Cost of Invisalign vs. Cost of Braces
In our office, we do both Invisalign and traditional braces treatments. Each treatment has its own benefits and negatives. Many people, those who have had great success with Invisalign treatments have commented that they are surprised that the aligners haven’t made metal braces completely irrelevant.
The truth is that while Invisalign and braces can be comparatively priced, depending almost entirely on the individual’s situation, there are still some instances in which metal braces will work better or faster for a patient than the Invisalign aligners will. And because Invisalign relies heavily on patient compliance (meaning that in order to work, the patient actually has to wear their aligners), Invisalign simply is not the right choice for every patient.
Because Dr. Gemmi and Dr. Middleberg administer both treatments, they have the ability to really help their patients find the solution that is best for their teeth and best for their available budget. In cases that we’d deem mild to moderate, we often recommend Invisalign because of its convenience, while in more severe cases, braces are usually the most effective and efficient treatment.
In general, many of these decisions come down to budget—what the patient can or wants to pay for a straighter, more beautiful smile. While the most popular choice is Invisalign, Philadelphia patients may still sometimes choose metal braces when the only difference between the two treatments is cost. Here is a breakdown of common costs and what you might expect to pay with both treatments.
Cost of Invisalign in Philadelphia
Determining how much an Invisalign treatment will cost you comes down to three factors: insurance, flexible spending accounts, and payment plans. Your insurance and flexible spending accounts are usually set, and as long as you have a provider that our office takes, your insurance should pay for some of the cost of braces. Your payment plan, however, is arranged directly with our office and can make getting braces much more affordable. In general, you’ll have your treatment paid for long before the treatment is finished (that might be discouraging, but you’ll be surprised how quickly your treatment is finished).
Many insurance plans will cover up to $3500 of an Invisalign treatment. Most providers see this treatment as equivalent to braces, and so do not make any distinctions when it comes to how much they will or will not pay for the aligners. In order to find out what portion of the treatment your insurance provider would be willing to pay, it’s best to speak to your provider directly or to come in to our office for a consultation. While neither your insurance company nor our office will be able to give you an absolute final percentage of the treatment that the insurance will pay, either can give you a good idea of how much they usually pay for treatments like the one you are considering.
Flexible spending accounts can also help to offset the cost of Invisalign in Philadelphia. You might not have one of these accounts, but if you do, you usually set aside the funds, use them for your treatment, and then apply for reimbursements through the FSA program. This further reduces the cost of your aligners and treatment.
The final aspect of your Invisalign cost are your payment plans. Our office, like most orthodontists’ offices, offers payment plans to our patients, so they can pay off their treatments in monthly installments, instead of all at once. These plans are usually fairly flexible and we have no problem adjusting the payment schedule so that it fits your needs. After insurance and FSA, most people do not find the cost of Invisalign as daunting as it appears to be before factoring in these two things.
When you look online for the cost of Invisalign, Philadelphia residents usually find a number like $5000. While that is the total cost of the treatment, it is very, very rarely what you actually have to pay to get straighter teeth. Even if you do not have a flexible spending account, an insurance provider that is willing to pay up to $3500 of your cost (about 70% of the total price of the treatment) leaves you with only $1500, which is a much more manageable number.
The Cost of Braces
For some patients, braces is the better option. Because they are not removable (except by a qualified orthodontist) they require far less self-discipline, though there is a stricter diet and a more rigorous cleaning regimen that must be observed that if you were to choose Invisalign. The cost of your treatment will depend on how complicated your oral situation is and how long it will take to adjust. In some circumstances, braces may be much less expensive and much faster than Invisalign, if you only need to adjust the position of a few teeth.
However, if you have teeth that need to be rotated, removed, moved a great distance, or a bridge that needs to be expanded, a jaw that needs to be adjusted, etc. braces are the better choice, despite the fact that you will have a longer treatment duration.
Like Invisalign, the average cost of braces is around $5000. However, most patients do not pay that full amount. With insurance and flexible spending accounts and payment plans, metal braces can be a very affordable way to get a straighter smile and a more functional mouth.
Whichever treatment you decide to pursue, consulting Dr. Middleberg or Dr. Gemmi can be a great way to make sure you’ve selected the right solution for your teeth and for your budget.