If you are considering braces for yourself or a family member, chances are you are seeing dollar signs. Worrying about the cost of braces is a big reason people put off getting braces.
If you are wondering whether braces or other alignment options are “worth the price,” you aren’t alone. But the truth is braces go much farther than just achieving a more attractive smile. Braces can save you money in the long run and can even help to prevent serious medical problems down the line.
If you are still thinking of braces as a big expense, it may be time to think of them as an investment in a better, healthier future.
Prevent Tooth Decay
Overlapping teeth are hard to clean effectively, and the spaces between them can become home to debris, plaque, and dangerous bacteria. This is because the areas that overlap can be larger, and the teeth can be very close together. Brushing and flossing those tight spaces is difficult.
At first glance, a resulting cavity may not seem like that big of a deal. But one study found that the lifetime cost of tooth decay in a single tooth can average $1,788 to $2,187, and in some cases, could get to be upwards of $6,000. When a tooth is lost as a result of decay, dental implants range from $3,000 to $5,000 per tooth. And in worst-case scenarios, a full mouth reconstruction can range anywhere from $30,000-$90,000.
Avoid Gum Disease and More
As with tooth decay, misaligned teeth lead to more bacteria at the gum line. Over time, this can cause gum disease as plaque and tartar build-up and are not easily removed. The bacteria that thrive have been linked to heart disease. In addition, gum disease is correlated with stroke, diabetes, and premature birth.
The costs of these health problems can be staggering. For example, the average person with diabetes will spend 2.3 times the amount on healthcare costs than they would have spent without the disease. The out-of-pocket expenses for a single heart attack are often in the thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. These figures do not take into account lost wages or career opportunities.
Other Health Problems
Misaligned teeth cause more than tooth decay, gum disease, and the related health concerns we already mentioned. In addition, crooked or crowded teeth can result in:
- Bruxism (tooth grinding)
- Speech problems such as lisp and whistling
- Mental health issues
All of these issues have potential related costs, not to mention how much they can affect someone’s quality of life.
It is a widely held belief that confidence breeds success. Of course, it makes sense that the confidence gained from feeling better about your appearance will positively influence your self-esteem as well as your relationships. But beyond boosted confidence, is there actually evidence that a straighter smile can lead to a better career?
While there are obviously no guarantees, there is evidence to support the idea that having a more attractive smile could aid in success. A study by the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics found that a straighter smile made someone appear more intelligent and more likely to be hired.
Are Braces Worth the Cost?
Millions of patients each year decide that braces are worth the investment. And not just for kids; adults can reap the benefits of straighter teeth as well. If you are concerned about the cost of braces, schedule a consultation with our office today. We can help with determining potential insurance contributions as well as offer financing.