If you suffer from misaligned or crooked teeth, it is only natural to want to correct them through dental braces. While the ideal time to correct teeth is during childhood, you can still get corrective dental braces as an adult.
Technological advancement means that the braces of today are a lot different to those of the past. Not only are they more effective at re-positioning teeth, but they are also more discrete and comfortable.
If you are an adult looking to have your teeth aligned, knowing how much braces cost can help you budget accordingly and then make a choice that works for you.
Are adult braces available on the NHS?
Despite the British Orthodontic Society (BOS) showing that the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment in the UK is growing, the NHS unfortunately only covers orthodontic treatment for people under the age of 18. Even these individuals have to be assessed for eligibility using a rating system known as the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN).
Nevertheless, braces may be approved for adults on a case-by-case basis if needed for health reasons. If you are deemed eligible, you will have pay the band 3 charge of £269.30, which is significantly cheaper than the cost of accessing adult braces privately. However, many adults are not eligible for NHS braces and therefore end up seeking private treatment.
Additionally, the NHS only offers treatment using metal braces, even for eligible children. If you want to access more elegant, comfortable and perhaps less obvious adult braces, you might have to seek private treatment.
How much do braces cost?
For most adults, the cost of private braces ranges between £1,500 and £5,000. The average cost is around £2,500. The cost depends on the material used for the braces, as well as the time taken to fit them and make adjustments during checkups.
In regards to the material, ceramic and lingual braces, which are less visible, tend to cost more than traditional metal fixed braces. Ceramic braces, for example, cost between £2,000 and £6,000, while traditional metal braces cost between £1,500 and £3,000 (depending on the complexity of the work required).
The approximate costs of other adult braces, such as Invisalign, Damon and clear braces are £1,500- £5,500, £1,500 – £6,000 and £3,500- £4,500 respectively.
A good way to find out specific costs and the appropriate adult braces for you is to speak to an orthodontist. You can use the BOS website to find one practising in your area.
However, keep in mind that different orthodontists can give different quotes for the same type of adult braces. It might therefore be a good idea to shop around first. You can then choose the orthodontist who offers a reasonable balance between price and effective treatment.
A downside is that an orthodontist may only give you a quote for adult braces after examining your teeth. This can incur a fee, adding further to the total cost of braces.
Are there financing solutions to help pay for braces?
The cost of adult braces can be quite high, as shown above. You might, therefore, be wondering whether there are any financing plans to help with the costs. The answer is yes. Plenty of dentists and orthodontists out there offer some type of orthodontic financing to help pay the cost of adult braces.
The most common finance plan involves paying a deposit first and then covering the balance through monthly instalments. You can speak with your dentist or orthodontist to find out more.
Once again, if you will require financing to cover your braces treatment, it might be a good idea to research your choices first. Doing so will increase your chances of getting the best possible deal.
In addition, there are some insurance policies that can cover some part of your braces treatment. If you have private health insurance, you can check whether orthodontic treatment is covered.
While the costs of adult braces is undoubtedly high, it is worth remembering that innovations in materials and design have made modern braces very effective for correcting misaligned teeth.
If you want to have that perfect smile, you might just have to find a way to cover these costs, whether by taking advantage of the available financing options or finding inspiration to save money each month until you can afford to have braces fitted.
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