO) Insurance and Braces:
Not all PPO insurances provide Orthodontic coverage and sometimes they introduce an age limit, which means that if you don’t meet the requirement, they will not cover orthodontic costs for you. Please note that sometimes coverage and age limit can be different for
PPO Insurances usually define a life time maximum (let’s say $1500.00) and a percentage of treatment cost (let’s say %50). As an example, if a treatment costs $5000, the insurance will pay up to $2500 based on their %50 clause, but since life time maximum is $1500, they will actually pay $1500, leaving the patient with the remaining $3500 balance. If it doesn’t make sense to you, you are not alone! but imagine you needed a limited treatment that would only cost 2000. In this scenario, the insurance company will not pay the full life time $1500, because %50 of $2000 is $1000 and they will only pay $1000, leaving you with the remaining $1000. Got it?
At Optima Dentistry, we can break down the remaining balance to long term payment plans that will leave you with very small monthly payments. But be aware that if the insurance fails to pay for any reason, it will be the patients responsibility to cover the shortage.
Medicaid and Braces
Medicaid either pays for your braces treatment down to the last penny, or doesn’t pay a dime! To qualify, you need to first meet their minimum requirements that differ from state to state and time to time. In Texas, up until 2012, it was very easy to get approved under the Medicaid program, but then investigations indicated that state of Texas paid more than rest of the country for braces treatment (about 300 million dollars in 2010). FBI got involved and some corporations and individuals got indicted for fraud and other criminal acts; the drama lead to an overhaul of the approval process of such patients. Now according to the most recent changes, in order to get approved, the patient has to have minimum of 4 severe problems out of a list of 10. If your teeth look kind of ok, bets are that you will not meet those minimum requirements. Anyhow, the only way to know for sure is to visit an orthodontist who accepts Medicaid to figure out if you can qualify. Please note that the CHIP program doesn’t cover braces.
HMO Insurances and Braces
These insurances usually offer a discount for the members of the regular fee the orthodontist charges. For example the HMO insurance will mention a %25 discount on regular fee when it comes to orthodontic services. This means that if the office treatment fee is $6000, the fee for the member will be reduced to $4500. At this moment, we don’t take HMO insurances at this office unfortunately.
Our payment Platform:
We use Orthobanc that automates our collection efforts. So after the contract starts, you will not deal with us directly. Orthobanc will handle the financial transactions of the contract. We offer automatic payments with credit cards and bank accounts so you don’t have to worry about making the payments every month. We are very flexible when it comes to arranging the payment plan in a way that it would meet your financial situation. We offer long term payment plans with zero interest for some patients. We also offer a pay-in-full discount. To know more, feel free to reach out to us to discuss your financial needs.
At Optima Dentistry, after you fill out the necessary forms that are pretty much standard across different dental offices, you will sit down with Dr. Rahimi. Remember at Optima Dentistry, consultation for braces are always available!
Dr. Rahimi will evaluate your teeth and listen to you to figure out what needs to be done, how long it will take to do it and what options the patient has. Based on the patient’s needs, he will determine the approximate duration of the treatment, how difficult and challenging the treatment is and what kind of instruments or appliances will be needed in addition to conventional brackets and wires to get the job done. Based on the information he provides, the treatment coordinator will come up with the exact cost of the treatment and then he will sit down with you to see what kind of payment arrangement will work for you best. The treatment coordinator will also introduce our treatment options to you as well as some packages that we offer.
Conventional Metal Braces:
Our most economic, straight forward, convenient option is regular metal braces. We use top of the line Victory brackets by 3M. Although this option is our most economic option, please don’t think that just because you are paying less, you will receive an inferior treatment quality. That is not true. If anything, regular metal brackets do offer the best quality of treatment in the shortest amount of time possible.
We use 3M’s Clarity Advanced brackets. These are one of the most clear brackets available and in combination with clear wires, they can get quite invisible. Although these brackets are more expensive, it doesn’t make them better than regular metal braces, but the brackets will be less noticeable.
Lingual (Hidden) Braces
Lingual braces we use are developed and designed also by 3M and they are called Incognito. This bracket system is custom-made for the patient and they are attached to the back of your teeth, so they will not be visible. They come with a premium pricing and the turn around time of these brackets is about 6 to 8 weeks, meaning that it will take us 6 to 8 week from the day we take your records to deliver you the brackets and start your treatment. The benefit of this system is that they are hidden so nobody can see them, and the brackets and wires are custom-made for the patient which will reduce the number of appointments and total treatment duration.
Clear Aligners (Invisalign and ClearCorrect):
Clear Aligners are a different class of orthodontic appliances that offer a removable and almost transparent way of aligning the teeth. Not everybody is a good candidate for these appliances. We offer this treatment approach to mainly adults with little discrepancies. When the treatment gets complicated or the amount of tooth movement increases, we need to put many attachments on your teeth that defeat the purpose of being invisible. But some patients can be good candidates for these appliances and we offer it to them. Similar to Incognito, there is a premium charge for Invisalign and ClearCorrect cases and there is a 4 to 6 week lead time to receive the appliances.
In addition to choosing the type of appliances, you also need to decide which of our packages you want to go with:
(A) Retainers for Life: This upgrade will cover unlimited number of clear retainers (also known as Essix retainers) forever, no questions asked. Patient will have a $25 copay per retainer every time they require a new set of retainers. Retainers will be delivered same-day or within 48 hours of the appointment. The offer has no cash value. The offer cannot be combined with insurance benefits.
(B) Unlimited Broken Brackets: Regular treatment fees include 5 broken brackets during the course of treatment. Each additional broken bracket will cost $25 for regular metal braces and $50 for clear braces. This upgrade waives the fee for replacing broken brackets, with no limitations.
(C) Lifetime Guarantee: At Optima Dentistry we guarantee our orthodontic treatment results forever! When you purchase this warranty during your treatment up to the day of braces removal, we provide lifetime guarantee of the results, even if the relapse of the case is the fault of the patient. After treatment is complete, we make sure patient and parents love the smile we create. But in order to prevent the teeth from moving, retainers need to be worn indefinitely. If the teeth move for any reason, such as not wearing retainers properly or if the patient wasn’t satisfied with the final results, we will put the braces back on, no questions asked!
The cost will be $200 down payment and $200 for each additional monthly visits. Should the patient request clear braces, the charges will be added to down payment. The offer has no cash value and cannot be combined with insurance benefits. This upgrade will not be applicable to other treatment appliances such as Invisalign, lingual braces and does not include the cost of major appliances that might be used for re-treatments. In the event additional appliances might be required to achieve satisfactory results, the fees will be calculated separately.
Was the process complicated? Leave the complication to us! We will break it down for you when you pay us a visit and it is all included in our consultation offer!