American Association of Orthodontics

Are Traditional Braces Cheaper Than Invisalign? 

When thinking of braces for yourself or your child, the cost is certainly one of the main considerations. The actual cost varies with some factors like the length of the treatment and the orthodontic problems that must be corrected. Different systems can also affect the cost. Here's some information that would probably help you decide between traditional braces, which are cheaper, or with Invisalign.

Comparing Braces and Invisalign

Traditional braces are made from ceramic or metal brackets that are connected by wires. They remain in place throughout the treatment. "Real" braces require careful attention to oral hygiene. Some foods are also off limit as it could break a wire or bracket. The Invisalign system, on the other hand, is consists of a series of clear plastic aligners that fit over your teeth. The aligners are removable for oral hygiene, meals, and special occasions like the senior prom or wedding. Standard metal braces are advantageous when used to correct pretty much any orthodontic problem, while Invisalign won’t be effective severe malocclusion or if your teeth are shorter than the average.

Visit Differences

The number of visits you need may vary will depend on whether you choose braces or Invisalign. With braces, most people are scheduled to come back and be checked at least once a month to have the wires tightened. This allows the orthodontist to check how much the teeth have moved and in what direction. Any minor changes will also be checked like examining the mouth, teeth, and gums for signs of problems. With Invisalign, if the retainer is made at one time, you may need fewer visits. However, some orthodontists recommend making new aligners individually, which requires frequent visits to get each new aligners fitted. Making a new aligner involves making a new mold from your teeth which consume time and supplies and can drive up the cost.

Dental Health Issues

Brackets of metal or ceramic braces are fixed to the teeth with cement. However, it is still possible for bacteria to affect the enamel under the bracket. Using braces also calls for attention to the oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing are vitally important, as brackets and wires can affect your ability to clean the tooth surfaces. Sometimes cavities can be found and treated while the braces are still on. In other cases, it is not until the braces are removed where cavities show up. While cavity treatment isn't – strictly speaking – a cost of orthodontia, it can affect the total cost. This is one area where Invisalign offers an advantage, as the removable aligner allows you to perform a very thorough cleaning.

How Is Invisalign Different from Traditional Braces? Beecroft Orthodontics

Another Consideration

One of the factors many people may not consider when it comes to the cost is how the removable Invisalign aligner can affect the treatment time and results. The typical recommendation is to wear the aligner at least 22 hours a day. This would mean self-discipline for the patient. As teeth shift into their new position, it could be uncomfortable. It can be tempting, especially for children, to remove the aligner to decrease any discomfort. Sometimes a self-conscious teen may be reluctant to wear the aligner in public. However, wearing the aligner less than the prescribed time increases the chance that the treatment will take longer. Another issue of having a removable aligner is misplacing it. A lost aligner would mean additional expense to create a replacement.

Other Cost Factors

Some primary factors that determine whether braces are cheaper than Invisalign are: ~ The complexity of the case ~ How long your treatment would take ~ Where you live ~ Your insurance coverage. It goes without saying that complex cases take more of the orthodontist’s time and effort. Remember, what you're really paying for is the expertise and experience of your orthodontist. Treatment length affects cost, as longer treatments typically take more visits, more supplies, and more of the orthodontist's time. Geographical considerations can also affect costs – costs are generally high in large metropolitan areas. Although insurance coverage doesn't affect the actual cost of braces and Invisalign, it does affect your out-of-pocket costs.

Examples of Costs

In the US, standard metal braces cost between $3,500 and $7,000 for the total treatment, according to Cost Helper. Treatment times range from one to three years. Obviously, more complex problems take more time and visits, which affects cost. Lingual braces, which are placed behind the teeth and less visible, are another form of traditional braces. These take more time and effort and it is more challenging to place them on the teeth, but in other aspects, they are similar to the usual metal braces worn on the front of the teeth. The average cost of lingual braces is $5,000 to $13,000. Invisalign costs typically range from $5,000 to $8,000. However, simpler orthodontic problems may require fewer aligners and can bring the cost down to around $2,000.

Ways to Reduce Costs

The best way to reduce your out-of-pocket costs for braces and Invisalign is to have good dental insurance. The average insurance plan covers around $3,500 of the cost or orthodontic treatment, whether the treatment is for standard braces or Invisalign. Many employers offer flexible spending accounts for healthcare that will allow you to put up to $2,550 each year of pre-tax dollars into an account which you can then use for healthcare expenses, including orthodontia. You can also lower your monthly costs by saving up a down payment. Many orthodontists offer zero-percent financing or payment plans.

The bottom line? The cost of orthodontic treatment varies significantly. It really depends on how severe the orthodontic problems are, how long the treatment takes, patient cooperation and compliance with prescribed treatment, and your insurance coverage. In the long run, it's not the system you're paying for, it's the expertise and experience of your orthodontist. His or her recommendations of the dental system you need can affect your costs, and a high level of expertise can also make a difference. Discuss all of these issues carefully prior to initiating orthodontic treatment. If you have questions or concerns or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us.



11113 Leavells Rd. Fredericksburg, VA 22407

Phone: 540 898 2200

Are Traditional Braces Cheaper Than Invisalign? 

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Changing Orthodontists during Active Treatment

Orthodontics LAST UPDATED: MARCH 28, 2017

Is it Possible for a Patient to Change Orthodontists?

You may not think about it before you get braces, but it may become a question you need to address. What if you need to change orthodontists?


Why do you need to change orthodontists?

The number one reason people change orthodontists is they are moving. We live in an area where there’s a fairly large military community, and a lot of people move in and out. Sometimes these moves are unexpected and the kids or adults are in the middle of orthodontic treatment. Or, they’ll come from one office in another part of the country to a different one. So, “yes,” it is possible to change orthodontists.

What’s involved in the situation?

It will be harder when you see two or three orthodontists during the course of your treatment because orthodontists’ techniques are often different. Regardless of how things flow, it’s always not as effective when there’s more than one orthodontist working on a patient. With that being said, the American Association of Orthodontics came up with a system that works well, providing forms that address exactly where patients were at the beginning of treatment. Most offices will provide you your initial records, the initial treatment plan and reason for treatment.

How would the payments work out?

Another form offers suggestions on how the initial orthodontist would complete treatment, steps he would take, and how much time is left for the remainder of the treatment. There’s also a financial form.

Usually there’s a formula to calculate how much money you’ve put down with the first orthodontist and how much money the insurance paid out. This way the next orthodontist knows what’s left in the financial contract and can help smooth things out.

But, despite the best efforts of both parties to ensure a smooth transition, there can be hiccups. Is the second orthodontist comfortable using the appliances the first orthodontist used? Every orthodontist is different and there are many different types of braces and appliances that deliver similar results. But, orthodontists are trained differently and more comfortable using one appliance over another. So, before moving, ask if the next orthodontist uses the braces you have. Or, do you have an appliance in your mouth, to correct your bite? Ask if the orthodontist is comfortable using that appliance. These are good things to know before you go.

Unfortunately, most people will pay more for treatment than they would normally due to the up-front costs associated with orthodontists. Initially, you pay more upfront to the orthodontist. Then, you see the second orthodontist longer than you would if you had just continued with the first orthodontist. Unfortunately, the transition is never 100 percent efficient. So, you pay more.

What are some other reasons you might change orthodontists?

If you plan to move, plan accordingly. Even though moving is the main reason for switching orthodontists, every once in a while, patients switch orthodontists because they’re unhappy. That’s more of a difficult transition, due to the situation. Usually, you deal with professionals that transfer the records and can expect the process mentioned earlier. So, regardless of the reason of changing orthodontists, look for orthodontists that use the same appliances, the same braces you have, and ensure they are comfortable using them. Then, your treatment will go as efficiently and smoothly as possible, despite the change in offices.

A young female patient came in a few weeks ago after calling two to three orthodontists. She knew what type of braces she had, but the other orthodontists told her they weren't comfortable with the type. They advised they may need to take her braces off and put different ones on to ensure everything goes smoothly. Obviously, when you have braces on, you don’t want to replace them in the middle of your treatment when it’s unnecessary. When she came in, I assured her I was comfortable using the braces she had. Although, they aren’t the main type of braces we use, I was trained with them. And, her treatment’s gone smoothly.

Before switching orthodontists, always ask yourself if you’re comfortable at that office. And, remember, if you ask the right questions--expect a smoother transition.

At Beecroft Orthodontics we welcome new patients that have moved to the local area. If you are already based in the local area and are using a local orthodontist, it will most likely be case dependent.

For more information, questions and advice, contact Beecroft Orthodontists. We are always happy to help.

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr Fredericksburg ,

Virginia Phone: 540-898-2200

Changing Orthodontists during Active Treatment

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Tooth-Friendly Recipe 4: Broccoli Cheese Soup

broccoli cheese soup

Enjoy a Tooth Friendly Recipe to Strengthen Your Bones and Teeth

While you are wearing braces or aligners, you need to eat nutritious food in order to keep your teeth, bones and gums healthy. Your orthodontist will provide a list of foods that you cannot eat to avoid damaging the brackets or wires of your braces. It is not a good idea to chew hard or sticky vegetables or potato chips but soft cooked foods are an excellent choice for a meal. Broccoli cheese soup is a great food to have for lunch or dinner, and it contains numerous vitamins and minerals, including:

• Calcium • Vitamin A • Zinc • Vitamin K • Manganese • Vitamin C • Folate • Riboflavin • Vitamin B • Protein

How to Make Delicious Homemade Broccoli Cheese Soup

When you make soup, you need to chop the ingredients into tiny pieces before cooking it until it is tender. For this soup, you can use fresh or frozen broccoli. Melt a small amount of butter in a stockpot over low heat before adding some minced onion. Add your favorite flavor of cheese cubes such as cheddar, and after the cheese melts, add milk and a tiny amount of garlic powder. Next, add the fresh or frozen chopped broccoli to the soup mixture. While these ingredients heat on the stove, mix cornstarch with water in a bowl to add to the hot soup to thicken it. Stir the ingredients slowly while the soup becomes thicker, and serve it immediately.

Call Beecroft Orthodontics Today to Schedule Your First Appointment

If you live in Virginia, then schedule an appointment with Dr. Matt Beecroft to determine if you need to have your teeth straightened. Beecroft Orthodontics has three offices available, including:

• King George – 540-775-2022 • Stafford – 540-659-6300 • Fredericksburg – 540-898-2200

With our state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging equipment, you can see how your face will look after undergoing orthodontic treatment.


Beecroft Orthodontics

10472 Georgetown Dr. Fredericksburg, VA 22553 Phone: 540-898-2200

Tooth-Friendly Recipe 4: Broccoli Cheese Soup