Dental Aligners Cost – Discover How to Save Money
If you require what is known to be rather expensive dental work, sometimes the cost can be off-putting.
So, how much do dental aligners cost?
The cost of dental aligners is hard to predict, they can range from $2825 to $10,000. This depends on a number of key factors.
These include the length and complexity of the procedure (that is, how many teeth are involved) and who you choose to do the treatment for you.
Today I will talk about why dental aligners cost so much and discuss whether any Dentist can create aligners for you or only an orthodontist.
I will touch on how many adjustments need to be made to Invisalign aligners, as well as discuss how many ongoing dental visits you are going to need to make, and how much these will cost.
There is also another company called Smile Direct Club, which provides aligners at a much lower price point. I’ll take a look at them as well.
Note: All dental information in his post has been referenced and confirmed by our resident Dentist, Dr Veronica Roller. As we don’t know your personal situation, it is advisable and recommended to seek direct advice and consultation with your dentist before deciding on a course of action.
Why Do Aligners Cost So Much
Many people take into consideration the cost to undergo dental treatments, such as aligners.
They may be disheartened by the price, and it may put them off having the procedure performed.
Well, the price of dental aligners does range a lot, from $2825 all the way up to $10, 000.
This will vary due to many factors, including;
- The materials and tools required for the different treatment options (i.e. metal and lingual braces, or clear aligners)
- How complex the procedure is, including how many teeth are involved, which impacts how long it will take.
- Which company, Dentist or Orthodontist you choose to do the treatment.
So, what should you expect to pay for your treatment?
To clarify, most people refer to clear aligners as Invisalign – they are a clear material that is;
- Designed to the shape of your teeth, to gradually straighten them.
- Practically invisible, making them favoured by those who feel nervous at the thought of receiving other types of orthodontic treatments.
Clear aligners are one of the less expensive types of orthodontic treatment options.
There are 2 main reasons why this is;
Average costs in Australia can vary by state, but your Invisalign treatment can cost anywhere from $5000 to $10,000 for an entire 18 to the 24-month procedure.
The more limited treatments (i.e. those that involve only some teeth) may cost a lot less than this.
More complex treatments that take more time and require more trays may cost more than this.
Dental Cost Calculator
We have used our Dental Cost Calculator to find the average cost for an Invisalign Treatment.
This free tool is great because you search either by dental treatment, Symptom or by Item code, making it simple to compare the average cost of any dental treatment, Australia wide.
This is the average price only, some Dentist may charge more or less.
NSW Invisalign Average Cost – Per Arch
TAS Invisalign Average Cost – Per Arch
ACT Invisalign Average Cost – Per Arch
Can Any Dentist Create These Aligners for You?
Any general Dentist can create Invisalign retainers for you.
They do not have to be an orthodontist – they must, however, have undertaken a tertiary course in the procedure.
If they have not had the proper training they can get in a lot of trouble.
The course a Dentist must complete to be able to perform Invisalign procedures can be done in two days.
It is just another course added on top of the qualifications they already have – so it does not take too long, as they already know what they are doing.
Invisalign is really still created by the company as well.
So, what happens is the Dentist will send Invisalign the scan of your teeth.
Off this scan, Invisalign will create the aligners for you, that are able to fix your problem.
These aligners are sent back to the Dentist, who will give you a supply of about three months of boxes.
After these run out, you will go back to the Dentist.
They will then give you the rest of the boxes, which will have about another 12 – 15 weeks’ supply (depending on your particular case).
So, what is happening as your teeth are moving into shape, you are constantly getting new aligners.
Can Only an Orthodontist Create Aligners for You?
No, any Dentist that has undertaken the relevant training can create some treatments that are to do with orthodontics for you, such as invisible braces (Invisalign).
However, there are others that must be created by an orthodontist, such as;
- Metal and lingual braces.
How Many Adjustments Need to be Made
Your Dentist will advise you when the aligners need to be changed around.
You will need to revisit their clinic so this can be done again.
You might be asked to do so every week – it really depends upon your teeth.
I will discuss exactly how this works in more detail under the sub-heading below.
How Many Ongoing Dental Visits Do You Need to Make
This kind of depends upon your circumstances – that is, where you are at with the treatment, and how wonky your teeth are.
But at the beginning of the treatment, you will be given three months supply of aligners.
This means that, at this point in time, you will only need to go back to your Dentist every three months.
However, when you get towards the end of the treatment, your Dentist might start asking you to return a lot.
You may have to go back into their Clinic once every few weeks. This will just to be so they can make sure that you are on the right track.
So, it is all a case by case basis, that will be determined by your Dentist.
How Much are These Ongoing Visits
Relax – you will not get charged per visit.
Basically, for the entire treatment, there is one big fee.
The Dentist will usually ask you to pay upfront a portion of that fee – which is generally half of the total cost.
Then, when you go in for each treatment, you will just pay off the difference – that is, making additional payments towards the cost of the whole treatment.
So, when you return for more treatments, you will just be making payments until the price you were quoted initially is paid off in full.
Smile Direct Club – Another Aligner Option
If you have searched ‘cost of dental aligners’ you may have seen ads for a company called Smile Direct Club.
They provide a clear aligner treatment which includes several sets of “tight-fitting, custom-made, BPA-free clear plastic trays that gradually shift teeth into their desired position”.
Smile Direct Club state that they can offer “clear aligners for up to 60% less than braces”.
This is based on “price comparison between treatment with SmileDirectClub aligners (single payment of $2,825) and $7,000 total cost for an 18-month treatment using traditional orthodontics for a patient with low to moderate crowding”.
$2825 for the total treatment does sound very appealing and a lot of people have started using this product.
Below is the Smile Direct Club 3 step process in short;
Invisalign Vs Smile Direct Club
Besides the price difference, which can be considerable, there is another main important distinct difference between these two aligner providers.
Invisalign is controlled and operated by an Invisalign trained Dentist or Orthodontist.
Your Dentist will take photos, X-rays, and either impressions or a scan of your teeth.
These records will be used to make a 3D treatment plan, referred to as the ClinCheck treatment plan, which will be used to design the custom-made Invisalign aligners.
Depending on your situation, you are likely to spend more time at the Dentist as you progress with your Invisalign treatment.
In my mind, this is a good thing.
Yes, it may be frustrating to turn up every week or every second week (as you progress with the treatment) but you are getting direct consultation with your Dentist. Peace of mind really.
Smile Direct Club on the other hand offers a registered dentist or Orthodontist who’s assigned to you and provides virtual checkups.
But there is a difference.
Smile Direct Club focuses on reducing the amount of time you need to spend at the dentist, making it more an ‘at home’ service, where the company sends you the clear aligners directly to you.
You can see from the image above that it probably will save you some time (and money) using Smile Direct Club over Invisalign, but not all teeth can be fixed using the Smile’s aligning method.
If you do have low to mild crowding than Smile Direct Club could be an option which is fairly affordable.
In terms of who’s better, they are quite different and offer very different treatment and service.
Invisalign although, has been around for over 20 years and were the pioneers in the market space. Something to consider.
I’d check in with your Dentist first before choosing either company and running through all the dental options available.
Clear Dental Aligners Continued
Invisalign held the monopoly on clear Dental Aligners throughout the world.
However, since October 2017 some 40 key patents expired, opening the competitive dental door.
There are now a host of dental companies providing clear aligners to customers across Australia.
Below is a list of other clear aligner companies that you may find of interest;
The cost of dental aligners varies quite a lot – anywhere from $5000 up to $10,000.
This price is generally based on a standard treatment for clear, Invisalign aligners.
However, the price can fluctuate a bit, especially if your teeth don’t need a whole lot of fixing.
Before you start Invisalign, you will be quoted one big fee, that covers the entire procedure.
Normally, the Dentist will ask you to pay only part of that cost before they start the work – typically half of the total price.
Then, every time you visit, you will just be paying off the remaining difference, until the cost for the treatment is paid in full.
There are other companies, such as Smile Direct Club, who offer clear dental aligners at a much lower price point.
A total of $2825 straight up or a monthly price with works out to be $3155 (as quoted by Smile Direct Club).
This can look very appealing but make sure you do your research and investigate all options when considering dental aligners.
There will be limitations on how effective these clear aligners can be, which ultimately is dependent on how crowded your teeth are.
You also have a choice of many other different dental treatment options that require different materials, such as; Retainer plates, or Metal and lingual braces.
These types of treatments can only be created by an orthodontist, so are more costly.
If you want to know more, we have a whole blog that is based on crooked teeth and the benefits of Invisalign.
Do you have any other questions about dental aligners?
By Andrew Adams
Created at October 12, 2020, Updated at October 12, 2021