Orthodontic treatment by design has to be long-term care, moving teeth from their current positions into a more aligned and healthy, not to mention aesthetically pleasing. locations. This cannot be done quickly without significant discomfort and trauma. So these are many of the factors that affect the costs of these types of long-term care. This article explores some of them and how to get the most out of your treatment.
Common treatment methods
The equipment used in orthodontic care has always been changing, with modern trends towards more convenient treatment methods and ease of daily use, rather than strictly focusing on clinical effectiveness.
The standard metal braces are still the most common treatment method, not only effective in a wide range of cases but is popular due to its wide availability and use of interchangeable parts. It is one of the cheapest pieces of equipment but it requires manual adjustment throughout the treatment cycle, so patients have to attend their clinic regularly, usually every 6 weeks. These clinic visits end up making up the majority cost of the care using traditional metal braces.
Clear aligners have captured a lot of attention recently. They fully embrace the new demands of patients to have their orthodontic cake and eat it as an effective way of altering position, but are also unnoticeable in everyday situations. They do not reduce your food choices and are easy to maintain. Not to mention clear aligners are produced in sequences with each of the adjustments throughout and care planning pre-baked into these aligners, it is possible to go through treatment with minimal visits to the clinic. Many surgeries will allow check-ups via online video conferencing and only request patients to attend if they have concerns that the treatment is going awry.
Clear aligner alternatives
Lingual braces share some of the similarities of your standard metal brace, apart from the fact that they are installed on the inside of the dental arch, facing towards the mouth. They are made of metal and deliver forces to the teeth via an arch wire allowing them to produce more force but they are still visually low impact. The brackets have had a low profile as not to disrupt speech making lingual braces intensive to manufacture, significantly increasing their costs.
Finishing with a retainer
There is a common complication in orthodontic care referred to as reversion, when teeth attempt to return back to their starting positions. Therefore, the majority of orthodontic work will finish with a retainer. Whether using more traditional orthodontic tools or clear aligners, it’s a good idea to pay attention to your package to see if retainers at the end of treatment are an additional cost or included.
It would be wise to assume that the retainers are necessary and budget them into your care costs, rather than have an unpleasant surprise and a larger bill than expected at the end of treatment.