How much do invisible braces cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much do invisible braces cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much do invisible braces cost?

$2,000 – $8,000average total cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$2,000 – $8,000 average total cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Tamatha Hazen
Written by
Tamatha Hazen
Edited by
Jennifer Carlson
Fact-checked by
Kristen Cramer

Invisible braces cost

Invisible braces cost $2,000 to $8,000, depending on the treatment method. Clear ceramic or lingual braces cost $5,500 to $8,000 and work like traditional braces with a more discreet appearance. Invisalign costs $5,000 to $7,000, while cheaper clear aligners cost as little as $2,000 for patients with minimal orthodontic issues.

Invisible braces cost comparison - Chart
Invisible braces cost comparison - Chart
Invisible braces cost comparison
Treatment method Ceramic braces Lingual braces Clear aligners
Average cost $5,500 – $7,000 $6,000 – $8,000+ $2,000 – $7,000
Treatment length 18 – 24 months 18 – 24 months 6 – 18 months
Visibility Discreet but visible Invisible Discreet but visible
Comfort Moderate discomfort Least comfortable Most comfortable
Limitations Suitable for the most complex bite and alignment issues Suitable for the most complex bite and alignment issues Most suitable for mild to moderate bite and alignment issues but can fix some severe issues with extended treatment times

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces cost $5,500 to $7,000 on average, compared to the cost of traditional braces at $3,000 to $7,000. Though not entirely invisible, the tooth-colored brackets and thin metal wires used in ceramic braces are far less noticeable, especially from a distance.

Ceramic braces use bracket-and-wire technology to gradually move the teeth into alignment. Just like traditional metal braces, ceramic braces can treat almost any condition—from slightly crooked teeth to complex bite misalignments. Treatment takes an average of 18 to 24 months, depending on the case severity.

A woman smiling with clear ceramic teeth braces
A woman smiling with clear ceramic teeth braces

Lingual braces

Lingual braces cost $6,000 to $8,000+ on average, depending on the orthodontic issue. More complex cases can cost $10,000 or more to treat. Lingual braces are traditional metal braces attached to the inside (tongue side) of your teeth, making them invisible when you smile and talk.

Like traditional braces, the wires are replaced every 4 to 6 weeks to tighten the braces and shift the teeth. With lingual braces, this task is a bit more difficult and requires an experienced orthodontist, which results in higher treatment costs. Lingual braces also require more meticulous cleaning.

A woman showing lingual braces attached to the back of the teeth
A woman showing lingual braces attached to the back of the teeth

Clear aligners

Clear aligners cost $2,000 to $7,000 on average to treat mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Treatment involves wearing a progressive series of trays that apply gentle pressure to straighten the teeth over 6 to 12 months, or longer for more crooked teeth.

Patients wear the trays 20 to 22 hours per day and replace them with a new set every 1 to 2 weeks. You only remove the trays for eating, brushing, and flossing. The following table contains several popular brands of clear aligners:

Clear aligner cost comparison
Brand Average cost Availability
Invisalign $5,000 – $7,000 Only available through licensed dental providers
ClearCorrect $2,500 – $5,500 Only available through licensed dental providers
Byte $2,000 – $2,400 Direct-to-consumer brand – no dentist required
Aligner Co. $850 – $1,150 Direct-to-consumer brand – no dentist required

  • Invisalign costs more than other clear aligner systems but offers the highest-quality product with the most experienced dental providers. Orthodontic treatment is always safest with a dentist or orthodontist, especially for complex cases.

  • Direct-to-consumer brands offer shortened treatment times and cheaper prices. However, they only treat mild orthodontic issues, and there are serious risks involved with not having your treatment prescribed and monitored by a dentist or orthodontist.

A woman holding an Invisalign aligner tray
A woman holding an Invisalign aligner tray
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Cost of invisible braces with insurance

The average cost for invisible braces is $2,000 to $8,000 without insurance. With dental insurance, your out-of-pocket costs will be around $1,000 to $5,000, but costs vary with every provider and plan.

Dental insurance offers limited benefits, especially when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Plans pay for orthodontic treatment only once in your lifetime and typically cover 50% or less of the total treatment costs.

Invisible braces cost factors

Invisible braces often cost a bit more than traditional braces due to higher material costs. However, many patients consider the cost worth it to avoid the look of metal brackets and wires. Several factors affect the cost of invisible braces, including:

  • Case difficulty – Clear aligners can treat mild to moderately misaligned teeth, while complex bite issues may require bracket-and-wire treatment. Typically, the more difficult the case, the longer and more expensive it will be to treat.

  • Dentist vs. orthodontist – Many general dentists offer clear aligner services, but they often charge similar fees to an orthodontist. Keep in mind that an orthodontist has far more experience straightening teeth and usually offers monthly payment plans while general dentists may not.

  • Geographic location – Orthodontic services are usually more expensive in urban areas with a higher cost of living.

  • Patient compliance – Clear aligner trays, including Invisalign, are worn 20 to 22 hours per day, every day. Any non-compliance will lead to treatment delays and potential added costs.

  • Dental insurance – Most dental insurance plans cover some portion of orthodontic treatment costs. Coverage varies depending on your plan.

  • Financing – Most orthodontists offer in-house financing plans that divide the total treatment cost over the treatment length, often with little or no interest. This financing allows patients to make monthly payments directly to the orthodontic practice.

    • Discounts may be available for paying the total cost upfront or making monthly payments in cash instead of a credit card.

    • Family discounts of 10% for additional family members in treatment are common.

    • Most offices charge late fees for missed payments.

  • Retainers – Bracket-and-wire braces require a set of permanent or removal retainers that cost $150 to $500 each. The retainers hold the teeth in their final position to prevent them from shifting back. Clear aligners usually use the final set of trays as a removal retainer set at no extra cost.

Orthodontist holding Invisalign teeth aligner tray
Orthodontist holding Invisalign teeth aligner tray

Invisible braces FAQs

What are invisible braces?

Invisible braces are more discreet than traditional metal brackets and wires. There are three main types of invisible braces:

  • Ceramic braces are traditional bracket-and-wire braces but with clear ceramic brackets for a more discreet appearance.

  • Lingual braces are traditional metal braces attached to the lingual or tongue side of the teeth, hiding them completely.

  • Clear aligners are what many people think of when using the term “invisible braces” and are a progressive series of clear plastic trays that move the teeth into proper alignment.

How do invisible braces work?

Ceramic and lingual invisible braces work using traditional brackets and wires. Brackets are bonded to the teeth, and metal wires run through the brackets. The orthodontist tightens the wires periodically to apply controlled pressure to the teeth to gently move them into the desired position.

Clear aligners work differently. A dentist or orthodontist uses specialized software to create a 3D model of your teeth. They then design a series of clear aligners that apply gentle pressure to gradually move your teeth into the correct position.

Are invisible braces covered by insurance?

Yes, most braces are partially covered by insurance, including invisible braces. Plans vary, but most cover orthodontic services once in your lifetime, with a Lifetime Maximum (LTM) benefit of up to 50% of treatment costs.

Are invisible aligners better than braces?

Whether invisible aligners are better than braces is a decision you should make with your orthodontist. Invisible aligners are better for patients with mild to moderate orthodontic issues, while braces are better for more complex cases. Both treatments have their pros and cons, and a dentist can help you decide which is best for you.

Are invisible braces worth it?

Yes, invisible braces are worth it to improve your smile and self-confidence, without the embarrassment of traditional metal braces. Straighter teeth not only look better but are healthier and easier to keep clean. Also, with proper dental alignment, you will experience better chewing and less jaw pain.

Do invisible braces hurt?

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Invisible aligner braces, such as Invisalign, are considered to be far more comfortable and less painful than traditional braces. Every two weeks when you first start wearing a new set of aligners, you may experience some pressure as the aligners begin to move your teeth. The discomfort is usually mild and temporary.

Find out more about invisible braces

Reach out to a dentist or orthodontist near you to discuss if you are a good candidate for invisible braces. Here are some helpful tips as you research different ortho options:

  • Read reviews – Check out the websites and online reviews of different practices to get a sense of their reputation and patient satisfaction.

  • Schedule consultations – Schedule consultations with a few potential dentists or orthodontists to discuss treatment options and get a feel for their practice.

  • List your priorities – Make a list of what is important to you. Knowing whether price, time commitment, or aesthetics are most important to you can help you narrow down your options.

  • Ask questions – Don’t be afraid to ask about the treatment process, costs, or expectations so that you understand what you’re getting into before you commit to long-term treatment.

  • Get a second opinion – If you are unsure about your treatment options, a second opinion can help you feel more confident about your decision.

  • Consider budget and financing – Orthodontic treatment can be expensive, but most orthodontists offer monthly financing plans to spread the costs out over months of active treatment. General dentists that offer ortho services may not offer monthly payment plans.

  • Consider your lifestyle – Bracket-on-wire treatments require less compliance, but a longer time commitment. Clear aligners are lower-maintenance and have fewer appointments.

  • Take your time – Don’t rush into a decision. Take your time to research all available options and talk to your dentist or orthodontist to make sure you choose the best treatment for you.

Questions to ask your orthodontist

Straight teeth can improve your smile, self-confidence, and your overall health. Ask these important questions to ensure you’ve found a dentist you can trust.

  • What types of invisible braces do you offer?

  • How long have you been in practice?

  • What is your success rate with invisible braces?

  • What results can I expect?

  • What are the pros and cons of each type of invisible braces?

  • How much do invisible braces cost?

  • How long will it take to complete my treatment?

  • What type of commitment is required for invisible braces?

  • What maintenance is required for invisible braces?

  • Am I a candidate for clear aligners?

  • How often will I need to see you for adjustments?