Braces have been around for decades, and there’s a good reason they remain a go-to teeth straightening option for adults everywhere: they work. But one thing that isn’t so certain about braces is treatment cost. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all number – it depends on a variety of factors, including your location.
You can get the same braces treatment in Georgia and three other states and you might receive four different bills. How? That’s what we’re going to find out. This guide is your roadmap to Georgia braces costs, every nuance and detail, so you know what to expect.
Table of Contents
Cost of Adult Braces in Georgia vs. National Average
According to the American Dental Association, the national average cost for adult braces treatment is $4,800 to $7,135. Georgia stays pretty consistent with those averages. The statewide cost of living is reasonable, and prices can be even more affordable in certain areas.
|Area||Cost in Georgia||National Average|
|Urban||$5,000 - $6,000||$5,000|
|Suburban||$5,500 - $6,500||$5,500|
|Rural||$3,500 - $5,500||$4,000|
These ranges are estimates based on what we know about adult braces costs and some information from a few Georgia based orthodontists. But they should give you a general sense of what you might pay.
Why Are Braces So Expensive?
There’s no getting around the fact that braces are expensive. But that’s because they’re one of the most consistent and effective treatments available.
They might be visible and somewhat intrusive, but braces’ major benefit is their sturdiness. You can’t take them out like clear aligners, so they eliminate the potential for user error. Sure, you need to avoid excessively sticky or gummy foods, but in return, you’re getting surefire results. Metal brackets and wires give an orthodontist incredible control over your teeth, and during routine office visits, he or she can make adjustments to deliver the perfect results.
Braces require routine trips to the orthodontist over the course of a 12-24 month treatment timeline, and each visit costs money. Orthodontist offices have overhead costs like rent, utilities, and staff, which translate to patient fees. And don’t forget that you’re also paying for the orthodontist’s expertise and time. However, as you’ll find out, the price you ultimately pay is subject to a variety of influences, including where you live.
Looking For Affordable Orthodontic Treatment in Georgia?
Braces are a time-tested treatment option, but their price tag doesn’t fit every budget. That’s one reason why more and more adults are opting for “at-home” clear aligners like SmileDirectClub instead of braces or Invisalign.
By cutting office visits out of the equation and providing professional oversight in a remote format, at-home clear aligner companies offer straighter teeth for a much lower price. Our in-depth comparison guide provides all the information you'll need to choose the best provider for you.
What Factors Influence the Cost of Braces?
Braces are typically expensive. But exactly how expensive is a more complicated question. Multiple factors can influence your final bill. Some are based on your location, others are constant across state lines. We break them all down in detail below.
This is the most significant price-determining factor. A minor case of crowding or spacing simply takes less time and aligners to correct than a severe case of crossbite. The fewer office visits your teeth require, the less you’ll pay. During your initial consultation, your dentist/orthodontist can evaluate your teeth and estimate how long your treatment might take.
Type of Braces
Orthodontic technology has advanced significantly over the past couple of decades, and standard metal brackets aren’t the only option anymore. For instance, you can opt for ceramic braces that blend in with your teeth, or lingual braces that sit behind your teeth. Each of these is less noticeable than traditional braces, but they’re also more expensive. Ceramic braces can cost up to $8,000, while lingual braces can be between $8,000 and $12,000.
In general, orthodontic care costs more on the coasts and less in the middle of the country. The northeast is particularly expensive, while southern states like Alabama and Mississippi boast some of the nation’s lowest costs. Taxes can also play a role. The state will add sales tax to your total braces cost, and higher corporate taxes might cause your orthodontist to accommodate by raising prices.
Generally speaking, the Southeast region has pretty average (or slightly lower than average) orthodontic prices. So if you live in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, etc., you’ll likely get a pretty reasonable deal on your braces. Although this depends somewhat on where you live in the state. Georgia also has fewer dentists and orthodontists per 100,000 population than other states, so you might have fewer orthodontist choices.
Three of Georgia’s four neighbors – Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina (sorry, Florida) – have a lower cost of living. In fact, Alabama and Tennessee have some of the nation’s cheapest average dental and orthodontic rates. So, if you live near Georgia’s western or northern border, you can venture into one of those states and potentially find some lower prices.
Georgia’s sales tax is 4%, an amount that’s added directly to the cost of your treatment. This is lower than many other states, so it won’t drastically increase your price. The state’s corporate income tax is a relatively-average 6%. It’s not overly expensive to run a business in Georgia, so it probably won’t cause your orthodontist to drive up their prices.
Urban, Suburban, or Rural?
Not only are orthodontic costs different for each state, but they also vary based on your location within the state. Urban areas, for example, often have a higher cost of living, and it’s less expensive to live in a small town. Do you have high rent and utility payments? Then your dentist or orthodontist likely does too. Higher overhead costs usually result in more expensive orthodontic treatment.
Georgia’s largest city, Atlanta, is also one of its fastest-growing. It’s next two largest, Augusta and Columbus, are around half that size. Atlanta has a slightly higher cost of living than the state and national averages, and braces prices tend to follow suit. Even though every orthodontist has their own rates and prices depend on your specific condition, the total cost often falls around $5,500. Augusta is a cheaper place to live with lower average healthcare expenses, so you’ll pay a little less there. Columbus also has a lower-than-average cost of living, but higher average healthcare costs, so you might pay just as much as you would in Atlanta.
Certain suburbs of Atlanta are frequent list-toppers in “most expensive places in Georgia” articles. In cities like Milton, Sandy Springs, Decatur, and Johns Creek, you’ll have a higher cost of living and (probably) higher orthodontic costs too. Outside of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, mid-sized cities aren’t quite that expensive. Savannah, Athens, Albany, and other independent cities tend to be more affordable places to live with lower average orthodontic prices. They just don’t have quite as many orthodontists.
The cost of living in rural Georgia is significantly lower than in Atlanta and its surrounding suburbs. Invisalign providers aren’t nearly as plentiful in small towns, but they’re often less expensive. Most of Georgia’s providers are concentrated around its large and mid-sized cities, so there’s a chance that you’ll need to travel for your treatment. But if you have an orthodontist nearby, you’ll probably get your braces for a lower price.
When you have numerous orthodontists in a given area, they each need to find ways to stay ahead of the competition and attract new customers. Many times, this means lower prices and special offers or sales. So, if there’s a high concentration of orthodontists in your area, it can mean lower prices, giving you the ability to “shop around.”
Even though Georgia has fewer dentists per 100,000 residents than many other states, its orthodontists are pretty well dispersed. Still, there’s more competition in Atlanta, Augusta, and other cities than there is in small towns. Competition means that orthodontists need to find ways to make themselves more attractive to new customers, whether that means lowering their prices, running sales, or something else. If you live in a city, check orthodontist websites (or call their offices) to see if they’re running any sales that might help you save on braces treatment.
If you’re in a small, rural town, you might only have one or two local options, so they don’t have to do as much to compete for your business. This doesn’t mean that you’ll never find sales on orthodontic treatment – it just means they’re less frequent.
Like most industries, in orthodontia, seasoned professionals can charge more for their services than relative newcomers. So, if your orthodontist has been administering braces for years, you might end up paying a bit more. For this reason, it can sometimes be helpful to “shop around” to weigh your options if you have multiple orthodontists nearby.
Managing Treatment Costs
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by treatment costs, you’re not alone. Take comfort in the fact that in most cases, you won’t have to pay the entire amount up front. Here are some ways you can make that price tag seem a little more manageable:
Review Your Insurance Plan
Braces for children and adolescents are partially covered by most dental insurance plans. However, plans don’t often cover costs for anyone over 18, unless they include orthodontic benefits. But you don’t want to begin treatment expecting help from your insurance provider, only to find out that it’s not coming. So don’t commit to braces without first reviewing your insurance plan and contacting your provider.
Some orthodontist offices also accept payments directly from an FSA or HSA account if you have one. Consult your dentist or orthodontist to see how they handle these payments.
Search for Sales and Discounts
You won’t likely see your orthodontist running sales or promotional discounts on braces. But sometimes they’ll offer perks to go along with your treatment, like teeth whitening or a percentage off your next visit. It certainly can’t hurt to ask. Sometimes you can even find deals on Groupon.
Universities with dental and orthodontic schools will also offer discounts if you don’t mind a resident administering your treatment. These individuals are qualified and on the track to becoming state-licensed orthodontists. Plus, they’re overseen by professors and experienced dental professionals, so you can be assured you’re receiving quality care.
If you live near Augusta, you can go to Augusta University for dental and orthodontic treatment at reduced rates. This is the only university in Georgia with a school of dentistry.
Inquire about Financing Options
Most orthodontist offices offer financing plans that break your costs into manageable monthly payments. Typically you won’t need to pay the entire lump sum upfront. The terms of these plans vary, so you should speak with your orthodontist about the financing options they offer.
If your orthodontist’s options aren’t ideal, you can look into third-party dental financing companies like CareCredit or beWell, which finance everything from routine dentistry to complex orthodontic procedures.
Discuss Aftercare in Advance
Even after the brackets come off, teeth tend to shift back to their old positions. Aftercare retainers keep that from happening. After your teeth have been freed, you’ll have a perfect new smile, and you’ll need to purchase a retainer to protect it. Retainer costs vary, but you can usually get one for $100 - $300. This, too, depends on your specific orthodontist.
Because your dentist can make tweaks and course corrections throughout your treatment, they can ensure that you’ll get a perfectly straight smile, and they won’t remove your braces until then. That said, some teeth simply don’t move quite as expected, so your orthodontist might need to add attachments and extend your treatment timeline, which will cost more. Talk to your orthodontist about their mid-treatment refinement policies before you begin.
3 Affordable Braces Alternatives
Braces are one of the most effective and powerful options out there, but they’re not ideal for everyone. Whether you’re unsure about the price tag or the procedure, here are three braces alternatives we think are worth your time.
1. Six Month Smiles
Maybe you want to get the sturdiness and power of braces, but avoid the metal wires and lengthy treatment time. If so, you might consider Six Month Smiles. They’re an in-office brand that uses clear wires and brackets for a more discreet appearance. Or, if you want to avoid brackets and wires altogether, they recently expanded their services to offer clear aligners as well.
With an average price range of $3,500 - $5,000, Six Month Smiles costs less than traditional braces in most cases. Plus, as their name suggests, the average treatment time is just six months, so you get the best of both worlds – one-on-one care and an abbreviated timeline. But on the flipside, Six Month Smiles isn’t suitable for as wide a range of conditions as traditional braces. If you have a severe case of misalignment, Six Month Smiles might not work for you.
Byte is a home teeth straightening service that sells custom clear aligners for less than half the price of braces or Invisalign. With Byte, you’ll receive your full aligner series in the mail, then administer treatment from the comfort of your home, no office visits required.
Like Six Month Smiles, Byte can only treat mild-to-moderate cases of misalignment. However, Byte’s average treatment plan length is a bit shorter — just 4–5 months, thanks to their “HyperByte” high-frequency vibration device.
We also appreciate Byte's lifetime guarantee, which promises users free revision treatment if their teeth ever move out of alignment. If you think Byte might be a good fit for your needs, check out our comprehensive review for a closer look at their service offerings, customer reviews, and a whole lot more.
Candid started out as an at-home teeth straightening service like Byte, but has since transitioned to a hybrid model that more closely resembles in-office treatment options like Invisalign.
With Candid, your treatment will be administered by a local dentist, but you'll only need to visit them in person a couple of times throughout the entire process — much less often than braces. That said, you'll still get the clinical oversight you need thanks to Candid's proprietary CandidMonitoring™ system, which allows you to submit scans of your teeth for review every two weeks from the comfort of home.
Candid treatment typically costs less than braces, but on the flip side, it's more limited in the scope of conditions it can address. Candid's treatment plans aren't currently designed to incorporate rubber bands or dental attachments like braces can. However, if you're looking to correct a mild or moderate case of misalignment, Candid could be a great option for you.
Read our review of Candid to learn more.
Getting braces is a big move, a significant step on your journey toward a new smile. But it’s a big expense, and uncertainty about your treatment’s price tag can be stressful. Fortunately, with the knowledge you’ve gained from this guide, you can get a better sense of whether or not braces are a viable option.
Keep in mind, though, that the only way to get a truly accurate cost for your braces in Georgia is by visiting your orthodontist. You should also remember that, although braces might seem expensive, there are ways to make them more affordable, like financing, discounts, and insurance. In the end, if you decide that they’re simply not right for you, there are plenty of other options available. No matter which route you take, your destination is the same: a brand new, photo-ready smile.
The average cost for standard metal braces without dental insurance is $5,250, and with insurance is $3,750. Ceramic braces – between $5,500 and $6,000. The average cost without insurance is $5,750 and with insurance is $4,250.How much do braces cost a month in Georgia? ›
The cost of your braces can vary significantly depending on your specific needs. On average, the cost of braces will be no more than $135 per month. Patients with severe misalignment in the teeth or jaw may require an extensive treatment with multiple orthodontic appliances.Is $6,000 too much for braces? ›
If your orthodontist recommends standard metal braces, your price should generally fall in the $3,000 to $7,000 range.What is the most expensive part of braces? ›
Invisalign is only recommended for use by teenagers and adults. Children should not wear these appliances. It's the most expensive braces option available and it's removable.Are braces prices negotiable? ›
Orthodontists may offer a discount if payment is made in full at the start of service, or they may have reduced rates for multiple children in the same family. For instance, Risas Dental and Braces offers a 20% discount to patients when they pay in full, according to Adams.How do you budget for braces? ›
- 1) Take advantage of pre-tax savings accounts. Contribute pre-tax dollars to a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account. ...
- 2) Move resources within your entire budget. ...
- 3) Check your insurance plan. ...
- 4) Visit an in-network Orthodontist.
The hardware of the braces are not the only materials used during treatment. Various supplies are used at each visit to the orthodontist and equipment must be sterilized after each use. The materials and supplies needed to properly assist patients at each appointment also add up and add to the cost of braces.What is the least amount of months for braces? ›
The minimum time to wear braces can be as little as several months to fix a basic crooked tooth or spacing issue through to 36 months for both metal braces and ceramic braces.Does Medicaid cover braces in Georgia? ›
Does Medicaid pay for braces? Orthodontics (aka braces) are a covered service for children under the age of 19 that are insured under the Georgia Medicaid programs. However, not all patients will qualify. Each CMO under the Georgia Medicaid program has their own criteria they look for to “approve” a patient for braces.Why are braces more expensive for adults? ›
What affects the average cost of adult braces. Adult braces usually cost slightly more than children's braces. As an adult, your jaw is fully formed and your teeth don't move as easily, so it will likely take braces longer to fix your bite.
A single-arch or partial braces treatment will usually cost less than full-mouth braces, but it won't be half the price. You can still expect it to be cheaper than a complex orthodontic process involving all of your teeth. For a specific price on upper or lower-only braces, you'll need to have Dr.What type of braces are affordable? ›
Traditional metal braces (the most affordable)
Metal braces are perhaps the most well-known form of braces treatment. They consist of metal brackets and a metal wire that helps shift teeth into optimal alignment. As a result, metal braces are a great option for correcting severe teeth and jaw misalignments.
Talk with your orthodontist about setting up a payment plan to help spread the cost out over a longer period of time. Other options are the use of an FSA (Flexible Spending Account) or an HSA (Health Savings Account) to help afford orthodontic procedures, such as metal braces or Invisalign.What is the difference between cheap and expensive braces? ›
Some types of braces are simply more costly to manufacture while others aren't. A more high tech office may use higher quality brackets and wires that can move teeth more effectively and efficiently, and those materials will be more expensive.Should I pay my braces in full? ›
Payment in full at the beginning of treatment may provide a way to save some money. Many orthodontists will give a discount if the entire treatment fee is paid when the braces are placed. Discounts vary from office to office, but are usually in the 3%-7% range.How do I ask my dentist for a discount? ›
If you don't have insurance or your policy won't pay for a particular procedure, ask for a discount. Start by looking at the "fair" prices in your area for your procedure at FAIR Health and Healthcare Bluebook. If your dentist charges more, negotiate. You can also ask about paying over several months.Should you shop around for braces? ›
Always Comparison Shop
But make no mistake, like any other profession, different orthodontists charge different rates. You may even have offices within the same block that offer varied services and prices. Therefore, it is always prudent to shop around and compare the exact same product to see if the price changes.
However, most medical insurance plans won't cover costs for regular or cosmetic dental procedures, including braces. Braces and other cosmetic procedures will typically need to be covered under a separate dental health insurance plan.How much does the average person spend on braces? ›
Braces may cost anywhere from $3,000 to upwards of $10,000. However, on average, individuals pay between $5,000 and $6,000. Removal costs around $60 to $250. The average cost of braces for children is $4,685 to $6,500, while adults spend an average of $4,800 to $7,135.How long do braces take? ›
You can't rush your brand new smile! Though everyone's orthodontic needs are different, most people will need to wear braces for anywhere from 1 to three years until their teeth are moved into place. Many orthodontists will estimate anywhere from 18 months to 2 years depending on how much correction you require.
While the actual price varies in every case, generally speaking Invisalign costs around $5,000 with options from $3,500 to $8,000. Traditional braces can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000, meaning that often times, Invisalign can be the better economic alternative.Is $5,000 dollars a lot for braces? ›
Most people who don't have insurance pay between $2,750 and $7,000 for metal or ceramic braces. If you have insurance coverage, braces and the associated procedures typically cost between $1,638 and $4,933.Is there anything cheaper than braces? ›
Cheapest Way to Straighten Teeth: At-Home Aligners
Aligners are a nearly invisible and removable alternative to braces designed around convenience and comfort. They can be removed anytime for cleaning, eating, and brushing. Each custom-made aligner is worn for about two weeks at a time (22+ hours a day).
Approach the Orthodontist Uses
Your orthodontist's treatment plan will determine the materials and office visits that are involved, thus affecting your price tag. In addition to the fees for braces, orthodontists may also take different diagnostic approaches as well.