Invisalign vs. Braces
All Invisalign Not Same
According to the Invisalign website, the national average cost for full Invisalign treatment (done by dentists and orthodontists) is about $5000. The 2007 orthodontic practice study done by the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics showed the national average cost of braces to be $4941 for kids and $5354 for adults for comprehensive treatment.
At first glance, it may seem that there may be little cost difference between Invisalign and traditional braces for kids and that Invisalign treatment may actually be cheaper than braces for adults. However, first it is important to account for who is doing the Invisalign treatment.
Orthodontists will typically charge slightly more for an Invisalign case than a general dentist will. This is because orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth and correcting bites and have undergone additional training in these areas. If you are unsatisfied with your smile after Invisalign treatment, your dentist or orthodontist can make you additional aligners to fine-tune your tooth positions. However, some tooth movements are better corrected with braces.
If you are still unsatisfied with your smile after Invisalign, some orthodontists will even offer to put braces on your teeth to detail and finalize your tooth positions. For a dentist who normally does not offer braces, this is difficult to do.
So to go back to the Invisalign cost, it is important to understand that the average cost of $5000 includes both dentists and orthodontists performing Invisalign. Therefore, if you are comparing Invisalign prices, it is important to factor in whether it is a dentist or orthodontist who will be doing your Invisalign treatment.
When you compare the cost of braces to Invisalign done by the same doctor, you will frequently find that the cost of Invisalign treatment is on average $500-$1000 higher than the cost for braces treatment. The higher cost reflects the lab fee that the dentist or orthodontist must pay for the Invisalign trays.
Dr. Shuman is a Board Certified Orthodontist practicing in Portland, Maine. Read more about Dr. Shuman or visit his orthodontic practice online at www.stegemannandshuman.com.