More than four million people in the United States wear braces, with 25% of that total being adults. A quick and discrete method of straightening teeth is much preferred over traditional metal or ceramic braces. This is especially true for teenagers and adults who must tackle misaligned teeth.
Aligners straighten teeth by gently guiding them into place over time by using a series of clear trays that add gentle pressure. But how much will you pay for this discrete orthodontic work?
Clear aligners’ cost can vary, so it’s difficult to give one number. On average, the clear aligners cost between $1,200 and $8,000, with multiple factors affecting the final price. Learn more about what contributes to the final price of clear aligners.
The first factor that affects the price of clear aligners is the brand. “Clear aligners” is a general term for the method and tool used to straighten teeth. The most common and well-known clear aligner brand is Invisalign.
The brand is so popular that it’s often the first people think of when considering this kind of straightening method. On average, Invisalign can cost between $3,000 and $8,000, again, with the final price dependent on other factors that will be mentioned later.
There are less expensive options for clear aligners, especially offered by at-home teeth straightening services. However, these methods are not recommended because they are not being supervised by an in-person orthodontist.
While the price may be lower initially, without the guidance of an orthodontist, you may end up doing more damage than you originally started with. It may be better to spend more upfront on preventing you from having potentially irreparable damage that may cost more later.
The Severity of Dental Issues
When it comes to straightening your teeth with clear aligners, the severity of the issue you’re trying to correct will play a large role in how much your treatment costs.
Clear aligners work by creating a series of trays that fit specifically to your teeth. An orthodontist maps out the movement of your teeth as they gradually become straighter. Each tray fits a certain stage to guide your teeth into place.
Most patients use between 18 and 30 trays during their treatment. The more severe your dental issues are, the more aligner trays you’ll require for your treatment. More extensive treatments will fall at the higher end of the price range.
So, if someone is looking to simply straighten out a few teeth, the cost of their treatment will cost less than someone correcting a severe overbite. Speaking to an orthodontist about what you want and need to correct will give you a better understanding of the severity.
The Length of Treatment
How severe your dental issue is typically determines the length of treatment. No matter what you’re trying to treat, it will take a few months to see results and finish your treatment. Most patients wear clear aligners for a minimum of nine months and sometimes as many as fifteen months.
The longer you have to wear clear aligners, in general, the more the treatment will cost. This is usually due to having to address more severe issues that require a longer treatment period and more aligner trays.
Where you live can have an effect on your orthodontic care. As with any place, the cost of services generally reflects the local cost of living. This is why orthodontists in large cities may cost more compared to suburbs and rural areas.
An orthodontist’s expertise is also factored into the price. Because orthodontics is a specialty, treatment costs usually reflect that. However, paying for an orthodontist is more beneficial in the long run. As stated earlier, there are options to receive clear aligners and straighten your teeth at home.
When you do this, there isn’t an orthodontist supervising your treatment. When you see an orthodontist for teeth straightening, you have regular appointments to ensure that the treatment is going to plan. If there are any problems, an orthodontist can catch and correct them before they become larger issues.
You lose this quality of dental care if you choose to straighten your teeth at home. With these DIY methods, you also run the risk of damaging your oral health and teeth.
It’s often worth the extra cost to ensure that your teeth straightening treatment is going according to plan. And the peace of mind that an experienced professional is handling your dental care.
Can Insurance Cover Clear Aligners Cost?
Most dental insurance policies will cover clear aligner treatment, often up to $3,500 of the total treatment cost. However, this number varies by insurance provider and policy plan, so it’s best to check what yours covers for an accurate number.
If insurance does cover clear aligner treatment, then you’ll only be responsible for any amount that insurance doesn’t cover. What isn’t covered by insurance can be paid through a monthly payment plan if not paid outright.
However, you don’t have to pay off the amount by the end of the treatment. You can pay off the amount over the course of months or a few years. Speaking to your orthodontist about payment plan options will give you an exact idea of the total length of the payment plan.
You Can Have Your Dream Smile
You don’t have to hide your smile. Smile with confidence after straightening your teeth with clear aligners. They’re a discrete way to improve your smile without the discomfort of traditional metal braces.
Clear aligners are an investment in your health and your appearance. There are many factors that can affect the final clear aligners cost, so there isn’t one number but rather a range. Speaking to an orthodontist about your treatment plan with clean aligners will give you a solid idea of the final price.
If you’re ready to have your dream smile, Gleason Orthodontics is ready to help. Schedule a free consultation today for a step closer to a straighter, healthier smile.