Invisalign: Can I Afford Invisible Braces?

A large portion of our Invisalign patients are adults. Since investing in invisible braces is an obvious time and monetary commitment, most people want to know up front how much getting Invisalign will cost. At that point, it’s easier for them to decide whether or not they can afford Invisalign or at least get it to work into their monthly budget.

Although Invisalign costs are dependent upon how many trays you need in total (which in turn is related to the complexity of your case), the prices are still quite competitive with traditional braces. But if you’re not worried about paying for traditional orthodontic treatment, Invisalign won’t be a problem either.


Crooked Teeth Can Cost You More Money

Regardless of the price of braces, there is one thing that’s for certain: having crooked or misaligned teeth can wind up costing you more money over the years. Tilted, gapped, and crowded teeth are at a significantly higher risk for:

TMJ Disorder — Healthy TMJ function requires a balanced occlusion (biting relationship) between your upper and lower teeth and jaws. If those biting patterns are thrown off, you won’t be able to properly bite into or chew your food. In turn, your TMJ will start to accommodate for these misalignments and then move in atypical patterns, over and over, day by day. Years down the road you’re left trying to manage TMJ disorder and worn teeth.

Decay — Misaligned teeth are more likely to get cavities than teeth that are straight. Even if you feel like you have fairly decent oral hygiene, crowded and rotated teeth will be some of the first to develop tooth decay. In turn, you’re led down a path of paying for restorative treatments like fillings or crowns that you might not have needed if that tooth was easier to clean.

Gum Disease — It’s already hard enough to floss thoroughly and prevent gum disease. But when teeth are rotated or out of alignment, they’re especially prone to periodontal infections. No matter how well you’re brushing, the spaces between those crooked teeth will nearly always have more plaque bacteria left behind. Some experts even advise that orthodontic therapy should be a part of comprehensive periodontal treatment plans.

With Invisalign you’re not only straightening your teeth, but they’re also easier to clean throughout the duration of your treatment. Simply remove your aligners to brush and floss like normal. You won’t need special tools to clean around fixed brackets or wires.

Premature Wear and Emergencies — Uneven biting patterns (caused by misaligned teeth) can cause gradual tooth-on-tooth wear. Although enamel is extremely strong, it’s not invincible when exposed to excessive use. When two teeth bite against one another improperly, they can actually start to wear themselves down.

What about the emergencies, you ask? Malocclusions, like jetted out front teeth or overbites, are at a statistically higher risk for injuries. Should you get hit in the face with an elbow or ball during some type of athletic activity you’re at a higher chance of the tooth breaking.

Tooth Replacement — If you lose a tooth because of aggressive decay, periodontitis, or an emergency, you’re also having to turn around and invest in some type of a replacement treatment (such as a dental implant or bridge.) Not only are you paying to have the damaged tooth removed, you’re also paying to replace it.


The Confidence Boost is Worth the Invisalign Investment

You can’t put a price on a beautiful smile. When you feel confident in the way your teeth look, you’ll naturally want to smile more often and laugh around other people. Beautiful teeth change everything from your appearance to your personality. In turn, they can significantly impact your private, social, and professional life.

Numerous studies have found that people with straighter, whiter, more attractive teeth tend to even do better at job interviews. The experiments showed that not only were people with beautiful teeth more likely to land the job, but they also seemed to be offered a higher starting salary. Now, you might not be able to prove that Invisalign will help you progress your career, but knowing what we do, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to make the investment in yourself. Especially if you already feel self-conscious about the way your teeth look.

Feeling confident is priceless. And sometimes it takes a bit of help from something like invisible braces to help you get there. The more you smile, the happier you’ll feel. People who smile a lot are typically viewed as friendlier overall. Perhaps the real question might not be can you afford Invisalign, but how can you afford not to get it?

Yes, Some Insurance Plans Cover Invisalign

There typically isn’t any differentiation between insurance that pays for braces vs. Invisalign treatment. If your plan benefits cover one, they’re likely to cover the other.

Keep in mind that most insurance policies do have certain restrictions. Such as age requirements or a set allowance for orthodontic therapy. Let’s pretend that you have up to $1,500 in coverage, but your Invisalign cost is somewhere close to $3,000. You would essentially be paying out of pocket for about half of the price of treatment, assuming you meet all of the requirements set forth by your unique plan and carrier.

How can you know what’s covered and by how much? Our Raleigh Invisalign team will coordinate your insurance benefits and provide you with a breakdown after your consultation. Once we know how long your treatment will take (which determines the total price), we’ll itemize your insurance coverage against the cost of clear braces, so that you have an estimated out-of-pocket total. All of this happens before you even start treatment, so there are no surprise expenses to catch you off guard or lock you in.

One important note is that some insurance carriers will only pay for braces on individuals up to a certain age. Or, they may have a “lifetime maximum” that deducts from your overall benefit allowance if you’ve already had braces in the past. It might not re-set each year the same way it does with, say, your typical annual allowable amounts.


Even Without Insurance, Invisalign is Accessible

Let’s say you don’t have any dental insurance (which isn’t uncommon these days) or you know for a fact that your orthodontic benefits cut off at a certain age. In cash-pay situations where you’re paying for your Invisalign out of pocket, there are still ways to make the experience as affordable as possible.

The majority of our Raleigh Invisalign patients choose the monthly financing option. This particular payment plan essentially lets you finance the costs of your invisible braces treatment on a month to month basis for the duration of your treatment. You might pay a down payment to get started, with the remaining portion financed out.

Third party payment plans are also available. Depending on the one you choose and what your credit history is like, you can typically get same-day approval with low or 0% interest financing. Most 0% interest options require paying off the balance within a set time period, such as 6, 12, or 18 months, otherwise an interest fee is applied.

What About Flex Spending/Health Savings Accounts?

Do you utilize a pre-taxed health savings account or flex spending card? If so, you’re probably used to using it on medications or co-pays, but maybe not the dentist’s office. Well, if you’re planning to get invisible braces and already know how much your treatment will cost, you can put that pre-taxed money into your health savings account and then use it to pay for your orthodontic therapy.

An HSA card works similar to a debit card. You pay for your Invisalign (or any other dental treatment) the same way you would in any other debit card setting. The balance is paid for in full, so that you don’t have to worry about making any payments on your clear braces for the rest of your treatment.


You’ll Save Time with Invisalign, Too

Time is money, right? When you’re taking off work to make extra appointments with orthodontic specialists or having to go through a multi-step process of starting your Invisalign process, you’re also losing money (just in a different way.)

The good news is that our Raleigh Invisalign patients get to enjoy shorter, fewer visits for their invisible braces treatment. In most cases we can plan to see you for about 15-20 minutes every other month(ish.) We’ll also work with your personal schedule to accommodate appointment needs around family and work commitments. That’s not always the case at some dental or orthodontic specialty practices.

When you save time, you save money on top of your affordable treatment costs. It’s a win-win.


Why are You Still Waiting? 

Raleigh Dental Arts offers affordable options to make Invisalign a reality for yourself or your teen. The advantages of clear braces systems help you enhance your oral health while putting your best face forward.

Get itemized, individual pricing on your Invisalign treatment by scheduling a consultation at our Raleigh practice. Call today to get started.

Tarun Agarwal

Dr. Tarun Agarwal, DDS is considered one of the top dentists in the country. He is a recognized speaker, author, and dental leader. He has been featured on CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and News 14 Carolina. Dr. Agarwal has been awarded '40 under 40' Business Leaders by the Triangle Business Journal. He is regularly invited to teach other dentists around the world and recently built a training center within the practice dedicated to sharing his expertise. Most importantly he is a loving husband and dedicated father of three wonderful children. His biggest accolade was being voted 'Best Dad in the World' by 2 of his 3 kids.