You’ve probably noticed a lot of celebrities/ social media influencers ‘magically’ getting straight teeth without ever being spotted with metal braces. Have you ever wondered how they’ve done it? Well, the answer is, by the use of Invisalign. If you had looked closely; you might even have spotted them wearing these invisible braces now and then.
For the past few years, Invisalign has become increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional braces. This is because, with Invisalign, you get your desired result of a straight set of teeth without having to sport metal brackets on your teeth for a few years which can often affect your self-esteem!
But how exactly does this ‘invisible’ teeth straightening device work? How does it compare to braces? And most importantly, how much does an Invisalign treatment cost, and is it worth it? Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the cost of Invisalign, let’s take a closer look at what Invisalign is and how it works.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign or clear aligner is a transparent, hard-plastic dental device that works like braces to readjust your teeth. Even though it looks like a plastic retainer, it repositions your teeth like braces do, rather than just holding your teeth in place as a retainer does.
The process of an Invisalign treatment starts with an appointment with a dentist/ orthodontist to assess your oral health and the general condition of your teeth. Then an impression of your teeth is taken and sent back to the Invisalign Company. The company uses the mold to custom- make an aligner tray specifically for your teeth which will work as your ‘dental braces’.
This tray is to be worn at least 22 hours a day for about a week or 2 weeks before getting replaced with a new one. Each tray will push your teeth further back into place; hence feeling slightly different than the one before. You can easily take this aligner out for meals, brushing your teeth or special occasions, however, make sure that you have it on for the required amount of time otherwise the readjustment process will be slowed down.
What factors affect the cost of your Invisalign treatment?
Before we get into the factors affecting the cost, we would like to point out that the cost of an Invisalign treatment will be different in every city/ country. It might even differ from dentist to dentist in the same area or workplace. Keeping that in mind, these are the general factors that affect the cost of your treatment:
- The severity of your malocclusion or ‘teeth crookedness’ – If your teeth are severely misaligned, it will take a greater number of aligners to push them back into place, hence a longer treatment time and greater costs.
- The length of your treatment
- The number of aligners required
- The experience and specialization of the dentist- Professionals with greater expertise and experiences tend to charge more for treatments
- The average treatment price in your area
- The insurance coverage
What is the average cost of Invisalign?[$2000-$8000] – On average, this price range of Invisalign is from $2,000 to $8,000 in the US. Apart from the factors stated above playing into the cost of your teeth re-adjustment, Invisalign cost also varies depending on which package you choose.
The four packages for Invisalign treatment offered are:
- Invisalign Full
This treatment can last anywhere from a year to 18 months (or longer if the desired result hasn’t been achieved) during which time your dentist can order an unlimited amount of alignment trays as needed. The cost for this treatment can range from $3,500 to $8,500 and it can be used to treat more severe cases.
- Invisalign Express 10
This treatment offers only 10 aligners and its cost ranges from $2,500 to $5,000. This is for teeth with mild crookedness, slight overlapping, or relapses from previous dental braces and usually takes about 6 months. After you’ve used up your 10 aligners, unlike the full package, if the desired result hasn’t been achieved, unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about it.
- Invisalign Express 5
Similar to the Express 10, this offers 5 aligners and costs anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000.
- Invisalign Teen
This package is specifically for teenagers and young adults as it’s designed to work as the teeth are still growing, adjusting into place and are easier to manipulate. The aligners come with extra space to allow for teeth growth and compliance indicators to ensure that your child is wearing them regularly. Its cost can range from $3,000 to $6,500. As a bonus, this package also comes with 6 extra aligners.
What are some cheaper alternatives to Invisalign?
Cheaper alternatives to Invisalign can come in the form of at-home treatments or in-office treatments. Most at-home treatments are done independently by a user with an online consultation with a dentist or an orthodontist now and then to check up on the progress. On the other hand, in-office treatments, similar to the Invisalign treatment requires regular visits to the company’s office to meet with a professional to check on your progress and order new aligners when necessary.
- At-home treatments
This treatment can start with a free consultation at a Candid studio or you can order an impressions kit at home to check if your teeth are suitable for this sort of treatment or not. If not, the money will be refunded. This is generally a six-month-long treatment that does come with check-ins with a professional orthodontist every 10 days to evaluate your progress.
#2 SmileDirectClub (SDC)
This is another great competitor in the market for at-home treatments which can last as long as 18 months. With this treatment, you can check- in with a dentist or orthodontist every 90 days online while continuing your treatment at home to achieve your desired smile.
- In-Office treatments
ClearCorrect is one of the main competitors of Invisalign. It provides thinner alignment trays for a similar price range as that of Invisalign. It has mixed reviews when compared with Invisalign as some users claim ClearCorrect to be more comfortable because it’s thinner, while others state that ClearCorrect is more prone to breakage than the Invisalign. Similar to Invisalign, with this treatment, you have to make regular visits to the ClearCorrect studio to meet your dentist/ orthodontist.
#2 Uniform Teeth
This is another alternative that requires regular visits to the office of uniform teeth. However, the price range of this treatment is cheaper than ClearCorrect and Invisalign and this treatment only lasts about 6 months. It can, however, still be used for mild to severe cases of malocclusion.
How does Invisalign compare to traditional braces?
The most obvious difference when it comes to the two is in their appearance. Invisalign makes use of transparent trays that are often easier to hide, whereas traditional braces make use of a metal bracket which does have a bit of an unappealing look regardless of which colored rubber bands you choose to go with it!
However, when it comes to effectiveness, traditional braces do a better job of readjusting teeth of all sorts back into place, whereas Invisalign will not be able to readjust teeth that have more complex problems as effectively.
Invisalign is a more gradual and comfortable process whereas traditional braces might cause more discomfort. However, braces often tend to push the teeth back in place faster. This is because, with traditional braces, the readjustment process is completely uninterrupted as the braces can’t be removed as desired for eating/ cleaning, etc. They have to remain attached to your teeth at all times.
Even though they both have a similar price tag, if you end up losing or breaking an Invisalign aligner, the replacement will cost you extra, hence adding to your bill.
Finally, is Invisalign worth it?
The ultimate decision of whether Invisalign is worth it or not rests with you and your orthodontist. When deciding whether or not to go for an Invisalign treatment, make sure to check which dental treatment comes under your insurance coverage. It wouldn’t be the smartest idea to pick Invisalign over traditional braces if your insurance will cover most of the bill when it comes to braces but none for Invisalign.
However, if you are someone whose teeth aren’t severely out of place and want the readjustment process to be a little more discreet, Invisalign is for you. Moreover, you should be ready to commit to wearing your Invisalign aligner for the required amount of time without interruptions as that tends to slow down your treatment.
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