Invisalign is the premier teeth straightening option on the market right now. Since 1997, Invisalign has been leading the way with their clear aligner system for straightening crooked/misaligned teeth.

The biggest benefit for Invisalign is, of course, those discreet plastic aligners that are removable and totally invisible.

The numbers on Invisalign

The cost of Invisalign depends on your case, but on average, it is similar to the cost of traditional braces. How much do braces cost? Around $5,000 on average, according to the The American Dental Association’s 2018 Survey of Dental Fees. That may be the upper range: The Consumer Guide to Dentistry estimates average Invisalign cost at between $3,000 and $5,000. The bottom line is that the answer to “how much does invisalign cost?” is super individual.

Beyond cost, there are other things to consider when comparing Invisalign vs braces: Clear aligners aren’t right for everyone. They’re especially great for adults with minor to moderate crowding, and for those who have experienced teeth shifting. But they may not be right if you have a more severe case of crowding or if you have a discrepancy in how your upper and lower jaw fit together. Only a dentist or orthodontist can determine whether clear aligners will work for you.

Another thing to consider: While Invisalign is offered in-office by trained dentists or orthodontists, newer companies allow you to order aligners online, either after being fitted in-person by a dental professional or using an at-home impression kit. While Invisalign requires multiple visits to your provider, other brands allow you to be monitored remotely by a dentist or orthodontist. These may ultimately be cheaper options, depending on your specific case.

Does insurance cover clear aligners?

Yes. Many dental insurance plans reimburse some (but not all) for the cost of Invisalign, especially. If your insurance plan covers orthodontic treatment, it will likely cover at least some of the cost of Invisalign or another clear aligner system.

What if I need traditional braces?

If you’re not a candidate for clear aligners, fear not! Today’s braces are very different from the kind your parents may have worn. Even metal braces — the kind that use metal brackets and connecting brace wires — are less noticeable than they once were. But if you’re still looking for something less noticeable, there are also other types of “invisible braces,” you can look into. For example, clear or ceramic braces are just like metal braces except the brackets are clear or tooth-colored so they’re less noticeable. Lingual braces are another type, in which the metal brackets are placed inside the teeth, thereby reducing their appearance.

Each type has its own set of pros and cons. The cost of invisible braces depends on your orthodontist and your insurance, but they tend to cost slightly more. That’s because of both the materials and the different expertise required.