The cost of braces done privately (not on the NHS) varies a lot, depending on how severe the problem is and the type of braces you decide to go for.

To get braces on the NHS, you must make a case that it will benefit your health. You cannot have orthodontics under the NHS just for cosmetic reasons. Under 18s who qualify for braces on the NHS will get their treatment free.

Your first consultation may be free or may cost a small amount (if you are over 18). But this should be made clear to you before you book an appointment. During this appointment you will get all the information you need to decide whether or not to go ahead with treatment. This is as vital with orthodontic treatment as it is with any other dental or medical treatment.

If you can’t get braces on the NHS and decide to get them privately, prices usually start at £2,500. The price you pay could be less than this if the problems are easier to correct. But the costs could also be higher.

The cost of treatment depends on the type of brace you and your orthodontist choose. The appearance of the brace can be very important, but the brace has to be able to correct the position of your teeth. This may limit your choice.

Often the dentist or orthodontist carrying out your work will offer you a payment plan.

How do I know if I’m getting value for money?

Value for money is often linked to whether you are happy with the results. The best way to know if you are getting value for money is to do your research first. Before choosing somebody to make your brace, find out what other people think of the experience – either with the orthodontist or dental practice. If you can find trusted and verified reviews, then it will help give you an idea of what you can expect from the treatment.

Often you can find companies online that will offer you braces at a cheaper price than your dentist offers. However, it is important to be wary of these. Because of the ‘do it yourself’ nature of these products you may find that you don’t get the results you wanted and are left with few options.

I’ve heard it’s possible to get braces abroad, is this a good idea?

Going abroad for orthodontic treatment carries a lot more risk, and it often doesn’t offer value for money either.

Because of the possible language barriers and the different working regulations in other countries, you often cannot guarantee that the person carrying out the treatment is qualified to the highest standard. Another major risk is that the treatment may go wrong once you are back in the UK. If the treatment does go wrong, it is much harder to put right and this may end up costing more than the original treatment would have cost if you had had it done in the UK.

Braces also need adjusting every six to eight weeks. Travelling backwards and forwards would increase the cost. If you had any problems with your brace between these visits, you would need even more journeys.

Once I’ve paid for the course of treatment will I need to pay for anything else?

You should only agree to have private treatment once you understand:

  • the treatment you are going to have
  • the cost of the treatment, and
  • the cost of the retainers you will wear after the treatment.

Ask for these costs to be explained clearly, and try to get a written contract or quote. Usually, this will cover all aspects of the orthodontic treatment – including suitable retainers, the period when you wear your retainers, and any extra items or possible extra fees for unforeseen issues.

Your dentist may give you a separate quote for any other dental treatment you need. You might need this before or during the orthodontic treatment, or to finish the whole treatment plan. The work might include a scale and polish, having any teeth out that need to be removed, crowns, bridges, veneers, or other treatment to improve the appearance of your teeth.

When you have finished your orthodontic treatment, you will be given a retainer to make sure your teeth stay in the right place. Your orthodontist will normally keep checking this for one year. After this, there may be a small charge for any other appointments and you would also be charged for any replacement retainers. These charges should be made clear before treatment starts. Retainers, if you look after them properly, will last many years.

If you’ve had your treatment done on the NHS, you should get one retainer for free. However, you might have to pay for any replacement retainers. If you’ve had your braces done privately, the orthodontist will set the cost for new retainers. Costs start at around £100.


Related pages

  - Learning about braces

  - Videos about braces

  - Top tips