Invisalign – What is it?
Invisalign clear tray aligners (or Invisalign for short) are an alternative to braces to straighten crooked teeth. Unlike braces, which are made of metal, clear tray aligners are made of a special plastic that puts just enough pressure on your teeth so that they move towards a better position. Each pair of Invisalign aligners are also carefully manufactured using a mould of the patient’s teeth so that it is a custom fit for the patient.
For you to get your own Invisalign clear tray aligners, you must follow the steps below:
- Get a consultation with your dentist. Your dentist will examine your teeth and their overall health. He/she will also take pictures of your teeth and determine whether Invisalign is a good fit for your needs.
- Wait for your dentist’s recommendation. If the dentist approves Invisalign for you, he/she will then create a mould of your teeth which will then be sent to Invisalign for manufacturing your clear tray aligners. The mould will be used to create custom Invisalign aligners for your teeth.
- Follow your dentist’s treatment plan. Your dentist will closely monitor your teeth and how they respond to Invisalign. Each pair of aligner trays are replaced every one-two weeks so that they will slowly adjust your teeth into a better position. This is done so that your teeth can have time to adjust to the Invisalign.
According to Singapore’s leading dental portal Dentaleh, Invisalign should be worn for 20 to 22 hours each day to get results. Unlike braces, though that is always present, Invisalign can be easily removed if you need to eat, floss or brush, and can then be worn again after.
Invisalign is similar to retainers in that they are removable. However, unlike retainers which are designed to just hold teeth in place, Invisalign clear tray aligners are designed to straighten your teeth.
How much will Invisalign cost?
There are a couple of things to consider when determining the total costs for Invisalign. You not only have to pay for the aligners themselves but for other things as well.
First, the most important thing to consider is your overall oral health. Obviously, if your teeth are not in good shape and have other issues besides their alignment, then your dentist will have to address those issues as well. This can drive up the total costs for getting Invisalign since your teeth must be in good oral health before you are fitted for the aligners.
The overall state of your teeth is obviously very important to consider as well. If your teeth are very crooked, then the treatment plan may take longer as well and will require more aligners. This will increase the total cost of Invisalign.
Another thing to consider is your location. Singapore is generally an expensive city so Invisalign may cost more here compared to other countries.
You will also need to pay for your dentist’s labour since he/she will closely monitor your progress with Invisalign. The whole treatment plan can take many months to finish so you should be financially prepared.
There are also aftercare costs that you need to consider. A retainer will be prescribed to keep your teeth in their position after a round of Invisalign, and these can cost about $100 or more.
Finally, if you have medical insurance determine if Invisalign is covered by the insurance policy. If it is, you can potentially save a lot of money and drive the total cost down.
In general, Invisalign clear tray aligners cost about $3500 to $7500 and insurance companies will usually cover up to $3000, depending on the terms of the policy. On the other hand, traditional braces usually cost about $2500 to $6000.
How to Save on Invisalign?
There’s no denying that Invisalign is an expensive treatment. Many people also think that orthodontic treatments like Invisalign and braces are done for purely cosmetic reasons. However, that does not mean that it can’t be covered by insurance or subsidies. In fact, orthodontics, not just aesthetic benefits, but medical benefits as well. Crooked teeth are in general much harder to care for, which means there is a greater risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
If you can afford Invisalign, then good for you. However, if you wish to save on the treatment, here are some ways to do it:
- Health Savings Account (HSA) – having a health savings account means that you can set aside some money (before taxes) from your income and put it on your HSA. This will let you save more money since part of those savings should have also been taxed. However, HSA requires that you have a high-deductible insurance plan.
- Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) – an FSA is similar to an HSA but is offered by your employer. Also, FSA’s do not carry over into the next year, so you have to make sure that you spend it before the next financial year.
- Payment plan –Try to find a dentist that can offer you a payment plan for Invisalign so that you would not have to shell out the full amount of the treatment right away. Make sure to review the terms of the plan and assess whether or not it is a fair deal for you.
- Dental schools –Another nice way to save on Invisalign costs is to determine if there are any nearby dental schools. These schools offer lower prices for their services so that dental students can learn by doing your dental work. Do not worry because a certified dentist will be there to oversee the student.