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How much do Invisalign or clear aligners cost?
Align Technology Inc. started up in 1997, received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance in 1998, began sales of Invisalign to orthodontists in 1999, and by late 2001 had manufactured one million unique clear aligners. In 2002, Invisalign became available to general dentistry practitioners, and after mid-2003 dental schools added Invisalign to their curricula. The Invisalign system is now available in more than 45 countries.
One of the first questions people ask about this or any similar orthodontic treatment with clear, removable tooth aligners is how much does Invisalign cost. Some questioners find the cost of Invisalign treatment comparable to the average cost for traditional metal braces . Others find the treatment price higher. Orthodontists set the price for each treatment, and the cost varies considerably from practitioner to practitioner. Fees are usually according to complexity and length of treatment. In the USA, treatments range in price from $3,000 to $9,000, depending on geographic location. For example, in northwest Ohio, treatment cost for a mild overbite and several turned teeth was $5,580 in 2008 for a 13-month treatment, whereas in Utah the cost for a comparable case was $4,700. Metal braces would cost $5,225, and $4,300 for the express treatment, if available.
Costs vary from case to case and place to place. In Europe, treatment costs from €3,000 to €7,800 depending on case complexity. In Australia costs range from AU$5,000 to AU$9,000. In the USA, where Invisalign treatment costs go from $3,000 to $9,000, about $5,000 is the national average. For cases of five or fewer sets of aligners, the cost can be as little as $2,000, sometimes less.
Many dental insurance plans cover Invisalign costs. According to a November 2010 Invisalign Patient Survey, about a quarter of Invisalign patients receive insurance compensation of at least $500, and a third of them finance treatment costs over time. A chart on the Invisalign website calculates monthly payments over as long as two years.
Many employers offer job-based health plans with flexible spending accounts to which their employees may contribute up to $2500 per year for co-payments, deductibles, medications, and other health care costs. Employers transfer employee contributions directly into the flexible spending account with no tax withheld on them. This tax benefit offsets some of the treatment cost. After incurring eligible costs, the employee submits receipts for reimbursement from the account.
ClearCorrect LLC is another corporate developer of clear, custom, removable dental braces. ClearCorrect and Invisalign treatments both slowly realign teeth into desired positions that correct crowded teeth, spaced teeth, overbites, underbites, and turned teeth. The aligners are virtually invisible and minimally invasive. ClearCorrect says the average cost of treatment is $2,500 to $3,500, $4,000 to $5,500 for “full” treatment depending on specific needs, so the ClearCorrect treatment cost is similar to Invisalign cost.
How long does Invisalign take?
Periodic follow-up dental appointments are necessary to check progress. Invisalign requires 20 to 30 aligners for both the upper and lower teeth, and most adults complete their treatment within a year. ClearCorrect treatment for moderate cases requires 32 steps delivered in eight phases and sometimes 12 steps in three phases. Treatment times vary according to specific alignment problems.
If you are planning an Invisalign treatment in the near future or you are still ambiguous about the details, feel free to contact King Orthodontics. Our team of orthodontic specialists with three generations of experience will be glad to help you.
King Orthodontics, 400 East Dayton, Yellow Springs Rd. Fairborn, OH 45324
Phone: (937) 878-1561 Fax: (937) 433-9530
The Cost of Invisalign
Samuel B. King, D.D.S., M.S. – King Orthodontics – Specialist in Orthodontics for kids, teens and adults in Centerville and Fairborn.