How to Straighten Your Teeth for Less Money.
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Table of Contents
- Who Needs Affordable Teeth Straightening?
- Benefits of Aligners
- When Are Braces Necessary?
- Ways to Pay
- Frequently Asked Questions
A traditional tooth-straightening program can easily cost $5,000 to $10,000. Straighten your teeth for less money by choosing aligners. You'll get the smile you always wanted at a fraction of the cost.
It pays to research your options carefully. Some aligner companies are more expensive, don't offer perks (like tooth whitening), or both.
|Traditional braces||$3,000 to $6,000||Varies per provider|
|Lingual braces||$8,000 to $10,000||Varies per provider|
|Byte aligners||$1,999 or $70/month||Tooth whitening,|
& vibrating tool
|Invisalign aligners||$3,000 to $8,000||Varies per provider|
|SmileDirectClub aligners||$2,050 or $89/month||Tooth whitening|
|ALIGNERCO aligners||$1,145 or $79/month||Nothing|
|Teeth gaps||Yes||Yes, if mild to moderate|
|Crooked teeth||Yes||Yes, if mild to moderate|
Costs of Different Teeth Straightening Methods
Performing a head-to-head comparison can help you understand which aligner product can fit your budget. We've done some of the homework for you.
Cost: $3,000 to $6,000
Perks included: Varies per provider
Orthodontists apply brackets and wires to your teeth. Periodic visits involve removing those wires and swapping them out for new versions.
High costs are due, in part, to this in-person visit requirement. Your team must keep the office in good working order, and those fees are passed down to customers.
Cost: $8,000 to $10,000
Perks included: Varies per provider
Lingual braces also require in-person tightening appointments. But your dental team needs to spend more time with you.
Lingual braces sit behind your teeth, so manipulating them is difficult. Since your team needs more time to manage your care, you will pay more.
Cost: $1,999 or $70/month
Perks included: tooth whitening, aligner-seating chewies, and vibrating aligner tool
Improve your smile from anywhere with telemedicine. Submit an impression kit, and work with a team through digital check-ins performed in a secure portal.
You won't pay extra for a fancy office. And you'll have a talented team working on your smile.
Cost: $3,000 to $8,000
Perks included: Varies per provider
Straighten your teeth with clear, comfortable aligner trays. But prepare to pay more with Invisalign.
You must visit a dental professional in person for checkups and new trays, and those visits are expensive. Offices can also charge as much as they'd like, and some have a high price tag.
Cost: $2,050 or $89 per month
Perks included: tooth whitening kit
Order an impression kit for at-home assessments, or book an appointment for free impressions at participating SmileShops. Check in with dental health professionals via telemedicine.
Cost: $1,145 or $79 per month
Perks included: none
Connect with professionals via telemedicine from start to finish. You'll pay less for your aligners than you will when connecting with other companies, but you'll also get fewer perks in return.
Who Needs Affordable Teeth Straightening?
Crooked teeth can lead to physical and psychological discomfort. Unfortunately, few insurance companies will pay for tooth straightening in full.
Some companies consider tooth straightening a cosmetic procedure. They will never pay for these procedures, as they think people want them only to look better. If you have a policy like this, you may need affordable options to get the smile you want.
And some people don’t have dental health coverage at all. If you’re one of them, affordable teeth straightening is a must for you, as you’re responsible for every cent you charge in treatment.
Benefits of Aligners
Saving money is a clear benefit of using aligners to straighten your teeth. You'll pay much less with aligners than you will if you use fixed appliances like braces. But there are other perks to consider too.
Maintain Your Oral Health
It's difficult to brush your teeth with braces. And researchers say bacteria tend to collect and multiply around the brackets. You could end up with cavities, sore gums, or both after wearing braces for months.
Aligners are removable, so you can take out your trays to brush and floss. Your dentist can clean your teeth properly too.
Eat (& Bite) Normally
Traditional braces sit on the front of your teeth, making it tough for you to bite into corn on the cob or crunchy sandwiches. Lingual braces sit behind your teeth, but they can cut up your tongue and make manipulating food like rice very hard.
Since aligners are removable, you can take them out when you eat and drink. You'll snack just as you would if you weren't straightening your teeth.
Experience less pain
Brackets and wires can cut and scrape the inside of your mouth, and their constant pressure can be excruciating. Researchers say aligners are less painful. You may be uncomfortable when adjusting to new trays, but you won't experience consistent oral damage.
When Braces May be Necessary
While aligners are less expensive and more comfortable, they're not right for everyone. If you have severe oral health issues, braces might be a better option.
For example, some people have severely misaligned jaws. They need surgery followed by orthodontic care. People like this need more help than a typical aligner can provide.
If your oral health conditions are more than moderately severe, braces might be a better option.
How to Pay for Teeth Straightening
People who need to improve their smiles have several options that can lower costs.
You can consider the following:
- Insurance: Many companies will help you tap into dental insurance benefits. Some will accept payments directly, and others can help you fill out reimbursement paperwork.
- Health savings accounts (HSA): Americans have about $100 billion in HSAs. Most have strict rules about the sorts of things you can pay for with an HSA, but aligners are often covered.
- Financing: Several of the companies we've mentioned will finance the cost, so you don't have to pay the full amount all at once.
Explore your options, and you're bound to find something that's right for you.
Less Expensive Teeth Straightening FAQs
How much does teeth straightening cost?
How can I fix my teeth without braces?
How can I straighten my teeth myself?
The Average Cost of Braces. (July 2022). ValuePenguin. Date fetched: July 29, 2022.
Quality of Life in Patients with Severe Malocclusion Before Treatment. (February 2010). European Journal of Orthodontics. Date fetched: July 29, 2022.
Optimization of Prevention of Caries Development During Orthodontic Treatment. (2020). Asian Journal of Multidimensional Research. Date fetched: July 29, 2022.
Pain Level Between Clear Aligners and Fixed Appliances: A Systematic Review. (January 2020). Progress in Orthodontics. Date fetched: July 29, 2022.
Surgical Treatment to Correct a Bad Bite. (November 2018). University of Iowa. Date fetched: July 29, 2022.
Americans Have More Than $100B Saved in Health Savings Accounts. (March 2022). Becker's Hospital CFO Report. Date fetched: July 29, 2022.