Invisalign vs. Braces: Cost Comparison

An Invisalign vs. braces cost comparison is an important consideration when you’re trying to decide which treatment is right for you. Invisalign and braces are two common treatment options for fixing tooth alignment issues in teens and adults. When deciding between these treatments, you may wonder if there is a cost difference between Invisalign and braces.

Proper teeth alignment protects against decay and cavities and allow for more optimal jaw movement. It even makes it easier to care for your teeth. It’s important to understand the pros and cons of alignment treatment, as well as the costs involved before making a decision.

Braces vs. Clear Aligners 

Invisalign is a laboratory that fabricates an orthodontic device called a clear aligner. Clear aligners come in a series that progressively moves your teeth into alignment while traditional braces often consist of adhesive, brackets, and wires that work to shift teeth into their optimal positions. Clear aligners are molded to a patient’s teeth and composed of transparent plastic or plastic-like materials. 

Your orthodontist or dentist may recommend one treatment over based on your personal orthodontic needs, your preferences, or to optimize treatment time. In some cases, the best choice for you may be based on the upfront cost.

Cost of Invisalign vs. Braces

Each smile is unique and so are the treatment needs of each person in search of the right orthodontic treatment. When comparing the cost difference between braces and Invisalign, it’s important to consider how individual orthodontic needs can play a role. 

Costs can change depending on the level of treatment, treatment time, and other factors. However, there are some common factors at play and median costs for each type of treatment.

Invisalign Costs

Invisalign costs will depend on the patient and their specific orthodontic needs. In addition to treatment, the cost includes a lab fee for creating the series of aligners. At the time of writing, Invisalign’s website states that pricing is determined by Invisalign doctors.

However, dentists have reported that costs can range from $1,800 to $9,500, depending on factors including the number of aligners you need, and the length of your treatment. According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, the national average ranges from $3,000 to $5,000. 

Braces Costs

Braces, like Invisalign, can range in price. The cost may vary based on the scope of your orthodontic treatment needs and even the type of braces you opt for. There are several types of braces:

  • Traditional metal braces: These are affixed to your teeth with metal brackets. They’re the classic style of teeth braces, and often the least costly option. 
  • Ceramic braces: These are affixed with ceramic rather than metal brackets, making them less visible than their traditional counterparts. 
  • Lingual braces: These are affixed to the backs of your teeth — adjacent to your tongue, hence the name. They can be more costly and may be constructed of more expensive materials. 

According to Cigna, patients can pay between $3,000 and $10,000 for braces. Metal braces are often the least costly option, running from $3,000 to $7,000, while lingual braces are often the most costly option, and range from $8,000 to $10,000.

Is it cheaper to get braces or Invisalign?

It all depends on your specific circumstances. On average, metal braces tend to be the most affordable option, but Invisalign may be more affordable than other types of braces treatment. It often boils down to the materials used and how long the treatment lasts. You can discuss treatment specifics with your orthodontist to get a better idea of what your situation may require. 

Is Invisalign worth the money?

For some patients, even if Invisalign or clear aligner treatment would cost them more, it may be worth it for the comfort and convenience. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for all orthodontic patients, and not every patient may qualify for aligner treatment.

Patients who qualify for Invisalign need to be able to wear the aligners for about 22 hours per day. They should also be willing and able to remove the aligners any time they eat and when they need to brush their teeth. Patients who may struggle to keep the aligners in for the required time each day may be better suited for treatment with braces.

Your orthodontist can provide you with information about both types of treatment and discuss which option may be a better fit for your needs.

Invisalign vs. Braces Payment Options

Your payment options will vary when deciding to opt for invisalign vs braces

Depending on the treatment option you’re seeking, your age, and the severity of your orthodontic treatment needs, insurance may cover some of the cost of teeth alignment. However, not all orthodontic treatments will be covered by insurance, and, if they are, the extent to which they are can vary. You also may be able to pay for treatment out-of-pocket using a financing plan or Health Savings Account. 


Invisalign and braces both may be covered by some insurance companies. However, some insurance companies may impose additional criteria for coverage, such as the treatment being considered medically necessary. According to Invisalign’s website, patients may be covered for up to $3,000 for orthodontic treatment. 

Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Spending Accounts

If you have an HSA (Health Savings Account) or an FSA (Flexible Spending Account), you may be able to use them to pay some of the costs associated with either traditional braces or Invisalign. 


Finally, out-of-pocket may be an option for you if you don’t have insurance or if insurance won’t cover your treatment. While costs can be steep upfront, your doctor may offer payment plans.

Learn More About Invisalign vs. Braces Cost of Treatment Today

If you have any questions about payment options for orthodontic treatment or what your current insurance plan may cover, you can talk to our office. Whether you’re unsure what’s right for you or you already know the type of treatment you are seeking, get in touch today. At Peterson Family Orthodontics, we put your smile and comfort first. Give us a call or reach out online to schedule your consultation with Dr. Peterson.