Combining the cost of braces with an overseas holiday may seem like a great idea. Then again, there are many factors which you need to consider before opting for what may seem like a cheaper braces option. This page discusses some of the options available abroad and whether getting braces elsewhere is worth the cost.
Popular Travel Destinations for Cheap Braces Overseas
The cost of braces treatment can vary significantly in each country. Orthodontists in some places may charge exceedingly more than other locations, making exploration of abroad treatments seem very attractive.
Cost of Braces Overseas for Americans
Americans in the US can expect to pay around USD$4,500 to 10,000 for a set of braces. There is not much point of travelling to Canada where the cost is similar, ranging between CAD5,000 to 8,000 (converting to USD$5,300 to 8,480). The cost of travel would quickly eat up any margin saved by journeying to Canada for braces treatment. However, many Americans do consider having their braces done in Mexico where the cost is around MXN21,000 to 30,000 Mexican peso (in USD this would amount to $1,800 to 2,500). This is a considerable saving of thousands of US dollars.
Cost of Braces Overseas for Australia & Singapore
On the other side of the globe in Australasia more expensive countries include Australia and Singapore. Braces in Australia cost around AUD$6,000 to $10,000 and in Singapore they are approximately SGD$4,000 to 4,500 (converting to AUD$3,000 to 3,400). People in Australia and Singapore look to cheaper destinations such as India, Philippines and South East Asia, in particular Thailand.
Comparatively, just to provide some examples, braces in India cost around INR10,000 to 50,000 Indian rupees (which is approximately AUD$250 to 1,140). Tourists often visit Mumbai in India in order to receive treatment. Manila in the Philippines is also a popular destination for orthodontic treatment where braces cost around ₱25,000 to 30,000 Philippine peso (approximately AUD$530 to 650).
Braces in Thailand are a little more expensive, costing around 50,000 to 70,000 Thai Baht which amounts to AUD$1,500 to 2,100. However, many Australians and Singaporeans visit Bangkok in Thailand to combine their braces with the cheap shopping over there. These countries provide a significantly cheaper option for getting braces overseas.
Cost of Braces Abroad in Europe
In Europe, braces can be expensive in Ireland and also in the United Kingdom. The cost of braces in Ireland ranges between €4,500 to 5,000 euros. Treatment can often be covered by the NHS in the UK however where braces are for cosmetic reasons only, they will need to be sought from a private clinic which can cost approximately £2,000 to 6,000 pounds (amounting to €2,300 to 2,700 euros).
For this reason, people living in Ireland or England often consider visiting other countries abroad such as Bratislava, Slovakia where braces can cost as little as €1,000 to 1,500 euros. Hungary Budapest is another common destination for Europeans in higher cost countries. There full braces treatment can be purchased for as low as Ft265,000 Hungarian forints, equalling €980 euros.
As you can see, travelling to a foreign nation is a very attractive option for many people who live in countries with a high cost of living. It would appear lower cost locations provide a much cheaper alternative to receiving orthodontic treatment. However, there are circumstances where such treatment can end up costing more than initially thought. For a more thorough look at the price of braces overseas, visit our cost of braces by location page.
Is the Cost of Braces Overseas Really Cheaper?
The initial stage of having your mouth and teeth assessed, including initial consultation and x-rays and the procedure of having brackets glued to your teeth can be a lot more cost effective overseas than in your home country. However, fitting braces onto the teeth is not the end of the process. Braces are an ongoing treatment which requires you to visit the orthodontist regularly for adjustments at a minimum of every 6 weeks. In some cases visits are as frequent as every fortnight.
If you had your braces fitted overseas, you need to consider that you will be up for the cost of flights, transfers and accommodation expenses each time you visit your orthodontist overseas. This can add considerable cost to the original price of having the braces attached. You also need to consider the possibility of flights being changed if your destination is more remote.
Many people think about just getting their braces affixed overseas and then having their adjustments back home. However, most clinics won’t deal with brackets which have been installed by another doctor. Those that will do your adjustments usually charge a higher price for doing so and accordingly, you may not be saving much in the long run.
Another aspect to ponder over is that many discount plans such as Ameriplan will not give you the applicable price cuts for existing orthodontic treatment. If you intend on receiving savings through these plans, you will not be able to get cheaper braces overseas and expect to also use the benefit of these savings back home. It may end up being more cost effective to have the treatment done with the discount plan to begin with rather than travelling overseas for what may appear to be a cheaper alternative.
Additional costs can also be incurred where overseas doctors do not perform your orthodontic treatment with due care and attention. Many overseas dentists are not skilled or properly trained and therefore you run the risk of requiring fully qualified orthodontists repair any dental problems which may result. This can end up costing you more than anticipated for braces in the first place.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Braces Overseas?
Most insurance plans will not cover the cost of having your braces overseas. If you already have dental insurance which covers orthodontics, you may as well visit a dental clinic in your home country in order to have the braces treatment.
If you have braces attached overseas, then a standard condition under many dental insurance policies is that any dental work on existing orthodontics will not be covered. This means if you have braces overseas and come back to have adjustments done locally, your insurance policy will not pay for the cost. If you have dental insurance, this is something you need to be aware of and consider very carefully if you are considering getting your braces done overseas during a holiday or for whatever other reason.
Should I Get Braces Overseas?
In many situations having braces applied overseas is not recommended both by patients that have undergone the experience and also by orthodontists. Braces is not a one off procedure like veneers. It is an ongoing treatment process which requires approximately two to four years of visits to the orthodontist. Whilst the cost of treatment appears to be considerably cheaper, you need to do your figures and add to those prices the expenses of travelling back and forth for orthodontic adjustments and also budget in any possibility of complications.
It would appear that travelling overseas to reduce the cost of your braces would only be worthwhile if you can continue to travel back and forth cheaply and also combine your efforts with visiting family or friends or a holiday.
If you decide to have braces abroad make sure that the destination city has lots of direct flights just in case the any of the airlines cancel their flights to the place. If cancelled, this can significantly increase the cost of your braces treatment. Also, if you do have treatment performed overseas for the initial bonding of brackets and you intend to have adjustments back at home, make sure you receive your diagnostic records and treatment plan from the overseas doctor so you can provide your local dentist with this information. This will enable them to continue your treatment and make their job a little easier.