Invisalign Cost: The Naked Truth and Money-Saving Tips on Invisalign as a Treatment Option, From the Experts
This Ultimate Guide Will Help you:
✔ To clearly understand Invisalign’s price structure and its different types, components, and potential pitfalls.
✔ To help you select the right provider.
✔ To learn money saving techniques for your current or future orthodontic treatment with the Invisalign brand of clear aligners.
The Best Part?
You will be equipped with knowledge that will give you a competitive edge, potentially lowering the total cost of your Invisalign treatment while increasing the quality.
- Provider: How to choose the right doctor
- Invisalign Price Range and factors that affect Invisalign treatment’s total cost
- Payment Options and Insurance: Tips to budget your orthodontic treatment
- Alternative Treatment Options: Mail order aligners overview and cost
- Additional money-saving tips!
This may, in fact, be the most important step to consider.
Aside from your personal compliance with your treatment plan, your doctor’s knowledge and experience has the most direct impact on the final outcome of your Invisalign treatment.
Remember, Invisalign aligners do not move your teeth: your doctor does.
Take the following steps when choosing your Invisalign provider:
When considering where to go when you’re ready to start clear aligner therapy, always choose an orthodontist, not a general dentist who does orthodontics.
An orthodontist is a specialist who offers only one procedure – straightening your teeth and correcting your bite.
General dentists, on the other hand, do many other procedures, such as crowns, dentures, implants, and more. Usually, general dentists do not have enough experience or the necessary equipment to straighten your smile in the most efficient manner.
In addition, the cost for treatment is often much more expensive at a general dentist compared to an orthodontic office, based on the sheer volume of cases.
It costs an orthodontist much less to complete a case, which equals lower treatment fees and less money out of your pocket.
Finally, always remember that Invisalign is just a tool in the hands of the practitioner (doctor); if your doctor is not sufficiently experienced, the aligner therapy will fail. Make sure your doctor is an orthodontist.
Don’t be misled when choosing your provider.
If the office provides services such as crowns, cleanings, dentures, etc., it is probably run by a general dentist. There may be a hired orthodontist who works there once in a while, but this type of office is usually not equipped to complete your case on time, or with the level of personalized attention you deserve.
Ask questions like: Do you perform any other procedures in your office aside from orthodontics? If the answer is YES, we strongly recommend continuing your search and skip that office. Find a facility specializing in orthodontics only.
Search for providers at www.invisalign.com
This is a very important step.
Enter your zip code and choose an Invisalign provider in your area. Invisalign ranks providers based on skill and experience to help you choose.
Look for these logos to identify what rank an Invisalign provider holds:
✔ Diamond Plus providers hold the highest ranking and have the most experience. While Diamond Plus providers are the most skilled, they are an elite group and you may not always find one conveniently located near you.
✔ Diamond providers are also very experienced and well equipped to provide high-quality care.
Lower ranks - providers with less Invisalign experience - include Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze:
✔ Bronze means a provider has started 0-4 patients in treatment over 6 months.
✔ Silver means a provider has started 5-23 patients in treatment over 6 months.
✔ Gold means a provider has started 24-29 patients in treatment over 6 months.
✔ Gold Plus means a provider has started 30-59 patients in treatment over 6 months.
✔ Platinum providers have started 60-99 patient treatments in 6 months.
✔ Platinum Plus providers have started 110-139 patient treatments in 6 months.
✔ Diamond providers have started 140-199 patient treatments in 6 months.
✔ Diamond Plus providers have started 200+ patient treatments in 6 months.
The Invisalign company offers substantial discounts for high-volume providers, which results in a lower cost for consumers. A high-volume provider means lower cost for you with a higher quality result!
Remember to make sure the provider is an orthodontist and not a general dentist, and look for the digital scanner icon by the provider's name so you can avoid messy putty in your mouth when you visit the office.
What is the Average Cost of Invisalign Treatment?
Invisalign prices range from $3000 – $9000 dollars and depend on many factors.
1. Type of treatment
Invisalign company offers a few treatment options for doctors to choose from:
- Invisalign Full cases for teens or adults (provides an unlimited number of aligners for up to 5 years)
- Many other products with a limit such as Invisalign Light or Express
We generally do not recommend anything but a full case with the unlimited aligners option.
Why would you want a company to limit your potential outcome anyway?
You deserve your most ideal results and selecting unlimited aligners with your Diamond or Diamond Plus provider will help to ensure that you get exactly that.
A limited number of aligners doesn’t necessarily translate into dollar savings – but will almost definitely leave you with a less than perfect end result.
Consider this: what if you aren’t happy with your smile after 10 aligners? What then? You may end up paying more over time just to reach your best result.
We recommend starting out with full Invisalign teen or adult, which will provide you with the most desirable outcome and less worry.
2. Location of the office
Doctors have expenses and if an office is located in an upscale neighborhood, you will likely expect to pay more.
Rent in Manhattan is different than rent in rural areas of the Midwest. Orthodontic and dental offices have higher overhead (rent, equipment costs, taxes, wages, etc.) in cities like New York and Los Angeles, which could translate into a higher cost for your treatment.
3. Complexity of the case
Cases that require an additional specialist, such as an oral surgeon, will often pay more for treatment.
4. Doctor’s ranking
A higher ranking with Invisalign equals a lower lab cost for each case a provider submits; this could mean a lower treatment cost for you.
The most skilled and experienced doctors, such as Diamond Plus providers, have the ability to charge less for higher quality care.
5. Patient’s compliance with treatment
Of course, a patient who does not follow the doctor’s instructions for home care may have some additional costs, since poor compliance often results in prolonged treatment time.
Make sure to follow all instructions carefully to keep your total cost down.
6. Post-treatment care or retention
This is a necessary part of orthodontic treatment and may add to the total fee.
Choose a doctor whose post-treatment care is included in the initial case fee.
7. Insurance coverage
If you have orthodontic insurance, the out-of-pocket cost will be much lower.
1. Choose the right doctor. Preferably an orthodontist ranked as a Diamond Plus provider, who is operating in a free-standing orthodontic facility.
2. Seek a second opinion if you still have questions.
3. Choose a full case (unlimited aligners), not a Light or Express option.
4. Make sure your doctor is using the Invisalign brand and not a cheaper imitation brand. Look for the Invisalign logo at the office, or simply ask.
5. Make sure you are paying a fixed fee for your case, regardless of how many appointments you may need. Many factors determine the total number of appointments you will have, and paying a fixed fee will almost definitely keep your cost much lower.
6. Make sure your total fee includes all of the following up front:
- Consultation and diagnostic records
- Replacement aligners in case some are lost
- All x-rays and other diagnostic materials
- A digital scan of your teeth
- All necessary retainers
- All appointments
- Free teeth bleaching (may be included)
- If you are not happy with clear aligners for any reason, ask the doctor to provide braces without any extra charge
7. Ask what flexible payment options are available
Payment Options and Insurance
When you finally choose a doctor, you should be able to set up a flexible payment plan that will fit your budget.
✔ Ask for payment plans with a low- to no-down-payment and zero-percent interest. Many providers will offer flexible and/or customizable payment terms.
✔ Ask about payment in full for a discount. Again, many providers will give you a courtesy discount if you pay in full on day one.
Many dental insurances offer benefits for orthodontic care. If you have insurance that pays for orthodontic treatment, check if your provider accepts your plan. It’s a great idea to contact your insurance first so you understand your benefits. Ask questions such as:
✔ Does my plan cover orthodontic treatment?
✔ Do I need a referral to see an orthodontic specialist? (Usually, the answer is no.)
✔ Is there adult coverage, and what are the age limitations, if any?
✔ Is there a waiting period for orthodontic benefits?
Many orthodontic offices will submit claims on your behalf, and deduct the expected benefit from your treatment fee up front.
Ask about a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Many companies provide programs that may save you money on Invisalign if you designate pre-tax contributions into a special account. Since Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment, an FSA may reimburse you a portion of the cost for your Invisalign treatment.
Speak to your company’s human resources or benefits department to set up an FSA or get more information on how it can help you save on Invisalign.
Alternative Treatment? Mail-Order Aligners Cost and Review
The recent popularity of mail-order aligners has people wondering if they really work. After all, they are convenient, since no doctor’s visits are required, and the treatment is supposedly cheaper than Invisalign.
Let’s discuss that cheap part first.
Are they really?
Consumers will usually pay close to $2000 dollars for a set of these aligners, with around 20 to 30 of them per case. So, essentially, you are paying around $75 dollars per aligner without any proper retention.
With an orthodontist providing Invisalign, you will be paying around half that cost per aligner, and receiving as many as your treatment plan requires, plus all diagnostic records, all retention, all appointments and the secure experience associated with the personalized care of a trained specialist.
Our recommendation is to avoid the risk of treatment without the direct supervision of an experienced doctor who you selected and know by name. Think about this: you carefully select your hairstylist, even knowing that hair grows back... would your teeth grow back?
Some Additional Money-Saving Tips
Study your market and question orthodontists. The more questions you ask, the more educated you become, and the easier it will be to negotiate the right price.
Shop around for the best price and the right fit for you.
While we do encourage patients to shop around for the best price, remember not to be fooled by ads offering Invisalign at rock-bottom prices on sites like Groupon. Invisalign is not a commodity to shop around for to score the best deal: Invisalign is a medical treatment to help you achieve healthy, beautiful teeth.
Our best advice is to seek an experienced doctor for quality treatment from the start, saving yourself frustration and headaches later on.
Is Invisalign worth it?
Invisalign may have a slightly increased cost over metal braces, but when paying installments, it only results in a few dollars more per month. For many people, the quality and reputation of Invisalign outweigh other options.
Invisalign is clear and hides the fact that you are actually wearing “braces”.
Invisalign aligners are made of smooth and comfortable BPA-free plastic. Their patented SmartTrack(R) Invisalign(R) Aligner Materialis are uniquely versatile, and clinically-proven to achieve greater than 75% improvement in overall tooth movement predictability, compared to the clear aligners commonly used by other manufacturers.
According to our patients, wearing the aligners is generally comfortable and convenient. No significant lifestyle changes are required with Invisalign, since the aligners can be easily removed when eating or brushing.
What’s more, Invisalign requires shorter in-office treatment visits compared to metal braces.
We hope that the information here will help you to become a more informed consumer as you begin the journey towards achieving the smile you have always dreamed of!