Hidden Costs of Dental Braces in the Philippines (First Year of Experience)

Hidden Costs of Dental Braces in the Philippines (First Year of Experience)

I have had my metal dental braces for almost a year now, and still I look forward each day to achieving that perfect teeth alignment and smile (although I really don’t smile a lot).

I had a crossbite, and that awkward condition even came to a serious attention as soon as we had to shift from F2F to virtual classes. I had to endure seeing myself on the screen all throughout the working hours every single day until I finally told myself — I smile bad onscreen! I decided to get braces.

Believe me, it’s not the pain (there’s not much just like what most would describe as ‘tiis ganda’), rather the hidden costs of getting braces that one’s pockets should really prepare for. I thought that after having paid the down payment and signed the contract, I would just have to visit the clinic once a month and pay the monthly adjustment fee (the installment), but I was wrong. Extra dental services and hidden costs have popped out here and there. Well, I never thought and researched about these. Or let’s just say, I really needed them for the complete treatment.

Actual Metal Braces Package. To start off, I was presented with various types of braces, from the cheapest metal braces to the most expensive invisalign. I was even convinced to have the higher-priced ceramics, but I really didn’t have much for this. I was decided to have just the metal braces.

Initially, it cost around PHP40,000.00, but when the actual computation was made as extras had to be included in the package, i.e., teeth whitening and retainer, it totalled around PHP55,000.00. I agreed to have a down payment of PHP5,000.00 and PHP1,000.00 for monthly adjustment (installment) fee for an expected 3 years or even more of treatment.

Preps for Metal Braces. Yes, there’s a cost for this. I needed oral prophylaxis or dental cleaning which cost around PHP800.00, and panoramic radiogram or dental X-ray for PHP950.00. So I spent already around PHP2,000.00 (including the PPE fee of PHP150.00 due to the pandemic) before the actual metal braces were put on. Regular visits thereafter came with free dental cleaning though, part of the package.

Monthly Adjustments. As I mentioned, I just had to pay PHP1,000.00 for the monthly adjustment (installment) fee, plus PHP150.00 for the PPE. These I had for most months of visits.

Bracket Replacements. One bracket once fell off, and I had it accidentally swallowed. Of course I panicked, but I was told that it normally happens. I had to pay an extra PHP500.00 for its replacement, though. For the second time it happened, I was luckily able to keep it and had it simply recemented for PHP100.00.

Dental Fillings. One of the dentists in the clinic told me that my teeth are still good and no serious decays except for three that needed some dental fillings, part of preventive measures. I couldn’t recall what type of dental fillings, but these were filled within the first few months of my visit. I had to pay PHP800.00 for each though.

Dental Fluoride Treatment. Within almost a year, I had two dental fluoride treatments which cost an additional PHP800.00 each.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth Extraction. I never had any idea that wisdom teeth extraction would be costly until I did a little research. I was just told by my dentist that since it normally falls under the surgery category that it really ranges from PHP10,000.00 – PHP20,000.00 per tooth. What? And yes, Google even says so.

Just with my recent visit, I had the extractions scheduled by next month. Per quotation, the other two would cost PHP15,000.00 each, while the other one, PHP8,000.00. That’s PHP38,000.00. Sad. I also had my dental x-ray updated prior to the extractions. That’s another PHP950.00.

Still getting braces? It has been almost a year since my metal braces were first put on. Despite the hidden costs I had (and will still have) to pay, I am but happy and satisfied with the progress. I just think of it, of course, for the better me. Not to mention, I was also forced to have a better oral hygiene.