What Can Affect the Cost of Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is a long-term investment that can help you or your child make a great first impression with a confident smile. The cost of orthodontic treatment is one of the most common queries we receive, but several factors determine the cost of treatment.
You’ll need to know what can affect the total cost and what you should be asking your orthodontist to cover in their quote.
Here’s what can impact the overall cost of orthodontic treatment:
The Type of Treatment
Whether you’re looking to get standard metal braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces or have your heart set on a series of clear aligners, there will be variations in cost depending on which option you go for. This is due to the cost of the materials and the amount of customisation required.
For example, while metal braces and lingual braces might use similar materials and methodology to straighten your teeth, lingual braces need to be custom-made to ensure they fit snugly along the inside of your teeth to limit the impact on your speech. On the other hand, standard metal braces use pre-formed brackets and archwires that come in various sizes that the orthodontist then selects and custom fits for each patient. An increased level of customisation generally increases the cost of treatment.
The Duration of Treatment
Orthodontic treatment can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the particulars of your case. While several companies claim to be able to treat all orthodontic cases in as little as 6 months, they tend to only straighten the front teeth without correcting underlying bite issues, making them an incomplete form of treatment.
The time required to achieve a healthy bite and straight teeth will be different for everyone. The duration of your treatment is determined by the specific problem which needs fixing and the type of tooth movement required. For example, rotating a single tooth may be achieved in a few short months, but guiding a tooth down and pushing it into alignment with the rest of your teeth may take longer. Correcting jaw alignment and fixing your bite may also take longer to correct. It is common to see less obvious results after the first 6-12 months of treatment. However, it does not mean that the ongoing changes are any less important. No matter the length of your treatment, please keep the result in mind! A completed treatment will generally be far superior and far more stable than one that is rushed!
The Number of Appointments You Need
Your orthodontist will be able to advise you of how frequently you should be booking in for an adjustment or assessment throughout your treatment, which will help you work out your budget for the course of your treatment.
It might be tempting to skip an appointment here or there, but these regular check-ins and adjustments are crucial to ensure that your treatment progresses smoothly. Whether changing a wire, adding an attachment for clear aligner treatment or providing elastics to aid movements, these appointments are needed to guide your smile where it needs to be safe.
How Well You Care for Your Appliances
Following your orthodontist’s instructions about how to care for your appliances during treatment (including the foods you should be avoiding) will help avoid any emergency appointments or running overtime. Loose brackets, wire problems or poorly fitting aligners need to be addressed as soon as possible to keep your treatment on track and on time. An excessive amount of emergency appointments and running significantly over time may also add to treatment costs in some instances.
Your Orthodontist’s Fees
There is no set fee for orthodontic visits in Australia, so your appointment fee will vary depending on the type of treatment required and the specialist you see. The good news is that many orthodontists reduce rates on initial consultations and provide all-inclusive treatment quotes so you can work out your budget ahead of time. Most orthodontists also offer very affordable payment plans by spreading the cost of your treatment out over many months.
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