Crooked, misaligned, or otherwise malformed teeth have been a serious problem for a great many people since the dawn of time. Apart from being quite unsightly, incorrectly set teeth can cause a variety of more serious dental problems, as well as not allowing the patient to chew properly. For quite some time, the only effective way to treat these kinds of problems was to apply orthodontic braces. Quite a few of us have been intimately familiar with such devices in our school years. While braces are quite effective at aligning teeth, they are also notoriously uncomfortable and unsightly. The models used to treat more extreme cases of tooth misalignment are also quite restrictive and can even injure other parts of the mouth. Fortunately there is another alternative, and since you are reading this right now, chances are you’ve already heard of it. We are talking about Invisalign.
What is Invisalign?
Before talking about how much is Invisalign, let’s cover the basics of the treatment and its advantages and drawbacks. Invisalign is a relatively new technology that allows one to correct tooth misalignment using sets of transparent and removable teeth aligners. Invisalign offers many advantages over the more traditional metal braces. First of all, since the aligners are transparent, they are much harder to spot than braces. This takes away any awkwardness associated with braces. Since the aligners are removable, they can (and should) be taken off when eating and for regular cleaning, while metal braces both impede proper chewing motions and require the wearer to avoid certain foods that may damage the device. Unlike Invisalign, metal braces often cause a shortening of tooth roots and are likely to cause tooth decay and other adverse side effects on the teeth and gums.
Invisalign tooth aligners also apply less force to the teeth being straitened and are replaced approximately once every two weeks. Traditional braces are usually adjusted once every six weeks, and thus are usually set to apply much greater force, which frequently manifests in a constant dull ache.
One notable drawback of Invisalign is that it can only apply a pushing force to teeth, and thus is unsuited to align vertically-displaced teeth, which require a pulling force to realign. In rare cases, patient may exhibit allergic reactions to the material used for the aligners. There is also a small possibility of the aligners sustaining damage in the patient has a habit of grinding of tightly clenching their teeth. A damaged aligner is easily replaced however, and the other drawbacks are quite minor when compared to the increased comfort and easier maintenance that Invisalign offers.
So, how much does Invisalign cost?
Being a relatively new technology, a set of Invisalign aligners will often cost more than traditional metal braces. The final price is determined by the orthodontist, and can vary quite a bit from doctor to doctor, while also depending on the severity of the misalignment. More severe cases require more aligners to fix, thus increasing the overall cost. How much is Invisalign, exactly? In the U.S.A., for instance, the treatment cost can vary between $3000 and $9000. Simple cases that require no more than five aligners can cost around $2000. Most modern medical insurance plans cover Invisalign? But the exact amount of coverage should be discussed with the insurance carrier. Keep in mind that failing to wear the aligners for the required amount of time will cause the next aligner in the set to not fit. Should that happen another full set of aligners will need to be made, which will greatly increase the overall cost.