A guide on orthodontic devices: retainers and braces

A guide on orthodontic devices: retainers and braces
Photo: mlarsson62, Pixabay

A good smile requires consistent care and attention. Unfortunately, investing in a good smile can be a rather expensive process. Most families simply can’t afford orthodontic work like braces or retainers. So, if you are lucky enough to have corrective braces, it is important to be grateful.

This article will discuss the cost of dental braces, wires or retainers at various phases of your treatment. While prices may vary depending on location and your local orthodontist’s rates, the cost of ongoing treatment and dental appliances can be quite extensive. Having said that, many dentists have flexible repayment options, so with a little bit of budgeting, you might get your dream smile without the added financial stress.

Preliminary work

Before you get your braces or retainer fitted, it is recommended that you have your teeth checked for any plaque or decay. Depending on the current state of your teeth, this can include but is not limited to tooth extraction or bonding. Crowns and caps may also be necessary, especially if there is evidence of tooth decay. The presence of tooth decay can undermine your efforts in getting orthodontic work. On top of this, a cavity or serious decay can be quite painful, so any tooth pain should be checked out by a dentist. That is why there is an overwhelming consensus among orthodontists that the eradication of decay must be a prerequisite to getting braces.

One of the biggest determinants of the cost of braces is the style and design. For instance, metal braces, which are among the most commonly seen among individuals, would range from $3000 to $7000. If you want to fix your dental problems, like overcrowding, metal braces would most likely be the recommended route by a majority of dentists and orthodontists.

Available options

Girl with braces smiling
Braces are for more long-term or serious corrective needs. Photo: Rainier Ridao, Unsplash

Hence, this article will outline the three most common types of braces and orthodontic methods recommended by most dental experts:

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces have gained a lot of traction in recent times. They are known for being less noticeable (given they are the same colour as the teeth) and are chosen by those who take into consideration the cosmetic aspect of orthodontic treatment. If you want to keep your braces as discrete as possible, ceramic braces would be the way to go. With prices ranging from $4000 to $8000, they are generally a little more expensive than conventional metal braces (mainly because of the aesthetic aspect). Even the brackets are not visible because they have the same colour as your teeth.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are even more unnoticeable because instead of attaching the braces to the front of the teeth, the brackets and wires are placed on the inside of the teeth. Lingual braces are generally quite expensive, with costs ranging from $8000 to $10,000. This is because of the complexity of having them installed and maintenance needs.

Invisalign

Invisalign braces are made of 18 to 30 guard-like plastic aligners that are custom-made to the needs of your teeth. These are removable and would have to be adjusted from time to time, as your teeth adjust as well. They are also invisible and easy to use. They cost around $4000 to $7000, but because they are detachable, they cannot treat serious alignment issues. They also may take longer to fix the problem.

Retainers

Overview of retainer
Retainers are suitable for short-term problems. Photo: FachLektorat, Pixabay

Other dental appliances include brackets, wire, plates, and retainers. As already mentioned, brackets and wires are usually included in the brace package that you choose. Meanwhile, retainers would range from $500 to $1000, given that retainers are recommended only to correct a minor overbite or minor crowding, which generally doesn’t warrant braces.

Dental plates

Dental plates are another matter. These plates may contain partial or full dentures, which can range from $900 to $2000, depending on the make of the dentures and the flexibility. Tooth flippers cost $300 to $500.

Other expenses

You would also have to consider other expenses for tooth care. You may need a specially-designed toothbrush in order to adequately clean your teeth when they are fitted with braces.

Choosing the right toothpaste also helps in making sure that your teeth and gums become less sensitive. A mouthwash helps in killing bacteria off, while dentures would need denture adhesives, particularly for first-time users.

A smile is an investment, so go the extra mile!

What do you think about it?