Oral health is becoming an important focus for many people living in Singapore. In 2015, SingHealth reported that just over 383,400 people had made dental-related visits to National Dental Singapore clinics; an increase from 360,500 the previous year. Visits to private health clinics aren’t even counted, so that figure can be expected to be much higher. As adults, it’s important to care for our teeth as they’re the only ones we have.
The costs of dental care in Singapore
Compared with its neighbours who also compete in the Asian medical tourism market, Singapore can be considered to be more expensive for dental care. Yet, where Singapore might come up short on price against countries like Malaysia and Thailand, it excels by consistently providing high quality staff and facilities.
In fact, Singapore is nearly always ranked highly in terms of health system efficiency and effectiveness, and it’s population is considered amongst the healthiest in the world.
However, cost is definitely a top factor in the decision of when and where people seek treatment. In Singapore, the Ministry of Health makes costing figures readily available to the public, and you can expect the following charges for dental procedures:
These costs can be reasonable, however it’s important to realize that these charges are ‘per tooth’. This means that any oral health issues you might suffer that involve multiple teeth can see the costs of care stack up quickly.
Orthodontic work in Singapore
Oral corrective work, or orthodontic services, is a specialized form of dental care that focuses on misaligned teeth or jaws. You might be familiar with braces or retainers, and may have even had them yourself. Whilst we might think of children when we think of things like braces, it is becoming more and more common for adults to have orthodontic work carried out. This can be for a number of reasons:
- To correct an overbite or underbite;
- To realign crooked teeth;
- To readjust gaps and spaces between teeth;
- To readjust teeth that have grown too crowded.
Corrective work is not necessarily cosmetic. Having misaligned teeth or jaws can impact your oral health, and can cause future problems if not addressed. The cost of some of these procedures are as follows:
Citizens and permanent residents can access Medishield in order to gain financial support for regular dental work in Singapore and some procedures (such as wisdom tooth extraction), however expats, visitors, PRs and citizens alike are expected to pay the high costs of orthodontic work out-of-pocket.
Meeting the costs with dental insurance
When it comes to insurance, comprehensive dental in Singapore cannot be secured as a standalone plan. Dental benefits are generally added to a medical insurance policy at an extra cost, but can add a wealth of useful and important coverage benefits. Dental insurance can focus on maintenance and preventative health, however the exact benefits will differ from insurer to insurer. Generally, you should expect to be covered for things like:
- Crown work
- Root canals
- X-ray fees
Exclusions can apply and will generally be related to procedures considered cosmetic. Teeth whitening, for example, is commonly excluded from coverage in dental plans, however cleaning and polishing can be included as a maintenance procedure. As with any type of insurance plan, it pays to read what your policy document says to ensure that you’re getting the best out of your dental coverage in Singapore.
Finding the right dental plan in Singapore
With the many options of dental insurance that exist in Singapore, it’s important to choose a plan that matches your needs. Expert advisers at Pacific Prime Singapore, an insurance broker, can organise a perfect package for you. To get a quote on a top-up to an existing plan, negotiate additional benefits, or tailor a new dental insurance plan, contact a global insurance expert.