Are your crooked and misaligned teeth getting you down, but you feel hesitant to wear metal or ceramic braces? If so, there is an innovative alternative, one of the most popular methods for correcting teeth alignment issues – Invisalign. More than 11 million people worldwide, including many in Sydney, have received life-changing smiles courtesy of Invisalign. If this sounds like the treatment you want for your orthodontic issues, you’ll probably want to learn more about Invisalign costs.
Costs can be difficult to address since it depends on numerous factors we will explore later in this article. However, to give you a ballpark figure, patients can expect to pay on average around $4,500 for minor treatment. A full treatment can cost between $6000 and $9000. These prices are just to give you an average guide across Australia, but be aware that treatment in Sydney is expected to be at the top end of the scale. If you find the cost prohibitive, the good news is that there are Invisalign alternatives that come with a lower price tag which we’ll also touch on. But before we delve into those, let’s take a look at Invisalign treatment in a bit more detail.
What Is Invisalign?
As the name suggests, Invisalign stands for invisible aligners. This revolutionary orthodontic system is a virtually invisible method of straightening crooked teeth and closing gaps. Instead of having brackets glued to the surface of teeth as with conventional braces, Invisalign uses aligners shaped like mouthguards made from a flexible and transparent acrylic material. Promoted as the clear alternative to braces, Invisalign is an ideal choice for people who want a discreet and almost unnoticeable way to correct their teeth without the look of metal (“train track”) braces.
Dentists recommend the Invisalign alternative to traditional orthodontic treatments for minor to moderate misalignments and malocclusion.
Fascinating Invisalign Facts
- Stanford University student Zia Chishti came up with the idea for Invisalign during the 1990s after undergoing fixed braces treatment.
- He formed a company with three other students, spending a year perfecting the technology. Invisalign received FDA approval in 1998.
- The aligners are nearly invisible, so hardly anyone will know you’re wearing them.
- Invisalign can treat numerous orthodontic issues such as widely spaced teeth, overcrowding, deep bite, underbite and crossbite.
- There are no brackets or wires, so there is less chance of gum or mouth irritation.
- Before treatment starts, you will know how long it takes and what the results will look like.
How Does Invisalign Straighten Teeth?
The aligners are individually manufactured to your teeth and are designed to fit snugly over them. Each aligner (or tray) is worn for approximately two weeks before being replaced by the following set, which will have a slightly tighter fit. The aligner trays apply gentle pressure on the teeth, moving them in the right direction a little bit at a time.
The treatment is a multi-stage process, so here’s what you can expect from start to finish:
- Step one: The initial consultation where the dentist/orthodontist examines your mouth and asks about your cosmetic dentistry goals. They will then tell you if Invisalign is right for you. It may not be suitable for some people, i.e. those with severely rotated teeth (more than 20 degrees) or teeth with short clinical crowns. If this is you, the dentist will suggest some alternatives. You can find out more about Invisalign alternatives later in the article.
- Step two: The next step is taking impressions of your teeth to create the custom aligners, which may happen during the initial consultation. X-rays, dental impressions, photographs and a 3D digital scan are taken of your teeth. These are then sent to the Invisalign laboratory, where they’ll make your customised aligner trays with a state-of-the-art printing process.
- Step three: It usually takes a few weeks to complete the trays, and once ready, they’ll be sent to your dentist for collection. The number of aligners you require will depend on your treatment plan. Before taking your aligners home, your dentist will show you how to put them on.Note that your dentist may need to fit small attachments on your teeth to help the trays stay in place.
- Step four: You wear the aligners as directed, typically changing them every two weeks.
- Step five: There is no need to visit a dentist every time you change aligners, and you should start seeing results in a matter of weeks. However, during the course of your Invisalign treatment, you will need at least a couple of follow-up appointments to check everything is progressing as planned.
- Step six: At the end of the treatment,the resukt should be a straighter, healthier smile. Depending on the complexity of the orthodontic issue, it is possible to finish treatment in six months, but on average, treatment takes around twelve months.
How Invisalign Differs From Traditional Braces
There are several differences between Invisalign and traditional braces in how they look, function and are maintained. Here’s a handy comparison guide:
|No restrictions when you remove aligners to eat and drink.
|Some foods are not allowed. Chewy, sticky and hard foods can damage brackets, wires and rubber bands.
|Rinse regularly, soak often and maintain good oral hygiene.
|Regular check-ups and adjustments.
|Very easy. Remove aligners to brush and floss as usual.
|Tricky and may require special care.
|Metal or ceramic
|Applies a gentle, comfortable pressure
|Puts more pressure on teeth that some people find uncomfortable.
As you can see from the table above, the differences are significant. Traditional braces work by attaching brackets to the front of teeth through which archwires are threaded. As the wires are tightened, they apply pressure to the teeth shifting them toward their correct position. Once the braces have been fixed on your teeth, they are worn for the duration of the treatment.
Invisalign aligners also apply pressure to the teeth to gradually move them, but this is where the similarities with regular braces end. Invisalign treatment is a multi-stage process with removable aligners worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day. A typical treatment can involve anywhere from 12 to 40+ custom-designed aligners (depending on the patient’s orthodontic needs) worn in a specific sequence. Each one is designed to move the teeth a maximum of about 0.25 to 0.3 mm over two weeks. At the end of this period, the aligner is discarded, and a new one is worn.
Eventually, you will have beautiful straight teeth once the last aligner has been worn and discarded.
Invisalign Availability in Sydney City/Suburbs
If you are looking for Invisalign treatment in Sydney, you won’t have too far to travel. Providers are located right across the central and metropolitan areas, and finding them is easy. Simply go to Invisalign’s website and use the search tool on the right-hand side of the home page. Tap in your postcode or ‘Sydney’ to find providers near where you’re based. You can then use the filter tool to refine your search by criteria such as the provider’s experience and proximity to you.
Invisalign Cost Versus Other Braces Cost in the City
There is no one-size-fits-all cost for Invisalign treatment. It varies from one individual to another as every smile, mouth and orthodontic need is different. The Invisalign price in Sydney can range from $6,000 – $9,000. While this is more expensive than many other clear aligners out there, it is worth pointing out that Invisalign is the oldest and most established name in the clear aligner field, with a history that stretches back to 1997.
If you’re looking to improve your teeth and smile aesthetics and find this cost beyond your budget, keep in mind that your treatment could fall outside this range. Therefore, it’s a good idea to book an appointment with a dentist to see how much it would cost to treat your condition. If the price point is still too high, you might want to consider the numerous other clear aligner options available to Sydney residents. Prices can be considerably cheaper and range from $1,499 (SmilePath) to between $3,000 and $6,500 (Clear Correct).
Let us suggest an alternative!
Invisalign might be one of the most effective options for teeth straightening, but it may not always fit your budget or even convenience. Invisalign is an in-office clear aligner brand that requires you to make regular office visits.
If you wish to stay away from spending long hours trapped inside a dentist’s office, we can recommend you some affordable and effective at-home aligner brands.
Blending affordability and comfort: SmilePath
SmilePath offers the most affordable clear aligners for just $1499. Besides, they also have a NightOnly treatment option which gives you the convenience of wearing your clear aligners for only 8 to 10 hours while you sleep.
So, if you are in search of a treatment option that promises to go easy on your pockets while being effective, we recommend you consult your dentist and check your eligibility for SmilePath’s clear aligners.
Modernizing teeth straightening: Byte
Don’t care if your treatment is expensive and just want the quickest way to fix your teeth? Don’t worry we have got you here. Byte uses a vibration device known as HyperByte to fasten up the process of your treatment.
Byte’s clear aligners do cost more than the other at-home aligner brands as it offers them for $2749 which can be a lot for some people, but it also provides modern solutions for your teeth to heal faster.
Factors That Affect Invisalign Cost
To get a better understanding of Invisalign costs, here are some of the key factors that will affect the price you pay:
The Complexity of Treatment: Unlike many at-home aligners, Invisalign can treat virtually the entire range of orthodontic issues. If you only need a few teeth straightened or your bite is slightly off, then the treatment will be relatively short and attract a lower cost. However, more complex problems take longer to correct and involve more visits, aligners and additions. Consequently, the bill will be higher.
Dentist’s/Orthodontist’s Experience: Dentists are no different from professionals in many other fields when it comes to charging for their services. The most experienced and qualified tend to charge more than those with less experience.
Top tip: When searching for Invisalign providers on Invisalign’s website – you can use the handy filter tool to return the most experienced dentists/orthodontists first.
Office Location: If your dental clinic is located in a high-cost neighbourhood with higher rents, you can expect to pay more than if the clinic is situated in a more affordable area. As a general rule of thumb, Invisalign treatments will be more expensive in the city centre than in the suburbs.
Aftercare Retainers: Even after you’ve completed your treatment and achieved your dream smile, you will need to wear aftercare retainers until teeth eventually stabilise. (Some providers include retainers in their Invisalign treatment packages). They’re designed to stop teeth’s natural tendency to shift. Retainers are required for all forms of orthodontic treatment. They’re not unique to Invisalign.
Refinements: While your personalised treatment plan is designed with great care, there could be hitches along the way, or you may decide to make small changes once you’ve seen the results. In these situations, your dentist can order refinements, i.e., more aligners to fine-tune your smile. This is one reason why regular dental visits are essential during treatment because it allows for a continuous evaluation of your progress. Adjustments can then be made as and when they’re necessary.
Patient Cooperation: Every Invisalign patient will receive guidance on how to wear their aligners and when to wear them. Typically, this will be for more than 20 hours per day. However, if patients don’t closely follow all instructions and don’t wear aligners as directed, they may find it takes longer for their teeth to straighten. This may mean more aligners will be needed, which will affect the overall price.
Affordable Invisalign Alternatives in Sydney
Earlier in this article, we briefly mentioned Invisalign alternatives, companies that provide more affordable clear aligner treatments. Here is a closer look at some of the other options available to you if you live in and around Sydney.
Byte is a brand of removable, barely visible at-home aligners that can treat crowded teeth, gaps between teeth, minor overbite and underbite. Your Byte treatment is monitored 100% remotely by a registered Australian dentist, and unlike Invisalign, you’ll never have to visit a dentist’s office.
Every customer receives a HyperByte®, Byte’s dental movement acceleration device that utilises high-frequency vibrations. According to the company, it is designed to cut treatment times in half and reduce discomfort.
The device is placed in the mouth while your aligners are in. Once the self-timer starts, it lasts for about five minutes, and when this has elapsed, the HyperByte is taken out. The device is rechargeable and should be used every day.
Byte has two treatment plans: All-day aligners and At-night aligners.
- All-day aligners are worn for 22 hours a day, and prices start at $2,749. You can also pay by 30 monthly instalments of $57 or 24 monthly instalments of $53.
- At-night aligners are for patients who prefer not to be tied to their aligners during the day. Byte recommends 10+ hours of continuous wear per night. Prices start from $3,399. You can also pay by 30 monthly instalments of $68 or 24 monthly instalments of $65.
EZ Smile has one of the lowest prices in Sydney for home aligner treatments, with prices starting at $2,149. Like many other similar treatments, EZ Smile aligners are for moderate cases of crowding and spacing. EZ’s dental team will need an impression of your teeth to create the aligners. You can order an impression kit to make moulds of your teeth at home or book an appointment for a 3D scan at your nearest centre. Once EZ receives your scan or mould, they’ll send you a personalised treatment plan for approval. If you love what you see, you place your order, and they’ll start making your aligners.
The aligners are made using a smooth, high-quality BPA-free plastic and should be worn for 20+ hours a day and two to three weeks before moving to the next aligner.
EZ Smile offers several payment plans, including 12 monthly payments of $179.08 and 24 monthly payments of $89.54.
SmilePath is one of the most affordable home aligner treatments on the market, with prices starting at $1,499 for a one-time payment. You can also pay by 18 monthly instalments of $84 or 12 monthly instalments of $117 (plus a $295 down payment).
The treatment is entirely remote, with no physical locations. To get started, you can order a teeth impression kit ($55) to take your dental impression at home. Send it back to SmilePath for the dental team to create your customised aligners.
According to the SmilePath website, typical treatment times are four to six months based on wearing aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day and ten days before changing them for the next set.
SmilePath also offers nighttime aligners worn for eight to ten hours a night. The cost is $1599 for a one-time payment, and the average treatment duration is six to eight months. You can also pay by 18 monthly instalments of $89 or 12 monthly instalments of $142 (plus a $299 down payment).
WonderSmile is a safe and effective mail-order clear aligner brand offering day and night clear aligner treatments. The company claims it can resolve issues such as gapped teeth and crowded teeth in as little as six months. Their all-day aligners cost $2,690 for a one-time payment. You can also pay for treatment in $41 weekly instalments with a minimum 20% deposit. Nighttime aligners are also available for $2,760 for a one-time payment or $42 weekly instalments with a 20% deposit.
To start your treatment, WonderSmile’s dental and orthodontics team will need to see your teeth. You can either pop into one of several Sydney clinics for a teeth scan or take impressions of your teeth at home using the company’s DIY mould-making kit. Once WonderSmile has received your scan or impressions, they’ll design your treatment and ship the aligners to you. They’ll also show you a 3D digital model of how your teeth will straighten with their aligners.
Each aligner kit comes with 14 to 18 aligners, and the average treatment time is between six and nine months.
SmileDirect Club was one of the first home aligner brands to appear on the scene in Australia and probably one of the most well known outside of Invisalign. Their treatment claims to give you a straight smile in four to six months if you use the day treatment and around ten months with the night-time clear aligners. This compares to the average time of 18 months with traditional braces.
To get started, book an in-person 3D scan at a SmileClub Sydney clinic (called a SmileShop) or order a $20 at-home impression kit. The money is refunded once the kit is returned. If you have a scan, a SmileGuide takes a 3D image of your current smile, used to create your treatment plan. The appointment will last for approximately 30 minutes.
After an Australian registered dentist or orthodontist has reviewed and approved your custom treatment plan, the aligners are created and shipped out to you. During your treatment, you’ll have regular virtual check-ins with your assigned dentist or orthodontist to review progress.
SmileDirectClub aligners cost $2,825 for a one-time payment, or you can make 24 monthly instalments of $119 with a $299 deposit. Nighttime aligners are also priced at $2,825 for a one-off payment and offer the same 24-monthly payment plan.
More than half a million people have straightened their teeth with ClearCorrect’s aligners. This is probably the brand closest to the Invisalign model and is their closest competitor. The transparent orthodontic devices are made from multi-layer medical-grade plastic, and the cost can be anywhere between $3,000 and $6,500. This is more expensive than many other clear aligner treatments but cheaper than Invisalign, on average. The price will vary depending on the complexity of your orthodontic issue.
To start treatment, you need to book a scan with a ClearCorrect dentist/orthodontist in Sydney. During this appointment, your overall oral health will be assessed. The dentist/orthodontist then works with ClearCorrect to design your personalised treatment plan. When it’s ready, you’ll get to review and approve it. Once your series of aligners are ready, the dentist will check for fit and give you additional instructions based on your plan. Patients are advised to wear their aligners for 22 hours a day.
Invisalign Costs in Sydney: Final Thoughts
If you are investigating custom-clear aligners to straighten teeth Invisalign provides a proven and tested solution – and one that is incredibly discreet. As demonstrated in this guide however, Invisalign doesn’t come cheap and various factors will affect Invisalign’s cost. Therefore if you are looking to straighten teeth and have a limited budget, it’s a good idea to shop around to find the most affordable treatment for you. Most dentists will offer financing plans to help patients spread the cost of their Invisalign treatment over several months or years.
Alternatively, if the brand of clear aligners is not too important to you, choose an Invisalign alternative. We have touched on a few of them in this guide.
Either way, there is no longer any need to wear metal in your mouth for a year or more to correct misaligned teeth. With a little bit of research, you’ll find the discreet aligner treatment that is right for you and your budget.
Finder.com.au – Invisalign Cost in Australia
Candian Dental Association – Clinical Limitations of Invisalign
Healthline – What Are Invisalign Attachments, and how Are They Used?
Interesting Engineering – Who Invented the Invisible Invisalign?
Healthline – Wearing Retainers After Braces – What to Know