When deciding if orthodontics is right for you, cost becomes a large determining factor, especially for someone on a budget. While many people think Invisalign is a more costly alternative to traditional (brackets and wires), Invisalign has numerous budgets that is priced for the average American income. Many providers offer flexible interest free payment options within the office or through a third party financing company when choosing Invisalign. Let’s review a general breakdown of cost and recall the difference in providers, so you are able to choose the best price and provider for your orthodontic needs. In 2013 the price for Invisalign ranged from $3500 to $8000. The average price for Invisalign treatment is $5000. Invisalign Express average is approximately $2000. Invisalign Express utilizes invisible aligner technology (smooth, clear plastic aligners) in a five stage or less treatment program. This treatment is proven just as effective as full term treatment, yet for minor movements (thus requiring less aligners). The clear durable aligners are switched out every two weeks, until all five aligners have been completed. Due to the short time and minimal visits, this is the most affordable Invisalign product available. Extensive orthodontics can be accomplished with Invisalign following orthognanthic surgery, however it is unlikely. After a major oral surgery the jaw must be stabilized and wired shut until healing is complete, therefore majority of patients will have a set of brackets on their teeth. Due to this situation, many patients will complete their orthodontics with traditional brackets and wires versus Invisalign.
To find out if you are a candidate for Invisalign (including Invisalign Express) you should schedule a consultation appointment with an Orthodontist or Invisalign Provider. Many providers offer a free consultation, however if there is a cost associated, the average is $250.00. At the consultation appointment, the provider may ask his assistant to take a few dental radiographs (panoramic and/or cephalometric) and a set of molds of your teeth. These will be useful in treatment planning your Invisalign case, as well as provide you with a visual model of your teeth/bite prior to treatment. Together, these pieces of information comprise your orthodontic records. This is the first step towards your new smile. Should you choose to see additional orthodontists for consultation, the records taken belong to you and can be taken with you to another office. This may or may not save you from having additional records taken at another provider’s office.
When choosing an orthodontist it is recommended to visit a private practice for more individualized treatment. This will ensure that your treatment will be started and completed by the same orthodontist, whereas in a group practice you may be seen by multiple orthodontists throughout your treatment.
Preferred Provider- average 10 cases per year Premier Provider- has treated at least 50 case, at least 25 cases every 6 months Premier Elite- has treated at least 300 cases, averaging 50 cases every 6 months Super Elite- very “rare” designation, qualifications unpublished All of the above providers must first be a general dentist or an orthodontist, then completes the Invisalign certification course.
Once you decide on your provider, it’s time to get started with your smile transformation. Invisalign requires five pieces of information to fabricate and complete your case. This information will be gathered at your first visit and should take between thirty and sixty minutes. The provider and dental assistant will work together to take a set of impressions, bite registration, photos of the face and profile as well as intraoral photos, and a panoramic or full mouth radiographs. Once this information is gathered, it is sent to Invisalign in order to create your 3D virtual presentation.
Invisalign $5000 Retainers Included
Replacement aligners $150
Replacement retainers $250 each
Many times providers that receive a higher provider status with Invisalign receive larger discounts with Invisalign and pass the savings along to their patients. You are encouraged to meet with several providers and see their individual cases and results prior to committing to treatment. Do not choose the most cost effective provider based on cost alone, remember this is a medical and dental decision that needs to be carefully decided on.
Dental Insurance many times will provide orthodontic coverage at a percentage up to a maximum amount. Be sure to ask if there is an age limit prior to purchasing coverage if you are shopping around for orthodontic insurance coverage. In addition to age limits (usually under the age of 19 years old) many companies have a lifetime orthodontic maximum. This usually falls between $1000 and $1500. Invisalign and traditional braces are both covered by the same procedure code D8090, so if your insurance covers one, chances are it’s the same coverage for the latter. As with traditional orthodontics, you can expect to pay more in big cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. This is partly due to higher costs of rent, employees demanding higher salaries, transportation, etc.
New York $4500
Los Angeles $5250
If your insurance does not cover orthodontics or you do not have insurance, most providers offer payment options. About one-third of all Invisalign patients use financing options to reduce upfront treatment costs according to Invisalign.com. Payment options allow patients to receive the treatment at an affordable monthly payment.
To date there has not been a large survey to determine cost by state for Invisalign. This is in part due to the vast array of providers within each geographic region. As mentioned earlier, it is best to have more than one consultation prior to accepting and beginning treatment.