Perhaps the most common question we are asked is how much do braces cost?
The cost of treatment is normally addressed as a payment plan spread over a period that is related to the expected duration of treatment
The simple but rather vague answer is that monthly payments may vary between R2000 and R5000 per month, but this may vary based on many factors.
Every person has different problems and treatment needs, and therefore needs an individualised treatment plan with different costs. The treatment type and duration will vary depending on your needs and which type of treatment option is selected. For example, braces applied to the inside of your teeth, called the Lingual technique, means that no one will know you are wearing braces. But this technique is usually more expensive than braces applied to the front of the teeth.
For most people, an average treatment plan will last in the region of 18 months. It’s important to take this into account when reviewing the cost of orthodontic treatment. The price can be seen to be quite high when viewed as a lump sum but most orthodontists will charge you per month as the treatment progresses. If you divide the treatment cost by 18 months it becomes a very affordable monthly fee.
To get an understanding of how much orthodontic treatment may cost you and what your options are, book an initial consultation with an orthodontist. Search our directory of orthodontists to find a practitioner in your area.
At the initial consultation, the orthodontist will likely take diagnostic records which include X-Rays (radiographs), diagnostic photographs and models in order to work up an individualised treatment plan for you. This will include all the treatment options available to you, the duration and the costs involved.
To help you understand all that goes into determining the cost of orthodontic treatment here is a list of all the factors that contribute to the cost.
There are many different treatment techniques that an orthodontist may use. Options include metal or ceramic braces, aligners or fixed appliance braces, and different types of braces, brackets and wires. The various options impact upon the cost. Your orthodontist will present you with the options that will give you the best result and the most comfort.
The demands of your particular case will determine the duration of your treatment. The most common treatment period is 18 months but simple cases could be as short as 6 months and more complex cases could last up to 24 months. The longer the duration of treatment required, the more expensive treatment is likely to be.
Number of appointments
Usually you will see your orthodontist every 4 – 8 weeks. The number of visits required to complete a successful treatment is factored into the quote your Orthodontist will give you. If your case is complicated, the doctor may need to see you more regularly and this may increase cost. Likewise, if you repeatedly break your braces, perhaps by eating the wrong food, you will need to see your doctor more often and increase the overall cost of the treatment.
Don’t make a decision based purely on cost
Like most things, cost and quality are closely linked. An orthodontic specialist is a general dentist who has had at least an additional 3 years of full time study specialising in orthodontics. A specialist orthodontist will use the very best equipment and techniques and will not cut corners and potentially put their patients at risk. If you receive a quote that is radically cheaper than other quotes, be sure to check that the practitioner is indeed a specialist orthodontist registered with the HPCSA. Use our handy directory of registered SASO Orthodontists to check if the quoting practitioner is listed.
Creating a perfect and functional smile is a highly specialised task. It requires advanced orthodontic knowledge and a deep understanding of one’s jaw and teeth positioning. A safe and positive result cannot be achieved with mail order aligners or by being treated by a general dentist who has not dedicated themselves to specialising in orthodontics.
Most orthodontists will offer payment plans, and may offer discounts for payment upfront. Your medical aid will also likely cover a proportion of the costs of your treatment should you have benefits for this.
Your orthodontist will take you through all that is involved in your treatment as well as discuss the financial implications and payment options.