Speak to an agent

The Average Cost of Braces

The average cost of braces is $5,991 for the whole process. That's about $250 per month for 24 months.

Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Currently insured?
icon
No spam. No hassle. No hidden costs.

Most people who don't have insurance pay between $2,750 and $7,000 for metal or ceramic braces. If you have insurance coverage, braces and the associated procedures typically cost between $1,638 and $4,933.

Orthodontic treatment is highly personalized based on both the orthodontist and the patient. Your expenses depend on your age, insurance plan and the type of braces you wear.

Average cost of braces in the U.S.

The average cost of braces in the U.S. is nearly $6,000, according to the American Dental Association. How much you pay will depend on the type of braces you select and the alignment issues of your teeth. Standard metal braces are the cheapest, while Invisalign and lingual braces are the most expensive.

Type of braces
Average cost
Metal$2,750 to $7,000
Ceramic$3,000 to $6,500
Invisalign$3,250 to $8,250
Lingual$6,500 to $11,500
  • Metal braces cost between $2,750 and $7,000.

    Metal braces are the oldest and most common type of orthodontic treatment. They offer low-cost treatment and fast alignment of teeth. Their main drawback is the high visibility of the metal brackets and wires.

  • Ceramic braces cost between $3,000 and $6,500.

    Ceramic braces have brackets whose color blends with teeth, making them less noticeable. However, ceramic is more brittle than metal and also tends to stain noticeably without proper care.

  • Invisalign costs between $3,250 and $8,250, which is usually more expensive than standard braces.

    Invisalign uses a series of clear plastic molds that fit over the teeth. Invisalign can be removed and replaced by the patient, making it the most comfortable option. The disadvantage is that tooth alignment is slower than with metal or ceramic braces, and Invisalign may not be an option if you have severe misalignment.

  • Lingual braces are the most expensive, costing between $6,500 and $11,500.

    Lingual braces are installed behind the teeth, which hides the brackets from view. They're more expensive because they're harder to install and adjust. The orthodontist also needs specialized training, so they are not as widely available.


Cost of braces for adults vs. kids

The average cost of braces for an adult is $6,139, and the cost of braces for kids averages $5,842.

Adults pay 5% more for braces than children or adolescents, on average. That's a total difference of about $297.

average cost of braces

What else affects the cost of braces?

Braces have a wide range of costs, and how much you pay depends on:

  • How long you'll wear the braces: Monthly appointments can add up to a large part of the total cost for braces. Most braces are worn for an average of 24 months, and the initial position of your teeth determines how long you need to wear them. The length of time also depends on the type of braces you select. Metal braces tend to align your teeth quicker than options that are less visible.
  • Your location: Where you live affects how much you pay. Braces and orthodontic care generally cost less in smaller towns and cities than in metro areas such as New York or Los Angeles.
  • Your orthodontist's rates: Practitioners charge different amounts for appointments and materials. How much you pay varies based on the orthodontist you choose and their level of experience.
  • How you care for your braces: If you break the brackets of your braces, you'll pay for extra appointments to repair the damage. To avoid damaging braces, follow your orthodontist's recommendations and avoid eating foods that are chewy, hard or sugary.

Most orthodontists offer free consultations, so you should visit as many different providers as you need to find an appropriate price and a payment plan that works with your budget.


How much are braces with insurance?

The cost of braces with insurance averages between $1,638 and $4,933 for metal and ceramic types.

Type
Cost with insurance
Metal$1,638 to $4,933
Ceramic$1,817 to $4,450

Based on two years of insurance benefits, assuming you've already met the plan's deductible.

Not all dental insurance plans cover braces. The plans that do usually have a discount percentage and a cap on the maximum amount you can save.

Typical insurance coverage for braces is a 50% discount, up to a maximum of $1,500.

Exact coverage details vary by plan, company and location. For example, some insurance plans may cover 20% of the cost of braces, without a cap. Other plans may limit coverage to only children or certain types of braces.

If you need braces, it's nearly always worth it to enroll in a dental insurance plan with orthodontic coverage.

Having dental insurance coverage means a net savings of at least $500 on braces, after considering the cost of a plan. It's possible that you could even save more than $1,400.

Plus, dental insurance covers standard cleanings and routine dental care, so you get other benefits beyond coverage for braces.

When choosing an insurance plan for braces coverage, watch out for plans that have a lifetime maximum on orthodontia coverage. This is usually in the fine print of the plan benefits, but it makes a big difference in your costs. For example, a $1,500 annual benefit cap means that you could save up to $3,000 over two years. If the plan has a $1,500 lifetime benefit cap, that's the most you could save on braces with that plan.

Insurance may cover medically necessary braces, even if you don't have coverage for orthodontics.

Sometimes, the misalignment of a patient’s teeth is severe enough to cause health issues such as jaw pain, grinding of teeth, greater chance of tooth decay or gum disease. In such cases, a dentist’s assessment could determine that braces qualify for coverage as a medically necessary procedure, even if your dental plan does not include orthodontics.

Frequently asked questions

How much do braces cost?

The total cost of braces is $5,991, on average, according to the American Dental Association. So if you wore braces for 24 months, that would be about $250 per month.

How do you get cheap braces?

Dental or orthodontic insurance can dramatically cut the cost of braces. The cost for braces after insurance is usually between $1,600 and $5,000. Also, you may be able to get free or low-cost braces through programs at dental schools, nonprofits, community health centers or Medicaid, if you qualify.

Is dental insurance worth it if you need braces?

Yes, it's nearly always worth it to get a dental insurance plan if you need braces. After considering the cost of a plan, buying dental insurance would save you around $500 to $1,400 if you need braces, while also giving you coverage for routine dental needs and cleanings.


Methodology

The average cost of braces for adults and children is based on an American Dental Association survey of dental fees, which compiles information from more than 1,000 dentists across the country.

The average cost of different types of braces and their costs after insurance is based on sample plans and information from health insurance companies including Cigna, Delta Dental, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, MetLife and UnitedHealthcare. Your costs may differ.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author's opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.