Invisalign promises straight teeth in 12-18 months. Not only that – they promise straight teeth without anyone noticing that you’re wearing their aligners.
While Invisalign clear aligners may be harder to see than traditional braces, this low-key luxury comes at a price. The materials used for these so-called “invisible aligners” are not cheap to manufacture.
So, what is the real cost of Invisalign?
Here we look at the average Invisalign price in the US, payment plan options, dental coverage, FSA/HSA insurance policies, and everything else you need to know about the treatment costs.
How much does Invisalign cost?
On average, the price of Invisalign is $3,000 to $5,000 depending on the level of dental work you require.
Invisalign prices can go as high as $8,000 if you need extensive teeth straightening, and there are many factors that can change the price.
In contrast, the average cost of traditional braces for adults is around $5,000 to $6,000, and traditional braces are often worn for up to 3 years – twice as long as Invisalign.
Invisalign braces are simply a more cost-effective option in the long term. Plus, you know… invisible teeth aligners look A LOT better than traditional braces.
Do you need insurance to get Invisalign?
No, you do not need insurance to get Invisalign. You can pay out of pocket with a one-time payment or their monthly payment system, depending on what is best for you.
However, insurance coverage would help to reduce the price of Invisalign treatment.
How much does Invisalign cost with insurance?
Okay, so it’s hard to tell you exactly how much Invisalign costs with an insurance plan because everyone’s total cost is different. The treatment can vary depending on the dental work needed, how long you need to wear them, and even the location of your dentist.
Here we break down some common ways to pay for Invisalign:
Paying with pre-tax dollars from FSA or HSA
If you’ve got pre-tax dollars in your flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) then you can put them toward your treatment.
This could help you to budget and reduce the bills significantly.
Paying with your insurance provider
If you have a healthcare dental scheme, then you may be in luck.
Many dental insurance plans cover Invisalign treatment the same way that they cover old-school braces. This is because the invisible aligner trays are purchased through dentists rather than Invisalign themselves..
Your dental coverage may cover up to 50% of your Invisalign treatment cost.
Paying with a monthly payment plan
You can reduce the cost of Invisalign treatment with their monthly payment system. This allows you to make low monthly payments that are around $99 to $125 per month for most patients.
Numerous factors can affect these payments, but ask your dentist for an estimate of the monthly bill.
Will My Dental Insurance Pay for Invisalign?
Dental insurance may or may not pay for your Invisalign clear braces – it depends.
If your insurance coverage includes adult orthodontics (and you’ve not used your lifetime allowable amount) then yes, you can use your dental insurance to help pay for your clear braces.
Dentists and their assistants can check this information for you, so bring your insurance documentation to the dentist and allow them to scrutinize whether you’re eligible and if it could indeed reduce the monthly costs.
What affects the cost of Invisalign?
All Invisalign cases are unique, with different dental specialists giving you different prices depending on multiple factors and their professional opinion. Here are some of the main factors that can change the price of Invisalign anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000.
How crooked your teeth are
The more straightening your teeth require, the more advanced the align technology needs to be and the longer you need to wear the invisible braces.
For example, people who need minor teeth straightening may only wear Invisalign for 12 months, so they pay for fewer trays, but people with very crooked teeth need Invisalign for 18 months and therefore pay for 18 months’ worth of trays.
If you’ve got extensive dental problems, you might also need Invisalign SmartForce attachments. These dental attachments cost extra and are used for patients with a condition such as overcrowding.
In worse case scenarios, patients with extreme conditions may need adult braces.
The number of teeth that need straightening
Sometimes the majority of your smile is straight but a couple of problem teeth are causing issues. In these cases, Invisalign should be pretty cheap and short-term.
Someone with just a couple of crooked teeth can expect to pay less overall.
The duration of Invisalign treatment
Depending on the severity of your smile’s condition, you may need shorter or longer treatment. Invisalign plans last between 12-18 months on average, so shorter treatments tend to cost less than longer treatments.
Your dentist can estimate how long your treatment will last.
Whether you qualify for insurance discounts
To find out whether you’re insured for orthodontic work, tell your dentist about your healthcare provider and let them see the documentation so they can assess any discounts on Invisalign you’re entitled to.
FSA and HSA flexible spending accounts are accepted, and with the correct dental coverage you can have up to 50% of Invisalign costs paid for by your provider.
The office location of your dentist
Different dental companies charge different amounts for Invisalign due to their office location and business overheads. You see, your dentist takes a commission of the Invisalign cost, so they get part of the payments for recommending the service to you.
However, a dentist in Los Angeles is going to charge more for office visits than a dentist office in Des Moines because their rent and running costs are higher in general. As a result, it’s worth “shopping around” different dentists to see if you can get the exact same Invisalign braces for cheaper.
Monthly financing plans
Monthly payment plans are optional, but they can help to spread the price of Invisalign without relying on an insurance policy.
Some dental specialists will charge you interest so the overall dollar amount is higher when paying in monthly instalments. However, some places run promotional in-house offers that allow you to pay the full amount part-by-part without any interest added.
Check your local dentist’s website for more information.
How much is Invisalign a month?
Although costs vary for different cases, Invisalign costs $99 to $125 per month on average in the United States. There is no down payment required for this monthly system, so it’s affordable to patients with no upfront cash available.
No more maxing out credit cards!
As always, the monthly amount for Invisalign can vary depending on the severity of your crookedness and how many aligners you need.
Why is Invisalign so expensive?
There are many things that make Invisalign expensive, from the materials to the advertising. Here we go through some of the main factors that jack up the amount paid for Invisalign.
Invisalign uses a medical-grade plastic called “multli-layer aromatic thermoplastic polyurethane/copolyester”. This isn’t cheap to produce, though it’s worth pointing out that they produce their teeth aligners in Mexico while some cheaper companies make them in the USA.
Many love Invisalign braces because they’re so hard to see, making your smile look great while you’re having your teeth slowly straightened.
Compared to the awful look of old-school braces, clear aligners look a lot better and users are willing to pay for the privilege.
Monitored by your dentist or orthodontist
Your personal dental professional monitors your treatment, so that makes it more expensive as they need a portion of the money too. If your doctor is located in a more expensive location, then the amount paid will naturally be higher.
Invisalign is a household name at this point, and that doesn’t come cheap. The company has spent millions on advertising to get their brand name out there, and now they can charge a premium because they’re a brand that people have heard of.
Is there a cheaper alternative to Invisalign?
Yes, there are cheaper alternatives to Invisalign on the market. Most of the time, this refers to “at home teeth aligners”.
These at-home treatments mean that you either take impressions of your teeth and send them off to a company, or the company invites you into one of their studio locations for a one-time visit.
It’s very simple.
The idea is that a dentist or orthodontist monitors your progress remotely via apps and video calls, allowing you to save money and time by not going to the dentist’s office regularly.
If you’re comfortable with this type of at-home teeth straightening, it can be SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than Invisalign.
Here are some of the cheapest teeth aligner companies:
1. Aligner Co ($1,145)
2. Byte ($1,895)
Byte is unique because it’s not only cheap, but it’s able to give you a perfect smile in just 3-6 months. They also have “Byte At Night”, a system where you wear their teeth aligners for 10 hours at night time while you sleep, making it more convenient to straighten your teeth.
Byte also uses a piece of technology called the “HyperByte” to speed up the teeth straightening process. This device uses HFV (High-Frequency Vibration) to help speed up the treatment.
3. Smile Direct Club ($1,950)
Boasting “Smile Shop” studios all over the United States and many other countries, Smile Direct Club (SDC) is one of the best known competitors to Invisalign. Costing less than $2,000, you can get Smile Direct Club remotely or you can visit one of their locations to get your teeth impressions taken.
Throughout the process you’ll receive monitoring from a dental professional, ensuring that the teeth straightening experience is going well.
4. Candid Co ($2,400)
Another popular teeth straightening service, Candid Co also boasts physical studios around the US, though admittedly fewer than Smile Direct Club.
Candid’s big selling point is that it works ONLY with orthodontists to make your 3D teeth impressions and monitor your progress. If you didn’t know, orthodontists are actually more qualified to straighten your teeth than dentists, as they recieve training for it during their education.
5. Clear Correct ($2,500 to $5,500)
Okay, so Clear Correct is basically a cheaper version of Invisalign. It works in the exact same way – your dental professional recommends it to you and there are different prices depending on your case.
With Clear Correct, the teeth straightening experience is very similar to Invisalign, but you generally pay less and the aligner trays are made in the US so you’re helping to support local jobs and stimulate the economy.
Conclusion – Should You Buy Invisalign?
So, should you buy Invisalign for that $3,000 to $8,000 pricetag?
Invisalign is a highly-trusted brand that is monitored by your dental professional in-person, so it’s perfect for people who are anxious about the experience and would prefer an in-person professional to monitor their progress.
However, it’s also super expensive.
Cheaper alternatives like Byte and Smile Direct Club offer you a very similar experience with remote digital monitoring, bringing the average cost way down while giving you more free time and making your life more convenient.
Teeth straightening can be a tricky investment, but we hope you find the right service for you. Good luck!