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How much do braces cost?

July 20, 2023
How much do braces cost?

Considering getting braces but not sure whether you can afford them? Read this.

Many Australians want straighter teeth but are concerned about the cost of this treatment. Having a straight and healthy smile is an investment in your future, so we are going to tell you the real cost of orthodontic treatment so you can make an informed decision about if braces or clear aligners are right for you or your family.

What is the cost of braces in Australia?

Without an initial consultation, it’s near impossible to determine the full cost of braces. This is because the cost of orthodontics depends on several factors including the duration and complexity of treatment and the type of treatment you choose. That said, here is a guide for what you can expect to pay for a full course of orthodontic treatment in Australia:

  • Metal braces (traditional braces): $6,000 – $9,000
  • Ceramic braces: $6,500 – $9,500
  • Lingual braces: $9,500 – $15,000
  • Clear aligners: $6,500 – $9,500

* Note these prices are typically for a 15 to 18 month treatment period that not only straightens teeth, but helps to correctly align the jaw as well, and includes the cost of regular consultations to monitor the progress of your treatment.

How much do braces cost?

Limited treatment (a cosmetic version that only alters the appearance of the front teeth and does not correct any bite irregularities) may be offered by some orthodontic providers, with a treatment period of roughly 6 months and costs ranging from $3,500 – $6,000.  This type of treatment can help improve the look of your smile in the short term, but without addressing the underlying irregularities of the jaw and bite, may lead to ongoing discomfort, complications or relapse.

Orthodontics Australia recommends you always consult a specialist orthodontist before undergoing any type of treatment including clear aligners, to better understand if your preferred option or limited treatment will be suitable and safe for your smile in the long term.

Of course, fees may differ if other appliances are needed in conjunction with braces, such as expansion plates, anchorage implants or bite correcting springs.

braces cost

How do you pay for braces?

There are many ways you can pay for braces to lighten the financial burden and make a full course of treatment more affordable.

Some ways you can pay for your treatment include:

  1. Paying for your treatment up front (often with a discount)
  2. Using a payment plan to make your repayments over time, spreading out the overall cost of treatment

Does health insurance cover braces?

Orthodontics is not covered under Medicare, however, you might be covered under private health insurance, depending on the details of your policy.

If you have extras cover on your health insurance, you may be entitled to claim a portion of the cost of braces back from your health fund.

However, it depends on your health fund and your level of extras cover, so it’s important to check with your fund prior to getting braces. Orthodontic treatment such as braces generally isn’t covered by basic extras cover, so you’ll usually need a higher level of cover in order to receive a rebate. Orthodontic rebates from private health insurance range from a few hundred dollars to over $2,500 – so it pays to do your research.

If you don’t currently have any cover, you’ll need to weigh up your options to determine whether it will be more cost-effective to commence with or without health insurance. Keep in mind, most private health funds require a 12-month waiting period for this treatment.

Government programs for braces in Australia

There are no specific government programs in Australia that subsidise the cost of getting braces. The Australian government’s Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) offers assistance for two-17 year-olds to access a range of dental services and procedures for free. However, benefits for orthodontic treatment such as braces aren’t covered under the CDBS.

How can you get cheaper braces?

Since braces are a significant financial investment, many orthodontists are happy to help you arrange a payment plan to make braces more affordable. This takes some of the pressure and stress out of your orthodontic bills and ensures you’re able to get the best treatment for you or your child.

While cheap braces from a less qualified general practitioner might seem appealing, it is important that you always see a registered specialist for all your orthodontic needs and prioritise the health and safety of your teeth over the cost. In fact, orthodontic treatment delivered by a less qualified general dentist can end up costing more than the same treatment provided by a specialist orthodontist.

Can I opt for limited treatment?

Limited orthodontic treatment, which focuses on a single tooth or single group of teeth, is an option for those who have a limited budget or are unwilling to commit to comprehensive treatment, however, is it generally not recommended. This is because if only one arch is treated, the biting relationship between top and bottom teeth can’t be controlled properly and could result in an uneven and uncomfortable bite.
As the saying goes, if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.

How do I know I’ve been quoted the right price by my orthodontist?

As with any investment, it’s important to do some research beforehand. Prices can vary depending on the work being done, the treatment option you have chosen and where you live in Australia. As each orthodontist is free to set their own fees, there will inevitably be some variation in the amounts each practice charges for their services.

The best way to check you’ve been quoted a decent price is to obtain an all-inclusive quote from a couple of local orthodontists. Obtaining an all-inclusive financial quote in writing and a comprehensive diagnostic report from your orthodontist is the easiest way to avoid confusion and unexpected costs.  In order to compare quotes for cost-effectiveness, you should have a clear idea of what it includes.

Use our Finder tool to find a registered orthodontist near you.

braces cost australia

What is included in my orthodontic fee?

You should ask your orthodontist whether the quote includes the following:

  • Consultations, pre-treatment reviews and orthodontic record taking
  • Orthodontic appliances
  • Retainers (including replacement retainers)
  • Post-treatment reviews

What is the long term benefit of investing in orthodontic treatment?

The cost of orthodontics is an overwhelmingly positive investment in you or your child’s future health and happiness. A confident smile has the potential to be your best and most memorable asset – one you will surely be grateful for down the track!

For more information about the cost of braces visit our Cost Hub, which will tell you everything you need to know about this treatment in Australia.

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  • Farheen says:

    Want to tighten my braces got from overseas, how much I would be charged for it?

  • Janice says:

    We are Australians currently living in the USA on a Australian Gov posting. My 8 year old son has seen a USA orthodontist and they have recommended treatment to start soon and quoted $4000 USD for 12 months work. I would like to know this is a comparable price to pay in relation to the average prices in Canberra, Australia. Can you help me?
    Kind Regards,

    • Orthodontics Australia says:

      Hi Janice,
      We asked Dr Ray Te Moananui from Canberra to help us answer your question. Unfortunately, since orthodontic costs can vary depending on the specific needs of the patient, as well as the duration and type of treatment required, he would need more information to provide an accurate quote. Generally speaking, the maximum for Phase 1 treatment is about $3000 in Australia, and there is often the need for Phase 2 treatment when they’re older as well. You can contact Dr Ray, or use the ASO finder tool to find another registered specialist orthodontist in your area to provide further information and arrange a quote. However, you should be aware that it can be difficult to give an accurate quote without an initial appointment and the pricing may vary if your Australian orthodontist believes an alternative treatment plan would be better suited to your son. We hope that helps!

  • D’shinay says:

    My child needs braces

  • Good information. Lucky me I found your website by accident
    (stumbleupon). I have bookmmarked it for later!

  • elaine says:

    How much will it cost for braces adjustments?
    I have my braces from outside Australia and will be staying in Australia for few months for study.
    Thank you.

    • Orthodontics Australia says:

      Hi Elaine,
      Consultation fees can vary, so you will need to request the information from your chosen orthodontist. Please remember to have your regular orthodontist get in touch with their Australian counterpart prior to your first appointment so they can share their treatment plan, x-rays and any other important information to ensure your treatment stays on track.

  • khanh says:

    If I have braces from overseas then how much does it cost for metal braces adjustments in Melbourne? Thank you.

    • Orthodontics Australia says:

      Orthodontic costs may vary from practice to practice. You can use our Finder Tool to search for an orthodontist near you and to enquire about their fees.

  • Karolina says:

    Hi, how much does a regular check up visit cost? I already have braces.

    • Orthodontics Australia says:

      There’s no set appointment fee for the orthodontics industry as a whole. As with any medical practitioner, the fees may vary based on a number of factors including location and operational costs. In addition, some orthodontists offer complete packages which include appointment fees. It’s best to get in touch with your current orthodontist about your fee schedule, or reach out to another orthodontist in your area using our Finder Tool:

  • Toddler Bike says:

    Very educative article, learned a lot. So glad I
    found your blog, and was able to learn new things. Keep posting articles, it’s really valuable.

    Best regards,
    Balle Raahauge

  • Connie says:

    I saw your reply mentioned that the maximum price for phase 1 treatment in Canberra is around $3000. Is the price includes all follow up consultations plus the appliance? I would like to know if orthodontist in Sydney will charge at similar price range. My 7.5 year old son has seen Hong Kong orthodontist and they have recommended him phase 1 for one year. I wonder whether I should start the treatment first in HK and do the follow up in Sydney?

    • Orthodontics Australia says:

      Hi Connie, All prices we list are approximations and there are lots of factors that may affect the cost of your treatment. However, most orthodontists will provide a full quote including the cost of the appliance and follow-up appointments, this allows their patients to plan their treatment or organise a payment plan to spread out the costs. It is always best to check with your orthodontist for more information about your quote.

  • lizzy Cooper says:

    I’m currently looking to get some braces. I have tried to get invisiline only to be told I cannot due to the severity of my crowded teeth. I’m currently in year 12 and I simply cannot afford the majority of treatments, as my family is located in a rural area of Australia. What can I do?

    • Orthodontics Australia says:

      Hi Lizzy,
      Thanks for reaching out. We understand braces are a costly investment in your future, but it’s great to see you’re taking taking these initial steps towards seeing a specialist orthodontist! It might be worth giving our article Spreading the cost: Braces Payment Plans in Australia a read. It helps to outline all possible payment options, and is a great starting point to discuss with a orthodontist near you, to see if they offer these payment solutions. Our Finder tool is also another great asset for helping you locate suitable Orthodontists within your region, who would be more than happy to jump on the phone with you to answer some of your initial queries.

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