Examining the average cost of Orthodontics (Braces vs. Aligners)
By Dr. Mike DePascale and Sara Neigel
Today we will dive into the cost differences between braces and aligners with two members of the Kozlowski Orthodontics team: Dr. Mike DePascale, an orthodontist, and Sara, a Treatment Coordinator. These two will provide us with expert perspectives on orthodontics cost structure. This information will help new patients navigate the decision-making process while seeking treatment with either braces or aligners.
Professional Background: Dr. DePascale and Sara have seen over 2400 patients in the last three years.
Q: What are the differences in pricing between braces and aligners?
A: Sara: In our practice, braces and aligners are almost always going to be the same cost. We don’t want cost to prevent patients from using what they prefer. We know we will get patients who can really benefit from orthodontic treatment but maybe have an aversion to either braces or aligners. Teens often come in and want something clear / invisible. We don’t want cost to preclude them from getting the treatment they need, so we have upfront cost where all fees are included. We try to make sure everything is as easy as possible for them. We know that orthodontics is not always the easy thing to afford and we make our treatment prices comprehensive without lab fees or any surprise charges. Our fees are based on three main things: patient goals, patient needs, and the complexity of treatment.
Q: Are there any ways that patients can save money or see some cost savings for braces or aligners treatment?
A: Sara: That is hard to say without seeing a patient because all fees are based on the amount of work that needs to be done. If a patient calls with concerns about cost, we will tell them average cost is in the $5k-$7k range. We also offer flexible financing. We have pricing on our website that allows patients to see the financing options. There are also discounts available for paying the fee in full. All discounts are applied based upon how much you put down.
We also make our fees all-inclusive, which is another way patients can save money. How? Let’s say you go to an office and the fees aren’t all inclusive. Later on, a bracket breaks in the patient’s mouth. Some places will charge for that. An all-inclusive service saves money that patients would have to pay in this scenario. All of our fees are included up front, so that patients can save money in the long run. We work really hard with patients, so they understand the cost savings that an all-inclusive service provides them.
Q: Is there any additional cost for quality of materials or products with braces or aligners?
A: Dr. DesPascale: Not at all. While it costs us more to use aligners than braces, we do not pass that cost on to our patients. We always use the highest quality materials. We would not compromise that standard, no matter the situation. The quality of materials is not what determines the final cost, but rather the complexity of treatment. Aligners are not more complex, but if the required treatment is complex it will often result in a longer total treatment time. Our fees will reflect that, and, as a result, braces may become a less costly or more preferable option for the patient. The opposite is sometimes true as well. When we quote someone a fee and give them options, that fee is all inclusive for whatever is involved in that treatment plan. It’s up to them to weigh the costs and decide which will work best for them.
Q: We’ve heard that a great smile is priceless. Can you share any patient stories or testimonials that really help drive home the value of the treatment you can provide with braces or aligners?
A: Sara: Yes. One of the patients we saw today cried on the phone telling her story. She cried when she came in, too. She was just so happy and emotional when she finished her treatment. She was a class III patient. She told me that as a kid she used to use a Popsicle stick to try and bring her upper teeth in front of her lower teeth because she was so self-conscious about her bite. She would try to do the same with a clothes pin. She would try all these different things because, when she was growing up, her family couldn’t afford braces. When she came in for her initial consultation, she was very nervous, but we talked her through the process, and she ended up choosing braces. She returned later that day and started treatment. When she came back in, she was so excited. She walked back through the office and said, “This is my team! You guys are so amazing! I’m so excited!” She was radiating. These braces are literally going to change her life!
Dr. DePascale: We have countless stories like that from patients. We recently saw a patient that decided to get married before her treatment was scheduled to finish. She came into the office and we took off her braces for the wedding. She sent us the most amazing, beautiful wedding photos with her smile. When she came back, we put the braces back on to finish her treatment. We touch lives every day. It’s one of the best parts of my job.
To learn more about braces and aligners products available at Kozlowski Orthodontics you can visit them at: https://kozbraces.com
The opinions expressed are those of Dr. DePascale and Sara Neigel. Ormco is a medical device manufacturer and does not dispense medical advice. Patient results may vary. Clinicians use your own judgment in treating your patients.