Dental Blog / Does Dental Insurance Cover Braces?

Does Dental Insurance Cover Braces?

Updated May 2022

Braces can do more than straighten misaligned teeth and help you get the beautiful smile you want. If you’ve been diagnosed with malocclusion—misalignment of your bite, such as an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite—an orthodontist can recommend the appropriate treatment to resolve the problem.  

Unfortunately, braces aren’t cheap. And because you typically have to wear them for a long time (two years is the average), the costs can add up. Prices vary based on factors like the types of braces you need and how severe your condition is. On average, metal braces might cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000, while ceramic braces might be $4,000 to $8,000, and Invisalign might cost $3,000 to $8,000. Ouch!

You know that dental insurance can help you save on everything from cleanings to implants, but are braces covered by insurance? The brief guide below covers braces insurance for kids and adults. 

Yes, you can get dental insurance that covers braces

If you’re worried about affording braces, the great news is you can find dental plans that cover orthodontics, and you might be surprised by how affordable they are. 

With the right type of insurance, you can save a lot of money while getting top quality orthodontic care. However, not all plans cover orthodontics, so check the details carefully when shopping for dental insurance.

What do orthodontic insurance plans offer?

Coverage varies from one dental plan to the next, even when it comes to braces. As you browse the policies that cover orthodontics, you may notice that there are different levels of coverage for different types of orthodontic appliances. Or, you might only be able to get support for specific types of braces. But if an insurer will cover even just a percentage of the cost, you might be able to save hundreds or thousands of dollars when everything is said and done. 

Dental insurance for orthodontics for kids

Whether your child’s bite is misaligned or the teeth are too spaced out or overlapping, braces may be the solution. That’s why choosing an insurance plan that includes coverage for orthodontics for kids is a smart move. 

Just be sure to read the details carefully, as some plans impose limits on coverage, and some might even restrict coverage based on whether or not the braces are medically necessary (e.g., your child has trouble chewing).  

What about orthodontic insurance for adults?

If you never got braces when you were younger and you’re ready to improve your bite or smile, you can find plans that cover orthodontics for adults. Again, just beware of coverage restrictions. For instance, braces might not be covered if you want them solely for cosmetic reasons.  

Note: When shopping for dental insurance that covers braces, you might come across plans that cover orthodontics only for kids and teens. So, if you need braces as an adult, be sure to look for plans that specify they’ll provide this type of coverage. 

What to look for in dental insurance that covers braces

Once you start looking into the dental plans that cover braces, you might feel a little overwhelmed by your options. To narrow them down to those that are right for you, consider the following:

Out-of-pocket costs

In addition to the monthly premium, you might be responsible for other fees, such as copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. Also, if the insurance only covers a portion of the cost of orthodontics, such as 50%, you’ll be responsible for the rest.  

Limits, restrictions, and exclusions

Check details like annual maximums, lifetime maximums, and other coverage limits that can affect how much you’ll be responsible for.  

Types of orthodontics covered

There might be varying levels of coverage for the many types of braces. For example, if you really want to go with Invisalign or ceramic braces, read the fine print to be sure those are covered.

Waiting periods

Some insurance policies come with waiting periods you need to complete before becoming eligible for coverage. This can impact how soon you can get braces after you enroll in a policy. 

In-network vs. out-of-network orthodontists

If there’s a particular orthodontist you’d like to use, confirm that they’re in-network with a plan you’re considering. While some plans provide support if you see an out-of-network provider, you likely won’t save as much.

Other treatment coverage

In addition to the cost of the braces, there will be other fees to consider, such as the cost of exams and any other treatments that might be needed. The more your insurance will cover, the better. 

How to find an orthodontic insurance plan that covers braces

Whether you need orthodontics coverage for your kids or teens or you hope to find dental insurance that covers braces for adults, the Direct Benefits Marketplace can simplify the process. Compare the plans available in your area to see which ones offer the most comprehensive coverage. Then, start the enrollment process whenever you’re ready. Before you know it, you’ll have insurance that can help you improve your smile without breaking the bank.