Calculating braces cost when trying to do research before the fact can be a daunting prospect. There is a simple explanation for this. Every patient is different, and braces are a cosmetic procedure. In the world of aesthetics, all of any type of procedure is custom. Anatomic variance between individuals, combined with their varying preferences, makes cookie cutter procedures and hardware impossible. Add the variety of different types of orthodontic surgery, hardware and options, and there is a nearly limitless number of options to take into account when determining what braces cost. The only realistic way to determine what a patients braces cost will be is to make a consultation appointment with an orthodontist…or two.

Doing some research so that one understands approximately where they are likely to stand on the scale of how involved the process and hardware will be is a wise step. Malocclusion is the biggest term that one may hear an orthodontist use. This word means, in essence, crooked. Type 1 Malocclusion means that the teeth are not well aligned side-to-side, but line up front to back/top to bottom. They need some simple therapy designed to straighten them, which is not typically too difficult. Patients with this type of Malocclusion may be candidates for the Invisalign type appliances, which is fast, impacts the lifestyle less, and is generally easier to care for.

In a Type II Malocclusion the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth excessively. This is also known as an overbite. It can cause wear on the front teeth.

In a Type III Malocclusion, patients have an underbite, or their bottom teeth overlap their top teeth. Type II and Type III Malocclusion can exist with other types of problems, such as spacing and evenness, overlap left to right, or problems with matching up evenly. Overjet, more commonly known as buck teeth, and crossbite, where teeth don’t line up with the arc of the other teeth. Other problems include open bite, where the opposing teeth don’t touch, and of course, tooth decay. All of these issues not only can affect how teeth look, but also how they function, and wear.

An orthodontist’s first goal is to protect the health and function of the teeth. Healthy teeth are naturally more aesthetically pleasing. Worn, decaying, and gaping or crowded teeth are not attractive. So an orthodontist must plan to correct function, and then tweak the teeth with an eye for aesthetics.

If this sounds complicated, it is. What braces cost is directly impacted by the types and severity of these problems, singly or in combination. Prospective orthodontic patients should make an appointment with an orthodontist to determine just exactly what their treatment options are, information about sedation dentistry if needed, and information about what their particular braces cost.