Does Dental Insurance Cover Braces for Adults?

A beautiful smile can take you far in life, but if you were not naturally blessed with perfectly straight teeth, you may be considering braces as an adult. Braces are certainly no longer just for teenagers. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, approximately 22 percent of all individuals wearing braces are now adults. Does your dental insurance cover braces for adults? This is certainly a valid point to consider given the fact that braces can be expensive.

If you have dental insurance that will cover braces for adults, it can help to reduce the cost of your orthodontic treatment. Braces will usually cost around $5,000, although the total cost may vary based on your individual situation.

Dental insurance rarely does cover orthodontics for adults. Even if you are able to find a dental insurance policy that will cover your braces, you may face a minimum waiting period of one year before your braces would be covered by your insurance. While this can be disappointing, there are other options available that can help you to get the orthodontic treatment you need while keeping it as affordable as possible.

A couple of different options to consider are purchasing a fee-for-service discount plan. The cost of such plans usually does not exceed $16 per month and there are no deductibles or annual maximums. Many dentists will accept such plans and offer a set fee for most procedures.

You might also consider visiting a dental school. This can be a much less expensive option than visiting a practicing orthodontist. While the work will be performed by dental students, experienced orthodontists will supervise the work.

In planning for your orthodontics, it is important to consider the type of braces you might like. Fortunately, there are many options available. Metal braces are the most traditional and least expensive option. The downside to this option is that they are quite visible. Metal braces may also cause irritation of the cheeks and gums when you first wear them. You will also need to avoid eating certain types of foods when wearing metal braces.

Ceramic braces typically cost more than metal braces; however, they are less visible. These types of braces will not stain, but the ties that hold your braces in place may become stained from certain foods and beverages, including coffee. Due to their sensitive nature, ceramic braces may chip or break and thus require more maintenance. Lingual braces have also become a popular option with many adults. Positioned behind the teeth, these types of braces are not visible, making them ideal for adults who are concerned about others knowing they are wearing braces. Of the various options available, lingual braces do cost more than ceramic or metal braces.

Currently, the most popular types of braces for adults are invisible braces, also known as Invisalign. These are the most expensive types of braces. Not everyone is an ideal candidate for Invisalign braces, so you will need to consult with your orthodontist to determine whether this is a good option for you.

Getting braces as an adult can give you the smile you have always wanted to have. Understanding what to expect in terms of pricing and insurance coverage can help you to plan for the financial aspect of orthodontic treatment.

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