Are you in the final stretch of your orthodontic treatment and looking for ways to save money on getting your braces removed? You’re not alone. While the cost of braces can be a significant investment, the charges for removing them can also add up.
Fortunately, there are options for braces removal without having to pay out of pocket, that range from seeking assistance from charity programs near you to negotiating with your orthodontist.
Here are some possibilities for minimizing the cost of removing your braces and enjoying the confident, straight smile you’ve been working towards:
What to expect during braces removal
Removing braces is an exciting and liberating moment in your orthodontic journey. After months or even years of wearing braces and struggling to eat and maintain oral hygiene with braces, you finally get to enjoy a life without them. However, it’s important to follow the right procedure to ensure that your teeth stay healthy and aligned.
There are two ways to remove braces:
- Either by yourself or
- With the help of a professional orthodontist.
Removing braces at home
While removing braces at home may sound tempting, it’s not advisable as it can lead to unsanitary conditions and injuries that can be long-lasting and even irreparable. Even if you have completed the treatment process and your teeth appear to be straight, it is important to have your braces removed by a professional orthodontist.
Attempting to remove your braces at home can lead to complications such as broken wires or brackets, which can be painful and cause further damage to your teeth. It can also result in the misalignment of your teeth, necessitating additional orthodontic treatment to fix and ultimately higher costs.
Additionally, the tools you’re likely to use at home to remove braces, such as pliers or wire cutters, are not designed for this kind of use and can cause injury if not used properly.
It is always best to seek the help of a licensed who will ensure that the procedure is done in a clean and safe environment. Moreover, your orthodontist will be able to determine if your teeth are ready to have the braces removed.
Professional removal of braces
During the braces removal process, the orthodontist will use special tools to carefully remove the brackets and wires from the teeth. They will also remove any residual adhesive that is left on the teeth. This process is typically painless, but you may feel some slight pressure or discomfort as the brackets are removed.
Once the braces are removed, the orthodontist or dentist will clean and polish the teeth to remove any remaining adhesive. They may also take impressions of your teeth to create retainers, which are used to maintain the new position of your teeth. The retainers are removable appliances, and the orthodontist will provide instructions on how to care for them.
Insurance plans for free braces removal
Getting braces is an expensive and time-consuming process, and unfortunately, the cost of removing braces can be just as high. However, there are some insurance plans that cover the entire process of getting braces and removing them, making it possible to get your braces removed for free, like:
Medicaid is a well-known health insurance program that covers a wide range of health-related issues, including orthodontic problems. This means that not only can you get free braces with Medicaid, but you can also get them removed for free.
To apply for this program, you would need to fill out an application form and meet the eligibility criteria set by the program for citizens of your area of residence. Before applying for Medicaid, it is important to check the conditions under which they offer free braces removal.
CHIP (children’s health insurance plan)
Unlike Medicaid, which is a general health insurance program that covers free braces removal for all ages, CHIP is a children’s health insurance plan that focuses solely on correcting orthodontic issues in children.
Non-profit charity organizations that offer free or low-cost braces removal
There are several charitable organizations that offer free or subsidized braces removal for individuals and families in need. Here are a few examples:
Smiles Change Lives
This organization helps low-income families and individuals, along with the needy, poor, and less fortunate, with their orthodontic needs. They organize fundraisers to raise money for those who cannot afford dental procedures. However, it is important to note that getting braces through this organization is a popular feature, and there are eligibility criteria that you must fulfill to receive assistance.
DentalSave’s payment plan
This plan allows you to save up and pay later to get your braces removed for free. All you need to do is visit their official website, register, and select a payment plan.
Give Back a Smile
This is a program run by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) that helps survivors of domestic and sexual violence to restore their damaged teeth and oral structures. The program covers a range of dental procedures, including braces removal, at no cost to the patient.
Donated Orthodontic Services (DOS)
This program is run by the American Association of Orthodontists Foundation and provides free orthodontic treatment to low-income children who need braces but cannot afford them. The program also covers the cost of braces removal once the treatment is complete.
Smiles for a Lifetime
This is a non-profit organization that provides orthodontic treatment to children from low-income families. The program covers the cost of braces removal once the treatment is complete.
It is worth noting that there may be other non-profit organizations and plans that can assist you in getting free or subsidized braces removal. These organizations are typically national, so you need not worry about their availability in your area.
However, it is important to research and verify the authenticity of any organization or plan before seeking their assistance, as well as their unique eligibility criteria. Try to reach out to these organizations directly to determine if they can provide assistance with free braces removal.
Free clinics organized by dental schools and health centers
Apart from dental schools and health center dentists, there are other clinics and organizations that offer subsidized or free removal of braces.
Local community health clinics
These clinics are designed to provide low-cost or free medical and dental services to those who cannot afford it. Many community health clinics have dental departments that offer orthodontic treatment, including braces and their removal, at an affordable price or free of cost, depending on the patient’s financial situation.
Free health camps
Some health centers offer free health camps or appointments with dentists who can remove your braces. These centers are typically located in your city, county, town, or state. You can schedule an appointment at your convenience for braces removal.
Schools that offer training in dentistry can provide a safe and cost-effective option to have your braces removed for free. If you wish to discontinue treatment with your current dentist, you can reach out to a dental school in your area for assistance. They have dentists on staff who do not charge fees or have minimal fees.
Additionally, dental school students may be able to help remove your braces as part of their fieldwork for credit. No documents are required, and you can simply contact a nearby dental school for assistance.
One main challenge with free dental clinics, however, is that the timing of the free camp may not necessarily coincide with the right date for completion of your orthodontic treatments and removal of your braces.
Can I get my braces removed for free without insurance?
Yes, there are some options available for free braces removal even if you do not have insurance. You can contact dental schools, health centers, or charitable organizations for assistance.
Are there any income restrictions to qualify for free braces removal?
Income restrictions vary depending on the organization providing the service. Some organizations may have income restrictions, while others do not.
Can I remove my braces at home?
No, you should not attempt to remove your braces at home. This can cause serious damage to your teeth and gums. Always seek professional help from a qualified dentist or orthodontist.
Is the process of removing braces painful?
The process of removing braces is not painful, but you may feel some discomfort and pressure as the braces are being removed. Your orthodontist may use special pliers to remove the brackets and wires, which may cause some pressure.
How long does it take to remove braces?
The process of removing braces usually takes around 30 minutes to an hour. However, the total time may vary depending on the complexity of your case and the type of braces you have.
Can I get my braces removed for free if I got them from a private orthodontist?
Yes, you can still get your braces removed for free if you got them from a private orthodontist. You can contact dental schools, health centers, or charitable organizations for assistance.
Will my teeth shift after my braces are removed?
It is possible for your teeth to shift after your braces are removed, which is why it is important to wear a retainer as prescribed by your orthodontist. Your orthodontist will provide you with instructions on how to properly wear and care for your retainer.
Removing braces is a crucial step towards achieving and maintaining good dental health, but it’s essential to do it the right way with the help of a professional orthodontist.
While it can be difficult to find programs or plans that provide free braces removal, there are some insurance plans that cover the entire process of getting braces and removing them, so it’s worth checking if your insurance covers it.
With the options discussed above, you shouldn’t let the additional cost of braces removal hold you back from starting your orthodontic treatments towards enhancing your smile with straighter teeth, or risk damaging your teeth by removing the braces yourself at home.