The cost of braces – Tooth be told

By Sally Grandy

5 minutes

08 March 2018

HBF’s latest dental health report has revealed the out of pocket expenses for braces; here is some advice to make the expense of braces more bearable.

A smile can make a great impression, but orthodontic treatment can be just as important for biting, chewing and speaking, as it is for a child’s confidence. With orthodontal work and dental procedures costing up to $9,000 for an 18-month course of treatment, you’ll want to find the best option for your child.

Teeth need to be realigned slowly and that’s what makes treatment expensive. HBF’s latest dental health report has revealed the out of pocket expenses for parents whose children had braces. Here’s some advice to make the expense of braces more bearable.

Plan and prepare ahead

12 to 14 is the most common age range for braces. Jade Furness, Head of Provider Relations at HBF says if you think your child might be needing them, plan in advance.

Ms Furness says, “Ensure your private health insurance policy includes major dental and or orthodontics, and get covered at least a year before planning your first appointment with a specialist.”

“Private health insurance delivers better value over time with limits for annual benefit treatments increasing every year, so it makes sense to take it out ideally as soon as you can,” she explains.

Use orthodontists which have links to insurers

Braces come with a pretty hefty price tag, with treatment costing anywhere between $5,000 and $9,000 over one and a half years. As your child gets older the annual cost of orthodontic treatment increases steeply so the advice from Jade Furness is to do some thorough research.

“Call your health fund to find out whether they have an arrangement with specific dentists or orthodontists to keep out-of-pocket costs for members as low as possible,” she says.

Get quotes and compare

HBF claims data shows that the average out-of-pocket cost for orthodontic treatment for six to 17-year-olds is around $1,308 for a year. The cost of braces can depend on the complexity of your realignment and the orthodontist you choose, so break the costs down to work out the best price.

"When you contact orthodontists, compare fees for initial consultations, fitting of braces and subsequent consultations. By reducing the cost of each of these things, you can significantly reduce the expense of braces,” explains Ms Furness.