July 06, 2023 • 10 mins read

Breaking Down the Cost of Orthodontics: How Medical Insurance Can Help

Are you considering orthodontic treatment but worried about the cost? Learn how medical insurance can help you cover the cost of orthodontics and break down the associated expenses.



Danielle Duncan

Breaking Down the Cost of Orthodontics

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that deals with the correction of teeth and jaw misalignment. It involves the use of braces, aligners, and other devices to straighten teeth and improve oral health. However, the cost of orthodontic treatment can be quite high, making it difficult for some individuals to afford. This is where medical insurance comes in to help. 

Nearly half of all patients avoid annual dental visits, including orthodontic care. Meaning, they just aren’t getting the treatment that they need due to the cost of treatment, fear, or worry about whether or not treatment can be afforded. Orthodontic treatments have become increasingly expensive over the years, leaving many wondering why it’s so costly. 

Why is orthodontics so expensive? 

Education and Experience 

Orthodontists have to undergo extensive training and education to become experts in their field. You wouldn’t want just anyone shifting the alignment of your teeth! Typically, this cost is included in the overall cost of orthodontic care. 

Materials and Equipment

Orthodontists use specialized materials and equipment to provide effective treatment. These materials and equipment are expensive, especially as technology becomes more robust in streamlining the orthodontic process. 

Labor Costs 

Orthodontic treatments require a great deal of labor, from consultations to adjustments. The cost of this labor is reflected in the overall price of treatment.

Overhead Costs

Orthodontic offices require a significant amount of overhead, including rent, utilities, and staff salaries. These costs are included in the overall cost of treatment.

Customized Treatment 

Orthodontic treatments are highly customized to meet each patient’s unique needs. This level of individualized care requires a significant investment of time and resources.

Breaking Down the Cost of Orthodontics
What can be done to make orthodontics more affordable? 

While orthodontic treatment may be expensive, it’s important to remember that it’s an investment in your overall health and well-being. With the right orthodontist and treatment plan, you can achieve a beautiful, healthy smile that will last a lifetime.

One way to help patients afford orthodontics is to bill medical insurance. Orthodontists, specialists, and dentists alike can all implement medical billing for dental and orthodontic treatments to reduce the burden of cost from their patients and increase patient compliance.

There are several reasons why billing medical insurance for orthodontics is beneficial for both patients and providers. 

Firstly, medical insurance coverage can significantly reduce the financial burden on patients who require orthodontic treatment. This is especially important for individuals who may not have the means to pay for such treatment out-of-pocket or for those whose dental insurance isn’t robust enough to cover orthodontics. 

Secondly, billing medical insurance for orthodontics can help providers attract and retain patients by offering a more comprehensive range of services. This can also lead to increased revenue for providers, as they are able to bill for medical insurance coverage in addition to traditional orthodontic fees. 

Lastly, medical insurance coverage for orthodontics can also lead to improved patient outcomes. This is because patients who have medical insurance coverage are more likely to receive timely and appropriate treatment, which can lead to better results and overall satisfaction. 

Overall, billing medical insurance for orthodontics is a win-win for both patients and providers. It can help reduce financial burden, increase revenue, and improve patient outcomes.

Remember, medical insurance can help to cover some of the costs of orthodontic treatment, making it more accessible to people who need it. However, it is important to understand how medical insurance works, what it covers, and how proving medical necessity is key to billing medical insurance for orthodontics and any other dental treatment

There are different types of medical insurance plans, and not all of them cover orthodontic treatment. Some plans only cover basic dental care, while others provide more comprehensive coverage. It is important to check with the patient’s insurance provider to understand what is covered under their plan.

Typically, medical insurance plans that cover orthodontic treatment will pay for a portion of the cost. The amount of coverage can vary depending on the plan, but it usually ranges from 50% to 80%. This means that the patient will be responsible for paying the remaining portion of the cost.

The cost of orthodontic treatment can vary depending on a number of factors. These include the severity of the misalignment, the type of treatment required, and the location of the provider. On average, the cost of braces can range from $3,000 to $7,000, while the cost of aligners can range from $4,000 to $8,000.

Orthodontic treatment is often a long-term process that can take several years to complete. This means that patients will need to make regular payments over the course of their treatment. Medical insurance can help to alleviate some of this financial burden by covering a portion of the cost.

In addition to medical insurance, there are other options available to help cover the cost of orthodontic treatment. Some providers offer financing options that allow patients to pay for their treatment over time. There are also third-party financing companies that specialize in medical expenses.

It is important to weigh the payment options when it comes to offering or receiving orthodontic care. As a practice it is possible to expand your billing department to include billing medical insurance for ortho treatments. Not sure where to start? Take our free assessment to see how medical billing will look in your orthodontics practice today!

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