My Braces Review – Part 2 – The First Consultation
Arriving at the Clinic
I rang up Alfred Cheng Orthodontic Clinic on a Monday and managed to get my very first appointment scheduled three days later, on Thursday. Upon arrival, you’ll have to fill up a form with your particulars and medical history if you’re a new patient.
Review on my Condition
I was then ushered into the treatment room to meet Dr. Cheng. He examined my teeth and explained that I would need to extract four pre-molars (two upper and two below) as there is overcrowding. I also pointed out that my bottom right wisdom tooth is impacted and was advised to remove that too.
Next, Dr. Cheng explained between the two types of braces I could opt for – ceramic or metal. Ceramic braces are of course more expensive at $4,500 (before GST) and it’s out of my budget. My condition would take about 1 to 1.5 years. Furthermore, metal braces would be three months faster, so metal braces it shall be! I was told that the braces would be put on by another doctor on my next appointment.
Getting My Mould & X-Ray
After the short discussion, Dr. Cheng made the mould of my teeth by making me bite onto two pieces of clay. Yikes, they didn’t taste nice. One of his nurses also took photos of my teeth using a DSLR for record purposes I suppose. I was then moved into the x-ray room where an x-ray of my teeth was taken.
On a side note, Dr. Cheng is professional and he will answer your questions. From his team of three nurses working together with him in the treatment room, each one of them performing their own respective tasks, I deduced that his style is to be really efficient. He will attend to your queries, but I guess he is not the type to “babysit” and wait for you to slowly make up your mind while I-look-at-you-you-look-at-me. This makes it important for you to think it through and know what you want by doing your own homework beforehand.
I paid $535 (inclusive of 7% GST) for this first consultation. Another $1,070 is due on my next appointment when the braces are put on. Subsequently, it would be $100 per visit until the end of my treatment.
Appointment for Extraction
Dr. Alfred Cheng’s clinic does not perform extractions. I was referred to Dr. Wee Tze Haur from The Oral Maxillofacial Practice for my extractions. With Dr. Cheng’s referral, normal extractions cost $60 per tooth. Dr. Cheng’s receptionist called and an appointment was made for my extraction four days later, on the following Monday. I was instructed to fast (no food and drinks – take sips of water only if you’re really thirsty) four hours before the appointment.
If you’re not comfortable with this arrangement, I’m certain you can perform your extractions at a clinic of your choice. However, I’ve read about The Oral Maxillofacial Practice during my research work and hence, decided to go ahead with it. Now you see the importance of doing homework? 😉
I was given the receipt, referral letter and a CD-R containing the soft-copy of my x-ray and that marked the end of my first consultation.
The Oral Maxillofacial Practice
38 Irrawaddy Road #11-43
Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
Tel: 6737 1649
Beginning to feel the qualms of my impending extractions!
UPDATE (Nov 2013):
I have been receiving queries on the cost of metal braces, so I shall elaborate further.
Q: How much does it cost and what does it include?
A: The metal braces cost $3,800 (before GST) and this includes x-ray, mould, and retainers.
Q: Can I pay by installments?
A: Yes. You’ll have to pay $500 for the first consultation and another $1,000 on the second appointment when the braces are put on. This sum of $1,500 is considered the downpayment. Subsequently, it would be $100 per visit until the end of your treatment. Prices mentioned are subjected to 7% GST.
Hope this helps and feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email if you have other questions! 😉