Orthodontics for children can come at a hefty price point. Even if there are ways to lower the upfront cost of treatment, many parents do have to wonder if it’s worth it.
We want to join you in analyzing some factors that contribute to this discussion. We’ll let you be the judge, but we can tell you from this very moment that there are significant advantages to starting medical treatments as soon as possible.
Whenever we orthodontists consider early monitoring and interventions of young patients, we are referring to two-phase treatment.
What is Two-Phase Treatment in Orthodontics for Children?
Two-phase orthodontics for children focuses on a primary stage overseeing a child’s dental development and minimizing risk factors for orthodontic problems while laying the foundation for a second stage that corrects unavoidable malalignments.
Orthodontists focus on the alignment of anyone’s dental structures. We make sure that all your permanent teeth are well aligned and that you achieve a proper maxillofacial relationship to ensure an appropriate bite function.
Orthodontic treatment is well-known for using appliances like braces and aligners to achieve those goals. Still, there are lingering concerns in the field pointing to how limited we are when we plan treatment for a patient long after their dental development is complete.
Don’t get us wrong. Adults can and should get treatment regardless of their age. If a patient is eligible for intervention, they should go ahead with it to help their dental health be as optimal as possible. But there are considerable benefits to helping guide a child’s dental development from an early age.
But at early ages, the idea is to use a strategy that takes advantage of your kid’s growing bones, intercept any developing problems, guide their growth, and create sufficient space for incoming permanent teeth to avoid problems like crowded teeth.
Two-phase treatment means starting earlier and helping your child achieve better dental health conditions while attempting to shorten the time they need to wear braces.
Some patients remain unconvinced that these strategies help shorten treatment length, while others believe that it just increases the cost of their child’s interventions. But we want to focus on one thing: is two-phase treatment worth it?
There are cases where you can save significant amounts of money and time, while others do come up at a slightly higher price. Let’s review each case.
Considering the Overall Cost of Orthodontics for Children
Wearing orthodontic appliances can be expensive. Many dental practices offer financial aid to their patients. Some insurance companies help cover a part of your child’s treatment, but you may have to pay close attention to the conditions they demand. One such case includes being referred to an orthodontist by a general dentist first.
There are interest-free payment plans and financing options adjusting better to your budget, allowing you to make monthly payments. Even some others opt for tax-deductible options with some financial institutions. You can check out some of the financing options available with our team right here.
Parents whose teenage kids undergo treatment with braces can expect costs ranging from $3,000 to $6,000. Keep in mind that one of the most efficient, durable, and budget-friendly options is using traditional metal braces to treat crooked teeth and achieve a perfect smile.
The cost of braces can change if you switch traditional braces for other cosmetic alternatives to braces. Ceramic braces can increase that amount to the $4,000 to $8,000 range. And even other design options like self-ligating braces can significantly change how the specialist plans orthodontic care.
Invisalign® clear aligners, an increasingly popular option, are very attractive to children who want to avoid calling too much attention to their new appliances. Still, parents do have to consider a similar price range. Do consider that average prices are always much more affordable to any family interested in orthodontic care for their children.
Phase 1 orthodontics also presents additional costs. This phase can cost anywhere from $450 to $1500, and you have to factor in x-rays or emergency care. If you are worried about the initial visit cost, you shouldn’t be. We offer first-time patients a complimentary exam.
Can I Save Money with Early Orthodontist Care?
In some cases, the success of phase 1 orthodontics is such that some patients may not need phase 2 treatments saving families thousands of dollars. This study compared and reviewed several cases of phase 1 treatments leading up to those favorable results.
However, each patient’s case is unique, and what works for your child may not work for another patient and vice-versa.
It’s always better to consult with your kid’s orthodontist about the expected need for braces and what their orthodontic treatments will entail.
Is Two-Phase Treatment Worth It if It’s More Expensive?
Ah, these are the big questions.
Two-phase treatments can be around 25% more expensive than single-phase orthodontic care. The cost of braces will still vary depending on several other factors, like your insurance, the severity of your kid’s conditions, and the type of braces used, but it will certainly have a positive impact.
Your kid can achieve a beautiful smile without needing painful interventions when they have early care. In many cases, such early interventions help overcome developmental problems that, if left untreated, can only be fixed with invasive surgical procedures where your orthodontist needs to coordinate with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
So, yes; engaging in early treatment can help your kid’s oral health in the long run.
Where to Start With Orthodontics for Children?
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends getting an evaluation by age 7. Take your child to a qualified dental health specialist who can review their health issues and recommend a beneficial type of treatment according to your kid’s age.
Engaging in orthodontic treatment is not an easy choice, but it can become a rewarding investment in your child’s physical and emotional well-being.
Always make sure to consult with a specialist to make the best decision possible. After all, it’s better to know all the information you need to avoid unnecessary expenses.
The team here at Pavlo Orthodontics will be thrilled to help you start analyzing your child’s case and determining if they need early orthodontic care, or if they can hold off until their teenage years. Give us a call if you are in Peabody or Newburyport, and start the journey towards healthy smiles!