The very thought of braces makes most people cringe. Teenagers cringe because their teeth are going to be uncomfortable and unsightly for a long time, and parents may cringe because the cost is often not an affordable dental option for their wallets. Still, thousands of people in America endure braces every year. Many question, are braces worth it? Take a look at the pros and cons to find out.
They are not affordable for many people
Braces can run anywhere from $3,500 to $7,000. The final cost is determined by location and the length of time that the braces have to stay on. The more prone the teeth are to moving, the longer the braces will need to stay on, and consequently, the more they are going to cost and the less affordable dental coverage may be. Braces are usually left on the teeth from two to three years. Although the cost is usually spread out over the life of the braces (about two years), the cost is still often not an affordable dental option to pay.
They are painful
Although braces are not intensely painful like some other more or less affordable dental procedures, they create a pressure on the teeth which is especially noticeable each time the patient goes for an adjustment. Along with the pressure on the teeth, traditional braces can also lead to additional scrapes and sores on the inside of the lips. There is a certain amount of discomfort, and the discomfort will last for the length of the braces. But are the cost and the pain worth it? Let’s look at some positives.
They save future money and hassle
Although braces cost a considerable amount of money upfront and appear to be a less affordable dental care option, they can actually save people a lot more money in the long run. Teeth that are crooked, and especially teeth that are overlapped, tend to have more problems over time than straight teeth with proper spacing. Overlapping teeth prove to be very difficult to clean and polish properly. Increased cavities, fillings, root canals and crowns will end up costing a lot more money and hassle over the course of a lifetime. A $5,000 investment today can end up saving $10,000 or more worth of dental work later on in the future. Affordable dental work can come in many packages; sometimes the savings is paid out over a lifetime; in this case saving someone the shame attendant to poor dental care.
They give a better appearance and a better first impression
You never get a chance to make a second first impression! One of the first things people notice when they first meet someone else is their teeth. Although an individual may not particularly notice straight teeth, the American society has been trained to notice crooked, unsightly teeth (watch any British comedy and one of the first things you will notice is the teeth!). If your teeth are straight and clean, you will make a better first impression for the rest of your life. With better first impressions comes more confidence and poise in life. How much is a lifetime of first impressions and confidence worth? At $5,000, I consider that to be a steal!
Braces are expensive, and they cause discomfort in the mouth for a long time. However, the long term benefits of braces as an affordable dental alternative will usually far outweigh the short-term cost and discomfort. Every situation is different, incurring different costs and lengths of time, so check with your local dentist or orthodontist to get more specific information about your correction needs. When you look at the high price tag, just remember: Braces are worth it!