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How Much Does Invisalign Cost Without Insurance?

By Edited Nov 20, 2015 0 0

For anyone wanting a modern approach to straighten their teeth without a mouthful of metal, Invisalign is an attractive option. This clean plastic substitute for traditional metal braces especially appeals to teens and adults who want to keep a low profile, but how much do they cost? Here is a look at what you can expect to pay to perfect the alignment of your teeth with and without dental insurance plans.

Average Cost of Invisalign

The most common price range of Invisalign is between $3,500 and $8,000, with an average total cost in the neighborhood of $5,000 [1]. Again, this average is in the ballpark of metal braces, so they compare pretty well. The biggest factor on cost is how long you need to wear them. Simple cases that require only a few months of wear typically cost more like $3,000 - $4,000, where treatments lasting a year or more creep up into that $5,000 and over range.

These prices are for the entire treatment, and can be considered the 'average' cost of invisalign without insurance.

Where as you can includes several of the smooth plastic aligners that you will switch every two weeks or so to gradually move your teeth into position. In addition to the aligners, these average prices include all of the necessary exams, models, and x-rays that are needed along the way, so this is a total cost.

Other factors that may impact your cost include the experience level of your dentist or orthodontist, the financing option plan that you have gone for, the city the dentist office is located in, and the supply of dentists that perform the treatment in your area.

Invisalign Price - With Vs Without Insurance - $500

The average payout that dental insurance offers for the Invisalign treatment is $500 (Invisalign Patient Survery, 2010). So although you won't know the exact price for your specific treatment until you have a (usually free) consultation with your Invisalign provider, the difference in price will be roughly 10 to 20% of the price. So if they state it will cost you $5000, knock $500 off if you have insurance, so it will be $4500 and if you don't, it will still cost you the $5000.

 

How to Pay for Invisalign

There are some good ways to make the total cost of treatment affordable. While most dental insurance plans will cover Invisalign at the same level as common braces, if you don’t have insurance there are other ways to plan for the event and afford treatment.One way is to watch for specials. Believe it or not, there may be promotions or even Groupons that will help you save on out-of-pocket expenses.

If you have access to a workplace flexible spending account, or FSA, this allows you to contribute pre-tax dollars to be used for medical or dental care during the year. This would be one tool that you can use to plan for a future expense and save some money. A health savings account, or HSA, is a similar option. If you don’t have an HSA, you can easily set one up if your health plan qualifies and you can contribute now for tax-free payments to your dentist later. Just make sure to follow the rules of your FSA or HSA to be tax-compliant.

Your dentist or orthodontist is likely to offer a payment plan, especially for orthodontic work, so this is another way to get some help. It’s possible to get treatment for as little as $200 per month this way (and in many cases much less).

Does Insurance Cover Invisalign?

Generally speaking, yes they will at the very least cover part of the pice of Invisalign. As above though it depends on several factors such as which dental insurance plan you have in place, how much damage there is to your teeth (and thereby how expensive it is). The only way to check for sure is to communicate directly with your health insurance company.

"In general, if a patient has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign should be covered to the same extent as conventional braces." [2]

From the survey that Invisalign conducted themselves back in 2010 a quarter of patients [3] at least received some sort of coverage from their insurance companies. However, although there aren't exact figures, those numbers have though to have increased (along with the average amount of coverage which was $500) and will carry on so into 2014 and 2015.

Invisalign Vs Metal Braces

Invisalign Cost without Insurance
Many people who comparison shop the cost of metal braces to the modern Invisalign system will find that they compare very well. In fact, since most dental cases are modest adjustments like crowding, spacing issues, or a slight crossbite, overbite, or underbite, you may even find the cost is the same. Where this can differ is when extensive time is required to correct alignment. In this case, metal braces may become a cheaper alternative, albeit one with certain disadvantages.

Invisalign offers some nice advantages over metal braces. For one, they are nearly invisible, so it’s pretty easy to hide them from a casual observer. The look is much more natural than the silver metallic look of standard braces. In addition, you can take Invisalign out of your mouth when you eat and to brush your teeth, which means that keeping your teeth clean and healthy is much easier. It also means you can eat whatever you like. With braces, there are certain sticky or hard-to-clean foods you should just avoid.

Getting the Smile You Want

You can get a great smile without metal brackets or wires, and people won’t even know. Since the cost of the comfortable and removable Invisalign treatment is often the same as traditional braces, it’s certainly worth checking out.

Invisalign Cost With No Insurance Review

Let's take a look at a typical example of how someone could finance Invisalign without insurance. For this example we will take the average cost of Invisalign which is said to be at the $5000 mark (obviously this could be much more or much less, about the same price as your typical metal brace). No insurance covers the cost, but you can utilize your FSA of $2500, so the cost is $2500 to you and this should generally be at a 0% interest rate level.

Now over a 12 month period it will cost you just over $200 at $208, over 18 months a $139 and finally over 24 months at $104. My advice is if you can get it at a 0% interest rate always go for the max term period as you save money in real terms (due to inflation) and works out to be cheaper for you.

You basically have a list of 6 important aspects to think about:

1. What is the cost of the Invisalign Treatment? This will be discussed by you with the dentist in the consultation.

2. How much of the cost will be covered by insurance? If you don't have any, then that's completely fine.

3. What will the flexible spending amount be (FSA)? You are allowed a max of two thousand five hundred dollars and five thousand if you are married. Again, zero is fine.

4. Will you be putting in a down payment? If you have said no to both questions #2 and #3, it is best to put a fairly decent down payment to negotiate flexible payment plan terms.

5. What is the term of payment? Will it be over a 24 month stretch, more or less. Like I said above, if you can get the interest rate at 0% from a financial perspective it is best to get it over as longer a term period as possible.

6. What is the interest rate for the Invisalign treatment you have negotiated? Usually dental practices offer it at zero percent, but sometimes they will ask for something very low like 0.25%.

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Bibliography

  1. "Invisalign Pricing." Wikipedia. 17/04/2014 <Web >
  2. "Will my insurance cover Invisalign?." Invisalign. 17/04/2014 <Web >
  3. Invisalign Patient Survey. San Jose, Survey: Invisalign, 2010.

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