Cheapest Way to Straighten Teeth

Cheapest Way to Straighten Teeth

Dental work can cost a pretty penny, especially if you don’t have dental insurance.  But taking care of your teeth is crucial. Your oral health impacts your overall health and your quality of life. If you’re working with an experienced and reputable dentist, chances are the benefits you receive from your dental work will be well worth the cost. If you’re looking for the cheapest way to straighten your teeth, it’s important to remember that the cheapest way is not always the best way, especially if it’s not the most effective method for your particular situation. The best way to determine which teeth straightening options are best suited for you is to consult your dentist or orthodontist. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about the cost of straightening teeth. 


How much to straighten teeth?

When it comes to teeth-straightening, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to upwards of $10,000, depending on the scope of treatment and the chosen teeth-straightening method. The cost of teeth straightening depends on several factors, including:


  • The type of treatment 

Teeth-straightening methods range from simple to fairly complex.  In some cases, a couple of veneers will be enough to give the appearance of a straighter smile, whereas someone else may need to wear braces for two years or even have surgery to correct bite problems and crooked teeth. The type of teeth straightening procedure will have a significant impact on the cost of treatment. 

  • The scope and duration of the treatment

If you need extensive correction, you may need to wear your braces longer than if you need only mild adjustments. The longevity of your orthodontic treatment will affect the cost.

  • The frequency of appointments 

Frequent adjustments mean more visits to the orthodontist, and that cost will be factored into the amount you pay for treatment.

  • The cost of the appliances

The type of appliances, and the quality of the materials used for straightening your teeth will affect the overall cost of your orthodontic treatment. For example, metal braces cost less than ceramic braces. 

  • The geographic location of the orthodontic practice

The region where you live can have an impact on the cost of your treatment. The cost of braces in Southern California, for example, might be lower than the cost of braces in New York. 

  • The orthodontist’s fees

A highly skilled and experienced orthodontist in San Diego may have a higher fee than a less experienced orthodontist in Tucson. (But the same can also be true. Don’t assume that just because you’re paying more, you’re getting better treatment.)

  • Dental insurance

If your dental insurance covers some of the cost of teeth straightening, it will reduce the amount you have to pay out of pocket. 

Based on all these factors, it’s easy to see how everyone’s situation will be different. There is no one-size-fits-all cost for teeth straightening. The only way to know for sure how much your orthodontic treatment will cost is to schedule a consultation with your dentist or orthodontic practitioner. 


Does dental insurance cover teeth straightening?

The short answer is, “Yes, but not always.”  Some insurance plans will cover a portion of the cost of teeth straightening, but in most cases, this is only if the treatment is considered medically necessary. What’s considered medically necessary will vary from one insurance company to the next. You’ll need to contact your insurance carrier to ask whether your teeth-straightening treatment is covered. 


So what is the cheapest way to straighten teeth?

Even though we can’t tell you for sure how much your teeth straightening will cost, we can give you an idea of some of the more affordable teeth-straightening options. Of course, as we mentioned above, it’s important to keep in mind that the cheapest way to straighten teeth may not be effective for your situation. Your dentist or orthodontist will be able to guide you on the best options for you. 


In general, the more minor the adjustments needed, the less the treatment will cost. Minor adjustments can sometimes be treated with permanent retainers, which cost approximately $250-$500 per device. Braces, however, are the most common method of teeth straightening, as they can correct a range of different orthodontic issues, minor or more extensive. There are several different types of braces, and the cost depends on the materials and the duration of treatment and other factors mentioned above. Typically, metal braces are the cheapest way to straighten teeth if you need more correction than a retainer can provide. The cost of braces ranges as follows:


  • Metal braces$2500-$7500 
  • Ceramic braces – $3000-$10000
  • Lingual braces (behind the teeth) – $5000-$13000
  • Invisalign braces (clear aligner trays) – $3500-$8500


Not everyone needs braces, though. There are a couple of quick, easy fixes that give the appearance of straighter teeth by making cosmetic improvements.  

  • Porcelain veneers (for cosmetic improvement only) – $500-$2500 per tooth
  • Composite bonding (for cosmetic improvement only) – $250-$1200 per tooth

Whatever your teeth-straightening needs, we can help. At University Dental in San Diego, we’ll evaluate your teeth and provide you with a range of options to suit your dental needs as well as your budget.  


Ready for a straighter, brighter smile? Come see us at University Dental in San Diego!

For more information on our orthodontic services at University Dental, call at 619-582-4224 for an appointment today.