One of the first things most new patients ask us is how much their treatment will cost. Braces are a significant investment so it’s completely understandable.
There are no set costs for orthodontic treatment because every case is unique. Some treatments are simple and don’t take long to treat, while others are complex and need a longer treatment time with more appointments.
The point of this article is to give you an idea of the typical costs of different braces and Invisalign treatments. An initial consultation with your Orthodontist is important so you can get a personalised treatment plan with accurate costs. We do our best to make orthodontic treatment affordable by offering payment plans.
What Affects the Cost of Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontics doesn’t come with a set price. There are many variables involved that impact the cost of treatment. The two factors that have the most effect are:
1. Type of Treatment
The type of orthodontic treatment affects the cost. Metal braces are the cheapest to manufacture and can move teeth the fastest so they are the cheapest option. More discrete treatments treatments like ceramic braces, lingual braces and Invisalign are more expensive to produce and treat patients with.
2. Length of Treatment
Treatment time is a big cost factor. A patient with more complex problems needs a longer treatment time to deal with each issue and move the teeth into their correct position. The time needed to move teeth into place can also be impacted by a patient’s compliance. Braces are fixed and can’t be removed but Invisalign patients can take their retainers in and out. If Invisalign aligners aren’t worn for 22-23 hours per day, teeth aren’t likely to move into position as quickly as planned. A patient who leaves their retainers out too often will probably need a longer treatment time which will increase costs.
What is the Typical Cost of Braces?
There are now several types of braces to choose from. Metal braces are no longer the only option, but with extra choice comes extra costs.
Metal braces are still the most popular method of Orthodontic treatment in Australia and they are also the most versatile. While Invisalign is only suitable for some patients, braces have greater pulling power to fix the most complex of cases.
With braces there are a few different options. Metal braces are the standard, especially for adolescents. The cost of treating children with metal braces is typically $4,000 to $8,500.
For adults the cost of braces is typically $4,000 to $9,300.
Clear Ceramic Braces
For those people wanting a more discrete look, ceramic braces use a tooth-coloured ceramic bracket and archwire. Adults and self-conscious teens are more likely to request the ceramics over the stainless steel variety. Because of the materials and a slightly longer treatment time, ceramic braces cost more than metal braces.
The average cost of ceramic braces is $5,000 to $10,000.
Lingual braces are most often requested by adult patients. They like that colleagues and friends won’t even notice they are wearing braces. Known also as inside braces, lingual braces are by far the most expensive as each bracket needs to be custom made in a dental laboratory to fit the back of each tooth. Check-up and adjustment appointments with the Orthodontist are more frequent than other kinds of braces and the appointments can be longer.
The typical cost for a single row of lingual braces is around $7,000 and for top and bottom arches the cost is around $14,500.
The Average Cost of Invisalign
Invisalign is a series of custom made plastic trays worn for two weeks each to move teeth into their desired position. The cost of Invisalign treatment can differ. For a patient who only needs minor straightening of one or two teeth, they may be suitable for a single arch treatment where the trays are worn on the top or bottom teeth.
The cost of Invisalign starts at $4,000 and can increase to $9,300 for more complex cases. More sets of retainers are needed over a longer treatment time with more appointments.
Does Health Insurance Cover Orthodontics?
Many health funds offer rebates for orthodontic treatment if the patient has the right level of cover. Typically only higher levels of extras cover have rebates for orthodontic treatment.
Patients who don’t have health insurance or their current policy doesn’t cover orthodontics, can take out or upgrade to a higher level of cover and put off treatment for the waiting period (usually 12 months). However, many patients do the sums and decide the cost of a new or higher premium policy isn’t worth it and they pay the full cost of orthodontics. This also allows them to proceed with treatment immediately rather than wait a year. Check with your health fund provider if your policy covers orthodontics before you begin treatment. Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of any orthodontic treatment.
Cost Using a Dentist Vs an Orthodontist
Some patients have orthodontic treatment provided by their regular Dentist. They believe it’s a cheaper option than using a qualified Orthodontist. However, this is often not the case. Treatment time can be longer using a dentist which adds to the cost. A Dentist doesn’t have the extra three years of full-time training and they will have less experience with orthodontic cases so patients may not get the same result in the same time compared to an experienced Orthodontist. Using a qualified Orthodontist over a Dentist is not only the safest option but often the most cost-effective one.
Remember the most important aspect of deciding who you choose to work out the best option for you and provide your care- are they a trained and registered specialist and member of the Australian Society of Orthodontists ? Have their treatment outcomes been evaluated by a accredited training body such as a University?
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What About Cheap Mail Order Orthodontics?
A few Australians have ordered cheap online orthodontic treatments to save on the cost of using a professional Orthodontist. This unsupervised, self-administered treatment is not only a financial risk but also a health risk.
Using an at-home clear aligner kit can cause serious damage to gums and teeth so the Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) has warned the public not to consider them. Repairing the damage caused by these kits can far outweigh the cost of a professional, supervised orthodontic treatment. Sometimes, the damage can be irreparable.
Do-it-yourself orthodontics has been a growing trend in the US that hopefully won’t continue to grow in Australia. Always see a specialist Orthodontist before considering any treatment that involves moving teeth.
Make an Appointment for a Quote
All orthodontic cases vary slightly which cause variations in costs. If you have any queries about your treatment options and the cost of each option, make a no-obligation appointment at The Orthodontists by calling (08) 9364 8020 or booking an appointment online. We can give you our opinion on what treatment options you can consider and what the cost of each one is so you know what you will pay.