This question is one of the most searched dental questions online yet sadly most results leave people more confused about what the actual cost of clear aligners could be. The prices seem to vary dramatically from website to website leaving those eager to learn if clear aligners are something they can afford even more bamboozled.
Stop searching madly online now! We’re here to explain why it’s a little tricky to nail down the cost of clear aligners with a quick internet search and to help you make the best decision on your journey towards straight teeth.
Why does the cost of clear aligners vary so much?
Those wanting to straighten their teeth with clear aligners to achieve the smile of their dreams are often met with confusion around which brand or system to use and the final cost for each option, as the cost can vary dramatically from one clear aligner system to the next. There are two standout reasons it’s hard to get a quote online for clear aligners or why your treatment costs might be different from a friend or family member also having clear aligner treatment.
Generally speaking, the more crowded your teeth are, the more sets of aligners you’ll need to move the teeth into the ideal position. Simply put, the more sets of clear aligners you need, the bigger the cost.
DIY vs General Dentist vs Orthodontist. Do-it-yourself systems such as SmileDirectClub, EZ Smile and WonderSmile provide you with everything you need to straighten your teeth at home. As you would expect, these systems will cost less as it is often little to no time spent with a dental professional throughout your treatment. That said, you can imagine some of the downsides to not having a dentist oversee the ongoing changes in your mouth as the teeth move – but that topic is for another day.
These days a lot of general dentists have undergone additional study and clinical training that allows them to offer clear aligners directly to their patients. They are often supported by a third-party company that creates your specific treatment plan, designs your smile transformation and makes the custom clear aligners and ships them to the practice ready for you to collect. The third option to straighten your teeth is by visiting an orthodontic specialist. Highly skilled in the art of teeth movement and improving overall function. These guys are absolute gurus when it comes to straightening teeth, however, this experience and knowledge do come at a slightly higher price than the previously mentioned pathways.
What can I expect to pay for clear aligners?
Let’s take a look at the cost of the most popular clear aligner system on the market first, Invisalign. This system is the original clear aligner program and is offered by general dentists and orthodontists worldwide. Invisalign is considered to be a gold standard in terms of quality and feel and offer a great deal of support to their community of dentists and patients. Being the biggest and the best in the business does come at a higher cost to both dentists to offer this service in their clinic, and for patients to use.
According to a 2018 article by Invisalign Reviews. Invisalign has three different products that depend on the length required.
- Invisalign 17 which takes a total of 14 weeks and will cost $3000-$4000
- Invisalign lite takes a maximum of 28 weeks and costs between $4000-$7000
- Invisalign full which can take more than 28 weeks and costs between $7000-$10000.
The next tier down in terms of cost is visiting a general dentist that uses a third party to help them deliver a quality clear aligner service in-house to their patients, like Digital Smile Design. They offer training and case support to dentists to ensure patients get the perfect result. This service comes at a cost to the practice that is incorporated into the patient’s overall cost. General practices usually quote between $5000 – $7000 for a standard clear aligner case.
The third most common option patients consider is do-it-yourself. This is usually the lowest price you’ll pay to get your teeth straight with clear aligners. Over the years DIY clear aligner systems have caused quite a stir in the dental community with concern over the risks involved in permanently moving teeth without a comprehensive examination of the overall mouth, constant monitoring and making adjustments if things aren’t moving as they should.
The most cost-effective and dentist-monitored clear aligner system (in our opinion!)
Coast Aligners is located in Warana on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. Led by senior dentist Dr Tom Li with the support from his in-house lab team that oversees your entire clear aligner treatment from start to finish. Dr Tom offers a FREE online assessment of your smile and provides a fixed-price quote to suitable candidates. Your next step is another FREEBIE! A 30-minute consultation at the home of Coast Aligners, Avenue Dental Kawana, where Dr Tom will examine your teeth and gum health and confirm your course of treatment.
If you’re ready to proceed, Dr Tom can take the 3D scan on the day and have your first set of clear aligners ready to collect within two weeks. You might think that a dentist offering this level of personalised care would mean a higher cost, but we’ve got great news! Coast Aligners keep costs low by cutting out the middleman. We have a purpose-built lab on site where we make all of our custom clear aligners. Making them in-house saves us money and we pass those savings onto the patient. This means you get quality comfortable clear aligners under the full care of a qualified dentist at an affordable cost. Coast Aligners cost between $3500 – $5500 and include retainers, whitening trays and 24-hour replacement of any lost aligners during treatment.
Find out if you’re a suitable candidate for Coast Aligners when you submit five selfie shots via our free assessment portal.