In an increasingly image-conscious world, many people do not like the way their teeth look. According to a 2020 study published in theJournal of Orthodontics, frequent exposure to idealized smiles through social media can make you feel unhappy about your teeth. But if you think braces are out of reach or cost a small fortune, think again. The following affordable teeth straightening options for adults can help you feel more comfortable with your smile.
If you have serious bite issues, jaw pain, or other oral health problems that don’t respond well to aligners or similar alternatives, traditional braces may still be an affordable option.
“At this point, insurance does cover braces or other teeth straightening options," Lauren Zalay, DDS, a dentist at the University Associates in Dentistry (UAD) in Chicago, tells WebMD Connect to Care."It depends on your insurance plan and your age. However, it is rare that the entire treatment is covered by insurance. It is usually $1000 to $2000 of the treatment,” Zalay adds.
You may also be able to get your dentist to agree to a payment plan, reducing a single large up-front payment to smaller, more manageable monthly installments. When choosing an orthodontist, be sure to ask questions about cost, strategies for minimizing costs, and payment plan options.
If you’re worried about how braces look, clear dental aligners may be an image-friendly alternative. “Rather than skipping orthodontic work altogether, I encourage my patients to look into the clear retainer technology," Kevin Varley, DDS, a dentist at Stonebrook Family Dental in Aurora, Colorado, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
"The benefits [of aligners] include being able to still eat all of your favorite foods, participating in all your favorite activities, and more without the fear of getting injured by a metal wire or bracket,” Varley adds.
If you have dental insurance, your provider will be able to tell you about coverage options for aligners. And a dental professional will be able to tell you if aligners are right for you.
Online orthodontic clubs are another option for accessing dental aligners.
Using this model, you'll either send in impressions of your teeth or go to a storefront location to complete a dental scan. Using these diagnostics and, possibly, additional teledentistry evaluations, your club will create your aligner plan and send your customized devices straight to your door.
It's important to select a club that offers licensed, professional supervision by dentists or orthodontists. You should be able to remotely communicate with your professional team in order to ensure that your treatment is safe and effective.
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