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Invisalign Clear Aligners

Invisalign clear aligners are made of polyurethane plastic that looks almost invisible. Invisalign treatment is often an alternative to more traditional orthodontic solutions like braces for teeth straightening. The treatment helps to achieve a beautiful smile. Clear aligners are also used to help correct an overbite.

byte retainers

Instead of bonding to the teeth like metal or clear braces do, Invisalign trays are entirely removable. They can be taken out of the mouth before drinking and eating. They are also removed before brushing and flossing your teeth. 

As Invisalign clear aligners are almost undetectable, they are an attractive option for people who don’t like wearing noticeable metal brackets in their mouths. Invisalign treatment time is usually between 12 and 18 months.

Invisalign Express is another option for straighter teeth. The treatment uses the same clear aligners to correct minor dental issues, such as crowding or spacing. However, the treatment time is as little as six months. Invisalign Express is only an option for correcting minor orthodontic problems due to a limited number of aligners.

Cost of Invisalign 

Invisalign can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $7,000. However, the national average price for Invisalign is between $3,000 and $5,000. 

The cost of Invisalign Express ranges between $1,800 and $4,000.

Invisalign Alternatives 

Invisalign isn’t the only option for clear aligners. There are many invisible aligner providers to choose from. Many are also more affordable than Invisalign.

*Note: Options 1, 2, and 3 are direct-to-consumer orthodontic appliances that do NOT include a comprehensive dental evaluation or direct dental supervision. It is important that you see a dentist for a check-up before attempting any orthodontic movement.

1. Candid Co

If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to Invisalign, Candid Co is an excellent choice. You can begin treatment by ordering mail-in impressions directly to your home address. 

Or, you can visit a Candid Studio for a free consultation. During this consultation, a care specialist will take 3D scans of your teeth. Then the specialist will determine the length of treatment for your specific situation. Throughout treatment, an orthodontist carefully monitors your progress.

Candid Co also offers high-quality customer service, both in-studio and virtually. The treatment time takes an average of six months.

Treatment cost with Candid Co is either a one-time payment of $2,400, or $99 a month. 

Read our review of Candid.

2. Smile Direct Club

Smile Direct Club was the first brand to offer remote clear aligners.. Patients can visit a SmileShop for scans of their teeth, or they can order an impression kit online.

Smile Direct Club treatment usually lasts between six and 18 months. Smile Direct Club also offers Nighttime Clear Aligners. These aligner trays are only worn for ten hours a day, so mostly as you sleep. However, this process extends treatment time.

Smile Direct Club aligners cost between $1,895 and $2,245 when paid in full. On a payment plan, Smile Direct aligners cost from $85 a month.

3. Byte

Byte guarantees that a qualified orthodontist will plan and monitor your clear aligner treatment. Due to HyperByte technology, treatment can also take up to 64 percent less time than other remote aligner brands. Treatment time is usually between two to four months. 

Byte also offers excellent customer service via live video chat too.

Byte treatment costs between $1,895 and $2,245 when paid in full. On a monthly treatment plan, Byte’s clear plastic aligners cost between $83 and $98 per month.

Read our Byte review.

4. Traditional Braces

Traditional metal braces are a popular orthodontic method for straightening teeth. Metal braces are usually the most affordable option for adults wanting to align their teeth. However, braces with metal brackets are noticeable. They also require a lot of care to keep clean.

The cost of metal braces varies between $2,500 to $5,500. The total cost depends on the type of braces chosen, treatment time, and the patient’s requirements.

Ways to Pay for Invisalign

There are payment options to make Invisalign cost more affordable.

Payment Plans

A monthly payment plan for Invisalign is an arrangement between you and your orthodontist to divide your clear aligners’ cost over the length of treatment. Usually, orthodontists require a down payment before treatment starts.

Many orthodontists provide flexible and affordable monthly payment plans. During your Invisalign treatment consultation, ask your orthodontist what payment options they offer.

HSA/FSA

A flexible savings account is otherwise known as an FSA. This account can be used to pay for specific medical, dental, and orthodontic treatment costs. These treatment costs include Invisalign clear aligners.

Your employer manages your FSA. You pay money into the account during the year, often through a deduction from your paycheck. You may set aside up to $2,600 each year. However, not all employers provide an FSA option.

A health savings account is otherwise known as an HSA. This is a special savings account for people with a high-deductible health insurance plan. Account owners transfer money into the account. This money pays for specific medical, dental, and orthodontic costs, including Invisalign treatment.

HSA owners can set aside up to $3,400 for an individual or $6,750 for a family each year. However, you must meet IRS requirements to open an HSA.

Does Insurance Cover Invisalign?

Many dental insurance plans cover Invisalign aligners as they do for traditional braces. Your insurance company may pay for a specific percentage of your Invisalign clear aligners, or it may comprise a particular dollar amount. There is usually a lifetime cap on the insurance coverage offered for orthodontic treatment.

If you’re unsure of your insurance coverage, speak to your benefits manager at work, or call your insurance company’s customer service line. It’s also essential to read through your orthodontic benefits package.

Orthodontic treatment may be covered by health instead of dental insurance. Or, it may be protected by orthodontic coverage that is purchased separately.

If you book an Invisalign consultation, ask which dental insurance plans your orthodontist accepts. 

Read more about Clear Aligners 

Resources

Invisalign aligners, Invisalign, https://www.invisalign.com/the-invisalign-difference/invisalign-aligners

Invisalign cost, Invisalign, https://www.invisalign.com/invisalign-cost

Why Candid, Candid Co, https://www.candidco.com/why-candid

Why Byte, Byte, https://www.byteme.com/pages/why-byte

How to pay for Invisalign, Invisalign, https://www.invisalign.com/invisalign-cost/how-to-pay-for-invisalign

Clear aligners, Smile Direct Club, https://smiledirectclub.com/clear-aligners/

Azaripour, A et al. “Braces versus Invisalign®: gingival parameters and patients' satisfaction during treatment: a cross-sectional study.” BMC oral health vol. 15 69. 24 Jun. 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4478712/

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Updated on: October 20, 2020
Author
Ellie Swain
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Medically Reviewed
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Lara Coseo
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