Almost everyone wants straighter teeth. As adults, most of us prefer the option of having something completely clear, like Invisalign, instead of metal braces. But the cost of Invisalign can be intimidating, especially since it’s hard to get a precise estimate of clear aligners cost without seeing a dentist or orthodontist in person. How much does Invisalign cost for the average patient? The answer is, it depends on how many aligners (trays) you need to straighten your teeth. Your fee goes up and down based on how many aligners it takes to adjust your smile.
When Invisalign first came out, the clear aligners cost much more than traditional braces. Thankfully with time and better resources, the average cost of Invisalign has plateaued out to be closer to the price of regular orthodontic treatments.
Today, you’ll find a variety of clear aligner brands on the market, all modeled after the original Invisalign system. Many of these treatments cost the same or less than Invisalign does.
Today, clear aligners cost about the same amount as traditional orthodontic therapy. But the price of convenience is well worth it, especially considering that with Invisalign, you can:
Since Invisalign and other clear aligners are smooth and shaped to your specific mouth, they provide better comfort and discretion throughout your treatment. In contrast, traditional braces may irritate the inside of your mouth or make it more difficult to eat and talk. You might say that even if the clear aligners cost more than metal braces, the minimal price difference is well worth the convenience! Especially since you have far more freedom and it’s easier to care for them daily.
Average Price for Invisalign Treatment:
If you’re using dental insurance and you have orthodontic coverage through your carrier, you get to deduct the insurance benefit from the total clear aligners cost. Insurance does cover Invisalign but not for all of it. For example, if your insurance pays up to $1,600 for braces, but your case costs around $4,000, you would need to pay for or finance the remaining $2,400. Your cost would probably come out somewhere around $100 a month.
Without insurance, most people finance the entire cost of Invisalign through their dentist or orthodontist office. Since you can usually get 0% interest financing or sign up for an auto-draft payment program, it’s much simpler to fit the cost of your aligners into your monthly budget. You can also elect to make a down payment on them, reducing the monthly price.
What can you typically expect as far as clear aligners cost once you see a dentist and are ready to start the orthodontic process? Having a price range in mind will prevent any jaw-dropping or heart palpitations from occurring once you get there. Here’s what to know:
Your biggest price factor regarding how much does Invisalign cost will boil down to the length of your treatment. And as always, the length of treatment is dependent upon how many aligners are needed. The more aligners you need, the more expensive your treatment is.
Very Mild to Mild Cases | $1,200 to $2,000 (up to 7 aligner trays)
Short-term orthodontic treatment usually focuses on straightening out your very front teeth when there’s limited crowding or spacing issues. Only 5-7 aligners are usually needed, and the average cost will range somewhere between $1,200 to $2,000 total without insurance.
Mild Cases | $3,000 and $4,500 (up to 14 aligner trays)
When you need a little more time to straighten out your smile because of how many teeth are involved or the overall extent of your crowding, your costs will go up slightly more. Invisalign Lite includes up to 14 aligners and costs between $3,000 and $4,500.
Moderate Cases | $3,500 and $5,000 (up to 20 aligner trays)
If there’s a little more crowding or tooth misalignment going on, you’ll definitely need additional aligners to straighten out your teeth. Invisalign Moderate includes unlimited aligners. Depending on your treatment plan and where your dental office is located, the cost can start out as low as $4,500 and go up from there.
Severe Cases | $4,500 and $8,000 (unlimited aligner trays)
Like Invisalign Moderate, Invisalign Comprehensive also includes unlimited aligners. But this level of treatment is for more serious tooth and jaw misalignment. Not all dentists offer this level of treatment, so you may need to work with a specialist or more experienced Invisalign provider. The cost of Invisalign treatment can go up as high as $8,000 for the most severe cases.
Cost of living directly impacts dental costs. If rent is higher in one area, so will the cost of running a dental practice and paying qualified staff. Additionally, specialist offices may charge more than general dental practices (but not always.)The cost of clear aligners may vary by a few hundred dollars depending on what part of the country you live in or where you’re getting your Invisalign treatment completed.
This is the itemized list that shows the treatment timeline, type of aligners, and all fees involved. Every single treatment plan is tailored to the individual patient. One person’s timeframe for wearing braces or aligners will not be the same as the next. Your treatment plan will also factor in your insurance benefits, any cash discounts, special offers, or payment plans offered by your provider.
How well you keep up with wearing your aligners and if you follow your home care instructions will also impact Invisalign treatment pricing, especially if you neglect to wear your aligners as prescribed or change them out at the incorrect time. Relapse or treatment delays will add to the overall price, as extra steps will be required to correct the damage.
Your insurance policy may pay toward a set dollar amount or percentage of your orthodontic treatment. Yes, dental insurance that includes orthodontic benefits will usually include Invisalign and other clear aligners! The coverage is usually a lifetime allowance rather than something that resets annually.
If you have active gum disease or tooth decay, those issues must be addressed before your dentist can prescribe any type of orthodontic therapy, including removable aligners. It is against the standard of care to perform orthodontic therapy on diseased teeth, so active infection needs to be controlled beforehand. This can add to the “cost” of your clear aligners because of the additional investment you must make leading up to the treatment process.
The cost of X-rays may also be an added fee that you’ll want to consider. Most orthodontist offices include complimentary panoramic X-rays if you’re considering treatment with them. But if you’re having your X-ray taken at your family dental office as part of an exam, you can expect the fee to be added to your consultation (unless they’re specifically providing a special offer at that time.)
When Invisalign first came out, the price of clear aligners was higher—a lot higher—than the cost of traditional braces. But as resources became more readily available to dentists and labs, the price of clear aligners dropped significantly. Even with some slightly less expensive clear aligners on the market, the price of Invisalign is still relatively competitive with other major brands you’ll find out there.
Today, clear aligners cost about the same as metal braces.
When you consider the health benefits that clear aligners have to offer, paying for them is a smart investment in your smile. You’ll find that aside from the oral health benefits of having healthier teeth, the confidence you get from a more attractive smile is just as priceless!
Always see your dentist or an orthodontist for an opinion—or a second opinion—before picking an alternative type of clear aligners. While some brands may be more affordable, the pros and cons of each type will vary. Some are specifically designed for short-term cosmetic purposes and may not be able to correct significant crowding or crossbites.
Seeing an expert for a consultation is usually free, so don’t let the price of an Invisalign exam be what stands in the way of you and a successful, affordable aligner treatment.
Investing in a straighter smile can help save you money in the future. It’s no secret that people who have misaligned teeth tend to be much more likely to develop TMJ disorder, wear down their teeth abnormally, and get cavities or gum disease more often than people with straight teeth. As you bring your bite into proper alignment, you lower your chances of having to pay for Invisalign treatments like fillings, gum disease therapy, etc.
Unless you’re using dental insurance, making monthly installments, or paying for the entire treatment out of pocket, you’ll most likely want to use one of the following ways to help pay for or reduce how much your clear aligners cost:
One of the best ways to get low-interest financing on your dental work or clear aligners cost is to take out a small personal loan. This dental loan can be an amount from a dental lender or even your own personal credit union (which is one of the best ways to get low-interest rates.) There are also loan options for people with bad credit.
Popular dental credit cards like Lending Club, Lending Tree, and CareCredit are just a few examples of how people pay for smile makeovers and orthodontics. You can use your dental credit card for the full price or supplement anything not covered by your dental insurance plan.
Even if you prefer not to take out a loan or credit card, most dentists and orthodontists automatically offer monthly payment plans for all Invisalign treatments. This flexible payment plan option eliminates added interest or fees while breaking the cost of Invisalign into smaller, easier to manage chunks that fit your budget. Depending on your treatment plan, the price could easily vary between $50-$200/mo.
If you have a health savings account, you can set up to $3,400 aside each year (or $6,750 for an entire family) to use on health care costs, including the cost of clear aligners or other orthodontic treatments. HSAs are best for people who have high deductible insurance plans, lessening the initial out-of-pocket amount they spend on services.
Flexible spending accounts can also be used for any dental, orthodontic, or health-related treatments. FSA funds are usually set aside each month by your employer, deducting a set amount from your paycheck. Up to $2,600 can be reserved for health expenses annually, and you don’t pay taxes on this money.
For families who qualify for Medicaid, CHIP, or other government healthcare benefits, orthodontic treatments (including the cost of Invisalign) may be covered if it is deemed medically necessary. This usually applies to children under a certain age, especially those with severe crowding, impacted teeth, or crossbites.
Yes, they offer braces and clear aligners in dental schools, too! Your options may be a little more limited, but all dentists study orthodontic therapy during their four years of dental school. For those who are going on to specialize in orthodontics, you will likely have more options to choose from when it comes to the type of treatment you’re looking for. Dental schools are a great option for low-cost but high-quality dental care.
During your orthodontic treatment, you can expect your dentist or orthodontist to send you home with 3-4 sets of aligners (sometimes more) at a time. You bring the trays home, wear them as directed—which is 22+ hours a day for two weeks—and then swap them out for the next pair of clear aligners in the series.
As you move from one pair of clear trays to the next, your teeth are gently nudged into the mapped-out location for that tray. Each one applies a slight amount of pressure, providing a gentle experience that’s just as effective as traditional braces.
It is extremely important that you do not try to rush through your aligners to speed up the process. Not only will this cause relapse and bone or root damage, but it will also wind up costing you more in the grand scheme of things. Stick with what the doctor ordered!
Everyone—yes, everybody—who wants clear aligners wants to know how much does Invisalign cost. But it is impossible for your dental team to give you a price before actually seeing your bite in person. Your initial consultation will be a zero-obligation assessment to:
From there, you can decide if you want to start Invisalign treatment or not.
Year-long Invisalign treatment usually requires at least 20 aligners or more, with prices starting as low as $3,500-$4,000, but you’ll need an exact quote from your dentist.
Short-term Invisalign Express usually costs somewhere between $1,500-$3,000. If your case is extremely mild, costs may be as low as $1,200.
A typical Comprehensive Invisalign treatment for children or teens usually costs an average of $3,500-$4,000 regardless of whether it’s standard treatment or “phase 2” orthodontic therapy.
Wearing Invisalign is significantly more comfortable than braces, especially since there are no metal wires or brackets poking into your lips and cheeks.
Although Invisalign aligners used to cost more than braces, today, most clear aligners cost about the same as—or sometimes even less than—“regular” braces. Regardless of your length of orthodontic treatment.
Make your inbox smile!