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Dental Insurance for Adult Braces

By Susan Braden

Mom And Daughter In Dental Insurance For Braces

Braces have become increasingly common among adults who want to improve their smile, especially with the recent popularity of invisible varieties. Cost can be a major concern, however, and dental insurance often does not cover orthodontia very much. Other payment options may be more appealing to the adult who is considering orthodontic work.

Before You Start

Before making a decision on exactly what kind of treatment you want or which orthodontist you would like go to, you should be prepared to ask a lot of questions and to weigh the answers. Here are some good questions to ask an orthodontist if you are trying to decide which orthodontist’s treatment plan you prefer.

  1. What kind of braces can I have – ceramic, metal or Invisalign treatment? What about lingual brackets behind my teeth?

  2. Will I need to adjust my bite with rubber bands?

  3. What other appliances will I need (i.e. headgear)? When and how often would I need to wear it?

  4. Will I need to get any teeth pulled to make room for the adjustments? Should I expect surgery?

  5. How long will the total treatment time last?

  6. What will adjustments involve, and how often will I need to come into the office?

  7. What is your total cost? What kinds of insurance or discount dental plans do you accept?

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What to Expect

Most orthodontic work begins with X-rays and molds of the mouth so the appropriate treatment can be determined. Assistants will often take a picture of your face as well for the orthodontist’s files. The molds feel like gooey silly putty in your mouth, but they usually only last 30-60 seconds. You may need spacers between tight teeth. If your mouth is sensitive, you may want to brush with a toothpaste made specifically for tooth desensitizing for about two weeks before any orthodontic work.

Once you are given an exact treatment plan, you should ask plenty of questions in the consultation. You have not committed to that orthodontist yet. Before you go ahead with anything, verify that your insurance policy will cover enough of the procedure(s) that the orthodontist specifies. If not, you may want to find another payment option, such as a discount plan, as an alternative to dental insurance.

Financial Alternatives

Braces typically cost about $5,000, though this price can change based on various factors like geographical location or the extent of work necessary. Many dental insurance companies will not cover braces, especially if the work is already in progress. Sometimes you can get quality work by supervised students at an orthodontic school for less expensive prices. If your insurance policy simply will not cover your orthodontic work, you may want to investigate the different dental plans that are available so that your braces do not become a financial burden.

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