From crooked teeth to a bad bite, braces can fix a variety of dental issues.

If you plan on getting braces for yourself or someone else, here are some different types to consider.

Types of braces

Metal braces

Traditional metal braces are one of the least expensive but most noticeable types of braces. Stainless steel brackets are glued to each tooth, and metal alloy arch wires connect brackets that gently pull the teeth into proper placement. With regular braces, small rubber bands or ligatures are used to keep the wires attached to the brackets. Self-ligating braces have built-in clips to hold the wires.

Length of treatment: 14–20 months with appointments every 6–8 weeks1

Typical cost: $2,500–$7,000

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, but made from white or clear material so they’re less noticeable. Sometimes called “white braces,” the wires can also be coated in white to hide them better. Ceramic braces can be regular braces with bands or self-ligating.

Length of treatment: 18–24 months with appointments every 6–10 weeks2

Typical cost: $2,000–$5,0003

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are metal braces behind the teeth. Their placement makes them the least noticeable, but also the most difficult to adjust and keep clean. They’re typically the most expensive because of the difficulty placing and adjusting them.

Length of treatment: Generally, 14–20 months with appointments every 8–12 weeks4

Typical cost: $5,000–$13,000

Invisible braces

While not exactly “invisible”, they are one of the less noticeable ways to straighten teeth. Instead of wires and brackets, invisible braces use a series of clear plastic aligners to guide the teeth into the desired position. The aligners fit on your teeth like a mouth guard or a teeth whitening tray.

At-home length of treatment: 6 months with no appointments

At-home typical cost: Generally, $2,000

In-office length of treatment: 12–20 months with appointments every 8–12 weeks

In-office typical cost: $3,500–$8,500

Does dental insurance cover braces?

Some dental insurance plans offer discounts on adult and child orthodontic care. If you or a family member needs braces now or in the future, look for a plan with orthodontic benefits to help cover those costs. Certain plans may offer different discounts, so be sure to read through the benefits in each plan before making a final decision.

Humana can help cover the cost of braces

If you need orthodontic care, Humana can help. We offer a broad range of dental plans with varying levels of coverage, many with affordable monthly premiums. Some of our plans also feature no waiting periods, which means you could get covered in about 5 days. To see plans and prices in your area, check out our Humana dental insurance page.

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Sources

  1. “What do Lingual Braces Cost? Learn About Incognito Braces Behind Teeth,” Dentaly.org, last accessed December 22, 2020, https://www.dentaly.org/us/lingual-braces/.
  2. “Average Cost of Braces From the ADA,” The Balance, last accessed December 22, 2020, https://www.thebalance.com/average-cost-of-braces-4582464.
  3. “Ceramic Braces Guide: Types, Costs, Brands, Reviews, Pros and Cons,” Dentaly.org, last accessed December 22, 2020, https://www.dentaly.org/us/ceramic-braces/.
  4. “What do Lingual Braces Cost? Learn About Incognito Braces Behind Teeth.”