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How To Braces In Singapore: A Complete Dummies Guide

Posted on 29 Jan 2018

Consult Doctor

You landed here searching for some variation of "braces Singapore + treatment + cost". We promise to tell you all there is to know.

Sounds good? Brace yourselves, and read on.

If you are feeling lazy, you can skip to the end to send in a free enquiry to a few trusted dentists in Singapore.

Why braces?

Lingual braces Singapore

Orthodontics refers to the treatment of irregularities in the teeth and jaw. It can correct problems like crooked or crowded teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw position and disorders of the jaw joints.

It's not just to look better - Correction of misaligned teeth also improves your dental hygiene!

Orthodontics has traditionally been one of the most "glamorous" and competitive dental specialties in Singapore. I mean - what's not to like about giving people awesome smiles on a daily basis?

Who can do your braces in Singapore?

braces Singapore

  1. In Singapore, GPs can fit your braces. Many of them also offer Invisalign treatment.
  2. Orthodontists have 3 additional years of training towards correcting misaligned teeth. Apart from fitting normal braces, they also tend to see more complex cases of misaligned teeth.
  3. Finally, as per our doctor/dentist hacks article, you can get your orthodontic treatment done by post grad orthodontic students (under supervision) at the NUS Post Graduate Orthodontic Clinic for a fixed cost of $2800, not including X-Rays and extractions. It's by far the cheapest option.

How to pay for your braces in Singapore

braces Singapore blogger

Unless you happen to be one of those lucky sponsored bloggers, dental clinics in Singapore require that you pay half of the cost upfront on your first visit, with subsequent payments made at follow-up visits. Some clinics also do monthly instalment plans.
 
You cannot use your Medisave to pay for braces in Singapore (Medisave is reserved for surgical procedures only).
 
On rare occasions, such as if your misaligned teeth is bad enough to cause health problems (eg. gum disease, tooth decay, severe pain or speech problems), you may be able to see a polyclinic dentist to justify that you need braces for medical reasons - this will be covered under your dental insurance.
 
For all other reasons, braces are considered a cosmetic procedure and as such, your dental insurance will not cover treatment. Invisalign is never covered by dental insurance.

How to braces in Singapore

Remember your primary school friends who wore colourful but super ugly metal trays? Well, you'd be glad to learn that braces have come a long way since then.

Today, there are plenty of options that are more comfortable and less obtrusive. We cover the 4 main treatment types below:

1. Clear aligners e.g. Invisalign

Invisalign braces Singapore

Pros: Nearly invisible, comfortable and removable. Easier to maintain oral hygiene, no dietary restrictions. No metal to cause abrasions during orthodontic treatment. Less frequent dentist visits.

Cons: Very expensive. Big hassle and pricey if you lose aligners. Less ideal treatment for complex misaligned teeth. Treatment may take longer than with other types of braces.

Invisalign Singapore cost: $6000 to $11000

How many sponsored Instagrammers have you seen on Invisalign treatment? There's good reason why they are all the rage these days - namely invisible braces in the age of social media.

There are many different types of clear aligner systems, however Invisalign is undoubtedly the most commonly known. Invisalign treatment consists of a set of transparent aligners. A usual course of Invisalign treatment requires 18 to 30 sets of aligners in total. Each Invisalign aligner is custom-made to move and gradually straighten your teeth over 2 weeks, before swapping over to a newer set (your dentist will give you a few sets at each visit).

Because these aligners are removable, you can take them out to eat, brush, and floss. Do note that you have to wear them at least 22 hours per day for best results.

In Singapore, Invisalign costs can be quite variable depending on whether you go to a GP or orthodontist. Moreover, Invisalign itself (the company) offers some discount to dentists if they perform a greater volume of Invisalign cases. These clinics can occasionally charge slightly cheaper prices as they are able to pass on cost savings to patients.

2. Metal braces

Metal braces Singapore

Pros : Cheapest. Long track record. More suitable for complex cases.

Cons : Uncomfortable, may result in abrasions and ulcers. Tends to trap food. Butt ugly.

Metal braces Singapore cost: $3500 to $5000

Metal braces consist of metal wires and brackets that you instantly think of when you hear the word “braces.” Your dentist tightens and adjusts the wires to move your teeth over a period of time.

They are the most common kind of braces in Singapore. Remember your classmate who had colourful braces that changed every month? Yes, you can mix and match away to your fancy.

The good news is that today’s metal braces are much smaller and less conspicuous than those which your poor classmate had to endure back in primary school.

3. Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces Singapore

Pros: Looks better than metal braces.

Cons: Fragile and uncomfortable. Can also cause abrasions and ulcers on lips/cheeks. Dietary restrictions means no staining foods, such as coffee.

Ceramic braces Singapore cost: $4500 to $6000

Ceramic braces are the same shape as metal braces, but are less noticeable because they are tooth-coloured. You can also choose between clear elastic ties or white metal ties to hold the braces in place. Your dentist will replace the ties every time he adjusts your braces, which is usually every month.

Although the braces themselves won't stain, the ties can easily discolour if you consume foods or drinks that stain teeth, eg. coffee. Ceramic braces are also larger and more fragile than metal brackets, meaning they can easily chip or break. This necessitates more time caring for your teeth.

Lastly, they require more regular maintenance from your dentist than metal braces - this increases overall treatment time and cost.

It's quite common in Singapore for patients to request for ceramic braces on their upper front teeth (which is more visible), and metal braces on their lower teeth to save costs - as shown in the picture above.

4. Lingual braces

Lingual braces Singapore

Pros: Totally invisible.

Cons: Most expensive type of braces, not effective for complex cases. Tricky to clean. Also tends to be more uncomfortable initially as compared to other braces, may result in abrasions and ulcerations, especially to the tongue. Longer length of treatment than traditional braces.
 
Lingual braces Singapore cost: $8000 - $10000
 
Lingual braces are customized to stick behind your teeth and remain out of sight. They cost more than metal or ceramic braces because installation and subsequent adjustments are much more complicated.
 
Lingual braces generally don't work well on small teeth, and get in the way of your tongue. Yes, you'll have to practise speaking with them to avoid sounding funny! It's the least popular treatment in Singapore for the above reasons.

We hope that reading this post helps you understand the options for braces in Singapore!
 
If you've decided on Invisalign, check out this complete Guide to Invisalign Treatment in Singapore by an orthodontist!
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