If you're considering adult braces in London or the UK and wondering about the cost, you're not alone. Around 1200 people in the UK each month search the phrase "I need braces but can't afford them UK" so I thought I'd take this opportunity to share my own adult braces costs and how I managed to fund them even though I didn't have the full funds upfront. Many London cosmetic dentistry practices and UK orthodontists offer a range of options for achieving these goals as the cost of adult braces can be a significant financial investment. In this article, I'll provide an overview of the total cost of my adult braces and discuss four ways to finance this type of cosmetic dentistry, all with 0% interest if done correctly.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Here are the main topics we will cover in this article:
- Why I decided to have braces as an adult
- How much does it cost to have braces in the UK?
- Can’t afford braces? Here are four ways to finance your perfect teeth
Why I decided to have braces as an adult
In 2016 and in my 30s, I decided to have braces. It was quite a journey as I had to have full on metal train track braces for over two years. My entire cosmetic dentistry experience took two years and seven months!
If you are interested in my journey and love before and after photos then you can read my whole experience here: My train track braces experience
Having braces as an adult, over 18, meant I had to fund my entire orthodontic journey myself. I’m not sure if many people are still offered braces for free when under 18 nowadays, but when I was at school it seemed like every other person had braces at some point!
In fact, it was actually quite cool to have braces!
I always wanted them, when I was around 11-12 and loved the coloured braces my friends wore. I have no idea if I just had a useless dentist, but it wasn’t until I was 16 that my dentist told me I still had some baby teeth and and asked if I wanted braces…
I was way too self-conscious by this age to have them and so turned down the opportunity to have free braces. I was also pretty terrified of the dentist by this point, I'd since had a traumatic experience of a tooth extraction. Why couldn’t they have noticed when I was younger and really wanted braces, when it was a cool age to have metal on your teeth?!
It was typical, and even though I disliked my teeth, I dealt with them, never smiled showing my teeth, hated having my photo taken and carried on like this until I hit 30...
At age 30 I had a dentist appointment and was told my baby teeth were starting to wobble...
Uh-oh! Panic stations!
I still had my baby canine teeth and one was in the wrong place, next to my front tooth. I definitely didn’t want these to fall out and have gaps, I'd be even more self-conscious than I already was!
I could get false teeth if this happened, rather than have gaps if the baby teeth fell out, but in that case, why not just brave up and get my teeth sorted out once and for all to look like something I actually was proud of and no longer afraid to show? This sparked the decision of just doing it all properly, having the baby teeth removed, having braces and sorting out my teeth… finally.
I’d always hated my teeth and the thought of the baby ones now falling out randomly terrified me, so it was time to have them removed, get my adult canines in the right place (I had one baby canine by one front tooth, one adult canine next to the other and no lateral incisors that were meant to be by my front teeth!) and fix my teeth for good. Time to get over my fear of the dentist and get my teeth straightened and these baby teeth sorted out (removed!)
To get my teeth in the right places meant I needed braces.
As an adult.
First the fear of the dentist and tooth extractions to overcome, then the process of braces as an adult with gaps for a while, temporary false teeth and a mouthful of metal as a grown up. Think of the end result... think of the end result...
I decided to do it.
My teeth were quite complicated so I didn’t quality for invisible braces or Invisilign, so I had to have the good old fashioned metal braces! A train tack mouth in my 30s!
An alternative was white braces, but these were quite a bit more expensive. Plus I’d have gaps whilst teeth were removed and others moved into totally new positions, so I didn’t want to disguise the fact I had braces and look gappy for over two years! At least with the metal braces, it was obvious I was having work done on my teeth while I had some gaps.
So, on to the all-important question that everyone wants to know... as they are expensive... how much does it cost to have braces in the UK?
How much does it cost to have braces in the UK?
The only off-putting thing about getting braces was the cost! They are expensive.
How much did my braces cost?
Costs do vary between orthodontists, but my braces cost £2800. This was for a top and bottom brace. For just one row the price was £1500, so I had a little discount for having top and bottom rows.
The cost of braces in the UK can vary widely depending on the type of braces, the severity of the case, and the length of treatment. It can also vary between dentists and locations... quite substantially!
My husband recently had an appointment to enquire about top and bottom braces, at a different dentist as we have relocated, and was quoted a staggering £5000+ and his teeth simply need a little straightening - nowhere near as much work as my teeth needed!
It is always a good idea to shop around and get quotes from a few different orthodontists before making a decision. It is also important to choose an orthodontist you feel comfortable with and who has experience in treating cases similar to yours, even if they are a bit pricier than others.
In general, the cost of braces in the UK ranges from about £1,500 to £8,000. Some factors that can affect the cost of braces include the type of braces (e.g. ceramic, lingual, traditional metal), the complexity of the case, and the duration of treatment. In London, the cost of braces may be higher due to the higher cost of living in the city. It is best to consult with a qualified orthodontist to get a specific cost estimate for your individual case.
The cost of braces for the top and bottom rows (also known as a full set) is typically more expensive than the cost for just one row. Some orthodontists may offer a discount for treating both rows at the same time.
It's also worth noting that many private dentists and orthodontists will charge a fee for a braces consultation. Mine was around £100. This may be removed from the overall cost of your cosmetic dentistry treatment if you go ahead. But to avoid lots of consultation fees, it's best to do a lot of research online and before you attend an appointment so you can narrow down the list of actual consultations you have, or it could get very expensive!
Also, if you qualify for the six-month braces then the cost can be cheaper than metal braces, but it all depends on your personalised plan and how tricky your teeth are to correct. It is important to note that these may not be suitable for everyone and may not be as effective as traditional braces in more severe cases. I had no choice but to have full-on metal braces to align and reposition my teeth, so any cheaper invisible braces and fast braces were out of the question for me.
But, what do you do if you want or need braces but can't afford them?
Can’t afford braces? Here are four 0% interest ways to finance your perfect teeth
Braces are expensive business and you may be wondering how to pay for braces if you don't have the cash upfront. Even if you qualify for a cheaper six month smile then the cheapest prices I’ve ever seen advertised start at £1500. It’s a lot of money and most people don’t have a spare couple of thousand pounds lying around to spend on teeth!
Luckily there are some ways to finance braces if you decide that it is a must for you. Here are four ways to finance your braces costs that, if done correctly, include 0% interest and therefore no extra charges other than the original total cost of the braces.
In this section, I'll cover the payment options of:
- 0% finance
- Personal payment plan
- 0% credit card
Opting for a 0% interest method means you'll only pay the total cost of the treatment and nothing extra, making these some of the cheapest ways to get braces in the UK without additional fees or charges.
1. 0% finance
Most private dentists and orthodontic practices offer some form of finance to cover large cosmetic dentistry costs. For example, you can get cosmetic dental care from London Cosmetic Dentistry with a range of finance options including 0% finance for up to 24 months. Due to the high cost of treatment, it's very common for people to get braces on finance.
Many practices use a third party finance provider who will offer you the credit. This means it’s subject to a credit check and affordability checks. To avoid interest it’s a good idea to make sure you can afford the payments in any 0% APR timescales offered, otherwise you will be charged interest on the amount borrowed.
2. Ask for a payment plan
Some orthodontic clinics will offer a payment plan directly at their practice, without any third party involved. This is exactly what I did. We knew my treatment would take around two years, so the practice I went to spread the cost over two years with a payment every 3-4 months. This made it much more affordable than paying upfront.
My orthodontist said they wouldn’t remove the braces at the end if I hadn’t paid in full... so a good incentive to make sure you make the payments ready for completion!
I actually managed to save up and pay for my braces quicker than the agreed payment plan, so the balance was cleared well in advance of my braces being removed.
If your treatment is expected to take a long time then ask if they can divide the payments up over the term. They may be more than happy to, and this may be at 0% interest so it will cost you no extra.
3. Use a 0% credit card
If you have good credit score then source a 0% credit card deal for purchases to spread the cost of your cosmetic dentistry at 0% interest. Tesco Bank, for example, regularly have 24-30 month credit card deals with 0% on purchases.
This is a great way to avoid any interest and to pay back the cost of braces over two or longer years. Make sure you don't use the credit card for anything else, make at least the minimum payment each month to avoid charges and ensure you have cleared the entire balance before the 0% deal runs out. You also need to make sure you can get enough credit to cover the whole cost of the treatment.
4. Save, save, save
Finally, if you can’t afford braces upfront and can’t access credit or a payment plan, then you’ll have to save the money yourself. Just put your perfect smile plans on hold for now and save the full cost so you can pay upfront without borrowing a penny.
It might sound daunting, but if you’re able to pay back a payment plan, then you’re able to save the money instead. If you don’t have the fear of teeth falling out like I did, then you can probably wait a couple more years! I'll drop some money-saving tips down below so you can start saving more money for your perfect teeth journey.
In conclusion, the cost of adult braces in the UK can vary widely depending on several factors, including the type of braces, the complexity of the case, and the length of treatment.
While it is a significant financial investment, there are several options available to help finance adult braces, including 0% finance, personal payment plans, 0% credit cards, and saving up in advance. It is important to consider all of these options carefully and choose the one that works best for your individual situation.
Don't let the cost of braces deter you from achieving the smile you've always wanted – with the right financing plan in place, you can make your orthodontic treatment more manageable and affordable.
If braces are inevitable for you then you’ll find a way to fund them. Where there's a will, there's a way. Just be savvy about it and make sure you don’t have to pay any interest!
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