Does Dental Insurance Cover Braces?

with HealthPlusLife

dental insurance cover braces
November 14, 2023 | Johanna Karlsson

Navigating the world of dental health can sometimes feel like a maze, especially when faced with orthodontic decisions that promise to have lasting impacts on one’s smile and overall oral health. Braces, a common solution to aligning and straightening teeth, have been a rite of passage for many and a transformative experience for adults seeking a perfect smile. Yet, with their transformative potential comes a significant cost implication. As individuals and families consider this investment in dental aesthetics and function, a pressing question emerges: does dental insurance cover braces? In this exploration with HealthPlusLife, we’ll dive deep into the intricacies of dental insurance, providing clarity on coverage, potential limitations, and how to make the most of your insurance policy.

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Braces and Their Rising Popularity

In today’s age, aesthetics and health go hand-in-hand. One of the most noticeable reflections of this trend is the escalating interest in orthodontic treatments, especially braces. While braces were traditionally associated with teenagers, a growing number of adults are now seeking these treatments, either to correct issues they’ve lived with since childhood or to achieve the ideal smile they’ve always desired. This surge in demand has propelled an ever-evolving industry of orthodontic innovations. However, with these advancements comes a vital concern: the cost and the consequent question — how much of it can be managed through dental insurance? And does dental insurance cover braces? As consumers, being financially prepared and understanding the intricacies of insurance coverage can save both money and unexpected stress.

Dental Insurance 101: The Basics

In the realm of dental insurance, the scope of coverage can vary significantly from one plan to another. It’s essential to comprehend the nuances to avoid unexpected out-of-pocket expenses. Typically, dental insurance plans categorize treatments into three main buckets: preventive, basic, and major.

Preventive treatments often include routine check-ups, cleanings, and x-rays. These are typically covered at high percentages, sometimes even in full, given that they are foundational to maintaining oral health. Basic procedures might include fillings, extractions, and sometimes even root canals. Major procedures often encompass more extensive surgeries, crowns, and, of course, orthodontic treatments like braces.

Now, when it comes to braces, many dental insurance plans do offer coverage, but it’s commonly under the banner of orthodontic care, which may have its own separate coverage limit. It’s not unusual for insurance policies to cover around 50% of the orthodontic treatment cost, up to a specified maximum amount. However, this can vary. Some plans might offer more generous coverage, while others might provide less. Additionally, lifetime caps on orthodontic coverage are also common, meaning the insurance will only cover up to a particular amount for orthodontic care in the insured’s lifetime.

It’s also crucial to note that while many plans do provide coverage for braces, they often come with stipulations. Some policies may only cover orthodontic treatments for individuals under a certain age, typically under 18. Others might require a waiting period, meaning you’d need to have the insurance for a set amount of time before tapping into orthodontic benefits.

In conclusion, while many dental insurance plans do provide some level of coverage for braces, the specifics can differ widely. That’s why when you wonder is dental insurance worth it, it’s imperative to thoroughly review your policy or consult with your insurance provider to get a clear picture of what’s covered and what isn’t. And with the myriad of plans that HealthPlusLife offers, there’s a myriad of options to explore and understand in this context.

Braces: A Brief Insight into Orthodontic Treatments

When discussing braces, we’re delving into a subset of dentistry dedicated to correcting teeth and jaw alignment — orthodontics. Over the decades, this field has seen significant advancements. No longer are patients limited to conspicuous metal braces. Today, options span from nearly invisible clear aligners to ceramic braces that blend with the teeth, and lingual braces placed behind the teeth. Each type comes with its own set of pros, cons, and costs. The latter, especially, can vary dramatically, with certain sophisticated treatments reaching premium price points.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Braces: What’s Typically Covered?

One of the most frequently asked questions in orthodontics consultations is, “Will my dental insurance cover this?” The response, invariably, is multifaceted. Many dental insurance plans recognize the importance of orthodontic treatments and provide coverage, but the degree can differ. Some plans might cater extensively to children, providing substantial coverage, while others may offer limited benefits for adult treatments. The key lies in meticulously reviewing policy details, understanding clauses, and establishing open communication with both the orthodontist and insurance provider.

does dental insurance cover braces

The Exclusions: When Braces Might Not Be Covered

Just as crucial as knowing what’s covered is understanding potential exclusions. A common limitation in many dental insurance policies is age-related restrictions. Some insurers may not cover braces for individuals over 18, deeming it a “cosmetic treatment” beyond this age. Additionally, the reason behind seeking braces can play a role. Treatments deemed medically necessary, such as those addressing severe misalignments causing health issues, might be more likely to receive coverage compared to those pursued purely for aesthetic enhancements.

Tips to Maximize Your Dental Insurance Benefits for Braces

To ensure you’re making the most of your dental insurance, it’s wise to adopt a proactive approach. Start by thoroughly reading and understanding your policy. If possible, consider timing your treatments strategically, aligning them with your coverage periods to maximize benefits. Before embarking on any orthodontic journey, engage in a detailed discussion with your insurer, asking pointed questions. Establish clarity on aspects like waiting periods, network restrictions, and the exact percentage of coverage for different types of braces.

HealthPlusLife’s Approach to Dental Insurance and Braces

HealthPlusLife stands as a beacon of clarity in the often-murky waters of insurance. Recognizing the complexities individuals face while deciphering dental insurance, especially concerning specialized treatments like braces, we’re committed to offering guidance. Our team of experts can demystify policy details, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. Moreover, our online portal,, serves as a repository of tools, articles, and resources, all designed to simplify your insurance experience and provide answers at your fingertips.

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Call Now (888) 828-5064 TTY 711

Alternative Financing Options for Braces

For those finding that their dental insurance doesn’t quite bridge the financial gap, several alternative financing avenues exist. Many orthodontists, recognizing the hefty price tag of some treatments, offer flexible in-house payment plans. Additionally, leveraging Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) can provide pre-tax dollars for treatments. Beyond these, discount dental plans, though distinct from insurance, can offer sizable discounts on various procedures, lightening the financial load of orthodontic endeavors.

Making Informed Decisions about Braces with HealthPlusLife

Embarking on an orthodontic journey, especially in the pursuit of a transformative smile, should be a time of excitement, not stress. By arming oneself with knowledge, understanding the contours of one’s dental insurance, and exploring all available options, it’s entirely possible to achieve dental goals without undue financial strain and get answers to the big question: Does dental insurance cover braces? HealthPlusLife is dedicated to supporting you in this endeavor, ensuring that every step taken is informed, confident, and aligned with your best interests. Whatever your questions, concerns, or aspirations, consider us your steadfast ally in this journey. Whether you need answers to top questions like does dental insurance cover implants or you want to review your options or alternative plans to what you already have, we’re ready to help you.

Johanna Karlsson
Johanna Karlsson is a veteran health and life insurance professional licensed in 50 states. She relocated from the countryside in the south of Sweden and has not looked back. After coming to the United States to attend university, she gained her degree in Public Relations. She brought her public relations skills to a local international health insurance where she discovered a new passion in insurance. After years with that company, Johanna now joins HealthPlusLife to help build a team of licensed insurance agents ready to meet your insurance needs.