January 31, 2023

Getting braces for your children is one of the most challenging things about being a responsible parent. The fact of the matter is that orthodontic work is not cheap and unless you are financially prepared for it, you may face a problem that you aren’t able to afford. There are a few things that you should be aware of before you go shopping for braces. Let’s take a look at your options.

#1. Dental insurance does not cover orthodontic care. Most people are under the impression that if they own a dental insurance policy that they’re automatically covered for braces, but this is far from the truth. The fact of the matter is that a standard dental insurance plan does not cover braces at all.

#2. Orthodontic insurance is sold as a completely separate policy and, unfortunately, it doesn’t cover 100% of the costs either. The biggest drawbacks of buying an orthodontic policy are that the policy will only cover up to 50% of the total costs of the work. That means that you’ll pay the monthly premiums just like any other policy and you’ll pay a co-pay each time you visit the dentist, just like any other policy, however, you’ll only be insured for 50% of the total cost of the braces. The other bad news about these plans is that they also carry an annual limit. Most common annual limits are around $2,000 for an individual and $4,000 for a family. This means that if the total cost of the braces is $3,000 your policy would only pay for 50% or $1,500 and you’d be limited to a maximum of an additional $500 for the remainder of the year.

#3. Discount dental plans are a good option for those in need of braces. The only drawbacks to a discount plan are that you are limited to only seeing dentists within the network of the plan and you’ll need to pay a fee to join. These can range from $20.00 per month up to around $180.00 per year for a family. It’s generally less expensive to pay a year in advance for most plans. Also, you may either be limited in your choice of dentists or be forced to travel if you live in a rural area. However, it would definitely be worth driving for an hour or two if you were going to save several hundred or thousand dollars.

#4. You may be able to find an orthodontist that would be willing to finance your costs. This isn’t very common, but there are dentists that do this so you may get lucky if you look around a bit. Some family dentistry clinics now offer financing, but they usually charge substantial interest and most require a down payment.