Often, many people with crooked teeth choose clear aligners instead of braces to straighten their teeth. One of the most well-known manufacturers of dental clear aligners is Invisalign. Clear aligner therapy is a significant investment in your health and appearance, as the cost can start at thousands of dollars.
If you don’t have dental insurance, you might believe it is too expensive. However, there are a few strategies to cut down on out-of-pocket expenses. We explain why Invisalign costs more than alternative clear plastic aligner procedures below, along with some tips on how to cut costs on teeth-straightening procedures.
What is Invisalign?
The company that popularized transparent aligner orthodontic therapy is called Invisalign. It’s a unique method that takes a digital impression of your teeth using 3D imaging and scanning, then uses a computer model to correct each of those teeth. Individual clear aligner trays that click over your teeth are designed to move with the teeth as they progressively shift into the ideal position. Your teeth move when you wear the aligners as prescribed and swap them out as needed. Braces are not required!
The transparent aligners from Invisalign initially cost substantially more than conventional braces. Fortunately, over time and with improved resources, the average cost of Invisalign has stabilized and is now more or less comparable to the cost of conventional orthodontic treatments.
How does Invisalign work?
To determine if you are a good candidate for Invisalign or if traditional braces (which are wire and bracket appliances fitted to the teeth) would be preferable for you, a dentist or orthodontist performs an initial evaluation. Dentists are experts in maintaining optimal oral health. Orthodontists are experts in teeth positioning and alignment. The cost will vary according to the provider’s level of Invisalign expertise.
Your provider will use a digital scanner to build a 3D image of your mouth and develop a treatment plan with Invisalign. Once the treatment plan is approved, your clear aligners will be manufactured. The parent business of Invisalign makes a series of transparent aligners using a series of models to gradually move your teeth into the correct position. Each aligner is customized for you and the outcomes you want.
As you advance through the aligners, your dentist or orthodontist will monitor tooth mobility and spot possible issues before they arise.
The aligners function by exerting continual, mild pressure on the teeth. Your clear aligner treatment plan may require specific attachments or engagers to be bonded onto your teeth. This helps the aligners exert the forces in the proper direction so that we can move teeth into the right position.
Contact with your provider must be ongoing during treatment. You’ll change your aligners every one to two weeks, and you’ll need to see your doctor every six to eight weeks for an assessment and new aligners. One of the main issues with DIY aligners, or mail order aligners is that a dentist is not overseeing the treatment, and issues may arise that may result in problems with your bite, loose teeth, or bone loss.
After treatment is complete, you will need to wear a retainer to stop your teeth from shifting back. You should find out if this is included with the price of your treatment, or if there is an added fee at the end of treatment.
Invisalign cost treatment
Depending on how complex the issue is, Invisalign prices can range from $1,800 to $9,500. Comprehensive treatment would cost the average adult $5,700. Limited treatment (typically moving just a few teeth) typically costs around $4300. In contrast, the average cost of conventional wire-and-bracket braces ranges from $3,000 to $7,000. Accordingly, the cost of Invisalign may or may not be comparable to the cost of traditional braces, depending on your particular circumstances, treatment strategy, and the provider you are working with.
If you have insurance, find out what coverage you have for orthodontic procedures from your benefits administrator or insurance company. As you compare several providers, find out what insurance plans they accept.
Like braces, many dental insurance policies also cover Invisalign. However, some insurance companies do not cover clear aligner treatments since they are considered an aesthetic procedure. Other insurance policies might only pay a specific percentage of the cost of services or a certain monetary amount in order to partially cover treatments. Orthodontic benefits frequently have lifetime restrictions imposed by insurance.
Invisalign treatment at our dental office in Tigard
If you are interested in Invisalign treatment to correct crooked teeth or other orthodontic issues, The Smile Lounge in Tigard can help. We will thoroughly evaluate your teeth and jaw and help you decide if Invisalign is the proper dental care for you. Schedule a free consultation at our dental office in Tigard today!