What is the real cost of Braces?
When prospective patients call up the practice usually one of the first questions we get is how much does it cost? The answer to that is unfortunately not that easy.
With many options for treatment available and different requirements for each patient there is a range of fees involved. The more complex the treatment, the higher the fee as there is much more work to do than say just lining up the front 6 teeth. Also patients only see what is happening at the front and so what may seem really straight forwards may be more complex to fully correct if the bite is also wrong.
Commonly we get calls asking how much we charge for Invisalign. Their marketing process is so good that patients identify Invisalign as a “product” and like all savvy consumers they price compare – sometimes shopping around for the best deal. Orthodontic treatment is a service and Invisalign is just a tool we use to straighten teeth, so really you are going to get what you pay for. Higher fees may mean better service or a more experienced/qualified clinician delivering the treatment.
There are clinicians who are competing on price with each other – really this is a race to the bottom. What you end up with is lots of patients but not a lot of time to spend with them. In my experience time is the most important thing I can give my patients.
I’ve also heard of clinicians getting patients into treatment for £2000, which is really attractive to potential patients but somewhere along the line there are suddenly extra charges for refinement a fee for fixed retainers. This can mean the patient is trapped into a potentially open ended fee that just keeps on rising. We prefer to be honest with patients and let them know the TOTAL fee up front.
The other question that comes up is “why are you more expensive than Dr X – they can do it for £3,500”. This is more difficult to explain to patients. Every clinician is responsible for setting their own fees. In our case we use our experience in treating orthodontic patients to assess the amount of time needed to get the optimal result, the best brace to do this, design the most appropriate post treatment retainer protocol and provide the patient with all the sundry items needed whilst in treatment. We also factor in up to 2 years of follow up. So each patient we see gets a bespoke plan and a bespoke fee. That means we may not be the cheapest all the time but we always go as far as we are able to deliver the result our patients are looking for.
The real question is – what is it worth TO YOU to have your teeth straightened and who would you trust to carry this out for you. Is it worth paying a little more for peace of mind?