Wow! There’s a lot to unpack in that question.
Let’s start with what Invisalign is and how it works.
Invisalign is the first company to use Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) into the orthodontic space.
There are several companies that provide clear aligners for orthodontics predating Invisalign. They simply started using CAD/CAM to make it better, faster and with more screening design and treatment options.
The significance of this is that Invisalign didn’t invent the process, they built on the success of companies using Clear Aligner Therapy (CAT).
When Invisalign first came out, they were fairly restrictive in the products they offered leaving the door wide open for the initial companies to offer the more simple treatment plans for fees much less than Invisalign’s. Over the years Invisalign has offered better fees for the dentists on smaller cases.
In the past Invisalign has been successful at limiting competition in their space, but that only lasted for a short period of time. There are many companies offering dentists more attractive fees for comparable products, thereby allowing dentists to charge their patients less for simpler, shorter cases.
Several years ago there might not have been too many Bryn Mawr dentists offering Invisalign, but now there are many dentists that have the option of offering patients products from several different providers to ‘right size’ the case and charge more reasonable fees for smaller cases.
Comprehensive, longer full treatment orthodontic cases can cost $8,000, or more around the Bryn Mawr area. Many Orthodontists charge their flat fee for the treatment of most cases.
Whereas, I can’t speak for all general dentists in the Bryn Mawr area, however, we charge sliding scales for cases based on their complexity and treatment time. We can offer fees ranging from about $1,500. for the simplest of cases up to full fees for comprehensive cases. We also adjust the fee based on whether or not the patient would like retainers, and what retainers they would like to have.
Unfortunately, an internet search can’t tell you what your treatment could cost you as all cases are unique. To make the process less confusing, we offer complimentary consults and treatment proposals, including fees. Since we have been providing Invisalign in bryn mawr pa and other CAD/CAM services for over 20 years, I have enough experience to review cases fairly quickly.
Inasmuch as Invisalign is commodity and I can get the same product from them as my Orthodontist can, I do respect the challenge of treating the toughest cases and happily refer them out to my Orthodontist because she certainly can navigate the curveballs and pitfalls of these cases for the quickest and best outcomes.
One of the last aspects of CAT that I would like to address is the use of companies that have sprung up, like Smile Direct Club where there is no dentist supervision involved in the patient experience. I can’t really trust it, out of principle, but I can tell you that I have treated many disgruntled patients from them. I have heard of ONE patient that was happy with their service, confirming my suspicions of the treatment model.
There is a product we have been offering for over 50 years for young kids. It is a selection of stock mouthpieces that kids can wear and chew into. Orthotain uses that pressure to move the teeth into more optimal orientations. It is using the same principles of CAT that constant force from a removable device will move teeth, if worn for most of the day or at least actively chewing into it several hours a day.
We have had huge success with Orthotain for 7-12 year olds, but the compliance of the child is paramount and we have learned to be selective in that regard to ensure our success.
I usually tell the parents that Orthotain quite possibly can keep many kids from ever having to get comprehensive orthodontics and if they do need further straightening down the road, it becomes more of a tweak, rather than a full case. Obviously, we are very selective with which kids and which teeth alignments we chose to treat. This service is not for everyone, for sure, but OMG it’s great when it works out.
Once again, we will happily offer complimentary consultations for these cases and the fee for this procedure.
As far as insurance plays into this, each insurance provider handles these cases differently. Most will cover these treatments, even the Orthotain. The dentist might have to submit it as a comprehensive orthodontic case. Sometimes this submission is once in the life of a patient, other times, not.
Just call Joanne at our Bryn Mawr dental office.
Dillon Family Dentistry.