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Invisalign is the most established and trusted brand of FDA-approved clear aligners (invisible braces or invisible aligners). They're a great orthodontic treatment option for teenagers and adults who want to straighten their teeth comfortably and discreetly.
Unlike metal braces, Invisalign can be removed anytime for eating, cleaning, and brushing. They're also made of a patented thermoplastic material (called SmartTrack®). Invisalign claims this material is more accurate, comfortable, and discreet.
To start Invisalign treatment, you’ll visit an Invisalign-certified dentist who will track your progress throughout the treatment course. This allows your Invisalign doctor to make changes any time, resulting in more accurate teeth alignment.
At-home aligners (like Candid and byte) tend to cost thousands less than Invisalign. Treatment is monitored remotely, and you will not visit a dentist or orthodontist for in-person checkups.
There is a slightly higher risk for error with at-home aligners because treatment isn't monitored as closely. Also, remote aligners are only recommended for people with minor to moderate bite problems.
Invisalign braces don't touch your gums. They're trimmed to sit along your gum line in a ‘scalloped fashion.’ This design makes the trays more comfortable and less irritating. Most at-home aligners aren't cut precisely, increasing the risk of irritation and discomfort.
ZocDoc can help you find a dentist in your area that:
Invisalign can fix minor to severe bite issues, including:
You may be a better candidate for standard metal braces, especially if you have severe jaw alignment issues. Braces typically take longer than Invisalign but cost about the same.
If you only have minor to moderate crowding/gapped teeth, at-home aligners might work for you. These aligners are thousands cheaper than Invisalign and braces. However, not everyone is a candidate.
Invisalign treatment is a straightforward and hands-on process. It consists of the following steps:
To begin treatment, you'll need to set up a consultation with an Invisalign-certified doctor. The Invisalign doctor will examine your teeth by taking dental imaging scans.
They will also examine certain factors to determine if you're a good candidate, including:
If you are a candidate for Invisalign, the next step is to take impressions and make your digital treatment plan. Your doctor will take the impressions to ensure the trays fit perfectly.
After you approve the treatment plan, your doctor will send the impressions to a dental technician. From there, they will make your first set of aligners.
You will receive your first set of aligners. You will not receive all the aligners necessary for your treatment because some Invisalign patients require mid-treatment adjustments.
You may need special attachments or tooth-colored buttons to help the trays effectively move your teeth. This is typically necessary for moderate to severe cases.
Each set of aligners should be worn for 22+ hours daily for best results. The aligners move your teeth in small increments, and you’ll switch them out every 1 to 3 weeks.
Invisalign treatment takes between 6 and 24 months. After treatment, you’ll buy a custom Vivera® retainer to keep your teeth straight.
Invisalign treatment stands out in the industry for a few reasons.
The aligners are made of SmartTrack® material, making them more comfortable and easier to take out. They are also more ‘invisible’ than other leading aligner brands.
The consultation and treatment plan process is also very advanced. Your Invisalign provider will use an iTero Element® scanner to take 6,000 images of your mouth per second. This tool results in fewer impression rejections and better-fitting aligners.
In addition, your doctor will use Invisalign’s ClinCheck® software to map out your smile. This technology uses mapping software to help calculate the right amount of force for every tooth. The tool ensures your teeth move in the right order at the right time.
Invisalign also uses SmartForce® Attachments. These small, tooth-colored handles (or buttons) are fixed to your teeth.
The aligners attach to these buttons to help with precise tooth movements. Invisalign can fix more complex orthodontic issues with the use of attachments.
Your doctor will assess your progress during routine appointments and make adjustments as necessary. This is why you only receive one set of aligners at a time.
With at-home aligners, you’ll receive all of them at once, making it more difficult to request changes. The Invisalign treatment process ensures you get a comprehensive treatment for the best results.
Interested in straightening your teeth at home? Here are the best clear aligner companies.
According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, the average cost of Invisalign is around $2,500 to $5,500. Some place the cost as high as $9,000.5 An oral care professional can tell you what the cost will be.
There’s no single cost for Invisalign braces. The cost can depend on factors including:
Insurance can partially cover Invisalign treatment costs (if orthodontics is included in your plan). Check with your provider to determine if you qualify or not.
Another way to pay for Invisalign treatment is with an HSA/FSA. You can also set up a payment plan with your Invisalign doctor, where you’ll pay a downpayment and make monthly payments until treatment is complete.
Here are the pros and cons of Invisalign treatment:
There are a variety of advantages to getting Invisalign aligners. These include:
Possible cons of this orthodontic treatment are:
ZocDoc can help you find a dentist in your area that:
We reviewed hundreds of Invisalign reviews to see what customers are saying. Here's what people think about Invisalign treatment:
Some pros we've seen in Invisalign reviews are the following:
The aligners are vunnoticable, and they haven't changed the way I talk or move. While I find them a bit uncomfortable at the start, I eventually got used to them.
The app is very helpful. It's makes it easier to monitor my tooth movement see whether Invisalign works.
Compared to traditional brces, Invisalign treatment can be completed in a shorter amount of time. I'm impressed with the results.
Some cons we found in the Invisalign reviews include:
They have poor customer service. I can't reach out to anyone from the team, so I don't know the next steps.
Invisalign cost is very expensive. I don't recommend this treatment to someone who's trying to save money on straightening teeth.
They're very delayed in sending my next set of aligners. It makes my treatment less effective.
Some teeth straightening alternatives to Invisalign include at-home aligners (minor cases), other in-office aligners (ClearCorrect), and traditional braces.
|Cost||$3,000 to $8,000||$1,999 to $2,399||$3,300 (on average)||$2,399 to $1,595|
|How to Start||Visit a certified Invisalign doctor||Order an at-home impression kit||Visit a certified CandidPro provider||Order an at-home impression kit|
|Financing Options||Depends on provider||Starting at $70/month||Depends on provider||Starting at $55/month|
|Treatment Time||12 to 18 months||4 to 6 months||4 to 12 months||4 to 10 months|
|Treatable Cases||Mild to severe||Mild, some moderate||Most mild to severe||Mild, some moderate|
|Progress Monitoring||In-person visits every 6 to 8 weeks||Remote||Remote with a licensed orthodontist||Remote|
Read below to compare and determine which treatment is right for you:
Byte is a brand of at-home aligners that costs between $1,999 and $2,399. Treatment is monitored remotely and takes between 3 and 6 months (on average). Invisalign costs up to $5,000 more than byte, and treatment is longer (between 6 and 24 months).
Read our full review of byte here.
Candid costs $3,300 on average. The company provides detailed care and has advanced technology for remote monitoring. They only work with highly qualified orthodontists when designing and monitoring your treatment.
Candid only requires one in-person visit for the initial consultation and a final post-treatment check-up. The rest is monitored remotely with your assigned Candid orthodontist.
Invisalign aligners also use buttons and/or elastics to treat more severe cases. These are small hooks that attach to the tooth surfaces. They act as anchors for interarch bands that apply additional pressure to gradually reposition the jaw, providing more precise results. Candid doesn’t offer buttons.
Candid treatment takes between 4 and 12 months, whereas Invisalign can take up to 18 months.
Read our full review of Candid here.
ALIGNERCO is one of the most affordable remote aligners available. They cost between $945 and $1,145. Although cheaper, this brand does not offer extensive remote monitoring, which may affect the quality of care.
Invisalign treatment is more intensive and accurate. However, ALIGNERCO is a great option if you are on a budget and only have minor orthodontic issues.
Read our full review of ALIGNERCO here.
NewSmile is a newer at-home aligner company that offers the most affordable treatment $1,495 to $1,595. Similar to Invisalign, NewSmile aligners are scalloped to rest along your gum line, providing a more comfortable fit.
Read our full review of NewSmile here.
SmileDirectClub is the most well-known brand of remote aligners, while Invisalign is the most popular in-office aligner. SmileDirect treatment costs $2,050.
Read our full review of SmileDirectClub here.
ClearCorrect is an advanced aligner system that uses digital technologies to treat various types of misalignment, ranging from simple to severe. Similar to Invisalign, ClearCorrect is an in-office aligner that requires in-person monitoring. Treatment costs between $1,500 and $8,000.
Read our full review of ClearCorrect here.
Traditional metal braces are typically necessary over Invisalign in severe teeth/jaw misalignment cases. Children and teens may require braces if they need headgear, space maintainers, or palate expanders. These add-on treatments are not possible with Invisalign.
Invisalign shouldn't hurt (as long as the trays fit properly). You may experience discomfort during the first few days of starting a new set. However, the pain is typically mild and only noticeable while eating and chewing.
Invisalign treatment won't damage your teeth. But make sure you clean the aligners a few times daily to prevent plaque and bacteria build-up.
Invisalign is not right for those with severe dental issues. An example would be a tooth gap exceeding 0.6 mm, or serious jaw misalignment problems.
In addition, Invisalign’s effectiveness depends on wearing the aligners as directed. Aside from removing them to eat or drink, Invisalign aligners should be worn almost constantly.
Braces are a better option for those with severe dental issues or who can’t follow directions (ex: young children).
Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional metal braces. It has various benefits, such as its low profile, convenience, and comfort.
However, Invisalign can also be expensive if insurance doesn’t cover it. If Invisalign cost is a concern, several affordable alternatives to Invisalign are available.
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New Year Special: $100 off aligners + BrightByte Pro