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Does Dental Insurance Cover Braces?

Dental insurance can help you pay for regular visits to the dentist to keep your smile healthy and clean in exchange for affordable monthly premiums. Plans provide coverage for many procedures and treatments, but some policyholders may need clarification on whether their dental policy covers braces. Let’s take a closer look at how dental insurance works when getting braces.

How does dental insurance work?

Dental insurance is a supplemental insurance policy that helps cover the costs of dental visits and procedures. Policyholders pay monthly premiums in exchange for coverage. If you get a dental policy from Aflac, you can receive enhanced coverage for preventative, basic, and major services.

Do dental insurance plans offer coverage for braces?

Braces are considered orthodontic services. This means that while some dental plans cover braces for children, many plans lack coverage for patients over age 18.1 Although Aflac dental insurance doesn’t cover orthodontics, we do cover a wide range of other treatments and procedures.

How much do braces cost with and without insurance?

The average cost of braces without insurance can range from $3,000 to $13,000.2 The material used for your braces can impact the cost:

Material Cost (without insurance)
Metal $3,000 - $7,000
Ceramic $4,000 - $8,000
Lingual $5,000 - $13,000

Dental plans that offer coverage for braces typically cover 50% of the cost, up to a $1,500 maximum.3 However, policies vary in coverage and caps.

Factors that affect the cost of braces

Several factors affect the cost of braces:2

  • Materials: As mentioned earlier, the braces' materials can impact their cost.

  • Length of wear: The longer you need braces, the more appointments you must make with your orthodontist to adjust your braces. This can result in higher costs.

  • Complexity of treatment: Braces may cost more if you need more complex treatment. For example, more severe jaw misalignment or teeth crowding may result in higher costs.

  • The orthodontist: The orthodontist’s experience and specializations may impact the cost. Location plays a role as well. Orthodontists in high-cost areas may charge more.
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How to find the right dental insurance plan  

Consider the following factors when looking for a dental plan that fits your needs:

Compare coverage 

Shop for multiple policies, comparing what they cover and in what amounts. For example, if you think you may need something specific in the future, consider getting a policy that offers coverage for what you need.

Consider the costs

In general, policies with more extensive coverage will cost more. However, some policies with similar levels of coverage may cost more or less. Compare the cost of each policy against coverage amounts to ensure you’re getting the coverage you need that fits your budget.

Weigh premiums against deductibles

Policies with higher premiums often have lower deductibles and vice versa. High-premium plans may work better if you need more frequent services, such as fillings. On the other hand, higher-deductible plans can save you money over time if you only need coverage for semi-annual cleanings and exams.

Consider limitations or exclusions 

Policies may limit or exclude coverage or procedures. For example, a policy may only cover two yearly cleanings and exams. Another example, as mentioned, is that many policies don’t cover braces for patients over 18. Read a policy’s details to uncover any limits and exclusions before moving forward with it.

Get a quote for Aflac dental insurance 

Dental insurance can be a cost-effective tool for getting the dental treatments you need, helping with basic services to more extensive procedures. Although many plans don’t cover braces for adult patients, Aflac dental insurance covers a variety of services that can help with the cost of maintaining a healthy smile. Chat with an agent today to learn more about your coverage options and get a quote.

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