Cost of Braces

How Much Braces Really Cost?

Have you been to several orthodontic offices and each gave you a different estimate for your patient’s Orthodontic treatment? Well don’t be surprised! There is a reason behind this complexity that we will try to explain what affects real cost of braces.

Braces cost has a very wide range and defers from office to office and patient to patient. At Fusion, our prices can fluctuate from $0 for the free treatments, to 5 digit figures for our most difficult challenging cases that require special appliances or procedures with all the bells and whistles. Multiple factors affect pricing of orthodontic services:

  • Type of appliances used: Each appliance the patient chooses to receive has different pricing. For instance, if the patient chooses Clear over regular braces, or chooses Invisalign or lingual braces, these all have an additional cost that will be calculated separately and added to total treatment cost.
  • Difficulty of treatment: The more challenging a treatment, the more costly it is. When teeth need to be removed for instance to help with teeth alignment, the treatment will be more complicated and hence, more expensive.
  • Duration of treatment: The longer the duration of the treatment, more work is being done on the smile that will lead to a higher treatment fee.
  • Dental insurance: When the patient has dental insurance, it usually reduces the cost of treatment which is further explained down here for different types of dental insuraces.
  • Private or Corporate Dentistry: As a general rule, private practices are usually more expensive than corporate practices that have multiple locations (exceptions exist); but the difference doesn’t only stop at the price. Although it is not a general rule, but usually in franchised corporate dental offices, dentists or orthodontists are employees and not owners. Accordingly, one day they could be working for that corporation and the next day they wouldn’t. Since orthodontic treatment is not done in one visit and takes a year or two to complete, it is different from other dental treatments such as root canal therapy, extractions or fillings that are done in one or two visits. Provider change during the course of an orthodontic treatment will usually lead to a drop in quality of care and an increase in length of treatment as the new provider might have different standards and treatment approaches comparing to the original provider. Other differences between are self-explanatory.
  • Added upgrades: At Fusion Orthodontics, we offer patients with upgrades that choosing them will add to total treatment cost. These upgrades include Retainers for Life, Lifetime Guarantee, Clear Braces, Lingual Braces, Invisalign and ClearCorrect treatments that will be complained here.

Private (PPO) Insurance and Braces:

Not all PPO insurances provide Orthodontic coverage and sometimes they introduce an age limit, which means that if you don’t meet the requirement, they will not cover orthodontic costs for you. Please note that sometimes coverage and age limit can be different for

PPO Insurances usually define a life time maximum (let’s say $1500.00) and a percentage of treatment cost (let’s say %50). As an example, if  a treatment costs $5000, the insurance will pay up to $2500 based on their %50 clause, but since life time maximum is $1500, they will actually pay $1500, leaving the patient with the remaining $3500 balance. If it doesn’t make sense to you, you are not alone! but imagine you needed a limited treatment that would only cost 2000. In this scenario, the insurance company will not pay the full life time $1500, because %50 of $2000 is $1000 and they will only pay $1000, leaving you with the remaining $1000. Got it?

At Fusion, we can break down the remaining balance to long term payment plans that will leave you with very small monthly payments. But be aware that if the insurance fails to pay for any reason, it will be the patients responsibility to cover the shortage.

Medicaid and Braces

Medicaid either pays for your braces treatment down to the last penny, or doesn’t pay a dime! To qualify, you need to first meet their minimum requirements that differ from state to state and time to time. In Texas, up until 2012, it was very easy to get patients approved under the Medicaid program, but then investigations indicated that state of Texas paid more than rest of the country for braces treatment combined(about 300 million dollars in 2010). FBI got involved and some corporations and individuals got indicted for fraud and other criminal acts; the drama lead to an overhaul of the Medicaid Orthodontic program. Now according to the most recent changes, in order to get approved, the patient has to have minimum of 4 severe problems out of a list of 10. If your teeth look kind of ok, bets are that you will not meet those minimum requirements. Anyhow, the only way to know for sure if a patient meets those requirements, is to visit an orthodontist who accepts Medicaid for braces. Please note that the CHIP program doesn’t cover braces at all.

HMO Insurances and Braces

These insurances usually offer a discount of the regular fee the orthodontist charges. For example the HMO insurance will mention a %25 discount on regular fee when it comes to orthodontic services. This means that if the office treatment fee is $6000, the fee for the member will be reduced to $4500. At this moment unfortunately, we don’t take HMO insurances at fusion.

Our payment Platform:

We use Orthobanc payment platform that automates our collection efforts. So after the contract starts, you will not deal with us directly for financial transactions. Orthobanc will handle it which makes the process safe and secure as they are a big corporation handling this delicate matter. They offer automatic payments with credit cards and bank accounts so you don’t have to worry about making the payments every month. We are very flexible when it comes to arranging the payment plan in a way that it would meet your financial situation. We offer long term payment plans with zero interest for some patients. We also offer a pay-in-full discount. To know more, feel free to reach us to discuss your financial needs.

The process:

At Fusion, after you fill out the necessary forms that are pretty much standard across different dental offices, you will sit down with Dr. Rahimi. Remember at Fusion, consultation for braces are FREE!

Dr. Rahimi will evaluate your teeth and listen to you to figure out what needs to be done, how long it will take to do it and what options the patient has. Based on the patient’s needs, he will determine the approximate duration of the treatment, how difficult and challenging the treatment is and what kind of instruments or appliances will be needed to get the job done. Based on the information he provides, the treatment coordinator will come up with the exact cost of the treatment and then the treatment coordinator will sit down with you to discuss and customize the treatment contract, making sure it meets your needs as well as ours. The treatment coordinator will also introduce our treatment options to you as well as some packages that we offer.

Orthodontic packages:

Conventional Metal Braces:

Our most economic, straight forward, convenient option of appliance for braces is regular metal braces. We use top of the line Victory brackets by 3M for this purpose. Although this option is our most economic option, please don’t think that just because you are paying less, you will receive an inferior treatment quality. That is not true. If anything, regular metal brackets do offer the best quality of treatment in the shortest amount of time possible.

Clear Braces:

At Fusion, we use 3M’s Clarity Advanced brackets. These are one of the most clear brackets available and in combination with clear wires, they can get quite invisible. Although these brackets are more expensive, it doesn’t make them better than regular metal braces, but the brackets will be less noticeable.

Lingual (Hidden) Braces

Lingual braces we use are developed and designed also by 3M and they are called Incognito. This bracket system is custom-made for the patient and they are attached to the back of your teeth, so they will not be visible to the public eye. They come with a premium pricing and the turn around time of these brackets is about 6 to 8 weeks, meaning that it will take us 6 to 8 week from the day we take your records to deliver you the brackets and start your treatment. The benefit of this system is that they are hidden so nobody can see them, and the brackets and wires are custom-made for the patient which will reduce the number of appointments and total treatment duration (please note that there is a 2 month start lag with this system that will probably reduce the time we save because of the customization of the bracket system).

Clear Aligners (Invisalign and ClearCorrect):

Clear Aligners are a different class of orthodontic appliances that offer a removable and almost transparent way of aligning the teeth. Not everybody is a good candidate for these appliances. We offer this treatment approach to mainly adults with little discrepancies. When the treatment gets complicated or the amount of tooth movement increases, we need to put many attachments on your teeth that defeat the purpose of being invisible. But some patients can be good candidates for these appliances and we offer it to them. Similar to Incognito, there is a premium charge for Invisalign and ClearCorrect cases and there is a 4 to 6 week lead time to receive the appliances.

In addition to choosing the type of appliances, you also need to decide which of our packages you want to go with:

(A) Retainers for Life: This upgrade will cover unlimited number of clear retainers (also known as Essix retainers) forever, no questions asked. Patient will have a $25 copay per retainer every time they require a new set of retainers. Retainers will be delivered same-day or within 48 hours of the appointment. The offer has no cash value. The offer cannot be combined with insurance benefits.

(B) Unlimited Broken Brackets: Regular treatment fees include 5 broken brackets during the course of treatment. Each additional broken bracket will cost $25 for regular metal braces and $50 for clear braces. This upgrade waives the fee for replacing broken brackets, with no limitations.

(C) Lifetime  Guarantee: At Fusion we guarantee our orthodontic treatment results forever! When you purchase this warranty during your treatment up to the day of braces removal, we provide lifetime guarantee of the results, even if the relapse of the case is the fault of the patient. After treatment is complete, we make sure patient and parents love the smile we create. But in order to prevent the teeth from moving, retainers need to be worn indefinitely. If the teeth move for any reason, such as not wearing retainers properly or if the patient wasn’t satisfied with the final results, we will put the braces back on, no questions asked!
The cost will be $200 bracket fee  which will be collected as the down-payment, and $200 for each additional monthly visits (subject to change due to inflation). Limited relapse treatments usually run about 3 to 6 months on average in our office. Should the patient request appliance upgrades (Clear Braces, Invisalign, etc), or should there be a need to use additional appliances for the patient (such as expanders, space maintainers, etc), the appliance fee will be charged to the patient in addition. The offer has no cash value and cannot be combined with insurance benefits.

Was the process complicated? Leave the complication to us! We will break it down for you when you visit us at the office and it is all included in our Free consultation offer!

Please Call us at 972.666.4949 or book your appointment online for your Free consultation.