|Invisalign (without insurance)||$3000 - $7000|
|Invisalign (with insurance, price depends on your dental plan)||around $2800|
|Invisalign Teen||$2500 - $7000|
|Invisalign Express||$1500 - $4000|
|Invisalign Lite||$1800 - $4000|
The first line of treatment for misaligned teeth is oftentimes the last if done right. These days, it’s all about Invisalign, the future of teeth straightening and an ideal smile. Dental teeth braces have ruled the industry for too long, condemning patients to years of torture and an unclear idea of how they will look once the process is finally over. This has led to lots of disappointment and empty bank accounts down the road.
Now this newer technology is stepping up, promising easy-to-predict results, faster treatment times, and less discomfort. All this is wrapped up in a more attractive appearance, as visibility is hardly an issue here.
Invisalign: Everything You Need to Know
Invisalign, one of the most popular orthodontic treatments, is a clear, plastic aligner that functions like traditional braces but uses a series of aligners to move teeth into the ideal position. It's one of the best-known and most popular methods for achieving straight teeth and improving smile aesthetics.
Read on to get all the details you need for Invisalign and how you can transform your smile from insecure to enigmatic in a year with the aid of your dentist.
What is Invisalign?
Your Journey from Crooked to Straight Teeth
Invisalign 1 is a new form of straightening the teeth. It works with the help of clear aligner braces which are custom-made flexible thermoplastic material. They do not contain latex, BPS, BPA, or gluten and are perfectly safe to use. The technology is approved by the 2 American FDA.
It affects teeth position and teeth alignment.
The units look nothing like traditional metal braces because: 1) they are see-through; 2) they don’t have any wires; 3) they cover the entire teeth like a shield.
The treatment plan entails creating a digital map of the mouth that tracks down the transformation of the teeth from day one to the very end of the process. It uses the same principle of the movement of teeth as regular braces but it works in a slightly different and more sophisticated manner.
What is interesting here is that the patient does not wear the same number of Invisalign devices all the way through. They receive a set of plastic, transparent aligners to change weekly or bi-weekly as mandated by the dentist. A computer programme allows the specialist to see when it is suitable to swap the aligners with a fresh pair.
The fact that more than one unit is employed means that the Invisalign journey is quite personalised and detailed. And this is what makes this dental treatment so effective, speedy, and successful. Then again, you have to choose a dental clinic with care. General dentistry may not be the thing you are looking for.
What Can Invisalign Treatment Fix?
You can turn to Invisalign dentists for very crooked teeth or irregularities in the jaw structure. The technology is successful in dealing with a wide range of orthodontic problems such as:
- Underbite. In some people, the lower jaw is positioned far forward from the upper jaw. When the jaw is closed, the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth, creating the underbite. Not only does it prevent you from chewing correctly, but it can speed up the normal wear and tear of your teeth. This is why you have to go through teeth straightening. Apparently, Invisalign is a great way to achieve an ideal smile.
- Overbite. An overbite is the opposite of that. It is when the upper teeth go in front of the lower teeth. It can lead to pain and other problems.
- Overcrowded teeth. Sometimes teeth bunch up because there is not enough room left for them. This makes them overlap and twist, causing quite a lot of stir. It is a lot harder to maintain decent oral hygiene, which makes your structures more predisposed toward tooth decay, tartar, plaque, bacterial overgrowth, and gum disease. Apart from that, they just don’t look good. Using Invisalign treatment can fix this problem and help you achieve a beautiful smile. It can treat both mild crowding teeth to severe spacing issues.
- Open bite issues. In other people, the lower and upper teeth don’t touch like they have to when the mouth is fully closed. This creates problems with chewing and biting, a critical skill for every human being.
- Teeth gaps. Sometimes there is too much space between several teeth and it becomes a captor of food particles. When residue gets stuck in between, it has the potential to turn into gum disease.
- Crossbite. When some of the upper front teeth are situated behind the lower teeth as the jaw is closed, this is known as a crossbite and it requires treatment.
Please note that you don’t need to have any of these severe problems 3 in order to use Invisalign. If your teeth are fine but you want them to be a tad bit straighter, this orthodontic treatment option will work its magic. It will spur slow tooth movement, straighten the white structures and give you this ideal smile you want. Your dentist will tell you what to expect.
Invisalign Treatment Cost
We are not going to lie, the overall cost of Invisalign braces runs on the higher end of the price segment. The national average for Invisalign, according to the Consumer Guide for Dentistry, is $3000 - $7000. Traditional metal bracket braces, on the other hand, often cost between $2000 - $6000. All of these charges, once again, are dependent on your specific situation, your location and the clinic you choose. If you manage to find an attractive price at some dental clinics, it is probably because they don’t include consultation fees and all the expenses for pre-treatment and aftercare involved. For example, the initial assessment may cost up to $200. The best way to figure out what is included in the treatment package is to get in touch with the professionals you have chosen and ask for a breakdown of the numbers.
Invisalign vs Braces Cost
How much does Invisalign cost compared to traditional braces?
Well, the price of the braces starts at around $2000 and is usually is capped somewhere at $6000. The total cost usually depends on the complexity of treatment and the types of braces whether these are metal, ceramic, lingual braces, etc. Lingual braces tend to be more expensive than the other types. However, braces are significantly less expensive than Invisalign services but they also have plenty of disadvantages to consider.
Invisalign Process and Treatment Time
Now, let’s break down the process step by step. Before you get your first set of aligners, you have to consult with an Invisalign-trained specialist (also called Invisalign providers). During your initial consultation, they will assess the parameters of your mouth and teeth to create a customized treatment plan suitable just for you. You also have a say in this - you will be shown the way your smile will change over the following months and asked for approval.
If you like the treatment, they will go on to create sets of aligners. The mould will be based on a 3D scan image of your facial profile with a cutting-edge scanner. With this digital scan, the doctor will present a simulated outcome of your smile. X-rays will be done to capture tooth movement. Dentists will trim each unit individually so it fits your gum line and creates more comfort. It not only feels better but also looks better.
The sets will have one purpose: to gradually shift your teeth into the right position. For this to work, though, you have to commit to the treatment entirely. Meaning, you should wear the invisible braces at least 22 hours a day. Yes, that includes both days and nights, workdays and weekends. There should be no excuses.
You are allowed to take the units out when flossing, brushing, eating, and drinking. And that’s some good news because it means it will be easier to keep your teeth clean, as no food will get trapped between them and the aligners. This completely eliminates the risk of decay and gum disease providing you are disciplined and motivated.
While you are on the Invisalign treatment, you will go back to the Invisalign orthodontist occasionally. Trips to the dental clinic are crucial to check far along you have come and whether any corrections to the plan have to be made. This is one of the downsides of Invisalign. With the Singapore startup Zenyum, this monitoring is done remotely via an app and you don't have to regularly schedule trips to the dentist's office unless it's absolutely necessary.
For example, you may need some Invisalign attachments that improve the grip of the aligners and give the treatment more precision. These attachments come in coloured shapes but they are not visible on your teeth, so don’t worry about looks. They serve as an instrument for the clear aligner to push on, which eventually facilitates the tooth movements because it applies just the right amount of force.
What Invisalign Treatment Plans Are Available?
There are several different Invisalign plans available. Your dentist will decide which one is the most suitable for you depending on the complexity of your case.
- Comprehensive plan. The dentist may recommend the comprehensive treatment option in case you have severe crowding teeth.
- Moderate plan. As the name suggests, this plan can fix issues that are not extremely complex or difficult to treat.
- Lite plan. If you have mild crowding teeth, then the Invisalign lite plan might be a good solution for you.
- Express plan. The Invisalign express plan will be beneficial in case your teeth need little, minor movement.
Invisalign Benefits and Disadvantages 4
The greatest advantage of Invisalign is that it is virtually invisible and therefore nobody will know you are wearing aligner systems. It can contribute to better dental health if used properly and monitored by a professional dentist. As long as you do everything right, your smile will become more beautiful.
That said, there can be negative aspects too. A big downside is the cost of Invisalign services. The clear aligner treatment comes with a heavy price tag. Another disadvantage is dental issues that may arise due to improper oral hygiene during the treatment. Malocclusions are also a possible outcome, although they seldom occur. And finally, according to scientific data, relapse cases have been observed in a minority of patients with this kind of orthodontic treatment.
We realise this is the last thing you want for your smile but you should know that these side effects happen on rare occasions and are not easy to predict. That's why before you go through with it, your dental clinic will ask for patient compliance from you. To avoid any negative situations, your dentist will examine your teeth condition ahead of time. A dental x-ray will be done to check your bite and the gaps between teeth. Complex cases require additional dentistry tricks.
Advantages of Invisalign over Braces Treatment
Being a more advanced technology than traditional braces 5, Invisalign treatment is quite the buzz of the day. The aligners and retainer options stand out from older treatments with a few key points that patients should be aware of.
Knowing what’s going to happen early on during your Invisalign treatment plan
You can track down your entire journey with Invisalign from start to finish. Before you even begin wearing the braces, you will be showered with information. You'll be able to tell how long the course will last, how many trays you will need along the way, and what the outcome will be like in the end.
This is possible thanks to a computerised model that is created specifically for you, pre-treatment, based on the metrics the Invisalign provider types in the system. They will include mould impressions or digital scans of your teeth with the exact angles and size of the structures.
By contrast, with standard metal and ceramic braces, you never know whether the results will be worth it and you have no clue how teeth movement will progress. It is a constant trial-and-error situation that involves more trips to the dental clinic.
Appearance and front teeth
Hands down, the biggest motivation for people to try Invisalign treatment remains the translucency of the items. Let’s be honest, traditional braces are outright gruesome and unattractive. They cause frustration and embarrassment in the person wearing them which can affect their self-esteem. It is especially true for metal pairs as these are the most visible type of braces. Invisalign trays, on the other hand, are see-through and practically unnoticeable, as their name implies. If needed, certain teeth may be bonded with additional tooth-coloured composite attachments. They make Invisalign virtually invisible to the naked eye. Unless you know that someone is on a treatment regimen, you can never tell their teeth are wrapped up in plastic.
As you know, regular braces can be a pain in the neck when it comes to eating and drinking. Once set into place, they cannot be taken out. You have to limit your variety of products for a long period. For example, you should avoid eating nuts, pretzels, popcorn, ice, gum, anything sticky, corn on the cob, burgers, etc.
And with other foods, it is preferable to cut them down into smaller pieces instead of biting directly into them. Talk about meat, fruit, raw vegetables, hard rolls sub sandwiches, croutons, and much more. All this creates loads of hassle and can make you miserable.
If this tells you something, it is that metal units are no walk in the park, even though clinics still boast them.
In comparison, Invisalign clear aligners are removable, thus allowing patients to eat their favourite foods. It does not affect teeth movement.
Invisalign Treatment Duration
And here comes the greatest upside of invisible aligners. You can expect your treatment to last somewhere between 12 and 18 months overall. As far as their metal counterparts are concerned, sometimes it can take five years for them to work their magic. It is anything but encouraging.
Safety and Comfort 6
Clear braces are designed from plastic and are different from the conventional braces treatment. They do not contain any protruding bits or sharp edges that could scratch or damage the tongue and gums. Unlike metallic braces, they don’t cause any damage and they certainly don’t affect decaying teeth and demineralisation. In addition, Invisalign is a much more comfortable alternative to conventional braces.
How to Take Care of Your Invisalign Aligners
Maintaining good oral hygiene and oral health during treatment is of great importance. The clear aligner system of Invisalign come with their own case and cleaning system for the best and most optimum maintenance practices. You can purchase this from your Invisalign providers or shop directly from the manufacturer’s website.
Other than the case, you can also use regular toothpaste to remove dirt from your aligners. Just make sure to rinse them well after each washing cycle and never use hot water for the purpose. This may warp the plastic and affect the product’s work.
Keep in mind that after you have had a meal, you ought to wash your teeth to get rid of all food residue. If you don’t, it will transfer to your braces and stain them once you place them back.
It is paramount that you sanitise the product before you wear it. This applies especially if it has been dropped in an unsanitary place. If necessary, talk to your dentist about the best Invisalign cleaner and make sure to get everything right.
Post-Invisalign Treatment Care
Every case is different. The majority of patients will be instructed by their dentists to wear retainers after they complete their Invisalign treatment 7. This is a device that serves to maintain the position of the teeth after braces. There are two main types of retainers: removable retainers that are custom-made of plastic or a wire that is attached to the back of the front teeth.
If you are wondering how long you have to wear them, you should ask dentists for additional information. Only a specialist can tell you the duration of this. They need to evaluate your new smile before they can give you a specific timeframe.
How to Pay for Your Invisalign Journey?
As you can see by the quotes above, Invisalign comes with a staggering price tag that extends way beyond a typical dental job. This brings the question of what you can do to pay for your virtually invisible aligners.
It is worth noting that some insurance companies cover partially the clear aligner treatment. They use the same policy to decide as they do with conventional braces: they either cover a pre-fixed amount or they go for a certain percentage.
If this is not possible in your country, you can talk to your dentist about a monthly payment plan. Covering the expenses of your procedure in small chunks over time rather than shelling out the colossal amount in one go will help you stay within budget and keep your sanity intact. All you have to do is discuss your payment options with the right person.
In some cases, orthodontic care is not part of dental insurance. Instead, it has to be purchased as a separate service or is run by health insurance. Either way, know your alternatives before you get the ball rolling. Ask your practitioner which form of financial assistance they accept and require more information along the way; that is, should more questions about Invisalign treatment pop up.
Invisalign Provider Tiers: What is an Invisalign Platinum Elite Provider?
The revolutionary Invisalign treatment is not performed by random dentists. You have to go to a certified provider. Overall, there are four tiers that correspond to the number of cases or treatments a specialist has carried out so far.
- Preferred Provider: This title is given to orthodontists who go through at least 10 cases per year.
- Premier Provider: This one performs a minimum of 25 Invisalign treatments per six months and already has at least 50 cases under their belts.
- Platinum Elite Provider: If you go to someone classified as an elite provider, you know that they have had a minimum of 300 cases in their practice and currently complete 50 clear aligners every six months.
- Top 1% Provider: This is a rare find. In order for a specialist to climb the highest tier, they must have had 800 cases at the very least. They also do 200 clear aligners per year.
The data are available on the manufacturer's website. Basically, the higher the tier, the more experienced the provider. When you are dealing with more than an aesthetic issue, like spaced out front teeth, you really should get the best dental services in the business. For the safest and most accurate tooth movement with Invisalign, you should find a selected specialist based on the number of cases they have had.
Invisalign FAQ and Q&A
Q: Who is suitable for Invisalign aligners treatment?
A: That's the beauty of it. Patients of all ages can opt for these dental care services, even those who don't have severe teeth conditions. In order for it to work, though, you have to wear your aligners full time (or a minimum of 20-22 hours). The treatment time will depend on individual cases. Mind you that Invisalign cannot be swapped for dental surgery (e.g. jaw surgery) nor should it be used to camouflage orthodontal problems.
Q: Does Invisalign damage teeth?
A: No. Every dentist will tell you that.
Q: Can you drink tea with Invisalign?
A: It is not prohibited to drink any beverages while you are on your Invisalign treatment. However, it is strongly paramount to take your braces off before consumption. Always put them back on clean teeth. This will keep food particles and liquids from getting trapped between your teeth and causing decay and other problems.
Q: Are traditional braces faster than Invisalign?
A: Yes, they are. But they have the disadvantage of not being removable, which makes them a less convenient solution.
Q: Does Invisalign work for severe crowding teeth?
A: Yes. Ask your dentist or Invisalign-trained doctor for more information on how it works.
Q: Do you need to remove your wisdom teeth before having Invisalign treatment?
A: Whether your dentist will remove your wisdom teeth depends on the current condition of your teeth and the treatment plan you have been given. The orthodontist may recommend tooth extraction in case they interfered with the planned treatment.
Q: How effective is Invisalign treatment?
A: Invisalign is one of the most effective treatment planning for straightening the front teeth, molars, and everything in between. The aligners should be worn 21-22 hours per day, every day for several months straight, and the sets changed accordingly. You ought to also brush and floss. Unless you follow the instructions religiously, you may see no results at all.
Q: Can I have clear aligners on the bottom teeth only or vice versa?
A: Yes, it is possible to treat one part of the mouth if the rest of the teeth are in good condition. However, you should consult with your doctor and see what information they will give away.
Q: Can I switch from metal braces to Invisalign?
A: Of course. All you have to do is bring it up to your dentist at your next appointment. It is not uncommon for specialists to combine conventional braces with clear aligners for better results.
Q: I have crowns or veneers. Can I still do Invisalign?
A: A: You should discuss any of these with your doctor, as this is the only person who can give you an exact answer. Generally speaking, it is all right to have Invisalign aligners if you have dental crowns but you need a check-up by a professional to make sure this is doable.
Q: What about bridges?
A: Unfortunately, this dental treatment may not be the most effective for patients with a bridge on several teeth. The reason for this is that Invisalign tends to move the teeth from their roots and with bridges, this is just not an option. If you go to a good clinic, they will recommend other options for you. With the help of X-rays, they will guide you through the most appropriate treatment.
Q: What happens if I lose an aligner?
A: Since this is a prescription treatment that is executed under the supervision of a medical professional, the only way to work it out is to contact your dentist. They will order a replacement for you that will fit your current needs. Patients who do things on their own terms won’t get the exact size and shape of aligners they need.
Q: Does wearing aligners hurt?
A: During the treatment, the aligners will be putting gentle pressure on your pearly whites and this may cause mild soreness the first few days. That being said, not everyone will feel pain or discomfort. It is strongly individual. If you find yourself in this situation, you may use dental wax for Invisalign in between the braces and the teeth to soothe friction. An ice pack might also help.
Q: How long does the Invisalign treatment last?
A: It ranges from 12 months to two years overall.
Q: How much is Invisalign in other parts of the world?
A: Invisalign full price varies between $3000 and $7000 on average, depending on the number of aligners you need, the type of retainers you use, your dental condition, dentist’s fees, whether you go to a public hospital or private clinic and other factors. Invisalign isn't the most affordable but they are of great quality. There is no cheap Invisalign.
Q: How to find a good doctor who operates Invisalign clear braces? Do I need a specific Invisalign provider or will someone deal with general dentistry help?
A: The people who can perform Invisalign are specifically trained in cosmetic dentistry and they have sort of a certificate. Check Invisalign reviews, ask around, or open the official website of the company to find more information about that.
Q: Which is the best Invisalign clinic?
A: Unfortunately, we cannot list all clinics with dentists that are worth your while by name. It is best to check for an Invisalign centre that is located near where you live. If you still have questions, our customer service is readily available.
Q: Which is better - Invisalign or Zenyum?
A: While both clear aligners seem to serve the same function, direct comparison isn't fair to either. Invisalign is more versatile and can be used to treat more problems and of a larger severity, while Zenyum is more narrow-focused, but compensates with faster results and cheaper prices. Read our Invisalign vs Zenyum article for a more in-depth breakdown of the pros and cons of each treatment.
- 1. https://www.invisalign.com
- 2. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/CDRH510K/K081960.pdf
- 3. https://www.cda-adc.ca/jcda/vol-73/issue-3/263.pdf
- 4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4478712/
- 5. https://www.aaoinfo.org/blog/braces-vs-clear-aligners/
- 6. https://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024660/00001
- 7. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04105491