Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Does Dental Insurance Cover Braces

If you or one of your family members needs braces, then you might want to be aware of whether your dental insurance will cover your costs. There are plans of dental insurance that covers braces.

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So do insurance companies cover braces? As a matter of fact, there are more dental insurance plans that don’t cover braces than insurance  that covers braces, and there typically a lot of restrictions on any policy that does include braces as part of the coverage.

This may seem a bit discouraging, but the truth is that braces can be very expensive, even as much as $5,000 for the total service. Even a policy that offers a small amount of coverage can still be worth having, just as long as your policy premiums don’t outweigh the benefits.

What Your Policy Might Offer

Of course, it is impossible to determine every possible scenario when it comes to what a dental insurance policy might offer. The basics, however, are very similar, so you can get at least a general idea of what you can expect.

Firstly, you won’t find a dental insurance plan that will cover 100% of the costs associated with getting braces. In fact, it is likely you won’t find any plan that will cover more than 50% of your braces.

dental insurance cover braces

The plan will likely include these elements:

  • First of all, your dental insurance may specify that it pays only a certain amount of your costs. For example, it might be a certain percentage of the costs such as 10%, 30% or 50%. In most cases, this type of plan has a maximum benefit as well. The other way it may be stated is based on a certain number amount, such as $1,000, $2,000, $2,500, etc.
  • Another thing that is usually the same between each type of dental insurance is having a deductible. Of course, the amount of the deductible will vary depending on what you choose when you purchase your dental plan, but typically the deductible varies from $500 to $1,000 so be prepared for some initial out of pocket costs before your insurance starts making any payments towards the braces.
  • In addition, most insurance plans require you to pay a copay each time you visit the dentist. Some insurance companies may consider each visit as part of the whole treatment and only require a single copay while other insurance companies will require you to pay a copay each time you visit the orthodontist.

In nearly 100% of the cases, the insurance will only cover braces for insured persons under the age of 18. What’s more, some will only cover them if the braces are deemed medically necessary.

The good news is that in a great many cases braces are considered medically necessary; as long as the orthodontist determines that this is the case, then you should be fine.

Many may wonder whether there are any dental insurance plans that cover braces for adults. You may find that adults can receive coverage it is determined that it is medically necessary, but this is more rare.

Lastly, although this isn’t about the dental insurance, it is important to note that most orthodontists will allow you to make payments on your out of pocket costs. In most cases, the payments must end before the end of treatment. That means if you need braces for two years, then the payment plan will be two years long. You will also find that many orthodontists have a set payment plan. If you need braces for 3 years, for example, you will still probably pay off your balance in 2 years.

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Other Things to Consider

If possible, you should try to purchase a dental plan that has a maximum cost rather than a maximum percentage coverage. The reason for this is that if you can find a more affordable orthodontist, then your plan will still cover $2500, for example. If you visit an orthodontists who offers braces for $3,000 and your insurance covers $2500 of the costs, then you will only have to pay $500 out of pocket.

dental insurance braces

If, however, your insurance pays 50% of the costs and the orthodontist charges $3,000, then your total out of pocket expenses will be $1,500, which is a pretty significant difference for most people.

If your dental insurance doesn’t cover your braces or they don’t cover enough of your braces, another option is to purchase a discount plan. A discount plan is not dental insurance, so don’t confuse it with that. Basically, you purchase a discount card that is accepted at various dental offices and orthodontists. These discounts can equal as much as 50%.

The downside to using a discount plan is that it often cannot be combined with your existing insurance plan, as they frequently require that you pay in cash in order to receive the discount. This is not always the case, however, and it would be worth your while to see if you could combine your existing dental plan with the discount card to further reduce your out of pocket costs.

You can also consider visiting a dental school for your orthodontic work.

All of your work will be supervised by a qualified orthodontist while students do the actual work. The costs associated with this course is usually about half of what a regular orthodontist costs. The downside is that you likely won’t see the same person each time you visit and for children this can be disconcerting.

  • NOTE: If you receive dental insurance through your employer, consider approaching your employer about adding an orthodontic option to your dental plan. The worse case scenario is that they so no, which leaves you no worse than your current situation.

Buying Dental Insurance

If your insurance doesn’t cover your orthodontic needs, then you may simply want to consider choosing another plan. In addition, if you don’t have dental insurance at all, you should really consider purchasing a policy. I most cases they end up paying for themselves, especially if you need any dental work done outside of your bi-annual cleaning.

buying dental insurance

You have several options when it comes to your dental plans, and it is important that you get the lowest rates possible for the plan you choose. Choosing the dental plan with the most affordable price is very easy when you use a quote tool. The free dental insurance quote tool allows you to compare dental insurance rates between several companies in a single place. You can access our free quote tool at the top of the page. Once you answer a few short questions, you will get instant quotes to let you see with whom you can save the most money.

In today’s economy, it is important that you save money wherever you can. Many people forgo dental insurance believing that they are too expensive. But the truth is that the associated costs with any dental work that you might need may end up being much more expensive than any of your annual costs might be.

All you need to do to see just how affordable dental insurance can be is to use our free quote tool. You should give it a try today and see just what you could be saving on your new dental insurance.

Try it out today by entering your ZIP code and comparing dental insurance quotes now!