Dental treatment, along with general healthcare services, are of a high standard in Singapore. The city-state is regarded as having one of the best healthcare systems in the world, a recognition that also includes first-class dental care and treatments. Expats living in Singapore have access to a large number of dental clinics that are conveniently located throughout the city. These clinics are capable of providing a selection of standard treatments such as routine checkups, cleaning, whitening, fillings and tooth extraction. Specialist treatments are also available, including root canal treatments (endodontics), gum treatments (periodontics) and braces (orthodontics).
Private dental clinics are the preferred choice of many in Singapore’s expat community, largely due to the ease with which appointments can be made, the lack of waiting time for specific or specialist treatment and the higher standard of service on offer. It is therefore understandable that private dental practices typically charge higher fees for their services in comparison to public health facilities. However, despite these higher costs, Singapore’s private dental sector continues to cater almost exclusively to the city’s middle class and expat communities.
The Ministry of Health has published a guide to the cost of several specialist treatments at Singapore’s private dental clinics. A single tooth capping or crown can cost between $400 – $1,605; impacted wisdom tooth surgery is approximately $250 – $1,900 per tooth; braces can cost between $3,480 – $8,000 for both jaws excluding surgery; root canal treatment for an anterior tooth is $200 – $600 per tooth; root canal treatment for a molar tooth is $200 – $1,200 per tooth and root canal treatment for a pre-molar tooth is $200 – $800 per tooth. All prices quoted are in Singapore Dollars (SGD).
Given the high cost of these treatments, it is imperative that all expatriates have adequate and comprehensive dental insurance. Although most expats living and working in Singapore will receive some form of dental coverage from their employer as part of their health insurance benefits, in many cases these dental plans are not comprehensive and typically only provide coverage against standard dental treatments. Should an individual require specialist treatment that falls outside of their defined coverage levels, they will become personally liable for any dental costs they may incur. These costs can quickly escalate, particularly if lengthy treatment is required.
Dental insurance is available as an additional coverage option from all major health insurance providers. Annual premiums are reasonably priced, and when compared to potentially high dental costs, offer expats in Singapore security and peace of mind should extensive and costly dental treatment be required in the future.
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