Pricing. The bottom line: every patient ultimately wants to know what it costs. There are lots of ways to shop and no one way is wrong, they are all simply different.
For example, if you want some shoes. You can go online, search for your parameters, compare prices with other websites, order 3 different sizes, have them shipped to you, try them on at home then ship back the ones you don’t want.
You could also go to a store and try on several shoes before making your decision. You can go to several stores to price shop or compare other shoes. You could buy a pair of shoes from a salesperson you know. You might even check online once you have tried on the shoes to see if you can find a better deal on the pair you enjoyed when trying it on.
There are many different ways to shop for shoes. None are wrong and one person may do it differently than the next, but they both think they have made the best decision.
Orthodontics has become a much more complex decision for patients than it was 20 years ago. Not only are there metal braces on the outside of the teeth, but there are clear braces made from ceramic or composite, there are clear trays from many different sources, there are braces on the inside of your teeth and there are appliances that each orthodontist prefers.
Not only do you have to decide what appliances you want, but you have to decide who is going to monitor your case and provide the appliances. And there are different levels of care.
There are different levels of care and the example I will use, since I live in Texas, is a Vonlane bus. If you do not know what that is, go ahead and Google it. It’s a luxury bus that has an attendant. When you ride this bus, there are only 3-4 departure times per day, but the seats are larger and you have free food and drinks as well as blankets and pillows. The tickets cost more than other buses.
The other buses, that can also get you from point A to point B in approximately the same amount of time and even with more departure times may have smaller seats, no free food, and no attendant, and they may cost less.
Neither option is the cheapest, fastest and has the most bells & whistles, but the person that chooses Vonlane has a different set of priorities or values about what is more important than the person who chooses the more traditional bus.
What we focus on at Cooper Orthodontics is providing care where you have one doctor, me – Dr. Bryn Cooper – overseeing your care and directing it. We want to offer you options on the type of appliance you can choose and also pay attention to the bite, muscle function and joint issues you may have that correlate to your bite. We strive to be more than a place that only straightens your front teeth. We focus on your overall oral health and customize our strategy for each patient’s needs.
One thing that has come to my attention as a gap in the market is an option for people who want to have an orthodontist monitor their case and ensure that no issues develop, but they do not believe they have bite issues or muscle issues or joint issues that they want to deal with at the time.
If I didn’t provide an option for these people in the past, then usually a general dentist would do it for them at a cost less than the one offered by me. The result wouldn’t be ideal in my professional opinion, but it would be what that patient believed was best for them and a dentist would be looking at it to ensure that no detrimental issues developed. If any detrimental issues developed, then they ended up in my chair as a referral from the dentist anyway. It is because of this scenario and the advancement of technology in printing our own trays in-house we now offer these people. More on that later.
Now, there are offerings for mail-order aligners. A doctor may look at the teeth or even an x-ray. There is a letter from the company telling the patient who their “doctor” is that designed the case. There is no option for attachments or buttons or bite correction – and even if there were – the use of those things would go unmonitored for the entirety of treatment unless you are not satisfied with the position of your teeth after the first set of trays. The treatment is not designed to last more than 6 months with these companies. This is offered at about $2,000 from multiple companies. One just partnered at Wal-Mart so you can pick up chips and dip plus your kit to (maybe) straighten your teeth at the same place.
Recently, we have brought clear trays in-house, meaning that I, Dr. Cooper, design the treatment and the models are 3D printed on-site and the clear trays are made on-site. Because of this, we are able to offer a product that will fit the needs of some of our patients. We offer an option limited to 6 months that will still allow you to have attachments and buttons and possibly some (interproximal reduction) IPR if needed by an orthodontist with your trays. This allows for more efficient tooth movement with more predictable results. Our introductory price is $2,998 which will give you 6 months of treatment.
This is an offering that will help people avoid detrimental issues from an unmonitored, DIY care.
In addition, I believe that orthodontics is moving away from traditional braces and towards creative solutions with clear aligners and braces on the back of the teeth. Not every type of treatment can be done without traditional braces or clear braces yet, but over time, orthodontists who believe this, like me, wil find ways to make orthodontics less obvious.
Because of this belief and the ability to now program clear trays in-house at Cooper Orthodontics, the cases that are more straightforward are available in clear trays instead of traditional braces at a cost that orthodontics from a board certified orthodontist tin private practice has not offered in many years. If you have minor bite correction and want straight teeth, then we can offer clear trays made at Cooper Orthodontics for an introductory price of $4,998. This is a cost that does not sacrifice quality of care or the ability to be monitored.
Let me be clear. Not everyone fits these two models and if you do not, then I will tell you at your free consultation. Our prices range from $2,998 all the way up to $16,000. This covers a wide array of appliances and patient needs. We are committed to discovering what the best fit is for you with your orthodontic care and we hope to see you soon for that discussion.