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Cost Comparison: Invisalign vs. Braces



There was a time when the only corrective option for crooked teeth, overbites, and other alignment issues was metal braces. Invisalign provides a more aesthetically pleasing opportunity for people who needed dental correction. Invisalign is different from traditional braces because the device that is used to draw the teeth into alignment is made from clear plastic. The alignment device is also removable. Patients who are attempting to decide between traditional braces and Invisalign often wonder about the associated costs. Several factors can affect the value of each option.

Initial Procedures

The initial cost of Invisalign is higher than what is required for traditional braces. This is because patients must undergo a detailed three-dimensional (3D) scanning process that creates an exact digital model of the teeth. This model is used to manufacture a progression of custom devices that are used to move the teeth into alignment throughout the treatment. Traditional braces are less expensive in this area because standard forms of dental imaging can be used.

Correction Type

The cost of Invisalign depends on the amount of correction that is needed. Invisalign is not able to correct severe overbites or misalignments. The cost of Invisalign increases concerning how far out of alignment the teeth are. This can cause the price of a complete Invisalign treatment to be five or more times the cost of traditional braces. Combination treatments that start with conventional braces and end with Invisalign are far more expensive than using a single method.

Dentist Or Orthodontist

The professional that will be overseeing the dental correction will make a difference in the final cost. Both a dentist and an orthodontist can fit a patient for Invisalign. An orthodontist will provide effective long-term care during the correction process. An orthodontist also increases the price of the treatment because of specialized training. A dentist will cost less than an orthodontist in most cases. A dentist can handle most situations and will be able to extract teeth as needed during the correction process. A dentist might have to refer patients to an orthodontist, however, if complications occur.


The length of time that the Invisalign or metal braces are worn will affect the overall cost of the treatment. Invisalign tends to take a longer time than traditional braces. The amount of time required can be significantly longer if the teeth are badly misaligned. Traditional braces usually need less time than Invisalign to straighten the teeth.

Overall Cost

Most people who require a dental correction for a problem like an overbite that is visible will find that Invisalign costs more than traditional braces. Individuals who have minor issues such as a small gap or minute misalignment will find that Invisalign treatments are either the same price or less expensive than traditional braces. This cost comparison might be very different in some regions of the country where the rates for orthodontic and dental procedures are much higher or lower than national averages.