Dental insurance and orthodontic work in Singapore

With one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world, those looking to get orthodontic work done can rest assured of the high quality of dental care in Singapore. While there’s certainly a vast variety of dental facilities to choose from in the city-state, one thing that deters many people from seeking orthodontic care is its high cost. Luckily, there are dental insurance plans out there that cover orthodontic work and other major dental treatments. To help familiarise you with what you need to know about dental insurance and orthodontic treatment, we’ve asked our friends over at Pacific Prime Singapore to share the following information and tips.

What is orthodontics?

Generally speaking, orthodontics is a specialized type of dental care that treats patients with incorrectly positioned teeth or jaws in order to improve their functioning and/or appearance. In most cases, orthodontic work involves the use of braces to align teeth. Other types of orthodontic work include the application of splints or retainers that help train the jaw to close or realign more naturally.

While typically done in childhood, orthodontic work can be done at any time to correct things like:

  • Overbite – This occurs when the upper front teeth stick out too far forward over the lower teeth
  • Underbite – This occurs when the lower front teeth are too far forward or the upper front teeth are too far back
  • Crowding – This happens when there’s not enough space for the teeth to fit normally within the jaws
  • Spacing – Spaces, or gaps between teeth due to missing teeth or teeth that don’t “fill up” in the mouth

The cost of orthodontic work in Singapore

As with virtually all forms of medical care, the cost of orthodontic work in Singapore depends on many factors, such as the type of facility, and the severity of your particular dental condition. If you require braces (the most common type of orthodontic work), then factors like how long you’ll need to wear your braces for and the type of braces applied (i.e. metal, ceramic, lingual, or Invisalign) will also have an influence on how much you will need to pay.

As can be expected, the range of dental fees charged at private facilities is much wider than the range of fees at public facilities. For instance, the average fees for the application of braces in 2015 (the latest information available on the Ministry of Health website) are:

  • Public institutions: SGD 3,000 – SGD 4,870
  • Private institutions: SGD 2,000 – SGD 10,700

From the figures above, it’s clear to see that orthodontics in Singapore is not cheap. This is especially true if you have more than one child or family member who needs dental treatment. As such, having the right dental insurance can go a long way in offsetting your dental costs.

What is the best dental insurance option?

Like virtually every type of insurance, all dental plans sold in Singapore will have varying levels of coverage. Here are the two main types of dental coverage:

  • Routine dental – This option covers routine dental procedures like teeth cleaning, x-rays, fillings, root canals, and consultations.
  • Major dental – The more comprehensive plans will also include cover for treatments like orthodontic work (e.g. medically necessary braces), periodontitis treatment, gingivitis treatment, bridgework, dentures, root scaling, etc. These plans are usually more costly.

If you’re looking for a plan that covers orthodontic work, be sure to look for ones that cover major dental treatment. It’s worth noting here that not every plan will cover the above, so it’s important that you double check all policy inclusions, exclusions, and limitations either by talking to a trusted insurance broker like Pacific Prime Singapore or by carefully read through the plan documentation.

How to secure dental insurance

Before securing dental insurance, it’s important to note that there are very few, if any, stand-alone dental insurance plans in Singapore. Instead, it is usually purchased as an add-on to primary health insurance plans. This additional coverage will come with an additional premium. Another thing to be aware of is that almost all dental coverage benefits with a waiting period ranging from 6 to 12 months for more costly treatment. This time period must pass before the insurer will accept claims.
To learn more about your dental insurance and orthodontic coverage options in Singapore, be sure to get in touch with the helpful advisors at Pacific Prime Singapore. Their team are on hand to provide you with answers to all your questions, give you impartial advice, and a free quote.