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Invisalign Braces Guide: Types, Brands, Cost, and More!

Natalie Asmussen
Natalie Asmussen
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Brandon Murri
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Karen Kemp-Prosterman
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What are Invisalign invisible Braces? Invisible braces like Invisalign are a great option for people who want to straighten their teeth while avoiding a ‘metal mouth' smile. They are becoming ever more popular, especially among adults.

That's why, in this guide, we will answer the following questions so you can make an informed decision about the right orthodontics treatment for you:

  • What is Invisalign?
  • How do Invisalign aligners work?
  • How long does Invisalign take?
  • How painful are Invisalign aligners?
  • How much does Invisalign cost?
  • What are the best teeth aligners?
  • Is Invisalign worth it?
  • What are the types of Invisalign aligners?
  • Where can I find Invisalign near me?
  • Which is better, Invisalign or braces?
  • Invisalign brands and more!

You can read about some of the most popular brands of clear aligner braces in the US, plus find out how much invisible braces cost for teen and adult braces.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign, commonly termed ‘invisible braces,‘ is a form of teeth straightening that uses a series of clear plastic aligners (also known as ‘trays') to move teeth into alignment gradually. You may also hear them called ‘removable braces,' although the correct term is ‘clear aligners.'

braces vs invisalign
What is Invisalign? Invisible braces cost the same, but are less noticeable

Although they aren't completely invisible, they use advanced technology, making them barely detectable. Most people can't spot that someone is wearing clear aligners until they are told.

The best-known type of invisible brace in the US is the Invisalign braces system, but other similar brands are also available. If you're wondering how to choose between the different types of invisible brace, we'll cover these later in more detail.

Teeth aligners can be used to treat a range of mild and moderate tooth alignment problems, including:

They may also be a good choice for people whose teeth have started to move back to their original position following previous orthodontic treatment.

How do Invisalign aligners work?

How does Invisalign work?
Dental impressions help your dentist plan your treatment

Your dentist will begin your treatment either by taking a mold of your teeth, which can be used to create a digital scan or by scanning your teeth directly using the latest imaging technology. This scan is used to plan your treatment step by step with the help of a computer program. From this, your clear aligners are created.

The 3D plan allows you to see ‘before and after’ views of your teeth before the treatment has even begun. This allows you and your dentist or orthodontist to visualize the predicted outcome of your treatment and discuss different treatment options you may want to consider.

You may need to have your teeth filed along some sides as part of your treatment. This painless process creates tiny gaps between teeth to give them space to move, and it can also even out cosmetic imperfections.

Each invisible teeth aligner is customized to fit your teeth and shaped to apply pressure in exactly the right places to shift them into alignment slowly.

Depending on your dentist's recommendation, you'll need to switch to a new clear aligner every one to two weeks, but this doesn't mean having checkups that often. Your dentist or orthodontist will only need to check your treatment progress every four to six weeks before providing new teeth aligners.

How long does Invisalign treatment take?

Invisalign treatment time can take anywhere from 9 months to 18 months or more but typically lasts just over a year. Longer treatment requires more trays to be made, increasing the cost. The invisible braces price increases considerably for longer treatment durations.

With this treatment, adding “Invisalign buttons or attachments” to certain teeth may be necessary to help the aligners work more effectively, especially if gentle force is needed for tooth rotation or a more complex movement is necessary. In the video below, you can see how this happens as part of the fitting process:

How painful are Invisalign aligners?

Invisalign aligners are not as painful as traditional braces—since the metal brackets can catch on the insides of cheeks and cause sores, the fact that clear aligners do away with brackets means that this won't be a problem. The process of moving teeth usually causes a bit of pain, no matter what kind of braces or aligners you have. It's no different for Invisalign, with the most pain at the start of each new set of aligners.

After treatment with Invisalign braces

After treatment with clear aligners, you'll need to wear a retainer at night to keep your teeth in place. Your orthodontist or dentist may recommend wearing it during the day at first, too.

Invisalign retainers, branded as Vivera retainers, are designed to be almost unnoticeable. Other types of retainer use metal wires to keep your teeth in place but are still removable.

It's possible that you'll need to wear a retainer after Invisalign for the rest of your life to stop your teeth from moving out of alignment (known as relapse).

You should wear them 24 hours a day (taking them out to eat and drink) for the first two weeks and after that, only at night, but you are encouraged to order a new set every six months. Just like with Invisalign retainers, these retainers are meant to be worn for the rest of your life.

Ask a dentist: What are the benefits of Invisalign?

Straightening your teeth not only improves your appearance but also improves your oral health. Invisalign is a good option for those who want to straighten their smiles without having bulky metal braces in their mouths. Considering Invisalign’s retainers are removable, they come with a number of benefits, including:

  • You can eat what you want. With clunky metal braces, eating certain foods that can get caught easily in the brackets is tough. These removable retainers are taken out each time you eat, which means you can eat your favorite foods. 
  • The ability to engage in regular activities. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign users don’t have to worry about damaging the orthodontics in their mouths because they can be removed at a moment’s notice.
  • Your teeth stay clean. Since you can easily remove Invisalign retainers, you can still brush and floss like normal without obstruction or inconvenience. 

Dr. Brandon Murri, Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies

How much does Invisalign cost?

Invisalign costs around $3,500 – $8,500 in the US (for Full) because of all the variables involved. It can be frustrating to get an accurate quote.

That's why we've created this Invisalign cost calculator.

Just enter some basic details below to get an instant personal Invisalign cost estimate.

Get a cost estimate for your Invisalign treatment

Answer the following questions to see an approximate price for Invisalign clear aligners:
How severe is your current level of teeth misalignment?
Do you have insurance that covers Invisalign?
How will you pay?

Based on the information you provided, your Invisalign treatment cost estimate is:

What next?

Please note that this price is only an estimate and your own treatment cost may be higher or lower than this. You should visit an Invisalign dentist to get a personal quotation and discuss payment options.

Please do keep in mind that individual quotes will vary — you can call 866-383-0748 to find an Invisalign dentist near you who can give you a detailed price quote.

In most cases, invisible braces like Invisalign cost more than the traditional metal ‘train track' alternative. However, most people are willing to pay for the benefits of having their teeth discreetly straightened.

The price that orthodontists charge for each type of brace is up to them, so you'll find that the charges differ from one location to another. The cost of Invisalign and other transparent braces will also depend on the complexity of your treatment and the expected duration. If you are a suitable candidate for Invisalign Express, the cost of invisible braces will be lower than if you needed Invisalign Full.

Invisalign doesn't offer a fixed cost, so you'll need to visit a dentist to find out about the price of your treatment.

Ask a dentist near you about your treatment

Click here to get connected or call 866-383-0748 (toll-free, 24/7)

Call A Dentist

Take a look at our Invisalign cost calculator, but also check out this table that compares Invisalign prices for Full, Express, Teen, and Lite:

Type of Invisalign treatment


Express 10

Express 5



Cost range






Number of aligners






Treatment duration

12-18 months

20 weeks

10 weeks

12-18 months

6-8 months

Suitable for

Mild to moderate problems

Mild cases



Mild to moderate problems

Mild and moderate cases

As you can see from the table above, the average cost of Invisalign is similar to or less than other discreet alternatives, such as ceramic braces and lingual braces (more about these options further down).

Paying for your treatment

If you're putting off treatment because of the cost of invisible braces, your dentist may be able to help you spread the payments out. Many dentists offer dental payment plans that will allow you to pay a deposit up-front and then pay off the remaining amount during your treatment.

If you're considering financing for dental treatment, it's worth shopping around for a dental practice offering 0% finance. This can make a big difference to the total cost of invisible braces.

invisible braces cost at the dentist
Speak to your dentist about the cost of Invisalign

In the US, Invisalign gives certain dentists a coveted ‘Top 1% Provider' status. This ranks a practitioner's experience with Invisalign compared to all others around the world.

As a consumer, it should give you peace of mind that the dentist is competent with the treatment, but there may also be an added cost benefit. The top 1% of Providers receive preferential Invisalign prices, which they often pass on to customers. So this is something you should look out for when selecting a clinic for your treatment.

How much does Invisalign cost with insurance?

Your dental insurance may well provide partial coverage for orthodontic work for children under 18. More providers are starting to expand their dental insurance offerings to include adult orthodontics. Read more about the best dental insurance providers in the US.  

Check your policy for details, and take note of the percentage covered and the lifetime maximum per person insured. Be wary of switching providers halfway through orthodontic treatment, as the new policy may not cover work that has already begun. Also, keep in mind that even if you have insurance for orthodontic work, it may not cover the Invisalign cost with insurance completely. 

Additionally, check our article on Medicaid dental insurance to learn more about whether your state-funded insurance will cover the invisible braces cost. 

What's the cost of clear Invisalign retainers after teeth straightening treatment?

The average cost of Invisalign retainers will vary from one dentist to another, but you can expect to pay between $300 and $750 annually (for one set every three months).

When your orthodontic treatment has finished, you'll need to keep your teeth in place with retainers. Invisalign retainers are available under the brand name Vivera. Depending on how well you look after them, these can last anywhere from a few months to a few years.

Invisalign retainer
Hawley retainers are a cheaper option than Invisalign retainers

A similar style of retainer, called a clear Essix retainer, is available from most dentists at a more affordable price. Hawley retainers, which use acrylic and wires, are another option.

Whichever type of retainer you choose, you'll need to factor in the lifetime cost of using one when budgeting for your orthodontic treatment. If you stop using a retainer, your results will recede.

How much does Invisalign cost for top teeth only?

Invisalign for top teeth only costs approximately $1,500 to $5,000. That's because you can probably opt for the Invisalign Express system for minor straightening.

The different types of Invisalign aligners

Invisalign Full

This is the original and most common Invisalign aligners treatment that corrects more complicated problems with tooth alignment. Full treatment usually takes 12-18 months but will continue until the desired result is achieved.

During your treatment, you'll need to visit your dentist every four to eight weeks to check how your teeth are responding and order your next set of aligners. Your dentist may fit small Invisalign attachments to some of your teeth as part of your treatment. These help the braces adjust your teeth faster and more efficiently. For some people, these attachments are the most noticeable part of the braces. 

The video below shows one patient's experience and her results nearing the end of her Invisalign Full treatment. She talks about the discomfort she experienced, the cost, and getting attachments.

Invisalign Express

Invisalign Express offers mild correction for minor to moderate cases that don't need full treatment. There are two lengths of Express treatment: one uses up to five aligners and takes three months, and the other uses up to 10 aligners and takes around six months.

One thing to consider if you opt for the Invisalign Express treatment is that the number of aligners you get is set to five with Express 5 and 10 with Express 10. That means you are out of luck if you don't get the results you want in time. Whereas with Invisalign Full, your dentist can extend your treatment to order more aligners if your teeth don't respond exactly as planned. 

The reduced treatment time for Invisalign Express means that the braces can treat a limited range of problems. These include:

  • Slight overcrowding or spacing (up to 2mm per arch)
  • Mild crookedness of front teeth
  • Early relapse from previous orthodontic work

The obvious benefit is that the Invisalign Express costs less than Invisalign Full, as long as you only need the number of available aligners.

Invisalign Teen

invisible braces for teens
Invisalign teen is a special type of aligner for younger patients

Because teeth and jaws are still developing during the teenage years, it's a great time to fix any alignment problems. However, some brand designs of invisible aligner braces cannot accommodate the growing jaw of a teenager.

With removable braces, there is also the risk that the patient will remove them for longer than the recommended time each day.

Invisalign Teen's special design helps teenagers straighten their teeth while their dentition and jaws are still evolving. This aligner system comes with special features, including:

  • Up to six free replacement aligners to replace lost or damaged ones
  • Tooth eruption tabs to allow space for growing teeth
  • Compliance indicators that show parents and dentists whether the wearer is keeping their aligners in for the required 22 hours a day
  • Special aligners to encourage lower jaw advancement and enable treatment without elastics

Invisible braces cost more than traditional metal braces, but some parents may say it's a small price to pay for their child to have a straighter smile without the risk of bullying and name-calling that often comes with wearing braces. This system is also a good option if their child plays a contact sport or a wind instrument.

In this video, one teen explains why this was the right choice for him:

Invisalign Lite

What is Invisalign Lite? Invisalign Lite is another good option for those who desire a quicker smile transformation. It takes less time and utilizes fewer trays than the standard full Invisalign treatment. It's the ideal in-between option for individuals whose dental concerns are more complex than what Invisalign Express can handle but don't require the full 12-18 months of Invisalign Full treatment.

Invisalign Lite is suitable for the following:

With the Lite package, you can expect an average treatment duration of around 6-8 months. It addresses mild to moderate cases in adults and teenagers, offering a precise and efficient solution. In this dedicated article on Invisalign Lite, you will find out the cost of Invisalign Lite, compare Invisalign Lite vs Full Invisalign, and see Invisalign Lite before and after reviews.

To determine if Invisalign Lite is right for you, it's best to consult with your dentist near you. The dentist will conduct a thorough assessment, typically at no cost, and discuss your treatment plan and associated cost.


Vivera retainers by Invisalign are designed to be worn after removing orthodontic procedures like braces. Invisalign provides you with easy instructions for care and uses when you get this clear retainer.

Invisalign: Before and after

Invisalign before and after photos show clear aligner results and how effective these invisible aligners can be at correcting the position of teeth.

Before Invisalign

After Invisalign

Invisalign reviews

 So, the most important question is: Does Invisalign work?

If you want to know what other people think of using Invisalign, there are plenty of sites with Invisalign reviews where you can get an honest opinion of the process and view Invisalign ‘before and after' photos. If you're short on time, check out our Invisalign reviews article, which summarizes honest reviews from real users.

Some mention mouth sores, ulcers, and bleeding gums in the first few days while their mouths adjust to the trays. Others say they have difficulty removing them at first, but most people soon adjust to them and have a positive experience.

“Anyone who has had braces knows the pain of having your teeth pushed around your mouth. It is no different with Invisalign. I would say that the first 4 days were the worst, with the worst pain being the night after starting a new tray. I usually just took a bit of Tylenol the first night, and it was fine, but you definitely notice the uncomfortableness the first few days. By the end of the two weeks, it was so easy to take the trays in and out – it was actually pretty encouraging because you could see that your teeth were actually straightening!” said one user.

Ask a dentist: Is Invisalign effective?

Recent research on clear aligners shows that Invisalign can be just as successful in treating mild to
moderate alignment concerns as traditional braces.

However, not everyone should choose it as their teeth-straightening method. Before deciding how to straighten your teeth, consult your dentist to find out what's best for you.

Dr. Yusupov, Amazing Smiles Orthodontics

In her review, she also comments that the inconvenience of having to remove the teeth aligners every time you eat or drink anything except water can be annoying, but on the other hand, you don't have the fiddly cleaning of metal braces to deal with.

“It does limit you though when it comes to eating – you can't eat with the trays in, so you have to take them out any time you want to eat anything. I really do think it probably forced me to eat less since I didn't want to deal with taking my braces out every single time I wanted something to eat.”

Another Invisalign review for adults says:

“Orthodontists have a much easier time making some tooth movements with traditional braces. While Invisalign moved most of my teeth it could not move one of them as quickly as braces. One of my back molars was severely rotated and Invisalign was unable to rotate it properly into the correct position. Even though I wore my aligners twenty-two hours a day one of my teeth failed to track properly.”

Invisible aligner braces won't be the right choice for everyone, so it's a good idea to read some reviews for yourself before making a choice.

Other brands of invisible aligner braces offered by dentists

Invisalign has arguably the best reputation in the US and brings 20 years of expertise to the market. However, your local dentist may also offer other aligner braces solutions, including those mentioned below. Keep in mind that some companies, particularly newer ones, may not have invested as much in their research and technology, so you should consider this when making your choice.

ClearCorrect braces

ClearCorrect aligners
ClearCorrect is a popular option instead of Invisalign

These are manufactured in Texas and shipped out to dentists in the US, the UK, and Australia. ClearCorrect is probably the next biggest name in aligner orthodontics and released its first product in 2006. A dentist uses impressions or a scanner to capture the current position of the patient's teeth before creating a treatment plan.

Patients must wear their aligners for at least 22 hours every day. Treatment may take anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on the complexity of the tooth straightening required.

Some users prefer Clearcorrect over Invisalign because the trays are all sent at once, and they seem to be thinner and, therefore, less noticeable than Invisalign. Read more about ClearCorrect vs Invisalign in our separate article, or check out some real ClearCorrect reviews.

ClearSmile braces

Another brand, British Croydon-based company ClearSmile, offers a variety of adult braces, including ClearSmile Brace and ClearSmile Aligner. The ClearSmile Aligner focuses on straightening the front eight to 10 teeth.

Treatment with ClearSmile aligners begins by taking impressions of the teeth. These are then analyzed using Archwize software which produces a diagnostic report. This report allows patients to see ‘before and after' views of their teeth on 3D animated models before treatment commences.

The ClearSmile production method combines 3D printing and molding to ensure a close and comfortable fit for the patient. Further impressions may be taken every six aligners to ensure that the teeth are moving into place as intended.

Inman Aligner braces

This treatment is widely available in the US and has recently been introduced to the UK market.

inman clear aligner
Inman aligner braces apply pressure from the front and back

The Inman Aligner is another clear option and offers a slightly different take on the clear aligner brace. Using patented technology, the spring-loaded system applies pressure to the front and back of the teeth simultaneously to bring them into line. Treatment usually takes 6-18 weeks to complete.

This treatment only works on the front teeth, so unlike Invisalign, it's not a full orthodontic solution. Patients are often people who wore braces when they were younger but now have crooked teeth again because they stopped wearing a retainer.

You only need to wear Inman aligners for 16-20 hours a day, which is less than other styles of aligner brace.

On the downside, Inman aligner braces aren’t really invisible. Although the ‘bow’ which spans the front teeth is clear plastic, it usually has a wire running through it. The metal springs and clasps which attach to the rear teeth are also quite visible when you smile. Read more about Inman Aligners vs. Invisalign.

Other invisible brace brands

Other brands of clear aligners are also available, such as ClearPath, SureSmile, and Eon. Each manufacturer has its own unique selling points. ClearPath, for example, does not use any attachments, while Eon claims to use a stronger, more stain-resistant material than many of its competitors.

Some orthodontists offer more than one brand of invisible brace, so you can ask which one they recommend for your treatment and why. It's worth noting that some reviews suggest people experience greater comfort from this brand because of the material and the way it fits around their gums.

Uniform Teeth is another invisible braces brand, that offers a sort of hybrid option between mail-order and in-office aligners. You have some in-person visits with your dentist, but fewer than with Invisalign, thus keeping prices down. You can read more about it in our Uniform Teeth reviews article.

At-home clear aligners (mail-order braces)

One type of clear braces that we haven't mentioned is those that don't require in-office visits with your dentist. They are sometimes referred to as “teledentistry braces,” “mail-order braces,” and “at-home braces.”

Many people choose at-home braces because you can save 50–70% on cost. In comparison to invisible braces that require in-office visits, these are also more convenient since you don't have to take time off work to go to the orthodontist. 

At-home braces are an affordable and effective option for many patients; however, if you have very severely crooked teeth or a misaligned bite, you may not be eligible for this type of aligner. You can have a look at some of the top brands below, like Byte, or read Byte reviews.

Find the right clear aligners for you
There are so many companies offering remote teeth straightening with aligners! Take a look at our top picks and discover why we recommend these over any others.
  • Hybrid in-office and remote treatment
  • In-person visits with your orthodontist for safe, effective treatment
  • Treats even complex cases of misalignment
  • Various pricing options
Schedule your appointment!
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Discover the flexibility and effectiveness of Impress Invisible Braces, the hybrid orthodontic solution that blends in-person care with the convenience of remote appointments. Suitable for both kids and adults, Impress offers a range of treatment options designed to cater to various needs, from mild to severe cases of misalignment. With the initial consultation happening in person, you're assured of a tailored treatment plan that can address even the most complex orthodontic issues.

Impress Treatment Plans:

  • Impress Super Light ($6,999): Perfect for mild cases, this plan promises results in up to 3 months, making it the quickest route to a better smile.
  • Impress ($4,599): Designed for moderate cases, this option aims to perfect your smile within 4-10 months.
  • Impress Plus ($5,599): Tailored for moderate cases requiring a bit more time, this plan spans 11-14 months.
  • Impress Advanced ($6,999): The go-to choice for complex cases, offering comprehensive treatment over 11-24 months.
  • Teens ($4,599): Specifically designed for teenagers, this plan addresses mild cases within 4-10 months, ensuring a confident smile during those crucial years.
  • Impress Kids ($4,599): Offering orthodontic treatment for children, this plan covers a period between 8-18 months, setting the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

With flexible payment plans available, starting your journey to a perfect smile has never been easier or more accessible. Whether you're looking for a quick fix or need extensive treatment, Impress Invisible Braces provide a tailored solution that meets your needs and budget. Click below to get started!

Find out if you're a candidate!
  • 3-4 month average treatment time
  • Assessed and planned by orthodontists
  • Includes whitening and first retainers
  • $1,999 or $70/month
Get faster treatment
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Byte's HyperByte technology uses High Frequency Vibration to help your teeth move faster and with minimal discomfort. Their average treatment time is just 3-4 months, compared to 6 months for most others.

Treatment includes your first set of retainers. You'll also get their BrightByte 3-in-1 foam to whiten your teeth, clean your aligners and freshen your breath. And their Byte-for-life guarantee means you'll get free adjustments if your teeth start to move again.

Begin by ordering an impression kit so their orthodontists can assess whether you're a good match.

Get 80% off with code SMILEBRYTE
  • Complete treatment 100% remotely
  • Amazing customer service
  • Nighttime-only option
  • $1,495 or $55/month
Get NewSmile aligners
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NewSmile aligners are made from the clearest Essix plastic and come with a daytime or nighttime-only option to suit you. For just $1,495 you'll receive everything you need to straighten and whiten your teeth – and maintain your new smile:

  • Home impression kit
  • Full aligner treatment
  • Free whitening
  • First set of retainers
  • A full refund if you're not a good fit

NewSmile goes above and beyond to provide a great experience to all their customers, beginning with a live video call to help you with your teeth impressions. Mail these back, and they'll send a 3D Treatment Preview for you to approve before going ahead.

Alternatively, click here for an extra $20 off an impression kit!
  • Smileie Pro offers hybrid treatment!
  • Single-arch treatment option
  • Nighttime aligners available
  • Free refinements & 2 sets of retainers
  • $699 (single-arch) or $999 (dual-arch)
Check Smileie's offers
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Smileie's aligner treatment is not only affordable, but flexible too. You have the option of Smileie Pro, which is hybrid treatment that involves in-office visits with a dentist.

That means more accurate, safer and effective treatment or a wider variety of cases.

But you can also opt for single-arch treatment for just your top or bottom teeth, as well as nighttime-only treatment. And whichever package you choose, monthly payments are available.

On top of this, Smileie offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee which includes free refinements if needed. Their aligners are made in the US and treatment takes 4-6 months on average.

Get Smileie Pro for just $1499, or —

Get the best discount on the standard plan, with 100% remote treatment, when you purchase your aligner package up-front, including:

  • Home impression kit
  • Teeth whitening kit
  • Two sets of retainers
  • A full refund if you're not a good candidate

Packages start at $699 for single-arch treatment. Click below to check for current discounts!

Get the lowest price on hybrid treatment with Smileie Pro
  • Complete treatment 100% remotely
  • 4-6 month average treatment time
  • Nighttime-only option
  • $949 or $77/month
Get this deal
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If you're looking for the best value aligner package, here it is! For just $895 you'll get:

  • Impression kit
  • Full aligner treatment course
  • Free teeth whitening kit
  • Your first set of retainers

In short, everything needed to straighten your teeth remotely and keep them looking great, with a full money-back guarantee if you're not a suitable candidate.

This low price doesn't mean you're compromising on quality of care, though. ALIGNERCO just choose not to put so much into marketing, and they pass on the savings to their customers. They are also known for their responsive and helpful customer care, which is important when you're doing things from home.

Plus, if you're in New York, you can visit their SmileStudio for a free consultation and help taking your impressions.

Nighttime-only aligners are also available for anyone who doesn't want to wear aligners during the day.

  • Complete treatment 100% remotely
  • Single or dual-arch treatment
  • Nighttime-only option
  • Just $849 (single-arch) or $1149 (dual-arch)
Get the best price!
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Caspersmile aligners offer the most affordable way to correct minor dental misalignment invisibly and without any discomfort. Their single-arch treatment costs just $849. This price includes everything you need, including:

  • Impression kit
  • Personalized treatment plan
  • Clear aligners
  • 1st set of retainers
  • Teeth whitening kit
  • Caspersmile guarantee

Caspersmile offers great customer service too — with unlimited video consultations with your Smile Specialist, the liaison to the Caspersmile dentist in charge of your case.

Begin your teeth straightening journey by taking a free Smile Assessment today.

Which is better, Invisalign or braces?

Both Invisalign and traditional braces are effective ways to straighten teeth. However, some people may have to go with metal braces if they have a more severe case.

The use of Invisalign vs braces has a lot of benefits, including :

  • Aligners are virtually invisible, so the wearer feels less self-conscious
  • They can be removed for up to four hours a day for eating, cleaning, and any special occasions or events where the wearer wants to be brace-free
  • There are no restrictions on what the user can eat during treatment (as long as aligners are removed first)
  • They are a more hygienic option as food can't get stuck in them
  • Trays are easy to clean, and teeth can be cleaned as normal
  • Visits to the orthodontist may not be needed as often

Naturally, there are some downsides to Invisalign vs. braces too:

how much does invisalign cost
Oral hygiene is very important if you use invisible braces
  • Treatment can take longer than with fixed braces
  • Teeth aligners can be lost and are expensive to replace
  • They are unsuitable for the most severe cases requiring more complicated treatment, for example, rotating teeth or moving them vertically.
  • Aligners must be removed before eating or drinking anything except water
  • The wearer must brush their teeth before replacing aligners after eating
  • In general, costs are higher for Invisalign vs. braces
  • Self-discipline is needed for the wearer to keep aligners in for at least 20–22 hours a day

That final point is very important; people who may want to skip a day or keep their aligners out for more than four hours a day might be better off wearing permanent braces. Failing to follow these guidelines means treatment will be less effective or will take longer.

Wearers of any kind of braces need to be meticulous with their oral hygiene to minimize the chances of tooth decay, gum disease, or staining during treatment.

Check out this table for a summary of braces vs Invisalign pros and cons:

Invisible braces

Traditional braces





Very discreet

Potentially longer treatment

Often cheaper than Invisalign

Can be very noticeable


May be more expensive

Treats severe malocclusion

Harder to clean

No off-limit foods

Only treats minor to moderate cases

Good for forgetful patients

Some foods are off limits

Easy to clean

Requires self-discipline

May be longer treatment time

After going through the options above, you may wonder if Invisalign is worth it. Over the past 20 years, the Invisalign vs braces debate rages on as more than seven million patients have now used Invisalign for better smiles in 90+ countries. Celebrities who have corrected their smiles inconspicuously include Oprah Winfrey, Keira Knightley, Kate Middleton, Tom Cruise, and Justin Bieber.

With over 20 years of investments in research and development, Invisalign aligners can now treat 90% of orthodontic cases. This includes some severe misalignment problems that previously required treatment with traditional metal braces.

What's more, the American Association of Orthodontics has also weighed in on this debate. According to them, the skill of your orthodontist is more important in deciding the effectiveness of treatment than whether you choose invisible braces or traditional braces. Hence, if you are still wondering if Invisalign is worth it, we hope these facts inform your decisions.

What can Invisalign not fix?

Invisalign aligners can treat around 90% of orthodontic cases. The most severe problems may need treatment with traditional braces and maybe even accompanied by jaw surgery. This may include severe bite alignment problems like overbites, underbites, and crossbites. Your dentist will let you know if you need Invisalign or braces.

Other types of clear braces

Invisalign how long
Clear braces are also less noticeable

If you like the idea of less noticeable braces but decide against Invisalign for some reason, there are other options you may want to consider.

Ceramic braces and clear braces, such as Damon braces and the ClearSmile Brace, use the same system of brackets and wires as metal braces. The key difference is that the materials of the brackets (and sometimes the wires) appear tooth-colored or white. This helps make the braces less obvious, particularly from a distance, but the problem with discomfort remains.

Clear braces can be a good alternative for people who are not eligible for aligner brace treatment but still want a straighter smile the subtle way.

If you feel like splurging, you can check out Radiance Braces, which are of strong and clear sapphire quality.

Another option to consider is lingual braces, which are hardly noticeable as they are behind the teeth. However, lingual braces are typically the most expensive type, and some users find them uncomfortable.

If you're considering dental braces for yourself or your teen, it's best to visit a dentist or orthodontist with enough experience using several different types of braces. They will be able to give you a professional opinion on the best type of orthodontic treatment for you.

You can also read our article about the differences between lingual braces and Invisalign.

Invisalign near me

If you think you're a good candidate for Invisalign aligners and you're ready to get this treatment, you can find an Invisalign dentist near you now to set up a consultation.

Call 866-383-0748 and you'll be connected with a live operator who will match you with a nearby Invisalign dentist.

Find an Invisalign dentist near me now

Click here to get connected or call 866-383-0748 (toll-free, 24/7)

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Many adults and teens choose to straighten their teeth with invisible braces because they don't want people to notice they are wearing braces at all (despite the emerging fake braces trend). They also like the convenience of being able to remove their aligners to eat as normal.

Of all the in-office brands available, Invisalign is the best so far, and for good reason. With over 20 years of expertise, the brand has been consistent in its effectiveness. It can now treat 90% of orthodontic cases, even severe malocclusion, which you might think requires metal braces.

However, the cost of these aligners makes them unaffordable for many people. If you're considering saving money with at-home aligners, take a look at our pages of CandidSmileie, Smileie Pro, ALIGNERCO reviewsNewSmileByte, Smile Direct, and Smilelove to see which would be most suitable for you. We also have some comparison articles to check out, like Candid vs Invsialign.

If you're set on treatment with Invisalign, call 866-383-0748 to speak with a live operator now who can connect you with an Invisalign dentist near you.


How much are Invisalign braces?

The average cost of Invisalign is usually more than traditional metal braces. Invisalign costs, for Full, are anywhere between $3,500 and $8,500 in the US, but this will depend on each case.

Can you get Invisalign for bottom teeth only?

Yes, you can get Invisalign on your bottom teeth only, which is called single arch Invisalign treatment. However, you need to understand that this only applies to very mild cases like spacing or a few slightly crooked teeth. Read our article about Invisalign on bottom teeth or top teeth only to learn more.

What are some other alternatives to Invisalign?

Invisalign might be the biggest name out there, but there are plenty of in-office and at-home alternatives to consider. Read our article about Invisalign alternatives to learn more.

Where can I find Invisalign near me?

Ask your dentist if their office offers treatment with Invisalign. You can also go to the website of the brand you are exploring, and they will help you find a dentist in your area. 

How do you clean Invisalign retainers?

If you're wondering how to clean aligners or retainers from Invisalign, a variety of products are available to clean your clear aligners. We recommend cariPRO cleaning tablets. They remove stains and kill 99.9% of bacteria.

Can Invisalign fix an overbite?

Invisalign can fix overbite in mild to moderate cases. Invisalign overbite treatment will probably require Invisalign Full instead of Express, except for very mild cases. 

What happens if I don't wear my Invisalign for 22 hours a day?

If you don't wear your Invisalign aligners for 22 hours a day, your treatment time will take longer, and you might not succeed in straightening your teeth at all. Your teeth only move into the correct position while you're wearing your aligners. That means that when you don't have your aligners on, your teeth work to return to their original alignment. If you forget to wear your Invisalign frequently for 22 hours a day, you may have to begin treatment from the beginning and pay again for a whole new set of aligners.

Invisalign Braces Guide: Types, Brands, Cost, and More!
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AAO: Braces vs. Clear Aligners. Consulted 6 August 2019. Who we are. Consulted 6 August 2019.