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Is Invisalign Cheaper Than Braces?

By September 2, 2022 November 8th, 2022 No Comments
braces and invisalign polaroid photos

When you’re attempting to choose between braces and Invisalign, some of the factors that you will likely want to know more about are which will be most effective for your needs, the timeline of your treatment, and the cost of taking care of your treatment too.

When it comes down to it, your final decision very well could depend on your budget and the cost of treatment. Many people would tell you that Invisalign is much cheaper than braces. While that may be true in some cases, it’s actually not really the full truth.

Have you ever wondered whether Invisalign is cheaper than braces? Keep reading to learn more.

The Cost of Braces

When you consider braces, the cost includes a lot of benefits. First of all, the entire process is going to be closely monitored by your dentist and you’re going to get a 100% tailored customer experience.

Every visit will be tailored to your needs and the braces won’t get removed until your provider meets the goals. This could include alignment, crowding correction, or even jaw alignment as well. You will spend a lot of time in the office seeking care from the provider.

The overall cost will likely depend on the expected time of treatment, the extent of your treatment needs, and specific charges from that office. It may cost more in certain states or metropolitan areas with higher costs as well.

On average, the cost of braces can range anywhere from about $1,800 to close to $6,000. There are times that it could cost more but this is the general window of costs. Remember that this cost will depend on your needs, the office treating you, and the timeframe.

Take note of the low end here, which could potentially be less than $2,000 in some situations.

braces in the dentist's hands

The Cost of Invisalign

When you compare to Invisalign, there are some differences. You will still get a tailored experience that is designed for your needs but it won’t be nearly as hands-on or inclusive as braces typically are.

Invisalign will require several different trays that you change out as you progress towards your smile goals. These trays will be slightly more limited than braces but they can help with things like positioning, alignment, and crowding. They cannot help with jaw alignment in the same way that braces can.

Invisalign are clear plastic molds (or trays) that fit to your teeth. You go through steps with small adjustments each time. You will likely work closely with your orthodontist, although there are some online services that don’t require you to ever visit an office in person.

Invisalign requires specialized creation of each tray for your mouth. They use specific materials, which can certainly add up when it comes to creating the trays and gathering the materials. Because of that, Invisalign is not typically any cheaper than braces.

On average, the cost of Invisalign treatments ranges from about $2,500 to $6,000. Again, this cost could be slightly less or slightly more in some cases but this is the general window of cost expectations. Notice that even on the lower end, they are still more expensive than the lower end of braces.

We also want to point out that these cannot handle jaw alignment so they are best for mild to moderate tooth alignment needs.

a person putting invisalign in the box

Does Insurance Cover?

Whether or not your insurance covers will definitely depend specifically on your insurance. You will need to reach out to them and figure out what, if any, part of your treatment is covered. Some dental insurances include orthodontics while many do not.

Some insurances might even be strict on covering portions of braces or portions of Invisalign but not both. It is impossible to predict whether you will be covered or not. As you are considering your options, be sure to check with your insurance provider to get the full details of your out of pocket costs.

Important Details to Consider

When you break it down, the costs can be quite similar between braces and Invisalign. In some cases, braces will be more affordable and, in some cases, Invisalign will simply be the appropriate solution.

Here are some details that might play into your decision.

Treatment Needs

One of the most important elements will be to understand what your treatment needs are going to be. For example, if you have tooth positioning and alignment but also need to help correct an underbite, you will likely need to have braces.                                             

Braces are useful for any type of dental treatment but they are more effective for complex and severe treatments than Invisalign. If it’s just a matter of straightening the teeth, either can work. If it is more complex, you might be required to get braces to treat your needs.

Each one has different strengths and weaknesses so be sure to understand the full details and capabilities.

Length of Treatment

Another factor that might be important is how long the bracess treatment is going to take. Many times, treatment using Invisalign can be completed in about 6 months. Very rarely do treatments in this scenario last more than a full year.

However, with braces, it tends to be far more extensive as far as time goes. With braces, you will very rarely see treatment under 1 year and most of the time, it will likely be around 2 years. There are even some challenging cases in which braces might be on for up to 4 years to get total results.

Invisalign treatments tend to move faster but remember they also are for mild cases.

two options for teeth corection

Visual Appeal

If the visual aspects are something that will matter to you, consider the difference between braces and Invisalign here. Braces are going to be far more visible to the public eye. They do stand out because they are metal brackets and wires on your teeth.

With braces, there are porcelain brackets that can be used and these are sometimes less noticeable but still visible.

Invisalign, on the other hand, is clear and won’t have any color or noticeable features if you care for them properly and wear them properly. You will have to take them out of your mouth to eat but other than that, they should mesh with your teeth for the most part.

Payment Considerations

One thing that you will want to do is find out if and what your insurance covers. Remember that this will be specific to your insurance and there may be no coverage at all.

Check with your dental provider to determine what types of payment plans and options will be available to you to receive the treatment that you need. Most offices will have some sort of payment plan that extends the life of expected treatment but this will vary from office to office.

Final Thoughts

In closing, Invisalign and braces are similar in costs but there are times that one may be more expensive than the other. For the cost, you are getting more out of paying for braces because they can treat more severe cases and you have more interaction with your provider.

In the end, the price and the treatment options will be completely your decision and will ultimately depend on your provider and what their charges or options may be.

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