Ortho 101

Paying for orthodontic treatment

The cost of braces depends on an array of factors. Prices will vary based on your location and which orthodontist you choose. The extent of adjustment required as well as the type of braces you choose may also have an impact on cost. In general, braces may cost between $4,000 and $9,000.


What does the orthodontist’s fee cover?

Some orthodontists’ fees are all-inclusive, and some are not. Talk to your orthodontist and ask what his/her fee covers, and if there is anything the fee does not cover.

Do orthodontists offer payment plans?

Yes, most orthodontists offer a variety of payment plans to make orthodontic care fit your budget. Payment plans offered can vary from orthodontist to orthodontist.

Do I have to make a down payment?

A down payment may or may not be required. Speak with your orthodontist or their team members about payment plans that are offered.

Can I use my flexible spending account or health savings account funds for orthodontic treatment?

Yes, funds from flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts can be used to pay for orthodontic treatment. Talk to your orthodontist about how to make the best use of your benefits.

Does insurance cover orthodontic treatment?

Many people have dental insurance that includes orthodontic benefits, usually provided by their employer. Such insurance covers a portion or percentage of the fee for orthodontic treatment, many times there may be a specific dollar amount or lifetime cap.   If your dental insurance is through your employer, your human resources department may be able to provide coverage details. The information can also be obtained directly from the insurance company. With your permission, the orthodontist may be able to confirm your insurance benefits for you, such as:

  •       The amount of coverage or the percentage of the fee covered
  •       If there any limitations to your coverage are specified
  •       Whether you are required to choose from the insurance company’s providers

Not all providers used by insurance companies to provide orthodontic treatment are orthodontists. To be sure any provider you are interested in using is an orthodontist, check the Find an Orthodontist service, where you will find members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). The AAO only admits orthodontic specialists as members.

I do not have employer-provided insurance for orthodontic treatment. Can I buy insurance myself?

Yes, you can purchase orthodontic insurance.

Do I have to have insurance for orthodontic treatment?

Insurance is not required to have orthodontic treatment.

How much does insurance cover?

Insurance for orthodontic treatment is intended to cover a portion of the fee, not the entire fee. Check with your employer or your insurance company to determine your specific benefits.


Do orthodontists take credit cards?

Many orthodontists accept major credit cards. Check with your orthodontist’s office about whether credit cards are accepted as payment, and if so, which ones.

Do I have to sign a contract?

Typically, a contact is signed when you decide to move forward with orthodontic treatment.

What if a problem comes up and I can’t make my payment?

If you are unable to make your payment(s) for orthodontic treatment, communicate that to your orthodontist immediately. The orthodontist needs to be aware of this change in your circumstances.

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