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Ignoring misaligned teeth, gaps, and crossbites won’t make dental problems go away as we grow older. Putting off making a dental appointment is common, even among adults who are experiencing mild tooth pain or worsening cavities.Braces, unfortunately, aren’t comfortable to wear, yet many still need them. But over the last 20 years, a new type of clear, transparent dental aligners emerged as an alternative to metal braces: Invisalign. But how much does Invisalign cost?

This short but concise guide covers the most crucial information about Invisalign’s cost, how it works, and how to find a dentist or orthodontist near you.

What is Invisalign?

Humana’s statistics claim million people in the US have braces to correct cosmetic defects and other serious dental issues. Adults account for about 25 percent of this figure.

The most troublesome downside of wearing braces is the sheer effort required to clean and maintain them properly. Children often dislike the feeling of metal in their mouths and wearing a retainer once braces come off.

Invisalign’s purpose is to straighten teeth without using metal braces, the traditional means of addressing many oral health ailments. The treatment uses clear aligners instead of stainless steel or ceramic. The general idea is to hide the fact you’re wearing a dental device.

A critical difference between Invisalign and braces is that Invisalign aligners need replacing every few weeks. They’re practically disposable. Braces aren’t disposable and require several procedures to place, tighten, and remove them.

As an alternative, Invisalign’s treatment process is unique in the orthodontic field and follows a proven step-by-step method.

How does Invisalign work?

Clear, transparent aligners like Invisalign can treat these common dental ailments:

  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Gaps in teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Crooked teeth

A dentist will decide whether or not Invisalign will work because it won’t correct severe cosmetic dental defects. In those instances, patients instead may need traditional metal braces and retainers.

Invisalign treatment begins with the dentist taking a 3D image of a patient’s mouth. This technology allows dentists to custom-fit aligners to the exact contours of the mouth. This initial scan is non-invasive, highly accurate, and doesn’t take long to complete.

The patient then receives a thermoplastic oral device that looks similar to a retainer, but it works by applying pressure to teeth where needed.

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Then, the Invisalign aligner needs replacing every two weeks. The number of Invisalign treatments most people need ranges between 20 and 30, or about a year.

How much does Invisalign cost?

Invisalign costs as much as other orthodontic work, and it usually comes in specific packages. Invisalign Teen, for example, is an option.

The average cost of Invisalign ranges from $3,000 to $5,000 and depends on the specific type.

The newest version is Invisalign i7, but Invisalign Full is the most common choice and costs about the same. It’s worth noting some patients will need more oral care than Invisalign. In these cases, the total cost of the visit goes up.

Retainers are another cost to consider since most people will need to wear one after treatment. The idea is to give teeth time to settle in and strengthen.

Thankfully, there are many ways to offset the cost of Invisalign treatment, which we’ll go over shortly.

Is Invisalign less expensive than braces?

Invisalign bracers cost about as much as traditional braces. In some cases, metal braces cost significantly more. It depends on the teeth’s underlying conditions. 

Traditional metal braces cost about $3,000 to $7,000 on average. Ceramic braces cost anywhere between $4,000 and $8,000.

Since the price difference isn’t too substantial, many choose Invisalign over the hassle of wearing braces for years.

The only downside of Invisalign is its cost, which remains on par with most orthodontic procedures. Most people rely on health insurance to offset Invisalign’s hefty price tag.

Does health insurance cover Invisalign?

According to Invisalign, yes, health insurance covers some of Invisalign’s cost at this writing time. Insurers may cover as much as $3,500 for Invisalign treatment. The catch is that every health plan offers different levels of dental care.

Some insurance plans place a cap on how much they’ll cover for dental work. Other times there’s a percentage taken off the total amount, so people pay out of pocket from the remainder.Often, orthodontists will perform Invisalign treatment on a payment plan, but this will vary from practice to practice.

Are there other ways to pay?

Aside from traditional health insurance and payment plans, people can pay for Invisalign through particular types of savings accounts. Flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA) offer a means to pay for Invisalign using pre-tax dollars.

Are retainers included with Invisalign?

The brand name for Invisalign retainers is Vivera. Dental patients can order Vivera retainers without using Invisalign first. That’s why they’re so popular today.

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An Invisalign retainer costs several hundred dollars but not always. It depends on the level of package someone chooses and the support services offered by the dentist. Usually, Invisalign treatment features retainers at an additional cost.

How long does an Invisalign retainer last?

Invisalign Vivera retainers are known for quality and can last over a year if someone takes care of it properly.

The retainer contains material that is 30 percent stronger than other plastic materials used in retainers. Invisalign also offers accessories like retainer cases to help people store the dental device safely.

Are there cheaper alternatives to Invisalign?

Alternatives to Invisalign exist, but none have the same technology or reputation for quality. How much is Invisalign compared to competing products? The cost is about the same overall. 

Millions of people over the last 20 years owe their beaming, straight smiles to Invisalign specifically. That’s why this brand stands out from similar clear aligners.

Other brands of clear aligners include:

  • Clear Correct
  • Smile Direct Club
  • ClearPath
  • K-Line
  • Ormco Aligners

We believe these products have merit, too. This article aims to go over Invisalign because that’s the most successful product and uses unique digital mapping technology.

Braces or Invisalign? Which one’s the best choice?

Now that we’ve covered the essentials, the question is, which is better? Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign.

Braces are necessary for some instances, such as when we  have difficulty chewing food. Likewise, broken or chipped teeth won’t benefit from clear aligners.

It’s up to a dentist or orthodontist to approve Invisalign as the treatment of choice. Otherwise, braces are the only option to fix oral severe health problems.

How to find a dentist near you

Opencare simplifies the process of finding a quality dentist near you. We connect patients and dentists in one easy-to-use platform. Our goal is to provide tools anyone can use to find the right dentist for their needs.

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We strive to reassure patients that they are getting reliable, factual information without sales fluff or confusing medical jargon. Improved health and wellness – a whole new vibrant lifestyle – can be a powerful force for change when we can easily find healthcare. To make a dentist appointment to receive Invisalign today, click through to start using our streamlined platform.

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