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Delta Dental Clear Aligner Coverage

Ellie Swain
Written by
Ellie Swain
Medically Reviewed by 
Dr. Erica Anand
6 Sources Cited

Key Takeaways

  • Delta Dental is one of the biggest dental insurance providers in the United States.
  • If you use Delta Dental, you can likely receive orthodontic coverage depending on the plan and treatment.
  • Some Delta plans cover Invisalign treatment. Others don’t.
  • Delta Dental plans don’t cover at-home clear aligners.
  • Many plans provide some kind of coverage for braces. 
  • The cost of orthodontic treatment varies widely by type, brand, and other factors.
  • HSAs, FSAs, and financing plans are alternative ways to pay for orthodontic treatment.

What is Delta Dental? 

Delta Dental is one of the biggest dental insurance providers in the United States. They offer a variety of insurance plans, catering to different needs at a good value.

There are three main categories of insurance plans offered by Delta Dental:

  1. Individuals and families
  2. Small Businesses
  3. Retirees

There are several more options to choose from within these categories. For example, there are five different plans within the ‘individuals and families’ category.

Delta Dental coverage is also offered, to some degree, in all 50 states in the U.S.

If you use Dental Dental, there’s a good chance your orthodontic treatment will be covered. However, this depends on your plan and the type of treatment needed.

You can get enrolled in a suitable Delta Dental plan through your employer or by buying an individual plan.

Does Delta Dental Cover Invisalign?

Some Delta plans cover Invisalign treatment. However, others won’t.

Delta PPO plans can cover some of the cost or provide an allowance for Invisalign. Most DeltaCare USA plans won’t cover Invisalign treatment. 

How much Delta covers depends on the plan. It can be around 50 percent for children and adults.

You’ll likely need to visit a dentist or orthodontist that’s in-network with Delta for coverage.

Other treatments similar to Invisalign may or may not be covered by Delta. Be sure to check your plan and with your dentist to find out.

Does Delta Dental Cover At-Home Aligners?

Delta Dental plans don’t cover at-home clear aligners. Don’t expect to receive assistance with your at-home aligner treatment if you have a Delta plan.

In June 2020, SmileDirectClub took Delta Dental to court over the issue. SmileDirectClub is suing Delta Dental for refusing coverage for home aligners even though they cover other teledentistry treatments.2

Delta claims home aligners are a DIY treatment, even though this isn’t completely accurate. 

Some aligner providers assign a state-licensed dentist or orthodontist to develop treatment plans and assess every case. For example, SmileDirectClub and Byte.

On the other hand, DIY orthodontics is a trend where people use household items such as rubber bands to try to straighten their teeth. These DIY treatments don’t involve a dentist and can cause severe damage.

Delta Dental is holding firm on the matter. It’s not currently possible to receive coverage for home aligners on one of their plans. These include:

Does Delta Dental Cover Braces? 

Many Delta plans provide coverage for braces, including DeltaCare USA and Delta PPO.

Some plans cover more for children than adults. Others have a lifetime limit, but this varies depending on the specific plan.

You’ll need to check your plan to find out how much you need to pay out-of-pocket.

Lingual and clear braces fall into the same category, as they treat the same types of conditions.

As Six Month Smiles typically treats milder cosmetic cases, they may not be covered. Be sure to check with Delta to find out.

Know that you’ll need to receive treatment from a dentist or orthodontist in Delta’s network for the total amount for your coverage.

Average Cost of Orthodontics Before Insurance

The average cost of orthodontic treatment before insurance are as follows:

Invisalign

Invisalign treatment costs between $3,000 and $8,000

This is a wide range because the price is subject to various factors. These include treatment length, condition severity, the dentist’s expertise, and the dentist’s location.

At-Home Aligners

At-home aligners are usually thousands cheaper than in-office aligner treatments. They cost between $1,200 and $2,000

Unlike Invisalign, at-home aligners come at a flat rate. The price difference depends on the company. 

For example, SmileDirectClub treatment costs $1,950. ALIGNERCO is $1,145. And Byte and Candid cost $1,895.

Some at-home aligners are partially covered by insurance (but not through Delta Dental). 

Traditional Braces 

Traditional braces usually cost somewhere between $4,000 and $6,000. The price depends on a few factors, such as condition severity, location, and orthodontist rates. 

It also depends on the braces you choose. Some options include traditional, lingual, clear, ceramic, or Six Month Smiles braces. 

Specialty braces often cost more than traditional ones. Lingual braces, for example, may cost up to $10,000.

Choosing the Best Delta Dental Plan for Orthodontic Coverage

To select the best plan for Delta Dental orthodontic coverage, visit their website and head to the insurance products page. 

You’ll find a chart summarizing what each general type of Delta Dental insurance plan covers. The page also includes basic facts about each plan.

Consider choosing a plan with orthodontic coverage if you’re planning on beginning treatment in the near future. Also, Delta HMO plans are more limited than PPO plans, which can impact your orthodontic coverage.

Additionally, there’s a search function that allows you to type in your state for more specific information on Delta Dental insurance plans offered in your area.

How to File a Claim

For in-office treatments like Invisalign and braces, your dentist or orthodontist’s office will file an insurance claim for you. You don’t need to worry about any paperwork.

If you choose a dental office that does not participate with Delta Dental, you may or may not have out-of-network benefits. Sometimes offices will file for you if you have out-of-network benefits. Other times, they will request you pay upfront and file paperwork independently.  

If your employer provides your insurance, their HR department may walk you through the process. 

Delta also provides step-by-step instructions online on how to file a claim.

According to the website, you’ll need a statement of treatment from your dentist. Be sure to contact their office for it.1 

Alternative Payment Options 

If your current insurance plan doesn’t cover the orthodontic treatment you want, there are alternative ways to pay.

You can use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for treatment. These accounts remove money from your income before taxes and allow you to use it for certain medical and dental expenses.

HSAs and FSAs are often an option with plans sponsored by employers. If you have one, you may use it to cover your orthodontic treatment.

Financing plans can also help with orthodontic treatment costs. Many dentists and orthodontists offer payment plans, as most at-home aligner brands will. A credit check may be required to qualify.

There are also third-party options like CareCredit. These options provide financing for medical and dental expenses. They also often require a credit check.

Last updated on December 17, 2021
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on December 17, 2021
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. After your visit, Delta Dental
  2. Smile Direct Club Holds Delta Dental Entities Accountable for Depriving Millions of its Insureds Affordable Dental Treatment, GlobeNewsWire, June 2020
  3. Ways to pay for Invisalign® treatment, Invisalign 
  4. Galan-Lopez, Lidia et al. “A systematic review of the accuracy and efficiency of dental movements with Invisalign®.” Korean journal of orthodontics vol. 49,3 : 140-149
  5. Garla, Bharath Kumar et al. “Dental insurance: A systematic review.” Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry vol. 4,Suppl 2 : S73-7
  6. About us, Delta Dental
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