No two orthodontic problems are the same and the cost of orthodontic treatment will depend on the severity of the problem and the treatment required. Most orthodontists are sensitive to the financial pressures on families today so for convenience they provide a payment plan for orthodontic care. An initial deposit is paid when the appliances are constructed or fitted, and the balance is paid in monthly installments for the duration of the treatment.
Many orthodontic problems require only simple treatment and you might find that the cost is lower than you thought. In general the cost of braces is generally lower than for the clear aligner appliance systems such as Invisalign.
What the cost of braces covers
Costs are generally discussed in full at the initial consultation. The fee quoted covers all aspects of the orthodontic treatment and the majority of patients pay this fee in installments over the duration of the treatment thus making payment more manageable.
Should treatment involve braces in only one arch, the fee may be less. This fee usually covers the entire treatment including fitting of braces, periodic adjustments, removal of the braces, and the retention and observation periods thereafter.
The fee usually does not cover such items as the consultation, records, or other preparatory steps prior to the fitting of braces. Your orthodontist will discuss the fee with you before treatment is commenced.
Health insurance will cover a part of the cost of treatment. There is also a rebate from Medicare which can be claimed as part of your health expenses occurred in a financial year.
Cost for clear braces
Recent innovations in the technology of clear braces, has led to the development of the Clarity advanced brace. The benefits are that the braces are all ceramic and there are no metal components. The translucent braces blend with the teeth making the braces virtually unnoticeable. They will also resist staining and discolouration over the course of orthodontic treatment. Ceramic braces are more expensive to manufacture than stainless steel braces so it may cost more to have ceramic braces. Many orthodontists, however won’t charge an additional fee for ceramic braces as they want their patients to feel comfortable with the appearance of the braces.
Cost shouldn’t be the sole determinant in making a decision about braces. Just as you wouldn’t choose a medical specialist only because he is the cheapest, you wouldn’t choose an orthodontist soley based on this criteria. Have a consultation with an orthodontist (usually for minimal cost) and see how comfortable you are with that person. No amount of money saved can make up for two years with an orthodontist you don’t like or don’t have confidence in.
Certain Health Fund schemes offer a limited rebate on fees paid for orthodontic treatment and conditions may apply. The rebate depends on your type of health cover and on how long you have been in the Health Fund. You should discuss the rebate with your Health Fund before making a start with orthodontic treatment.
Health insurance funds repay some of the cost of orthodontic treatment for fund members who have the appropriate level of dental insurance. Please carefully check the premiums, conditions and level or rebate to see whether you will be better off with insurance or not.
Orthodontic treatment such as braces or plates are excluded from the Medicare Teen Scheme. At this time orthodontic treatment such as braces and plates is still claimable through the 20% Medical Expenses Rebate.