How Much Does Orthodontic Treatment Cost?
The cost of orthodontic treatment varies widely based on location, the provider’s expertise, and the treatment plan (goals, duration, appliances). It is important to understand your goals for seeking orthodontic treatment and to ensure you and your orthodontist are on the same page about the expected treatment length and outcome. The fees listed below are typical in the Portland, Oregon area.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- Average cost of Phase I Treatment
- Average cost of Phase II Treatment
- Average cost of Teen & Adult Orthodontics
- Orthodontic Insurance & Flexible Spending Accounts
Average cost of Phase I Treatment
Phase I usually occurs between the ages of 7-10 years, when there is a mix of permanent and baby teeth. Because Phase I treatment has limited goals (like correcting a crossbite or making room for permanent teeth), it is usually relatively short in duration. Phase I typically involves 12-18 months of orthodontics with clear aligners or braces and additional appliances like expanders or space maintainers when needed. The cost for this treatment is generally between $2950-$4550.
Average cost of Phase II Treatment
Phase II treatment is the final correction of the bite (how the teeth fit together when you bite down) and tooth position for optimal function, aesthetics, and health. Phase II treatment usually begins between the ages of 12-14 years, after all of the permanent teeth erupt. This phase of treatment usually takes 12-24 months using braces or clear aligners. The cost for this treatment ranges depending on what is left to accomplish. Treatment could range between $4500-$8500.
Average cost of Teen & Adult Orthodontics
Comprehensive treatment (done in one phase) can start once all of the permanent teeth have erupted, around the ages of 12-14 years, to align teeth and correct the bite (how the teeth fit together when you bite down).
Quick, efficient treatment
If you want to improve the alignment of your teeth without a lengthy and costly treatment, your orthodontist may offer a short, 6-12 month orthodontic plan. This treatment likely will not correct bite issues. This treatment usually ranges between $3600-$4800.
If you want your teeth and bite in the most optimal position, this usually takes 12-24 months of treatment and ranges between $5850-6950. The cost varies depending on how your teeth fit together before you start treatment.
For more complex cases involving missing teeth, jaw surgery, dental restorations (crowns/implants/veneers), or cleft/craniofacial conditions, treatment time is usually between 18-24+ months, and the cost generally ranges from $6950-$9550. Sometimes, treatment could go beyond 24 months and exceed $10,000, but this is less common.
Orthodontic Insurance and Flexible Spending Accounts
Some dental insurance plans offer orthodontic benefits that cover a portion of your orthodontic treatment expenses. This coverage is unique to each patient and usually does not cover the total amount. Orthodontic benefits are typically a lifetime maximum, meaning they do not renew annually. There are often eligibility restrictions built into orthodontic coverage, like age limits and waiting periods.
If you have an orthodontic benefit, this amount is typically taken off the total cost of your treatment. Keep in mind that many insurance companies pay their portion throughout your treatment, which means if you leave your job or your insurance changes, you may not obtain the full insurance benefit.
To best understand your orthodontic coverage, check with your dental insurance company and your employer’s HR department, taking note of age limits, waiting periods, and lifetime benefits.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
While every plan is different, many FSA plans allow funds to be used for orthodontic care. Please check with your FSA provider for details
Orthodontic recommendations vary depending on your chosen provider, where you live, and what you hope to achieve. So before you seek a consultation for yourself or your child, consider what brings you to the orthodontist in the first place. Do you want your teeth to be in the best-looking and healthiest position? Do you wish to move that one pesky tooth that sticks out? Or are you at the orthodontist because the dentist said you’re grinding your teeth? Answering this question ahead of time and being open to learning will help guide you in choosing a provider and treatment plan.
At Garfinkle Orthodontics, we prioritize serving each individual based on their specific needs. Whether we recommend a retainer to keep your teeth from shifting further or a comprehensive plan to correct your bite, we’re here to listen to your goals and create a plan that works for you.