Here Are The Different Types Of Braces Available In Malaysia & How Much They Cost
Getting braces can be a pretty big decision
It involves forking out a decent amount of money and living with a 'metal mouth' for the next two years.
However, innovation has made braces more comfortable than they once were. Also, ranging from traditional braces to clear aligners, the options now come with different advantages and budgets to suit every individual's needs.
1. Metal braces
Metal braces are the OG of all braces, they are also known as traditional braces or conventional braces.
Putting on metal braces means bonding metal brackets to each of your individual teeth and running a metal archwire across them to push your teeth into their proper positions.
The archwire is held in place by colourful elastic bands.
As they are the most cost-effective and conventional option, these are the only types of braces offered as treatment in public hospitals, and usually only to children or teenagers below the age of 18.
For cosmetic purposes, adults have to seek private clinics to get their braces done.
Cost: About RM1,000 at public clinics, RM4,500 to RM5,500 at private clinics.
2. Ceramic braces
Ceramic braces are exactly the same as metal braces, except that the brackets are made of ceramic.
They work in the same way as metal braces: a metal archwire is run across the ceramic brackets that are bonded to your teeth and slowly shifts them over time.
Ceramic brackets are either clear or tooth-coloured, and they also come with clear elastic bands.
These are a popular choice for those who prefer to wear braces that are less noticeable. However, with the different material and better aesthetic comes a higher price tag – ceramic braces are more expensive than metal braces.
Cost: RM7,000 to RM8,500 at private clinics.
Fixed vs self-ligating braces
If you choose either metal or ceramic braces, you can also opt for either fixed or self-ligating brackets.
Fixed brackets use elastic bands to hold the archwire in place. Meanwhile, self-ligating brackets can clip the archwire in place on their own, and do not require elastic bands.
This offers shorter visits to the dentist as they require less time to clip the archwire into place, as well as easier cleaning for the patient because there are no elastic ties for food to get caught in.
As self-ligating brackets are a newer innovation and bring more convenience, they are more expensive than regular, fixed brackets. Within the aforementioned price ranges, self-ligating metal or ceramic braces cost between RM700 and RM1,000 more than their fixed counterparts.
3. Clear aligners
The most fancy of the braces options available in Malaysia right now are the clear aligners: they are nearly invisible, removable, and less irritating to your cheeks, gums, and lips.
Clear aligners, or invisible braces (such as Invisalign), are a series of plastic trays that are custom-made and 3D printed to fit firmly over your teeth. They are replaced every one to two weeks to continue shifting your teeth over the length of treatment.
As you will be given a few aligners at a time, this requires less visits to the dentists. But, as a rule of thumb, clear aligners have to be worn 22 hours a day for the best results.
While convenient, they are not recommended for every patient – some patients still require conventional braces for more complex misalignment issues, while others may prefer non-removable braces so they do not need to remember to wear them. Clear aligners are also more expensive.
Some clear aligner providers (such as Zenyum) only treat the front eight teeth, top and/or bottom, as a more affordable, aesthetic option for patients with minor misalignments.
Cost: RM12,000 to RM20,000 in private clinics.
If you are interested in wearing braces, do seek professional advice from a dentist or orthodontist
There are still many things to consider before deciding on the type of braces to wear, such as the condition of your teeth and additional dental treatment you may need before putting on braces.
Also, the prices listed above are estimates obtained from calls to dental clinics around Klang Valley, so prices might differ from ones you might find.
Read more #HealthMatters stories on SAYS: