Clear Aligners Cost: Are aligners cheaper than braces?

Written by Dr. Shaista Salam | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Zein El Hammouz, DDS, MFD/RCSI.

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Table of Contents
1. A new smile with clear aligners
2. How much do aligners cost?
3. What factors determine the price?

 

A new smile with clear aligners

In the last two decades, more than 5 million people globally have opted for clear aligners (1).  Whether it's a simple relapse case or a complex crossbite, clear aligners are able to treat malocclusions as effectively as braces in a much shorter time. 

Naturally, the first question that comes to mind before getting aligners is “how much do clear aligners cost?” Most people fear there are high costs attached to clear aligner therapy. But with the variety of treatment options available nowadays, you can be assured that getting clear aligners won’t burn a hole in your pocket. 

This article will tell you everything you need to know about the average cost of teeth aligners and why you should definitely get them. 

What are the benefits of clear aligners over traditional braces?

There are many benefits of getting clear aligners over traditional braces. 

  • Aesthetics: Beautiful straight teeth without having unattractive metal wires or brackets in your mouth. 
  • Comfort: A highly comfortable fit that is easy to wear and remove. With metal braces, there is always some amount of discomfort from the brackets and wires poking into your mouth’s soft tissues. 
  • Convenience: Shorter and fewer dental visits to the clinic because all your aligner trays are given to you at the beginning of your treatment. You can change your aligner trays yourself every 1 or 2 weeks, and progress quickly with the treatment. In complex cases, where a 2 week wear cycle is recommended, your doctor might give you your aligner trays in intervals. 
  • Treatment Duration: Treatment time is significantly reduced with clear aligners when compared to braces, especially in non-extraction cases. (2) 

How much do aligners cost?

Are aligners cheaper than braces?

Clear aligners cost almost the same as braces. As per the American Dental Association's 2020 Survey of Dental Fees, the average cost of braces is between $3000- $7000, whereas clear aligners cost between $4000-$7400, depending on the case severity. (3) Moreover, ceramic braces (with tooth-colored brackets) and lingual braces (placed on the inner surfaces of the teeth) cost a lot more; $4,000 - $8,000 and $8,000 - $10,000 respectively. 

With comparable prices, you enjoy the convenience of fewer dental visits and a shorter treatment time. Ultimately, you look good during the treatment, and there’s no interference in your daily eating habits or oral hygiene!

 

Image
Woman with curly hair, smiling and putting a clear aligner in her upper teeth.

 

How much does it cost per month?

With Eon Aligner, the total cost of your invisible aligners can range from $930-$4300, depending on the complexity of your case. The cost can be broken down into monthly installments and your dentist will inform you how much you have to pay monthly. 

Does dental insurance cover invisible aligners?

In the MENA region, dental insurance is not offered as a stand-alone service. Instead, medical insurance companies offer cover on dental procedures…with some restrictions. Dental cover is limited to simple procedures like x-rays, scaling and teeth polishing, fillings, simple extractions, and root canals. 

Even though dental insurance may not cover invisible aligners, many providers in MENA offer flexible case packages and payment plans to help you manage the cost of your dental aligners. Click here to learn more about Eon Aligner’s flexible case packages. 

Average Treatment Time

The treatment time for clear aligners can vary between 6 months for simple relapse cases to 18 months for more complex ones. Typically, it takes an average of 8 - 10 months depending on the case complexity, patient compliance, and gum health of the patient. (4,5)

If patients are not committed to wearing their aligners as instructed, it can slow down the treatment. Moreover, if proper oral hygiene practices are not maintained, gum health can get affected. This results in your treatment taking far longer than expected. 

What factors determine the price?

Case Complexity

Case complexity plays a major role in determining how much your clear aligners are going to cost.  Some orthodontic problems like mild spacing, crowding, or relapse cases can be treated in a shorter time and need fewer aligner steps. Therefore, they cost a lot less. 

When multiple orthodontic issues are present (such as a narrow arch or severe crowding combined with an anterior/posterior crossbite) more doctor expertise, treatment planning, and aligner steps are needed to treat the case. Naturally, the cost of getting clear aligners is higher in such a case.  

Image
Image depicting a before and after treatment with clear aligner of an open bite issue.

 

In order to make clear aligner treatment affordable for all, Eon Aligner has designed case packages to exclusively suit the patient’s needs.

  • Eon Basic - perfect for mild crowding, spacing, or relapse cases. 
  • Eon Plus - covers a wide range of mild to moderate cases. 
  • Eon Pro - ideal for advanced cases that may require extraction.

Click here to learn more about each case package.

Depending on the case complexity, your Eon-certified doctor will give you the final price of your invisible aligners. It may range from $930 to $4300 for the entire treatment. 

Oral health

When opting for clear aligners, you must ensure your gums and teeth are healthy. In case you have gum disease, your doctor will have to perform slower tooth movements, simply because your bone needs more time to heal from the inflammation present (6).

In other words, instead of a one-week wear cycle, your doctor will recommend a two-week wear cycle, and your treatment will take longer to complete. Sometimes, additional aligner steps may have to be added to ensure safe and efficient teeth movements. All of these may bring up the average cost of your teeth aligners. 

Doctor Expertise

Doctors with more experience under their belt possess greater skills, knowledge, and expertise in aligner treatments. Over time, they have mastered the art of safe and efficient teeth movements and will charge accordingly for their skills. 

Eon-certified doctors are trained to deliver the best possible aligner treatments so you needn't worry. We guarantee a healthy and beautiful smile at the end of every treatment!

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FAQs

Are clear aligners worth it?

Yes, clear aligners are worth it because they provide discreet, safe, efficient, and comfortable teeth movements for all. You don’t have to change any of your dietary or oral hygiene habits because you can wear and remove your aligners whenever you want to eat, drink, brush or floss. Nobody will notice you wearing them because they are virtually invisible! 

How much do clear aligners cost us?

Depending on the case complexity, Eon Aligner costs anywhere between $930 for mild spacing and relapse cases, to $4300 for complex cases having a combination of dental problems or those requiring extraction. Ultimately, it is your dentist who will give your final teeth aligners cost after a thorough check-up. 

How long do clear aligners take?

Treatment duration for clear aligners generally varies between 6 months for simple cases to 18 months for advanced cases. Typically, it takes an average of 8 - 10 months depending on the case complexity, whether the patient is committed to wearing aligners or not, and the gum health of the patient.

References

1.www.grandviewresearch.com. (n.d.). Clear Aligners Market Size & Share Report, 2022-2030. [online] Available at: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/clear-aligners-mark….

2.Ke, Y., Zhu, Y. and Zhu, M. (2019). A comparison of treatment effectiveness between clear aligner and fixed appliance therapies. BMC Oral Health, 19(1). doi:10.1186/s12903-018-0695-z.

3.LaPonsie, M. (n.d.). The Average Cost of Braces and How to Save. Available at: https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/family-finance/articles….

‌4.Tamer, İ., Öztaş, E. and Marşan, G. (2019). Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners and The Scientific Reality Behind Their Marketing: A Literature Review. Turkish Journal of Orthodontics, [online] 32(4), pp.241–246. doi:10.5152/TurkJOrthod.2019.18083.

5.What you should know about Invisalign® treatment An Expert’s Guide to Clear Aligner Treatment. (n.d.). [online] Available at: https://orthodonticsaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/eBook-G….

6.Li, Y., Jacox, L.A., Little, S.H. and Ko, C.-C. (2018). Orthodontic tooth movement: The biology and clinical implications. The Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences, [online] 34(4), pp.207–214. doi:10.1016/j.kjms.2018.01.007.

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