Understanding the Costs of Teeth Straightening for Your Perfect Smile



orthodontist talking to a patient



Thinking about straightening your teeth but worried about the cost? If so, you're not alone. Cost is often a top concern for people looking to get their perfect smile. But that doesn’t mean you should let the expense hold you back. Don’t let cost keep you from the smile you love. There are many straightening options available to fit most situations and budgets.

How teeth straightening works

Teeth straightening is done to fix misaligned or overcrowded teeth (and other bite-related issues). It gently and gradually applies pressure to teeth to move them into a better position. Not only does it improve how your teeth look, but it can also help you keep your teeth healthy1. The two most common treatments for straightening teeth are braces and aligners.

Braces costs & considerations

With braces, metal brackets are glued to your teeth and connected by wires and elastics. The braces and wire apply pressure to your teeth to guide the teeth into place. On average, people wear braces for one to three years2. Every case is different, and your doctor may have you wear them for more or less time.

How much you’ll pay for braces depends on several factors. Those factors include where you live, the material used to make the braces, and how long you wear them. Nationwide, the average cost of treatment is between $5,000 and $6,0003.

orthodontist talking to a patient



Invisalign® treatment costs & considerations

Braces aren’t the only way to straighten your teeth. Clear aligners, like Invisalign aligners, are another treatment option for fixing your smile. With Invisalign treatment, you wear a series of clear, removable aligners. These aligners gradually move your teeth to the correct position.

Invisalign aligners straighten teeth faster3 and more comfortably4 than braces . Invisalign clear aligners are virtually invisible – people may not even notice you’re wearing them. Because they are removable, they fit your life, they don’t interrupt it. There are no food restrictions like with braces and taking care of your teeth is much easier.

Want to know how much Invisalign treatment costs? Talk to your orthodontist. They can let you know how much treatment may cost based on your situation. They can also explain if your insurance will help cover the cost or what financing options may be available. Don’t have an orthodontist yet? Try the Invisalign Doctor Locator to find the right Invisalign provider for you.

Insurance may help pay for your treatment

Dental insurance can make teeth straightening treatment more affordable. Some insurers limit how much they’ll pay for orthodontic treatment. Understanding what your plan covers is critical to know how much you’ll pay out of pocket.

Your orthodontist is an excellent resource for determining how much treatment will be covered by insurance. Often their office can work with your insurance provider to help you get the most from your coverage. If you don't feel comfortable talking to your orthodontist, you can contact your insurance provider directly or you can use the My Invisalign app to lookup coverage for Invisalign treatment.

Financing your brand-new smile

Many doctors offer financing to help you realize your brand-new smile. Ask your doctor about financing options during your consultation. Some plans may require little or no money to start and flexible monthly payments. Chances are you can apply right there in the office.

HSAs and FSAs Also Can Make Treatment Accessible

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) can also help cover some teeth straightening costs. These accounts have an advantage in that you don't pay taxes on the money you put into them.

  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA): A special account managed by your employer that can be used to cover certain medical, dental, and orthodontic costs.
  • Health Savings Account (HSA): Savings account for people with high-deductible health insurance plans. Typically, individuals can set aside a certain amount annually as determined by the IRS for that tax year.

Contact Your Orthodontist

Don’t let the cost of teeth straightening stand in the way of your dream smile. With the right information and strategies, you can make an informed decision about your best option.

Contact your local orthodontist to get started.

Wonder if Invisalign treatment is right for you?

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  1. American Association of Orthodontists. Why Do Straight Teeth Matter? (https://aaoinfo.org/whats-trending/why-do-straight-teeth-matter/). Accessed 6/12/23
    Narhi et al (2022 August) Malocclusion severity and its associations with oral health-related quality of life in an adult population European Journal of Orthodontics. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9380859/
    Gaikwad eta al (2014 September) Dental Caries and its Relationship to Malocclusion in Permanent Dentition Among 12-15 Year Old School Going Children. Journal of International Oral Health.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4229825/
  2. Silver, N. (2021, January 11) How Long do Braces Take? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-do-braces-take
  3. Yetman (2021, April 1) How Much Do Braces Cost? Healthline.  https://www.healthline.com/health/average-cost-of-braces
      Gu, J et al. Evaluation of Invisalign treatment effectiveness and efficiency compared with conventional fixed appliances using the Peer Assessment Rating index. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop February 2017, 151 259-66 Buschang, P et al Comparative time efficiency of aligner therapy and conventional edgewise braces. Angle Orthodontist, Vol 84, No 3, 2014.
  4. David W. White, Katie C. Julien, Helder Jacob, Phillip M. Campbell and Peter H. Buschang , Discomfort associated with Invisalign and traditional brackets: A randomized, prospective trial. The Angle Orthodontist Nov 2017, Vol. 87, No. 6 pp. 801-808.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website are for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please seek the advice of your health care provider with any questions you may have regarding any dental or medical-related condition and never disregard or delay seeking such advice because of something you have read on this website.