Ask a doctor

Why is Invisalign So Expensive Considering the Cost of the Trays?

The cost of Invisalign is as follows (Source: Align Technology as of June 2012): - Full: $1649 - Assist: $1699 with progress tracking / $1299 without progress tracking - Teen: $1649 - Express 10: $899 - Express 5: $549 If treatment lasts 12 months, and I will see an orthodontist once / 6 weeks that means I will see him/her 10 times maybe 15 if I have a lot of emergencies. I was quoted $6k for Invisalign = $4,351 ($6k-$1649) for 10-15 visits or $290-$435 each. Expensive! What am I missing?

Doctor Answers (8)

Promoted Local Answer Promoted local answers are based on Featured Doctor activity within your current location.

Invisalign costs

+1

You have the correct fees on the invisalign lab fees, but you have not considered the following.  There is time and materials of the assistants or doctor to take the impressions and records.  There is office overhead which includes the office manager, rent, facilities construction and maintenance.  There is Doctor time.  Doctors have a value on their time.  In order to be current and on the cutting edge many spend hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars educating themselves and their staff.  Medicine and Dentistry all comes down to overhead or profit margin.  Typically profit margin is 25% for most practices.  So, using this number as an example your dentist might realize a profit of 1500 dollars after he pays his lab fee, rent, staff, etc.  He will likely spend 8-10 hours on your case reviewing it with you and on the computer.  Invisalign in my office is not a profitable procedure.  Most of my cases involve revisions or refinements, while which they don't incur an additional lab cost, they incur additional lab, staff and materials fee.  Profitability in invisalign depends on the proficiency of the provider and the difficulty of the case.  Many cases are losses, but help develop a good relationship with a patient.  I value my time far more than what invisalign procedures generate.  It's like a 2 for 1 special that just gets you into a particular grocery store.  Invisalign is far and above the least profitable procedure in my practice.  I would be wary of anyone who offers it for less that 6K.  !0K is a fair fee for a difficult case.  

Washington Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

The cost of Invisalign Lab fee vs Patient Fee

+3
you have correct information on the lab fees, and clearly in the above answers you have had the cost of running a practice fully explained to you. I'd like to emphasize to you that anyone doing it for less is likely using you case to educate themselves. there are always ways to find things cheaper. it comes down to what risks you are willing to take. Invisalign is a paint brush, everyone that holds one does not get the same finish result.
Chesterfield Orthodontist

Cost of Invisalign

+3

In order for a dentist to run his/her office properly, pay the staff, pay the state, local and federal taxes, administer the benefits, vacation pay, pay the rent/mortgage, buy equipment, pay all insurances (liability, disability, workers compensation, unemployment, overhead, health, etc.) Continuing education courses, not to mention that it costs way more than $250,000 to become a dentist... When you add all the expenses up, laboratory fees are typically only one seventh to one fifth of the price of the procedure to the patient. If you are paying only 6k for a full treatment, you are actually getting a bargain. Running any business is a very costly and risky proposition. If the price of the procedure is to low, business will not be able to make a profit, grow, and survive. If the price of the procedure is too high, the customers, in this case the patients will not come back for more. By the way... most dentists graduate dental school after the age of 26. At which time, most are over $250,000 in debt, and to set up a new dental office can cost up to a million dollars, depending on location and size. If dentistry did not promise a decent, steady income, why would anyone go through all this trouble? I hope that's my answer clarifies things a bit... Best of luck with your Invisalign treatment.

New York Cosmetic Dentist

What goes into the fee for invisalign?

+2

I am actually a little taken aback by your question.  Do you know that office overhead for a dental office in most cases is 60-70%.  The cost of invisalign is actually quite high for a laboratory fee but in addition we have staff salaries, rent, utilities that need to be paid for as well.  I can assure you that the additional cost you pay is not the profit.  If you think it is too high, go elsewhere.  But cheaper does not normally mean better

 

 

Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

What goes into the fee for Invisalign

+2

The major portion of any dental fee is for labor and overhead. The largest portion is the salary of the dentist as well as his support staff: reception, chairside assistants, billing assistants, hygienists, etc. Then comes the rent and utilities. Then comes the training and education and licensure for all parties. Do you actually believe that everything above and beyond the cost of the trays is pure profit???

New York Cosmetic Dentist

High cost of Invisalign.

+2

With most dental procedures, we are use to our patients having sticker shock. Most people assume a lower cost than reality. At the 6K fee, sounds like you are having full upper and lower treatment. Please consider all the other costs besides the high Invisalign lab fee to complete your treatment:  Training for the Doctor and Staff 10K+, rent, equipment, time to read latest techniques,liability and other insurance, federal tax, supplies, staff cost, and most importantly the time and skill for the behind the scenes computer work online with Invisalign before the trays are made. With all that, Invisalgn remains a useful method for orthodontically correcting the teeth but the profit margin is less than most other dental procedures. Thanks for your question.

Memphis Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Cost of invisalign

+2

The cost a rolled plate steel in February 2012 was $874/tonne.  A typical mercedes weighs 2 tonnes or about $1750 dollars of steel and sells for upwards of $60,000.  Clear aligners are an orthodontic treatment modality that involves careful treatment planning, experience and skill in order to give optimal results.  The cost of treatment factors all of this.  Invisalign is far more than just clear aligners. The knowledge, skill, overhead and profit are all worked into the cost.  Be sure to select your doctor based on the value to you.  

Toronto Cosmetic Dentist

It is all in the

+1

Why do cell phones cost so much??  They are just plastic, some rare elements and glass.  Probably about $15-20 on the raw market.  Melt down a car....what do you have?  We love what we do and how it can improve our patients' life but it isn't a hobby.  It is a struggle to manage overhead, pay our bills, etc.  But the real question is ..... Do you find the value in having your teeth in the best positions for their long-term health?  Yes, you do!!  Otherwise you would not be looking into orthodontics.  But you may not value it enough to justify the expense.  Your choice.  If something does not offer adequate benefit....why invest in it?  Secondarily, invest wisely!  Do your homework and select your provider not only on cost of the treatment.  A couple hundred bucks spent to gain a superior result will be $$$ well spent in the end. 

Sacramento Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.

You might also like...

Ask a Doctor

Get personalized answers from board-certified doctors. For free.