We’ve had several people ask, “I heard I could save a lot of money by getting clear aligners similar to Invisalign online…what’s the catch?” Well, there is a catch—and it’s a big one. Whatever you do, don’t order your Invisalign aligners online, and definitely don’t attempt at-home teeth straightening. These methods may be cheaper than braces, but they’re extremely risky.
What’s Wrong with Ordering Invisalign-Style Clear Aligners Online?
Ordering clear aligners online (without being cleared by a dentist or periodontist) could lead to serious dental problems—including tooth loss! Online services that offer straighter teeth by mail are cheaper partly because the companies that offer this don’t have the same experience and research to back them up as Invisalign does, and partly because they don’t involve in-person care. Instead, you send in dental impressions and photos that you take yourself.
The problem is that if someone has unhealthy gums or bone levels (periodontal disease), a simple impression and a “selfie” can’t detect this. In these cases, attempting to move the teeth causes increased inflammation. It may lead to accelerated periodontal breakdown and, eventually, the loss of teeth. You’re also likely to experience irritation due to incorrect fitting trays, since you (the patient) are not trained to take a detailed dental impression correctly. It’s not an easy task and one that an assistant must be certified to do!
So, Is Invisalign Actually Cheaper than Braces?
Usually, no. When you go through the proper channels (i.e., your dentist or orthodontist), Invisalign typically costs slightly more than regular braces. However, the price difference will vary case by case due to complexity. Why is Invisalign more expensive than braces? The advanced technology the Invisalign lab offers comes at a higher fee. This technology is possible due to the years of research and experience Invisalign has had as the first aligner company to straighten teeth.
Dougherty Orthodontics is the first office in St. Louis to have the latest technology for Invisalign: the iTero Element 2 scanner. This now allows us to scan the teeth and send electronically to Invisalign for a more detailed fit of the trays and a faster turnaround time. So now you can get your trays (and smile) faster and avoid the gooey molds!
Why Get Invisalign if It’s More Expensive?
Every treatment modality has its pros and cons. Although they’re typically a bit more expensive, some of the key advantages of Invisalign are:
- You can remove them for better cleaning/flossing.
- You can go longer in between appointments.
- You have more food choices than with traditional braces.
- They’re virtually invisible compared to metal braces.
- They offer advanced technology in orthodontic treatment.
Interested in getting Invisalign? Have more questions about whether Invisalign is cheaper than braces, and why? Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with St. Louis orthodontist, Dr. Dougherty.