Invisalign is one of the latest and most talked-about innovations in the cosmetic dentistry technology today. The system has gone a long way since Align Technology introduced it in 1991 and manufactured one million clear aligners in 2001. According to the company’s website, the system has grown and is currently used by Invisalign-trained doctors in more than 90 countries worldwide.
The invention of Invisalign gave people an option to get their crooked teeth fixed without putting on the traditional dental braces. Invisalign’s clear aligners are, after all, virtually invisible once it’s fit into the patient’s teeth. So if a dental patient hates to flash a metallic smile, the chances are that he/she will choose the clearer option.
Deciding what to choose between the innovative clear aligners and traditional wire braces could be easier if you know how much does Invisalign cost. Moreover, it can help you decide if the cost justifies the dental benefits you can get from your choice.
To help you decide, we’ll give you an overview of how much does Invisalign cost and its features.
Average Cost of Invisalign
Invisalign are plastic aligners that help shift your teeth into their proper positions. The almost transparent plastic material makes it much less conspicuous than metal brackets when you wear it. Moreover, it is removable, so you can take care of your teeth as normally as you do before wearing them.
Such promises of convenience will make you think that the average price of Invisalign might be high. And it’s true. The average price of the Invisalign, according to the manufacturer, ranges from US$3,500 to US$8,000. It’s a little bit more expensive than regular braces, which cost range from US$2,500 to US$6,000.
How exactly expensive the average cost of Invisalign treatment depends on several factors. One is the extent of the alignment your teeth require. Another is the number of aligners needed to complete your treatment. These factors will be determined by what your dentist or orthodontist tells you. They will also be the one to determine if it’s advisable for you to try the Invisalign system or you’re better off getting traditional braces.
Remember that the average price of Invisalign pertains to the overall treatment using the system. If it’s too costly, look for dental clinics that offer monthly payment for the treatment. Or better yet, ask your orthodontist.
Reducing Invisalign Treatment Costs
Aside from opting to pay for your treatment monthly, you can cut down treatment costs by dental insurance. Invisalign treatment is often covered by dental insurance, but only by part. At most, the insurance can cover up to US$3,500 of your treatment cost. To be sure, ask your doctor how you can use your orthodontic insurance coverage to pay.
You can also use your Flexible Spending Account or FSA to pay for your Invisalign treatment. According to this Invisalign cost calculator, you may use up to US$2,550 of your pretax dollars to help cover your treatment.
Invisalign and Medicaid
Medicaid has programs that offer dental services to nearly all states. The extent of each service, however, differ depending on the state, but some may include free braces as part of their services.
Furthermore, the beneficiaries eligible for said services may or may not include adults. Children covered by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will receive dental benefits. However, it is the choice of each state if they will also include adults as beneficiaries.
Free braces are covered by the government in cases when some dental conditions tend to threaten the patient’s health. However, is Invisalign Medicaid possible? The straightforward answer is no. Medicaid only pays for orthodontic services for children with cleft lip or palates or those who are suffering from severe handicapping. Thus, orthodontic services for cosmetic purposes are not part of the aid.
To confirm, you can check if Invisalign Medicaid is allowed in your state. Each state has different dental programs, so there might still be a chance that some will include the Invisalign system in their services.
Invisalign or Traditional Braces?
The higher cost of the Invisalign system will probably make you think twice whether to go for it or not. But aside from the cost, it will help if you know what to expect if ever you’re going to choose the Invisalign treatment.
As implied earlier, the Invisalign system appears to be convenient because the plastic aligners are removable. That’s well and good, but here’s the catch: you have to remove your trays every time before you eat or drink unless its water. That is to avoid staining the clear aligners.
Another thing is that although it’s removable, you are required to wear it most of the day (at least 22 hours). Neglecting to wear the plastic aligners religiously won’t help straighten your teeth, and the treatment will be useless. You are also required to change your trays every two weeks and return to your orthodontist every four to six weeks until you complete your treatment.
On a positive note, you won’t be worried about getting your food caught, and it won’t be hard to eat since you will have to remove your aligner. Moreover, you will not experience a discomfort from wires since it’s a plastic aligner, but expect little pain due to tooth movement.
The Invisalign treatment is also not ideal for patients with bridgework, back tooth bite issues, patients who have the need to rotate canines or premolars, and those who have the need to move their teeth vertically.
Is the Cost Worth it?
You can never figure out if the cost of Invisalign treatment is all worth it unless you experience undergoing one yourself. Some people will tell you that the treatment is a success, while others will tell you that it were troublesome and didn’t help solve their teeth problems. But as how the opinions vary, so as the conditions of the people who say them.
It would help to read reviews of the Invisalign system on the internet, but no one is more capable of giving you professional advice than your orthodontist. Ask your doctor first and let him/her explain why Invisalign is good or not good for you.
Lastly, ask yourself if you can stand wearing a clear plastic aligner for months. If you have the money and you can pull it off, then maybe you’re fine with Invisalign!