How to get affordable student dental braces in Singapore

Are you thinking of getting your teeth straightened on a tight budget? Read to find out how your braces fees can be made more affordable.

1. Choose the right clinic

Well, this statement is true about anything to do with dental treatment. But when it comes to pricing (which is the focus of this article), the right clinic means one whose pricing strategy suits your budget. Choosing a clinic where the services are “priced for everyone” is a good start. Think of it as a clothing store. If you choose to shop at a high end boutique, it is going to be harder to find something affordable. So ask a few clinics about their pricing to get a general sense of where they stand.

Tip: To make a proper comparison, remember to ask about what is included and what is not. Some things that are commonly charged separately when you get braces treatment are

  • consultation fees
  • x-rays and other records
  • retainers

2. Find a clinic that has student braces packages

Some clinics provide braces at an affordable price but have the same fees no matter your age or case complexity. This is good if your case is quite complex, so you don’t have to pay more. However if you are a student who just needs routine braces, you can get an even lower price if the clinic offers student braces packages. Even if you have to pay higher because your case is complex, chances are it will be cheaper than at a clinic that doesn’t take into consideration that you are a student.

3. Lower your dental braces fees by referring a friend

Some clinics may run referral campaigns where you get a cash rewards or some services in return (eg dental cleaning). Depending on how much the rewards is, you can significantly reduce your cost just by helping your friends get started on braces. Hey, you might even start making money! (depending on the clinic’s campaign). If the clinic gives you free services, you can use the rewards to defray the cost for procedures like scaling and polishing. Such procedures are necessary to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy during your braces journey. Whether cash or services rewards, you ultimately have more coins leftover in the piggy bank.

4. No deposit: Cheap AND pocket friendly

You may have found the cheapest clinic in Singapore but there is something else that stands in your way of your perfect smile. The inital deposit. Many clinics typically collect as large portion at the start of your treatment as something like a “retention fee”. This is understandable and is common in other types of businesses. It is true that some people may not continue their treatment in the same clinic after all the hard work of installing the braces is done.

However, for students who are not working or maybe just working part time, it is not easy to come out with a big lump sum payment at the start. So even if the total fees is attractive, the payment structure may not be pocket friendly because the first payment will burn a big hole in your pocket.

If this sounds like you, fret not because some clinics bear the risk by letting you spread the cost evenly instead of collecting a big deposit. This makes braces treatment accessible to more students, ie you can start your braces journey easily. This makes a lot sense becasue your teenage years are generally the best time to get your teeth straightened.

5. Weekday Perks

Most braces clinic are busiest during weekends. To manage the patient flow, some clinics offer incentives for you to have your sessions during the off peak weekdays. Such incentives include free dental cleaning if you come for a number of weekday sessions (yes like bubble tea chops!). Some clinics may also provide a cheaper services on weekdays. Although it does not reduce your braces fees directly, it goes to lowering the cost of other necessary treatment as part of your braces journey. Weekday perks are great especially for tertiary students whose school schedule is more flexible.

Final Note: Compare apples to apples

Just like shopping for a new phone, you need to know what you are paying for. You won’t buy a phone just because it is the cheapest product online because you know it is a lower grade product.

GEM vs Apple

GEM of course is “Generic Electronics Manufacturer”. Totally made up, but hear me out. You see lots of phone by GEM advertising online at the lowest prices. And then you see prices that are slightly higher, but still within budget. On closer look, you realise they are Apple iPhones (original hor….). Which would you go for? No right answer, btw.

The same goes for shopping for your braces. You have the choice between a general dentist or a certified braces specialist. Singapore does not restrict general dentists from performing braces treatment or require them to have any specific training. Braces specialists however need to fulfill a stringent criteria before being regarded as one.

So as you are comparing prices, ask the defining question to know what you are getting: Is this a specialist or a normal dentist? You can check if the dentist possesses a registered specialty by visiting the Singapore Dental Council’s website.

Would you choose the cheapest option or pay slightly more for a specialist? No right answer again, btw.

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