Invisalign Cost (Survey Video)

Dental safety and BPAInvisalign lets adults get straight teeth without traditional braces.

Unfortunately, the costs keep Invisalign from many patients who might otherwise consider adult ortho.

In a dentist survey we conducted, we found the average cost of Invisalign treatment from a general dentist was about $4,800.

Specialists were a little more expensive at around $5,400.

Treatment from an orthodontist averaged about $6,900.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss what dentists think about Invisalign braces:

“Costs are too high for this to be a mainstream treatment for people willing to have adult orthodontics,” said a Michigan Dentist.

“The lab fees are excessive, and Invisalign could use some competition,” said a New York Dentist.

While there’s a lot more interest in adult braces than there used to be, it’s still not quite mainstream.

And with lab costs like that, it’s hard to imagine it truly going mainstream.

What are your thoughts about Invisalign braces?

What Do Dentists Say About Clear Aligners vs. Traditional Dental Braces?

Invisalign clear alignersOne of the most popular dental services that consumers search for online is braces, especially invisible aligners for adults and teens.

We decided to survey dentists about their experience with clear aligners.

Three-quarters of our respondents offer clear aligners. Only 5% offer traditional braces rather than aligners, and
20% refer out all braces patients.

We refer all braces patients to specialists. Overall, clear aligners burn up too much time [and the] profit margin is not there. We prefer to leave the ortho to the specialists.” Minnesota dentist

“I refer all cases to orthodontists. I have yet to see a clear aligner case finished that even comes close to acceptable for a braces case.” Canada dentist

Invisalign® is arguably the most marketed brand of clear aligners, and is preferred by 65% of the dentists in our survey. ClearCorrect came in second at 24%.

“[Aligners] are clearly here to stay. Invisalign® has reinvigorated my practice even in a down econmoy.” Iowa dentist

More than one-third (35%) of our dentists have worn clear aligners as an adult, and another 5% have worn traditional braces.

“[Aligners are] great when they do what they are ‘expected’ to do, can be costly compared to straightwire.” Missouri dentist, who had clear aligners as an adult

“I had clear aligners as an adult. They are good for many patients, but compliance is a huge part of success and timeliness…….treatment takes significantly longer on some patients largely because they aren’t wearing them 22 hours/day.” New Hampshire dentist

“Yes, I had clear aligners as an adult. Had Invisalign® done on me by an experienced orthodontitst. Does not achieve optimal results. Some crowding remained even with lots of interproximal stripping.” Washington periodontist

Although a 60% majority of the dentists responding to our survey have not personally worn braces, they have a wealth of clinical experience treating patients. And opinions vary widely!

An Arizona orthodontist was markedly critical of clear aligners: “While the clear aligner people won’t tell you this, as an orthodontic specialist I will: 95% of your clear aligner patients will have orthodontic failure within 5 years of treatment. Why? Root torque. Aligners cannot torque roots. Aligners cannot be designed (yet) to accommodate improper root torque. Only a fixed appliance (braces) can.”

An Illinois dentist expressed an opposite opinion: “As with anything else, the dentist’s attention to detail will determine the quality of the result with Invisalign®. I hear some dentists claim that “you don’t get as good a result” with clear retainers. Hogwash! One of these dentists confessed to “eyeballing” his interproximal reductions. You get out of it what you put into it. Wonderful results are achievable consistently. The system works very well, if the dentist does!

So what’s the dental marketing take away here?

Like it or not, Invisalign® and ClearCorrect are sucessfully creating consumer demand for their clear aligners — that’s built-in marketing for the dentists who choose to offer those brands.

For those dentists who dislike clear aligners, patient inquiries about them represent opportunities to educate and advocate for alternative methods of straightening teeth.

Dentist Quotas? No Way, Say Dentists

Dentists oppose patient quotasDentists were not happy about Invisalign’s rules for dentists, but fortunately, Invisalign dropped its dentist requirements mandating patient quotas in order to offer the popular alternative to braces.

But New York state reacted with proposed legislation to ban dentist treatment quotas. Though the bill does not identify Invisalign by name, it would prohibit manufacturers from setting dental patient quotas for dentists who wish to offer the manufacturer’s product.

So we asked dentists if they thought their state should pass similar legislation. In response, 60% said yes, manufacturers should not be permitted to set quotas. But 40% said no, legislation is not the answer.

Here are some comments from dentists:

  • “We have too many laws already. Invisalign has already been punished by losing sizeable market share. This is the way capitalism and free markets are supposed to work.” (Georgia dentist)
  • “Invisalign can do whatever they want. It’s a free market. Besides, I do orthodontics and don’t even offer Invisalign to my patients because there are better alternatives for both patients and dentists such as braces and Inman aligners.” (Alaska dentist)
  • “Good grief. When is ‘regulation’ the answer? As dentists, we are where we are due to the fact that we are the smartest and brightest. Act like it! You’ve got a brain, use it.” (Texas pediatric dentist)
  • “Quotas are inherently morally wrong. It implies treatment planning to meet contract obligations and not patient needs.” (Florida dentist)

Read more – Dental Patient Quotas: Dentists Favor Legislation Banning Treatment Restrictions

Cosmetic Dentistry and Reality TV (video)

Cosmetic dentistry and reality TV makeover showsMany reality TV shows feature dramatic makeovers that include cosmetic dentistry.

This survey found that half (54%) of dentists think this has increased patient demand for cosmetic dental work.

“It has made more people more aware of the cosmetic dentistry options,” said one dentist.

Another dentist was more skeptical. “These days, any dentist who does an all porcelain crown is calling himself a cosmetic dentist, with or with out any formal dental continuing education programs.”

“I’m more concerned about commercial advertisements from products like Lumineers and Invisalign,” added another.

Read more: Has the Media Increased Patient Demand for Cosmetic Dentistry?

Best Braces Dentist: A Family Dentist or an Orthodontist?

Should GPs do ortho? 74% of general dentists think so, but only 4% of orthodontists agreeIs the best braces dentist a GP or a specialist? It all depends on who you ask.

Three out of four general dentists think it’s appropriate for GPs to do orthodontics, but a mere 4% of orthodontists surveyed agree. In fact, 41% of orthodontists say they’re the ones who should be doing virtually all ortho work.

“The training is often minimal and results often are not retained,” said one dentist. “I just think it is better to leave the specialties to the specialists.”Should general dentists do ortho?

Here are some dentist comments on general dentists and orthodontics.

  • “Case selection is critical and should be based upon the knowledge and skill of the GP.” (Florida dentist)
  • “Some orthodontists resent GPs doing their own ortho. Why is that? I have never met a single oral surgeon, endodontist, or prosthodontist that had a problem with my practice desires. It could be a matter of greed or pride. You make the call.” (Georgia dentist)
  • “Those who are doing it hopefully have a good lawyer on their side.” (Kentucky dental implant dentist)
  • Invisalign is becoming the latest malpractice issue. Too many GPs are doing it and getting into trouble!” (Florida dentist)
  • “General dentists don’t have the proper knowledge to perform orthodontics. ‘Little knowledge is dangerous.'” (New York dentist)
  • “Would you send your wife to a family physician for her brain surgery?” (Orthodontist)
  • “As long as they stay within their level of training and they refer when appropriate.” (Texas pediatric dentist)
  • “The quality of GP ortho is directly related to the quality and quantity of the dental CE. Most GP ortho CE courses are cursory and superficial. Only one or two are a true continuum that mimics an ortho residency.” (Alaska dentist)
  • “Diagnosis is the most difficult part. Once you have the background, the rest is easy.” (New York dentist)
  • “With proper training, any GP should be able to perform any procedure, whether it is endo, ortho, dental implants, etc.” (Prosthodontist)
  • “Every orthodontist is being asked to help or bail out GP cases as they often underestimate the complexity of cases and or are tackling more complex cases than they should due to economic pressures.” (California orthodontist)
  • “GPs see relapse on a regular basis after ‘specialist’ treatment.” (Maryland dentist)
  • “No different than a GP doing endodontics, prosthodontics, pedodontics, oral surgery or perio.” (Florida pediatric dentist)
  • “Bad ortho can ruin a patient’s dentition.” (Georgia periodontist)
  • “It’s not rocket science.” (Australia dentist)

Read more about dental braces: General Dentists Do Orthodontics, But Orthodontists Aren’t Sure They Should


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