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How Much Do Braces Cost?

The Cost of Braces & Your Financing Options
Melissa Brock
Melissa BrockUpdated September 5, 2023
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Braces are corrective devices placed on the teeth to fix dental problems, including crooked teeth, alignment issues, and crowding. Braces generally cost between $3,000 and $10,000, but it depends on a few factors, including the type of braces you choose.Keep reading to learn the various types of braces, their costs, what insurance will or will not cover, financing options, and more.

Types of Braces & Their Costs

What type of braces fit your specific needs? How much do braces cost? Your orthodontist or doctor will recommend the right type — ceramic, metal, Invisalign, or lingual braces — based on the issue you’re looking to correct and your personal preference.


If you want a more subtle option, consider ceramic braces. Ceramic braces serve the same purpose as traditional metal braces, but are made of tooth-colored or clear ceramic material. They are less visible than metal braces, but typically cost more than their metal counterparts. However, they may also fracture or detach from your teeth, meaning that your orthodontist may have to be more gentle with them or leave them on for longer. How much are ceramic braces? You will likely pay between $4,000 and $8,000 for ceramic braces.


Metal braces, made of a stainless steel alloy, are placed on the teeth using wire and brackets. The square brackets bond to the middle of each tooth with bonding glue. Brackets hold the archwires in place, which pass through each bracket on each tooth. Ligature elastics keep the archwire sturdy. Orthodontists adjust your archwire approximately every four to six weeks. These adjustments apply slight pressure to your teeth and the periodontal ligaments that surround them. Metal braces aren't as subtle as ceramic braces or Invisalign, but cost less than these types of braces. You can expect to pay $3,000 to $7,500 for standard metal braces.


Invisalign, which are clear plastic aligners, fit closely over the top of the teeth. An orthodontist or dentist takes a 3D digital scan of your teeth and creates a treatment plan. You wear the aligners about 22 hours a day, taking them out only at mealtimes and while brushing your teeth. Your doctor evaluates your teeth regularly and supplies you with a new set of custom aligners on an as-needed basis. Most patients finish treatment over one to two years, while traditional braces can take up to three years to yield complete results. Invisalign usually costs between $3,000 and $7,000. 


Lingual braces are those placed behind the teeth instead of on the front of the teeth like traditional braces. Orthodontists make a dental impression or scan your teeth to make custom brackets, which might not even cover every single tooth.Individuals typically wear lingual braces for 18 to 24 months, though it depends on your situation. Your orthodontist will schedule regular appointments every six to eight weeks.Lingual braces offer the most "invisible" option because they are placed on the inside of your mouth. However, they can irritate the tongue and cause you to have speech difficulties due to their placement.Lingual braces typically cost between $5,000 and $13,000.

Does Insurance Typically Cover Braces?

Unfortunately, many dental insurance plans or dental discount plans do not cover braces or aligners. However, those with a medical need for braces (such as difficulty chewing or jaw misalignment) may be entitled to insurance coverage. You may also get coverage for orthodontia through a separate policy, discount plan, or rider. Note that you may have waiting periods and that even with a policy in place, you're still on the hook for thousands of dollars for the braces. Dental insurance may pay between $1,000 and $2,000 for patients 18 years old or younger.

Financing Options

Can you finance braces? You can! In fact, you can choose from a few financing options for braces, including:  
  • Payment plans: Payment plans for braces means breaking up payments into multiple payments rather than making one lump-sum payment. You may put a down payment on the braces, then spread the remainder of the payments over weeks or months. Orthodontists can offer low-to-little-interest orthodontic or dental loans
  • Credit card: You can also pay for braces with a credit card, but make sure you don't rack up high-interest debt. Consider applying for an introductory 0% credit card and paying off the braces before the introductory rate expires.
  • Personal loan: A personal loan is a type of unsecured loan that you can borrow through a bank, online lender, or credit union and repay with interest. "Unsecured" means that the loan isn't tied to collateral, such as your home or your car. Qualifying for a personal loan depends on your lender, but they may look at your credit score, payment history, income, and debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. DTI refers to the amount of debt you have relative to your income.
Recommended: How Much Can You Borrow With a Personal Loan?You may also qualify for a Flexible Savings Account (FSA) with your health insurance. An FSA allows you to set aside pre-tax money to pay for qualified medical expenses. You may be able to set aside money from your paycheck to go into your FSA to pay for braces. If you're on a high-deductible health plan, you can set aside money into a Health Savings Account (HSA). Just like an FSA, tax-free money also goes into an HSA. In most cases, you can use an HSA or FSA to pay for braces.  

The Takeaway

Braces typically cost between $3,000 and $10,000, but will vary depending on the type of braces you choose, how long you need them on for, and your specific orthodontist and plan. Types of braces include ceramic, metal, Invisalign, and lingual. Insurance does not typically cover braces, but check with your specific policy to see what your options are. To pay for braces, your options include paying cash, going on a payment plan with your orthodontist (if offered), taking out a personal loan, putting the cost of braces on a credit card, or using an FSA or HSA account.If you’re looking to pay for braces with a personal loan, Lantern by SoFi offers an easy-to-use interface to make comparing personal loan interest rates simple, all with no obligation to you.Lantern can help you compare rates and find loan offers in minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to get braces without insurance?
How can I find affordable braces?
What is the best way to pay for braces?
How long does it take to pay off braces financing?
Photo credit: iStock/AJ_Watt

About the Author

Melissa Brock

Melissa Brock

Melissa Brock is a higher education and personal finance expert with more than a decade of experience writing online content. She spent 12 years in college admission prior to switching to full-time freelance writing and editing. Her work has appeared on Yahoo Finance, Entrepreneur, Investopedia, The Balance, FinanceBuzz, The Journal of College Admission, MarketBeat, College Finance, Rocket Mortgage, LeverageRx, Benzinga, Morty, Ally, and more.
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