This is usually the first question that patients ask when they want to straighten teeth.
Fees vary greatly according to the condition to be treated, time taken, the expertise of the dentist and methods used for treatment. For example, treatment fees can range from as little as $3500 for simple cases to $20,000 or more if surgery is needed.
Although cost is an important factor in decision making, there are many things your dentist needs to know before a treatment plan and a fee can be given to you.
There may be some conditions that cannot be fully corrected with braces alone e.g. jaw proportions. Before you start any treatment, it is necessary to understand the nature of your condition, the limitations and risks i.e. what treatment can and cannot achieve.
Treatment done at the right time e.g. in growing children, can greatly maximise the effectiveness of treatment. In other conditions, treatment may need to be done in phases, e.g. gum treatment first before proceeding to straighten teeth.
Ask if there are alternative ways to getting the benefits that you want. When you are convinced about the choice of treatment, you will be both motivated and enthusiastic about the treatment.
In order to give the treatment appropriate for you, the dentist will have to examine you, assess the nature or severity of the problem, gather information through X-rays, photos and models of your teeth. Only then, can a treatment plan be offered.
Always ask for written documentation of payment terms. Some clinics may be willing to collect fees from you on a month to month basis but more clinics are moving away from this as collection of payments can be bothersome and lead to conflicts if patients do not attend regularly for treatment. Smart patients charge the full fee to credits cards that allow them to pay monthly at little or even no interest. Ask your dental clinic which credit cards they extend this benefit for – and apply for that card!
Bottom line, just like a renovation contractor would need to know the condition of your house, your preferred design, the materials you like and your time frame before quoting you a fee, a dentist too needs to understand the nature of your problem, your desires etc. Only then, can a quotation for the fee be given.
Written by Dr. Asha Karan of Smile Makers Dental Clinic at Novena Medical Center
June 4, 2018
November 20, 2017