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How much are invisible braces?

Profile picture of Danni White
by Danni White ConsumerAffairs Research Team
SmileDirectClub, Byte and Candid
man smiling holding clear aligner

Invisible braces, also called clear aligners, tend to range in cost from $2,000 to $8,500, though pricing depends on the company you choose and the level of treatment necessary. Certain types of aligners are administered only by dental providers, which tends to increase the price. In some cases, more complex issues can be addressed with in-person aligner treatment.

Most invisible braces companies offer payment plans, typically starting around $79 per month with $250 down. Post-treatment retainers typically cost about $99 and must be replaced every few months. Some providers offer one free retainer with your treatment plan, and others offer a package price for several years’ worth of retainers.

For companies that provide DIY impression kits, the cost ranges from about $39.99 to $95. Many providers offer free shipping and a free replacement if the first one doesn’t turn out well — or a refund if it turns out you’re not a good candidate for clear aligners.

Compare invisible braces cost

Most clear aligners are available through an at-home teledentistry process, with no office visit required. Customers communicate by email or app with providers throughout the length of the treatment. Some companies offer more support than others in terms of the monitoring process. Invisalign, the priciest brand for clear aligners, does require visits to a trained and licensed expert — typically a dentist or orthodontist.

CompanyTreatment price rangeImpression kit cost
byte mini logo$1,895 to $2,295$95
candid logo$2,400$95 (or free if you visit a Candid studio)
smiledirectclub logo mini$1,950$59
invisalign logo$3,800 to $7,100N/A
alignerco logo mini$1,145 to $1,345$39.99
byte mini logo$1,895 to $2,295$95
candid logo$2,400$95 (or free if you visit a Candid studio)
smiledirectclub logo mini$1,950$59
invisalign logo$3,800 to $7,100N/A
alignerco logo mini$1,145 to $1,345$39.99

*Costs are as of publishing. Terms and conditions may apply.

Is invisible braces covered by insurance

Dental insurance that covers braces might cover some of the cost of clear aligners. Some health care providers cover orthodontia as a health benefit rather than a dental benefit, and some providers offer separate orthodontic coverage that could cover clear aligners instead of braces. Just as any health insurance has a coverage limit or maximum dollar amount, dental or orthodontic insurance might cover only a portion of the cost. If an insurance provider does cover clear aligners, most likely the insurer will require that the treatment is overseen by a licensed dentist in order to pay your claim.

Byte partners with Anthem, Guardian and Empire BlueCross BlueShield. When you provide your information, Byte will check your coverage eligibility for free. Candid is in network with several providers who cover up to $1,300 and will file a claim on your behalf. SmileDirectClub is in network with UnitedHealthCare, Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and Empire BlueCross BlueShield.

How to pay for invisible braces

Most clear aligner providers offer monthly plans to help customers afford payment for treatment. Some companies even offer 0%-interest financing for qualified customers. Many accept CareCredit, a credit card designed especially for health-related expenses, which also has promotional 0% financing opportunities.

For most people with tax-free flexible and health spending accounts (FSAs and HSAs), clear aligners are an eligible orthodontic expense. Many companies allow customers to split the payment between their FSA/HSA card and another credit or debit card. If you pay out of pocket for clear aligners, check with a tax professional to find out if you qualify to deduct the cost as a medical expense.

Depending on the provider and what type of plan you have, dental or health insurance might pay for a portion of your clear aligner cost. Many companies work directly with insurance providers to determine patient eligibility and file claims on behalf of their customers. You might have to pay out of pocket and receive reimbursement later.

In general, Medicare and Medicaid do not cover invisible braces. Some Medicare Advantage supplemental plans offer dental coverage, but typically clear aligners are not included in dental benefits. If clear aligners are deemed medically necessary, Medicaid might make an exception. Since this program is administered by your state, it depends on where you live.

Bottom line

Clear aligners typically cost less than traditional metal braces — with a starting price around $1,145, invisible braces could be a much more affordable option for patients with mild to moderate dental issues. Many customers prefer the flexibility of online ordering and at-home teledentistry treatment, which keeps costs down.

Clear aligner companies offer flexible payment options to help customers achieve their dream smiles. Monthly payment plans with 0% interest are available for qualified customers. Invisible braces are also eligible expenses for most HSA/FSAs, and providers can work with you to find out if your insurance company covers part of the cost of braces.

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Profile picture of Danni White
by Danni White ConsumerAffairs Research Team

As a member of the ConsumerAffairs research team, Danni White is committed to providing valuable resources designed to help consumers make informed purchase decisions. Danni specializes in content strategy and development, with over a decade of professional writing and research experience.