If you’re considering straightening your teeth and want to find the most affordable way to accomplish this, it’s best to understand your options when it comes to payment and insurance. If you’re not sure which dental straightening options are best for you, here are a few factors to think about before making your decision.
What Does Your Dental Insurance Cover?
Insurance coverage for orthodontic services depends on whether orthodontic care is included in your policy and is a medical necessity. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) updated its policy in 2014 concerning medically necessary care. The AAO’s current policy states that orthodontic care that is necessary for a patient from a medical standpoint is classified as a treatment for malocclusion which is an anomaly or abnormality of the craniofacial region. If the abnormality or anomaly is threatening an individual’s emotional, physical, or dental health, it will be covered under the patient’s orthodontic care health insurance policy. Patients will have to under an extensive assessment and receive an official diagnosis from an orthodontist as well as a consultation with other health care professionals as needed.
In most cases, private dental insurance companies will cover some of the cost of orthodontic care. However, each policy has differing rules concerning orthodontic care that is medically necessary. Be sure to do some research when selecting a dental plan. It may be best to choose a PPO or HMO to ensure you get the most coverage possible to make the process of straightening your teeth as affordable as possible.
Cost-Effective Options for Straightening Your Teeth
Be sure to work with a licensed dental professional when selecting the best straightening options for your teeth. Quality orthodontic care can be expensive which is why some dental offices will provide a monthly payment plan to make your dental care more affordable. You may also want to use your health savings account or a flexible spending account to help pay for the teeth straightening process.
Tiffanie Garrison-Jeter, DMD, says that traditional braces or clear aligners can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $7,500 depending on the geographical region where the patient is receiving care and the severity of the treatment. Traditional braces are usually the most effective and affordable form of teeth straightening. However, if you’re still trying to consider the pros and cons of clear aligners vs braces, you may be wondering about factors like comfort and cosmetics.
Clear aligners are usually more expensive than metal braces and only work well for mild or moderate teeth straightening. The aligners are, however, more comfortable to wear than braces. You can remove the aligners before eating which makes the aligners easier to clean. You also don’t have to worry about any dietary restrictions when you’re straightening your teeth if you wear aligners. On the other hand, traditional braces are best for extensive teeth straightening procedures and tend to be more effective if you want to make drastic changes to your smile. No matter which option you choose, you should work with a licensed orthodontist who will evaluate your teeth and let you know which options are ideal for you.
If you have to have extensive work done on your mouth or teeth to repair the alignment of your jaw, it may be best to consider orthodontic surgery. This is only recommended if your jaw is severely misaligned and is more expensive than other orthodontic procedures. You’ll need to work with your orthodontist so you’ll know what to expect when it comes to healing time and what you can do to care for your teeth and gums once your surgery is complete. You may still have to wear braces or a retainer after you have surgery but the timeframe will be shorter.
Since you’re likely researching ways to improve your smile, you know that a healthy smile and straight teeth can improve your look dramatically. When your smile is aligned, you’ll likely feel more confident in social and professional situations. Straightening your teeth can be affordable and easier than you may think. Contacting your insurance company and working with your dentist or orthodontist can help you decide if braces or aligners are the best choices to help you get the smile you’ve always wanted.
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