Is Invisalign Cheaper Than Braces? Maybe, Possibly, Here’s All You Need To Know

Is Invisalign Cheaper Than Braces?

When researching options for straightening teeth, consumers may find wide variations in pricing and treatment duration. While this can seem confusing, particularly for people trying to establish if treatment is within their current budget, significant variances account for the fact that every dental procedure is unique to the individual.

Despite this, orthodontic services may not be as expensive or out of reach as people think, so we’ve put together some general information about how treatment prices stack up to others.

Why opt for transparent aligners?

Clear aligners like Invisalign are most people’s preferred way to straighten teeth. They’re more lifestyle-friendly than traditional braces and can sometimes be the cheaper, quicker way to achieve clients’ goals when their needs are more cosmetic.

If the patient has more complex needs, their clear aligner therapy may be more expensive than braces.

For this reason, it’s best to consider the proper treatment for your needs rather than just looking for cheap Invisalign and orthodontic treatments.

What is Invisalign? Are They Like Braces?

Invisalign is the (1) leading brand of clear aligners. Transparent aligners are soft plastic devices that are worn over the teeth to move them into place gently. The aligners are also known as ‘trays.’

They’re almost invisible when in the mouth, which adds to their popularity. For many patients, the stigma around wearing metal braces is nearly as bad as their insecurities about their crooked teeth.

Invisalign and other clear aligners are removable. They need to be worn for most of the day – around 22 hours is optimal – but can be taken out to eat, drink and brush teeth.

Braces are wire-based devices that are attached to the teeth2. Braces are the only way to effectively correct their teeth, mouth, or jaw issues for some patients with complex dental needs or conditions.

Braces are worn 24/7 and can be uncomfortable at times, particularly when they’ve been adjusted. Wearers typically have to modify their oral health routine and avoid certain food types like popcorn nuts and sticky sweets.

Because people have to eat and drink with their braces on, it’s easy for food to get stuck in between the brackets and wiring and can be difficult to dislodge.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Invisalign?

Invisalign and other types of clear aligner therapy are very popular for several reasons.

  • They’re discreet, making them appealing for patients of all ages who may feel self-conscious about wearing more obvious devices like fixed braces.
  • They’re generally more comfortable to wear than braces – Invisalign still utilizes pressure to move teeth physically, but it harnesses natural forces3 rather than enforces tooth movement
  • There are no limitations on the food or drink Invisalign patients can enjoy as long as they follow the instructions for removal and put the aligners back after meals.
  • Treatment time is often quicker for Invisalign than it is for traditional orthodontic options like braces.
  • There are fewer trips to the dentist required during Invisalign treatment.

Of course, no treatment is risk-free, and there are some downsides to Invisalign:

  • They’re not suitable for all patients – there are still some tooth, mouth, and jaw conditions that can only be corrected with braces and more specialized orthodontic intervention.
  • They require more patient compliance surrounding wearing them for the recommended hours each day.
  • Some patients still need ‘attachments’ on some of their teeth to help their clear aligners stay in place. These attachments are made from tooth-colored enamel, so they are still relatively discreet but can make Invisalign treatment more noticeable.
  • Invisalign may be more expensive than braces for the more complex cases, and health insurance coverage will vary.

Is It Possible To Get Cheap Invisalign?

Invisalign treatment starts at around $3000 but can cost up to $8000. The average treatment cost is $3000 – $5000. By comparison, braces start at about $2000 though they may cost up to $6000.

Why the price swing?

Because every case is different, there is no one-size-fits-all fee.

For example, a patient with minor teeth crowding who is predominantly seeking treatment for cosmetic purposes will usually pay significantly less than someone who has a severe tooth, mouth or jaw condition requiring specialist treatment.

The good news is that some health insurance policies will wholly or partially cover Invisalign and other clear aligner therapies the same way they cover braces.

Coverage can help bring down the cost and make patients feel like they’re getting cheap Invisalign treatment.

However, it is important to check individual insurance plan details, as some will have a lifetime maximum for orthodontic treatment. There may also be refunds and deductibles based on percentages or specific dollar amounts that apply to plans.

If a patient doesn’t have insurance or it doesn’t cover orthodontics, they may still be able to get cheap Invisalign by applying for monthly repayments. Many financial providers offer flexible plans with no down payment.

The Invisalign website4 has excellent information about paying for treatment and checking for health or dental insurance eligibility.

Is Invisalign The Right Choice For You?

In general, Invisalign and other clear aligner treatments are growing in popularity, but it isn’t for everyone – and not just because some patients have more complex needs.

People who don’t follow the instructions for wearing and caring for their clear aligners can end up spending more and prolonging their treatment duration.

Instead, clear aligners are great for people who:

  • Can be trusted to look after their aligners – The aligner trays are removable, which means they’re also easy to misplace. While switching back to previous trays won’t make much of a difference to overall results for short periods, losing clear aligners can get expensive and impact treatment effectiveness if it happens too often.


  • Can be trusted to be compliant – Clear aligners like Invisalign are recommended to be worn for 20-22 hours a day, every day. It’s ok to leave them out for longer from time to time – for example, someone attending a wedding or more extended event might opt to leave them out until they get home – but they need to be worn consistently for the recommended time to achieve the desired results.

It is important to remember that some tooth, mouth, and jaw conditions require more complex orthodontic treatment, and not every patient who wants a straighter smile can use clear aligner therapy.

Are There Alternatives To Invisalign?

Invisalign is just one of many brands of orthodontic devices that supply clear aligners. It is a rapidly growing industry, so patients should shop around to find the clear aligner brand that suits their needs and budget.

Other in-clinic aligners

Many dental clinics will offer a choice of brands to their patients; for example, ClearCorrect is another popular brand of clear aligners. Made in the USA, the prices start from $2500, making them more comparable to traditional braces for patients looking for cheap Invisalign alternatives.

At-home (direct to consumer) aligners

It’s also possible to go online shopping for clear aligners – several companies offer in-home teeth straightening with no visit to the dentist required.

Patient suitability is assessed via impressions that patients typically take themselves and return to the company of their choice.

Home transparent aligner companies have dental professionals on staff who will review the impressions and map out a recommended treatment plan

if the patient is a suitable candidate for their product. Everything the patient needs is sent to them, and there’s no need for ongoing dental visits during the treatment.

At-home clear aligners start from as little as $1145,5 though they can be even cheaper if patients take up a special offer at the time of purchase. The impression kit usually comes off the cost of treatment and is refundable should the person not be eligible for teeth straightening using clear aligners.

Byte, AlignerCo, Smile Direct Club and Candid are some of the most popular options, and there are many online reviews available to help patients choose the best treatment for them.

Cheap Invisalign: The Final Word

People often cringe when considering dental treatments, expecting to pay lots of money to achieve their desired results. However, orthodontic treatment is not as expensive as you might think.

Advances in technology and competition in a growing market have made many choices for patients considering Invisalign, braces, and other teeth-straightening therapies.

With so many options available, patients are sure to find the teeth-straightening solution that gives them plenty to smile about.


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