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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Dentistry & Orthodontics > Straightening Teeth

Straightening Teeth Cost


How Much Does Straightening Teeth Cost?

 
low costTooth Contouring: $50-$500 per toothaverage costRetainer: $500-$2,500high costBraces: $1,500-$13,000+
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In addition to any concerns about their appearance, crooked teeth break more easily and can trap food particles that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Braces are the most common and effective method for straightening teeth, but depending on the extent of the problem, there may be other choices.

Typical costs:

  • If overcrowded upper teeth require only a limited correction, cosmetic tooth contouring (removing minute amounts of tooth enamel to make the teeth look more attractive) costs about $50-$500 per tooth, depending on the amount of work needed, local rates and the dentist's training. Insurance doesn't usually cover contouring, except in rare cases when it's considered medically necessary because of an accident or injury.
  • For a minor overbite correction or if the person has previously had braces but there has been some slight shifting of the teeth, an orthodontist might be able to fix the problem by using a specially designed retainer for $500 -$2,500 depending on the complexity and length of treatment.
  • For a better-looking smile without actually straightening the teeth, dental veneers are custom-made, wafer-thin, tooth-shaped shells that are bonded to the front of the teeth and can cost $500-$1,300 per tooth. Putting veneers on 4-6 front teeth to make them appear slightly straighter could be $2,000-$7,800. Dental insurance does not typically cover the cost of veneers.
  • Traditional braces with metal brackets can cost $1,500-$10,000 depending on the severity of the problem, the length of time the braces will be in place and if they are on one set of teeth or both (upper and lower). Braces with tooth-colored brackets or braces that don't require elastic bands can cost $2,000-$8,500; lingual braces (installed behind the teeth) can cost $5,000-$13,000 or more. Dental insurance typically does not cover braces for adults age 19 or older, but may pay up to a specific amount (typically $1,000-$2,000) if the patient is 18 or younger.
  • As a less-visible alternative to traditional braces, the Invisalign[1] system of computer-fabricated clear plastic aligner trays can cost $3,500-$8,000, but averages $5,000 nationwide. Invisalign isn't good for severe bite problems and some patients may still need traditional braces for a few months.
Related articles: Fixing a Teeth Gap, Braces, Dental Implants, False Teeth, Full Mouth Reconstruction

Discounts:
  • Dental school clinics[2] typically offer dental services by supervised students or faculty at reduced rates.
  • The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research lists tips for finding low-cost dental care[3] .
Shopping for straightening teeth:
  • A dentist or orthodontist will need to examine the patient's mouth to be able to give an opinion about the best method for straightening teeth. If possible, get more than one opinion and price quote.
  • Many orthodontists offer interest-free payment plans for braces, with a down payment of 10%-33% of the total cost plus monthly payments spread out over the period of time the braces will be in place (usually 18-24 months).
  • ArchWired.com lists questions to ask[4] a prospective orthodontist.
  • If the patient has dental insurance, the company will provide a list of approved dentists and orthodontists. Or search for local members of the American Dental Association[5] or the American Association of Orthodontists[6] .
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  www.invisalign.com/pages/default
  2.  www.ada.org/267.aspx
  3.  www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/popularpublications/findinglowcostdentalcare/
  4.  www.archwired.com/1-Questions_to_ask_the_orthodontist.htm
  5.  www.mouthhealthy.org/en/find-a-dentist.aspx
  6.  www.mylifemysmile.org
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