A confident smile can have a significant impact on various aspects of your life, from personal relationships to professional success. A great smile not only enhances your appearance but also boosts your self-esteem, making you feel more comfortable and self-assured in social situations. Investing in your smile through orthodontic treatment can provide lifelong benefits.
Benefits of orthodontic treatment for adults
While many people associate orthodontic treatment with children and teenagers, many adults can also benefit greatly from teeth straightening. People often underestimate the difference that teeth can make to your overall appearance. Even slight tweaks in the position of teeth can create a more pleasing, youthful appearance, and provide increased soft tissue support.
Straighter teeth not only improve your appearance but also contribute to better oral health by making it easier to clean your teeth and maintain proper dental hygiene. Properly aligned teeth can reduce the risk of issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and abnormal tooth wear. With advancements in orthodontic technology, treatments like Invisalign® clear aligners and clear braces have made it possible for adults to undergo discreet and comfortable orthodontic treatment that fits seamlessly into their lifestyle.
Types of braces for adults
There are various types of braces, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Traditional metal braces are a reliable and effective option for adult orthodontic treatment. They consist of metal brackets attached to each tooth and connected by an archwire, which applies pressure to gradually move the teeth into the desired position. Modern metal braces are smaller and more comfortable than their predecessors, making them a viable choice for adults seeking an affordable teeth-straightening solution.
Despite the availability of more discreet options, many older teens and adults enjoy the fact that metal braces can be seen, wearing them as a fashion accessory and talking point. These patients fully commit to the look of braces as they would to a piece of statement jewellery or other new accessory. We’ve also seen increased instances of adults wearing metal braces in fashion media. It is up to you - braces don’t have to be boring, you can see them as a status symbol, a fashion statement, or just a fun temporary change up to your look.
For those who prefer a more discreet look, clear braces, often made of ceramic of similar materials, are a more discreet alternative to traditional metal braces. They function similarly to metal braces, but the brackets are made of tooth-coloured or translucent ceramic material, making them less noticeable. This aesthetic advantage makes clear braces an appealing option for adults who want their braces to appear more subtle during treatment. Clear braces are usually slightly bigger than metal braces. At Fine Orthodontics we offer clear braces for the upper arch.
Invisalign® clear aligners
For adults who prefer an alternative to fixed braces, Invisalign® clear aligners are a popular and discreet orthodontic treatment option for adults. These custom-made, removable aligners are made of clear plastic material that fits snugly over the teeth, making them virtually invisible.
Technology has advanced to the point where clear aligners are a great option for almost all cases. With Dr. Fine's extensive experience with Invisalign®, adults can benefit from a treatment that is tailored to their unique needs. In fact, for certain orthodontic issues, clear aligners may actually present a more efficient treatment option than traditional braces.
Clear aligners seem deceptively simple, lacking the intricacy and mechanical-looking parts usually associated with braces. The secret to their function lies in the fact that the aligners are changed regularly over the course of your treatment. For this reason you’ll sometimes hear your orthodontist refer to them as ‘sequential clear aligners’ rather than just aligners.
Aligners are provided as a series, carefully pre-planned by your orthodontist using computer software, and custom-made accordingly. A comprehensive treatment plan may involve numerous aligner sets. A typical number is 20-30, although this varies a great deal depending on your case. Each aligner is slightly different to the one before it, gradually moving your teeth over time. Each new aligner will feel snug or tight, with gentle pressure in areas where your teeth need to move. It is this pressure that gradually achieves the required orthodontic correction.
Whilst clear aligners are virtually invisible, in almost all cases your orthodontist will usually need to place small buttons or attachments on a number of teeth. These can almost always be clear or tooth-coloured. These buttons are usually essential to ensure that the aligners can grip teeth enough to move them, as well as to provide correct, direct forces on teeth where required, for example where a tooth needs to rotate in a very precise manner. These attachments are subtle, and usually not very noticeable. We will be able to show you examples of these attachments at your free* assessment appointment.
Invisalign® aligners are very popular with patients as they are convenient, especially as they can be removed while eating, drinking, and maintaining dental hygiene. Notwithstanding this, the fact that the aligners can be removed is the reason why some people prefer not to have them, as they suspect they won’t wear the aligners enough, and would prefer a fixed braces approach. Our Treatment Coordinator is more than happy to discuss all the advantages and disadvantages with you as they relate to your specific case and lifestyle.
Other clear aligners
Clear aligner technology was pioneered by the company behind Invisalign® clear aligners. After some years of exclusivity, competitors eventually joined the aligner market. With many years of experience with different systems, Dr. Fine has come to realise that there are pros and cons of different aligner systems. Rather than limiting himself to only one system, Dr. Fine keeps an open mind, focusing on each individual diagnosis and treatment plan, and then using his knowledge and experience of different systems to recommend the treatment modalities that best suit each case at the time of assessment.
FineLine by Dr Martin Fine
Further to the above, Fine Orthodontics also offers an exclusive clear aligner system developed by Dr Fine himself. FineLine is now being offered as an option amongst the other clear aligner systems available. It offers some unique benefits, especially in relation to its fast turn around and increased flexibility.
As FineLine was created for Fine Orthodontics patients only, FineLine is agile, and able to be tweaked anytime as needed, even on a per-patient basis. Unlike with other aligners, Dr Fine has complete control of the system.
FineLine is also an appealing option from a financial perspective. By removing the need to involve an external aligner manufacturing company, Fine Orthodontics can pass significant savings onto patients. In addition, as they are made in our on-site lab, FineLine aligners can be made as treatment progresses, rather than all ordered and shipped upfront. This means that we can do away with the requirement for a large initial deposit, making FineLine more affordable for some patients.
Choosing a treatment provider
An important thing to remember is that it is your clinician that drives the outcome of your orthodontic treatment. Understandably, many people think that braces or clear aligners like Invisalign® are a product which is the same everywhere. Whilst braces or aligners are indeed products; more precisely, they are tools used by your clinician to provide the service of orthodontic treatment. A useful analogy is to compare aligners and clinicians to paintbrushes and artists. With this in mind, it is easy to visualise that a tool placed in different hands will yield very different outcomes. Planning and placing teeth in their most ideal positions to suit you best is an art as well as a science, and many factors need to be considered and balanced, sometimes simultaneously, to create a truly beautiful outcome.
One consideration you may like to make if you are considering braces or clear aligners like Invisalign® is to find out if your clinician is a specialist orthodontist. Becoming a specialist orthodontist takes years of additional specialist tertiary education, and is very different to a dentist offering orthodontics. It is also worth noting that orthodontists gain much more relevant experience over their years of practice, as they offer orthodontics exclusively, rather than doing it occasionally amongst other types of general dental appointments.
Interestingly, while people sometimes consider seeking orthodontic treatment with a non-specialist as they suspect treatment will be cheaper, in reality the cost savings may be minimal or absent. This is because an orthodontic specialist will have systems and procedures in place that make orthodontic treatment more efficient. Their experience and training also gives them greater foresight to ensure that your treatment is carried out in the most straightforward manner possible.
In contrast, a clinician who doesn’t specialise in orthodontics may take longer to set up and carry out all the required planning and appointments, and this may be factored into the costs. The experience and training background of your clinician is not not always obvious, so you may wish to ask questions to be sure of your clinicians qualifications.
Factors affecting the cost of braces
There are a lot of factors influencing the price of braces.
Type of braces or aligners chosen
The cost of braces for adults can vary depending on the type of braces or aligners chosen. For example clear braces are usually slightly more expensive than metal braces. Aligners (e.g., Invisalign®) are not necessarily more expensive than braces, and can in fact be significantly cheaper than braces, depending on the aligners used.
At Fine Orthodontics we are pleased to be able to offer our own line of clear aligners. FineLine aligners use the best available materials and technology, and have the advantage of allowing the orthodontist increased levels of clinical control. In many cases we can offer FineLine at a lower fee and with a smaller initial deposit than other aligner options, simply because outsourcing to a large aligner company is not required.
Complexity of the case
The cost of orthodontic treatment is also influenced by the complexity of the orthodontic case. More complicated cases may require additional appliances, longer treatment times, or specialised techniques, which can increase the overall cost. Sometimes other medical or dental specialties are required to be involved in the case, which can add to the overall cost.
Despite treatment complexity, at Fine Orthodontics we now offer the option of limiting treatment to minor cosmetic improvement in some cases, provided patients have been given all the information and are able to make an informed decision. We recognise that despite the advantages of full correction, this is not always desired by the patient. By offering ‘tiered options’ in suitable orthodontic cases, patients have an informed, affordable option to make minor tweaks which may make a big difference to how they feel about their smile. Tiered treatment options can greatly reduce the cost of orthodontic treatment, making it a realistic option for some patients who dream about making a small change, but have ruled out full comprehensive treatment.
Duration of treatment
The length of treatment can also affect the cost of braces for adults. Longer treatment times usually involve more adjustments, follow-up visits, and maintenance, leading to higher costs. Costs associated with treatment length are usually closely linked to complexity of the case and treatment goals, but there are some instances where it becomes an independent factor affecting cost.
An example of this is where a patient simply doesn’t wear their clear aligners, and their teeth move in a way that the aligners no longer fit. Another example is a patient who breaks their braces, but doesn’t return for appointments, allowing the teeth to drift significantly off the plan.
Unfortunately if patients do not commit to their treatment, there is the possibility that your orthodontist will have to keep starting over, and treatment will end up more expensive than originally anticipated in order to get the same outcome. The best way to manage this factor is to ensure that you follow all appliance instructions as closely as possible, to ensure that extra treatment is not required.
Geographic location of the orthodontic practice
The cost of braces can vary based on the geographic location of the orthodontic practice. Prices may be higher in urban areas or regions with a higher cost of living.
Average cost of braces for adults
Regarding the average cost of braces for adults, this is what you can expect.
Cost of metal braces for adults
The average cost of metal braces for adults is difficult to estimate, as the cost of the treatment is very case specific. The main cost of treatment is for the technical expertise of your orthodontist, as opposed to the physical brackets and wires. Some cases will require more treatment planning, appointments, and liaison with other specialists than others.
We can let you know that a common fee is around $8,500 - $10,000. Please don’t be completely guided by this estimate however, as often the figure will deviate significantly from this depending on your unique needs. Fees much lower, as well as higher are possible. Common factors affecting the fee are those outlined above.
Cost of clear braces for adults
Clear braces, offered for the upper arch at Fine Orthodontics, tend to be a little more expensive than metal braces. Clear braces employ different materials which is reflected in the higher fee. Despite the additional fee, clear braces are popular amongst patients who desire or require fixed braces, but prefer a more discreet look whilst they undergo their orthodontic treatment.
Cost of Invisalign® clear aligners for adults
The cost of Invisalign® clear aligners for adults varies a great deal depending on the treatment plan. The majority of cases at Fine Orthodontics fall between approximately $5,000 to $10,000.
Factors such as the number of aligners needed, the duration of treatment, the treatment goals, and the complexity of the case can influence the overall cost. It is important to consult with an experienced Invisalign® provider like Dr. Fine to receive a personalised treatment plan and an accurate cost estimate.
Cost of other systems of clear aligners for adults
At Fine Orthodontics we do not limit our treatment to Invisalign® only, as we find that there are pros and cons of different systems. We even have our own line of aligners, known as FineLine. With increased flexibility and more options than ever before, the fee for aligner treatment at Fine Orthodontics can vary considerably, depending what options you choose.
For the first time we are now offering patients increased control over the fee for the orthodontic treatment, by providing ‘tiered treatment options’, with different prices to choose from depending on the extent of orthodontic correction desired by the patient. Whilst full correction may be more ideal, we understand that not all adult patients want full bite correction, and often need to balance treatment goals with other factors (such as cost and treatment time). Combined with the use of our own clear aligner system FineLine, we can offer substantial savings to our adult patients.
Insurance coverage and payment options
Here are the possible insurance coverage and payment options.
Dental insurance coverage
for adult orthodontics
Some health fund plans offer coverage for adult orthodontic treatment, which can help reduce the out-of-pocket cost for braces or aligners. You may wish to review your dental insurance policy or consult with your insurance provider to determine the extent of coverage for orthodontic treatment and any other restrictions or limitations that may apply.
Flexible payment plans
at Fine Orthodontics
Fine Orthodontics understands the importance of making orthodontic treatment accessible and offers flexible payment plans to suit different budgets. By working closely with patients, Fine Orthodontics can create customised payment plans that make it easier to achieve a confident smile without financial stress.
at Fine Orthodontics
Here at Fine Orthodontics, we offer cost-effective braces treatment. We are passionate about providing great value for money to our patients, offering world-class treatments meticulously planned and managed by our experienced orthodontist, Dr. Fine. Our systems and processes are well-organised and efficient, ensuring that your experience is as smooth as possible. At Fine Orthodontics our most important priorities are providing clinical excellence and great service, however we also wish to make treatment as accessible to as many patients as possible.
Customised treatment plans
At Fine Orthodontics, each patient receives a customised treatment plan tailored to their unique needs and preferences. This individualised approach ensures that patients receive the most effective and efficient treatment. As well as improving patient experience, an efficient approach to treatment planning also helps minimise costs and treatment duration.
Efficient use of digital technology
Fine Orthodontics leverages cutting-edge digital technology, including 3D x-rays, 3D cameras, and software systems, to provide comfortable, and efficient treatment. By utilising advanced technology, Dr. Fine can streamline the treatment process and achieve better results. Fine Orthodontics find that investing in the best technology ultimately reduces costs and treatment time for patients.
Remote monitoring to reduce in-office visits
Understanding the value of patients' time, Fine Orthodontics offers remote monitoring for many checks during treatment. This innovative approach allows patients to have fewer in-office visits, saving both time and money. By minimising the need for frequent appointments, remote monitoring can help make orthodontic treatment more cost-effective and convenient for adult patients.
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Guidance on maintaining braces for optimal treatment outcomes.
In conclusion, Fine Orthodontics is dedicated to providing cost-effective braces treatment whilst optimising quality and patient experience. Dr. Fine and the team prioritise individualised treatment plans, ensuring that each patient's needs and preferences are met. By leveraging state-of-the-art digital technology, Fine Orthodontics optimises efficiency and achieves superior results. With a commitment to clinical excellence, outstanding service, and accessibility, Fine Orthodontics is the ideal choice for those seeking affordable yet high-quality orthodontic treatment.
To explore your options and receive a personalised treatment plan, contact Fine Orthodontics for a free* assessment. With over 30 years of experience and a passion for creating amazing smiles, Dr. Fine and his team are ready to help you achieve the smile you've always dreamed of.