Why are Braces So Expensive?

When people begin researching the process of getting braces for their children or even themselves, they might hang their heads in frustration and wonder: why are braces so expensive?! When they start discussing the treatment with an orthodontist, most people are shocked about how expensive are braces. After all, these tiny metal pieces will cost you between $5,000 and $7,000. This is a prohibitive cost for many, who might postpone or even totally give up this orthodontic treatment.

In this article, we will review some of the aspects that come together to make up the prices of braces. There are a number of factors that go into the price of braces. While the price might seem steep at first, once you begin to look at everything it covers, it begins to become a bit easier to understand why are braces so expensive.

Why are braces so expensive – 4 Factors that add up to the cost of braces

In this section, we will go over in detail a few of the main aspects that come into play when determining the cost of dental braces. There is more to the price than what meets the eye. Before asking your orthodontist why do braces cost so much, you should know that you are not just paying for a few pieces of metal on your teeth. Read on to see what else factors into the price of braces.

1. Appointments Over a Few Years

Getting braces means a lot of chair time for the patient. This is because, unlike some other more basic dental treatments such as cleanings, extractions, or fillings, orthodontic work can take anywhere from a month or two, to 2-3 years to gain the desired results. Since tooth movement is slow, applying light pressure to guide it along over a long span of time delivers better results.

When looking at the typical 2-3 year plan, the patient will be going to the office and sitting in a chair for up to an hour at a time in order to get the next adjustment. That can equate to around 24 to 30 visits, not including emergency appointments, for the duration of the treatment. That adds up fast when you are wondering why are braces so expensive.

why are braces so expensive


2. Mechanisms in Braces

Those little square-looking metal objects aren’t as simple as they seem. There are many mechanisms inside of them that help move the teeth along. Keep in mind that orthodontics is a science that allows the moving of teeth through the bone and this is tricky. There is a reason orthodontists go to school for as long as they do.

Even the slightest mistake can beget serious consequences on the jaw and teeth themselves, including loss of teeth; therefore, it is important that these intricate mechanisms and the knowledge of your orthodontist are allowed the time they need to work and are appreciated for what they are. Although tiny, these mechanisms are indeed complicated, explaining why are braces so expensive.

3. Materials and Supplies

Not only are you paying for the intricate mechanisms of the braces themselves that help move your teeth, you are also paying for:

  • The supplies used on your mouth each time you sit in the chair;
  • The costs of the sterilization equipment;
  • The time spent in a laboratory;
  • Supplies and products that are used during treatment;

These costs also add to the expensive price of the various types of braces.

4. Labor Costs

Going back to paying in part for the orthodontist’s skill, you are paying for their knowledge along with helping to cover costs that are involved in running their office–not just the materials used.

You must also factor in:

  • The orthodontist’s working time. This means everything from time spent diagnosing the problem to forming an effective treatment plan to implementing the procedure.
  • The dental assistant’s work time.
  • The front desk assistant who schedules the appointments.
  • The auxiliary personnel who help to clean up and break down the room after the patient has left to ready the area for the next patient.

Orthodontics is highly labor-intensive and therefore it is costly.


When all is said and done and these factors have been taken into consideration, it makes a little more sense when asking yourself why are braces so expensive to think about all of these components opposed to simply looking at the little pieces of wiring and thinking that is what you are spending most of your money on. Issues like labor costs, necessary materials, the intricate mechanisms found within the braces themselves and each visit that the patient must take to the dentist chair all add up to equal the price of a beautiful, straight smile.

Are you still not sold? Why do braces cost so much? Do you think that there is more to the price than what meets the eye? What was your experience like paying for braces? What are your thoughts on the price of braces today? Let us know in the comments.

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