The major factors impacting the cost of Invisalign are the complexity of the case and length of treatment, says David Chen, D.D.S., a dentist based in Long Island City, New York, as well as a cost that dentists pay to Invisalign. There are several different options for Invisalign treatment, depending on your age and orthodontic needs, according to Dr. Chen (though costs vary considerably on a case-by-case basis):
Very mild to mild:
- Invisalign Express (up to five aligners): $1,200 to $1,800
- Invisalign Express (up to seven aligners): $1,500 to $2,000
Mild to moderate
- Invisalign Lite (up to 14 aligners): $3,000 to $4,500
- Invisalign Moderate (up to 20 aligners): $3,500 to $5,000
Moderate to severe
- Invisalign Comprehensive (unlimited aligners): $4,500 to $8,000
- Invisalign First Comprehensive (unlimited aligners): $3,000 to $4,500
- Invisalign First Comprehensive Phase 2 (unlimited aligners): $3,000 to $4,500
“More severe cases require the full comprehensive treatment package from Invisalign, which consequently costs the most, from $4,500 to $8,000,” says Dr. Chen.
What Impacts the Cost of Invisalign?
According to Brad Eckhardt, D.M.D., a dentist at Elite Dental Center in Greeley, Colorado, the following factors influence the cost of Invisalign treatment:
Complexity of treatment: If only a few teeth need correcting, or if your bite is only slightly misaligned, your treatment will likely be short, straightforward and cost less. But if you have complex malocclusion (dental alignment) issues, more aligners will be needed to fix the condition, which means a higher overall price.
Dentist experience: Among professional orthodontists of the same caliber, the cost of Invisalign aligners should be fairly consistent. If an orthodontist is providing treatment at a very discounted rate, it might be useful to confirm their professional experience working with Invisalign treatments specifically to ensure your treatment is efficient and effective.
If a dentist is providing Invisalign at a much cheaper cost than other practices, chances are they’re inexperienced, says Dr. Eckhardt, and choosing them might lead to unsatisfactory results.
Patient’s Consistency: The results of Invisalign aligners are dependent on a patient’s compliance–they must be worn 20 to 22 hours per day, as directed by their orthodontist or dentist. As the aligners are removable, some patients may forget to follow the strict guidelines for use, such as how long they need to wear them each day, which leads to longer treatments and higher overall costs.
Does Insurance Cover Invisalign?
Most (PPO) dental insurances do cover Invisalign, says Dr. Chen, but it depends on whether your company’s human resources department negotiated for it as a benefit. If your plan does include this benefit, most insurance companies will cover between 25% to 50% of the treatment’s total cost, adds Dr. Eckhardt, but most have a maximum amount they are willing to pay of $1,500 to $2,000, so that percentage varies based on the total cost of your treatment.
“The vast majority of insurance plans we’ve seen all cover Invisalign at 50% as stated in the insurance contract, but that is actually misleading,” says Dr. Chen. Most dental insurance plans have an average orthodontic benefit maximum of $1,500 to $2,000. For example, explains Dr. Chen, if your total Invisalign cost is $6,000, but you have an orthodontic benefit maximum of $2,000, the maximum contribution from your plan would be $2,000, leaving you with an out-of-pocket cost of $4,000, even after 50% coverage from insurance.