Braces have been around for decades, and there’s a good reason they’re still a choice for straightening teeth for adults everywhere: they work. But one thing that is not so certain about braces is the cost of treatment. it’s not a one-size-fits-all number, it depends on a variety of factors, including your location.
Braces prices vary from state to state, so your bottom line in texas will likely be different than what you would get in maine, idaho, missouri, or anywhere else. That’s because a number of state-specific factors can influence orthodontic fees, and we cover them all here so you can get an idea of what you’ll end up paying.
cost of braces for adults in texas vs. national average
According to the American Dental Association, the national average cost for braces treatment for adults is $4,800 to $7,135. Even though Texas has a wide range of cities, geography, and demographics, it consistently has a reasonable cost of living and prices.
These ranges are estimates based on what we know about braces costs for adults and some information from some texas orthodontists. but they should give you a general idea of what you might pay.
why are braces so expensive?
there is no getting around the fact that braces are expensive. but that’s because they are one of the most consistent and effective treatments available.
They can be visible and somewhat intrusive, but the main advantage of braces is their robustness. They cannot be removed like clear aligners, so they eliminate the possibility of user error. Sure, you should avoid excessively sticky or rubbery foods, but in return, you’ll get foolproof results. Metal braces and wires give the orthodontist incredible control over your teeth, and during routine office visits, he or she can make adjustments to deliver the perfect results.
Braces require routine trips to the orthodontist over the course of a 12- to 24-month treatment schedule, and each visit costs money. Orthodontic offices have overhead costs like rent, utilities, and staff, which translate into fees for patients. And don’t forget that you’re also paying for the orthodontist’s expertise and time. however, as you’ll discover, the price you ultimately pay is subject to a variety of influences, including where you live.
what factors influence the cost of braces?
brakes are usually expensive. but exactly how expensive is a more complicated question. Multiple factors can influence your final bill. some are based on your location, others are consistent across state lines. we break them all down in detail below.
severity of the condition
This is the most important price determining factor. a minor case of crowding or spacing simply requires less time and fewer aligners to correct than a severe case of crossbite. The fewer office visits your teeth require, the less you’ll pay. During your initial consultation, your dentist/orthodontist can evaluate your teeth and estimate how long your treatment may take.
type of braces
Orthodontic technology has advanced significantly in the last two decades and standard metal braces are no longer the only option. For example, you can opt for ceramic braces that blend in with your teeth or lingual braces that sit behind your teeth. each of these are less noticeable than traditional braces, but they are also more expensive. ceramic braces can cost up to $8,000, while lingual braces can cost between $8,000 and $12,000.
In general, orthodontic care costs more on the coasts and less in the center of the country. The Northeast is particularly expensive, while southern states like Alabama and Mississippi boast some of the lowest costs in the country. taxes can also play a role. the state will add sales tax to the total cost of braces, and higher corporate taxes may cause your orthodontist to adjust by raising prices.
The South is the most affordable region for orthodontic care, and Texas is generally an affordable place to live. however, as a state with numerous cities, the cost of living can vary significantly depending on where you live. still, you should be able to find reasonably priced braces statewide.
louisiana, arkansas, oklahoma and new mexico border texas and each have a lower cost of living. If you live near a border and don’t mind driving, you may be able to find lower prices in another state. Mexico is also an option, but potentially less convenient. Orthodontists south of the border may have cheaper rates, but like anywhere else, you’ll want to do your research before you go shopping for braces. And remember, you’ll need to make office visits every 4-6 weeks to get your braces adjusted, and you’ll have to cross the border every time.
State sales tax of 6.25% will also contribute to the final cost of the braces. Texas also has a 1% gross receipts tax that applies to businesses, but this shouldn’t affect your bottom line much.
urban, suburban or rural?
Orthodontia costs are not only different for each state, they also vary based on your location within the state. urban areas, for example, often have a higher cost of living and it is less expensive to live in a small town. Do you have high rent and utility payments? then your dentist or orthodontist probably does too. higher overhead costs generally result in more expensive orthodontic treatment.
texas has a huge population, about 29 million people. It is the second most populous state in the US. uu. A large portion of that population is found in the six largest cities in the state: Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fortworth and El Paso (in that order). Houston, Dallas, and Fortworth have a cost of living that is around the national average, which often equates to middle-of-the-road brace prices. San Antonio and El Paso are less expensive while Austin (one of the fastest growing cities in America) is more expensive. Since each of these cities has many options for orthodontists, you’ll likely find affordable braces prices, although Austin might be higher.
Each of the cities in Texas has a collection of surrounding suburbs (especially Houston) that vary in affordability. some have a low cost of living while others are quite expensive. in many cases, brake prices align with the cost of living in the suburb. But if you live in a more expensive area, the good news is that you can drive to a cheaper suburb (or city) to find cheaper orthodontic care.
Beyond the major urban centers, there are smaller cities like Corpus Christi, Arlington, Lubbock and Amarillo. Most of the time, these cities are more affordable than the big cities and their surrounding suburbs, even though they have fewer local orthodontists. still, you should be able to find better brake prices if you live in one of these smaller cities.
texas is huge. Even though many people live there, the state still has a lot of open space and a multitude of small, remote towns. Like most rural towns, these have a low cost of living, leading to low dental and orthodontic fees. But some places in Texas are so remote that there isn’t an orthodontist’s office for more than 100 miles. Small-town orthodontists generally have lower fees, but the time and money you spend traveling can offset those savings.
When you have numerous orthodontists in a given area, each of them needs to find ways to stay ahead of the competition and attract new clients. Many times, this means lower prices and special offers or sales. therefore, if there is a high concentration of orthodontists in your area, it may mean lower prices, giving you the ability to “shop.”
Since there are so many orthodontists in Texas cities, each one needs to find ways to differentiate themselves and attract new clients. they usually do so by offering discounts or running promotions. If you live in a city with many orthodontists, keep an eye on their websites or call their offices directly to see if you can take advantage of a special offer. An orthodontist located in a rural area may be the only one within 50 miles, so you’re less likely to make the same kind of sales, but you may still find them occasionally.
Like most industries, in orthodontics, experienced professionals can charge more for their services than newcomers. so if your orthodontist has been administering braces for years, you may end up paying a bit more. For this reason, it can sometimes be helpful to “shop around” to weigh your options if you have multiple orthodontists nearby.
treatment cost management
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by treatment costs, you’re not alone. Take comfort in the fact that, in most cases, you won’t have to pay the full amount up front. here are some ways you can make that price tag seem a bit more manageable:
review your insurance plan
braces for children and adolescents are partially covered by most dental insurance plans. however, plans typically don’t cover costs for people age 18 and older, unless they include orthodontia benefits. But you don’t want to start treatment waiting for help from your insurance provider, only to find that it doesn’t come. so don’t commit to braces without first reviewing your insurance plan and contacting your provider.
Some orthodontic offices also accept payments directly from an FSA or HSA account, if you have one. Check with your dentist or orthodontist to see how they handle these payments.
look for offers and discounts
You probably won’t see your orthodontist offering promotional deals or discounts on braces. but sometimes they will offer advantages to accompany your treatment, such as teeth whitening or a percentage discount on your next visit. it certainly can’t hurt to ask. sometimes you can even find deals on groupon.
Universities with dental and orthodontic schools will also offer discounts if you don’t mind having a resident administer your treatment. these individuals are qualified and on track to become state licensed orthodontists. Plus, they’re supervised by experienced dental professionals and professors, so you can be sure you’re receiving quality care.
texas has four different dental schools where you can get orthodontic care at reduced prices: texas a&m university (dallas), texas tech university health sciences center (el paso), university of texas health sciences center (houston), and center of health sciences from the university of texas (san antonio).
learn about financing options
Most orthodontic offices offer financing plans that break your costs into manageable monthly payments. You usually won’t have to pay the full amount up front. The terms of these plans vary, so you should talk to your orthodontist about the financing options they offer.
If your orthodontist’s options aren’t ideal, you can look into third-party dental financing companies like carecredit or bewell, which finance everything from routine dentistry to complex orthodontic procedures.
discuss aftercare in advance
Even after braces are removed, teeth tend to return to their previous positions. aftercare retainers prevent that from happening. After your teeth have been released, you will have a perfect new smile and you will need to purchase a retainer to protect it. Retainer costs vary, but you can usually get one for $100 – $300. This also depends on your specific orthodontist.
Because your dentist can make adjustments and course corrections throughout your treatment, he can ensure that you get a perfectly straight smile and won’t have your braces removed until then. That said, some teeth just don’t move as expected, so your orthodontist may need to add accessories and extend your treatment schedule, which will cost more. Talk to your orthodontist about their mid-treatment refinement policies before you start.
3 affordable brake alternatives
Braces are one of the most effective and powerful options out there, but they’re not ideal for everyone. Whether you’re unsure about the price or the procedure, here are three brace alternatives we think are worth your time.
Putting on braces is a big move, an important step in your journey to a new smile. but it is a big expense and the uncertainty about the price of your treatment can be stressful. Fortunately, with the knowledge you’ve gained from this guide, you can have a better idea of whether or not braces are a viable option.
Keep in mind, however, that the only way to get a truly accurate cost for your braces in texas is to visit your orthodontist. You should also remember that although braces may seem expensive, there are ways to make them more affordable, such as financing, discounts, and insurance. In the end, if you decide they just aren’t right for you, there are plenty of other options available. no matter which route you take, your destination is the same: a new, photograph-ready smile.