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.
Believe it or not, the price of braces can vary from state to state. Therefore, your prices in Phoenix, Arizona could be very different from someone in Seattle, Washington. sound confusing? we are here to simplify it. This guide will give you everything you need to know about brake costs in Arizona.
cost of braces for adults in arizona vs. national average
According to the American Dental Association, the national average cost for braces treatment for adults is $4,800 to $7,135. Arizona, like other southwestern states, is not far off the national average. Your cost of living is pretty consistent across the state and there are plenty of orthodontists to choose from, so you should be able to find braces at a reasonable price.
These ranges are estimates based on what we know about braces costs for adults and some information from some Arizona 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 are not removable 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 your 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.
Southwestern states like arizona and new mexico tend to have orthodontia costs in the middle. you’ll pay less in the southeast, but more on either coast. No matter what part of the state you live in, you’ll probably pay something close to the national average: around $4,000-5,000. Of course, this also depends on the severity of your condition.
arizona borders california, nevada, utah and new mexico, although the only one with a lower cost of living is new mexico. if you live near the eastern border of the state, you may be able to cross to find better prices.
Sometimes people who live near Tucson or other cities in southern Arizona consider traveling to Mexico for orthodontic care, which can be much less expensive. Orthodontists in Mexico are generally qualified and safe, but it’s always a good idea to do a lot of research before committing to treatment, especially if it involves going to another country. Also, keep in mind that braces typically require office visits once every 4-6 weeks, so if you prefer not to cross the border as often, you may want to find an option closer to you.
Remember that the final price of your braces will also include sales tax, which is 5.6% in Arizona, around the national average. The 4.9% state business income tax might increase your orthodontist’s expenses, but 4.9% isn’t high enough to cause a significant price increase.
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.
With a population of nearly 1.5 million, Phoenix is easily the largest city in Arizona. Tucson and Mesa are each about a third that size, although they are still large cities. The cost of living in Phoenix isn’t much higher than the national average, and healthcare costs can sometimes be even lower. Mesa is similar in that it is part of the greater Phoenix area. Tucson, however, has a lower cost of living and lower average health-related expenses than other places in Arizona. All three have many orthodontists in the area, so you can compare multiple prices. If you live in Phoenix or Mesa, you can expect slightly more expensive braces, but not much more than other big American cities.
phoenix has a handful of suburbs (cities like chandler, glendale, scottsdale and tempe) that are slightly more expensive places to live. Flagstaff, Prescott, and other midsize cities across the state are similarly expensive. These moderately populated cities are some of the most expensive places to live in Arizona, so you can expect to pay more for braces there. The benefit of living in a Phoenix suburb is that you have access to every orthodontist in town, so you could take advantage of lower prices and promotional discounts. Cities further from Phoenix or Tucson, like Flagstaff, have fewer orthodontist options, so you could end up with higher prices.
It’s usually much cheaper to live in a small town in Arizona than it is in a big city (the exception is popular vacation spots like Sedona). The downside is that small towns often have fewer orthodontists, which means you may have to travel farther for your treatment. still, you should be able to find lower prices than you would in large or medium-sized cities.
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.”
Orthodontists in Phoenix and (to a lesser degree) Tucson have a lot of local competition, which means they’ll have to go above and beyond to stand out from the crowd. this means they might be inclined to run promotions and discounts, or even lower their prices to win your business. Even in mid-sized cities with only a handful of orthodontists, keep an eye out for sales and special offers that could lower the cost of your treatment.
In rural towns, you have fewer options, so dentists and orthodontists may charge a little more for their services. some cities may not have invisalign providers, so you will need to travel to receive your treatment.
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.
a.t. still the college at mesa has advanced degrees in dentistry and orthodontics, and they offer orthodontic services at discounted prices. If you visit your orthodontic clinic, you can get your braces for less than you’d find at most private practices.
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 Arizona 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. Whichever route you take, your destination is the same: a new, photograph-ready smile.