invisalign dental concept

How much is Invisalign?

Invisalign can cost thousands of dollars but health insurance can reduce the costs.

Invisalign is not actually a dental procedure, it’s a type of orthodontic product. Invisalign makes invisible braces as an alternative to traditional metal braces. Here we’ll look at the treatment, costs, and how it’s covered by health insurance.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a set of clear aligners that helps to straighten your teeth. This type of treatment has grown in popularity over recent years, with over 5.5 million patients worldwide.

It has several advantages over traditional dental braces. You can eat all your favourite foods, there are no wires to break, it’s easy to clean your teeth and, best of all, the aligners can barely be seen.

Invisalign aligners can also help you maintain good oral hygiene because they can be taken out when you eat and drink. They are custom-made for your teeth and fitted by a dentist who has been specifically trained on Invisalign. To make them, your dentist will take photos, X-rays and impressions of your teeth. They also use 3D technology to create a treatment plan.

Who is Invisalign for?

Invisalign treatment isn’t suitable for everyone. If you have a large overbite or need extensive work that involves shifting your jaw, Invisalign may not be the best solution. Invisalign aligners are also not ideal for children who still have growing teeth.

For adults and older teenagers who don’t need any major work done on their teeth, Invisalign could be a good option, but you’ll need to ask a dentist. You can see an orthodontist from as early as seven years of age to see if it is a good option for you.

How does Invisalign compare?

When it comes to fixing the alignment of your teeth, you can choose traditional braces or clear aligners. Below we’ve compared some of the core features of metal braces and Invisalign:

Braces Invisalign
Cost From $1,000 Between $2,000-$8,000
Length of treatment Braces are worn 24/7 for 2 years on average. Invisalign aligners are worn for around 20 hours per day for 6 to 12 months.
Maintenance Monthly Monthly
Pros
  • Good for complex issues
  • Don’t have to remove for eating
  • Good option if you play sports or don’t have the discipline to remove between meals/drinking
  • Removable
  • Clear in colour so can’t be seen
  • No difficulty eating
Cons
  • Can be painful or uncomfortable, particularly at first
  • Can visibly see the wire
  • Food can easily get caught
  • Can cause some discomfort
  • Have to be removed and teeth brushed after every meal or drink
  • Not recommended for back tooth bite issues

How much does Invisalign cost?

The cost of Invisalign treatment depends on what your dentist charges but you can expect to pay between $2,000 and $8,000.

There are a few things that can impact the amount you pay, including:

  1. How much alignment your teeth need
  2. How many adjustments will need to be made
  3. How many aligners you will need

Many dentists offer payment plans that allow you to pay for the treatment over several months or years.

Is Invisalign covered by health insurance?

Yes, it is. You can often get a rebate for Invisalign treatment as part of orthodontics cover found in an extras health insurance policy. It’s categorised under “major dental”.

Not all Australian health funds offer rebates for Invisalign treatment, and if you’re taking out health insurance for the first time, you will have a 12-month waiting period before you can claim.

If you’re looking to claim on private health insurance, here are a few steps to take when weighing up your costs:

If you currently have health insurance

  1. Review your current health insurance policy to see if you have a major dental limit.
  2. If you do, look for orthodontic and check how much you can claim each year.
  3. Ask your dentist for the Invisalign treatment numbers.
  4. Share these with your health fund provider to get an accurate rebate and out-of-pocket costs.
  5. Stick with your current provider, or if you're not happy shop around using the tips below.

If you’re buying for the first time

  1. Compare either “extras” or “hospital and extras” health insurance policies that include orthodontic.
  2. You’ll need a fairly high level of extras cover as it’s quite a costly procedure.
  3. Wait the 12-month period so you can claim; in the meantime, you can claim other rebates such as general dental.
  4. Ask your dentist or Invisalign provider for the item numbers of your treatment.
  5. Give your insurer these numbers to get an exact figure on your total rebate amount.

This will give you a clear understanding of the out-of-pocket costs you’ll be left to pay once you have claimed a rebate.

Here are a few options from finder.com.au partners that include Invisalign on the list of major dental treatments. They all have a 12-month waiting period and prices are based on a single living in NSW.

How Invisalign is covered Policy and inclusions Apply
ahm logo Can be claimed under orthodontics
  • Lifestyle extras – $600 limit
  • Super extras – $900 limit
Go to Site
Can be claimed under orthodontics
  • Top extras – $800 limit
Go to Site
Can be covered if dental item numbers are provided and checked in advance
  • Classic extras – $500 limit
  • Total extras – $900 limit
Go to Site
HCF logo Can be claimed – need to check with your local centre
  • Gold extras – $700 limit
  • Platinum extras – $800 limit
Go to Site
health.com.au-logo Can be covered if dental item numbers are provided to be checked in advance
  • Extras 50 – $500 limit
More info

Picture: Unsplash

Alex Holderness

As health insurance publisher, Alex Holderness is trying to make a confusing topic easy to understand. She moved to Sydney from the UK six years ago and her words have been published in various health and tech publications. When she's not obsessing over sentences, you'll find her triathlon training.

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