Braces have a bigger impact on your life than just giving you a better smile. They are an investment in your health that can keep you from having dental problems in the future. The NHS offers free braces to patients under 18-years-old but charges for adult orthodontic treatments. Private treatment is far more expensive and trying to fit braces into your budget can be difficult. But you can get braces for a cheaper price without sacrificing the quality care your teeth deserve.
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Find out if your private health insurance covers braces. Many insurance companies only cover treatments by certain orthodontists, and others only cover a small amount of the cost, but some money saved is better than none.
Look into buying a new health insurance plan or adding onto your current plan so that it covers braces. But make sure it is not cheaper to pay for the braces yourself than to change or add coverage.
Call multiple orthodontists in your area, and make a list of how much each of them charges for braces. Ask about any discounts they might offer, such as a student discount or a discount for two family members getting braces at the same time. The more orthodontists you call, the better chance you have of finding one with a low price.
Consider scaling back on the type of braces you want to get. While clear braces that people can barely see might be your ideal, metal braces usually are the cheapest.
Ask your orthodontist about possible payment plans. You might end up paying more overall, but spreading out the payments might make it possible for you to get braces sooner.
Tips and warnings
- As of 2014, the NHS charges a fixed fee of £200 for complex adult orthodontic work, including braces. However, adults who want treatment to fix minor cosmetic problems aren’t eligible for NHS treatment and will have to go private.
- Don't put off getting braces if you really need them. Remember that your teeth might continue to shift, making future treatment longer, harder and potentially even more expensive.
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