What Should I Really Pay for my Invisalign?

I've had Invisaligns for 9 months and I've 9 months to go. I'm moving to another country. The cost was 6,000, paid as a down payment followed by monthly payments. I still have 2,000 to pay. My orthodontist told me topay the remaining 2,000 and she would give me the remaining trays and my file to give to my new dentist. I don't think this is fair. The 6,000 includes overhead fees which she wont have to provide once I'm gone. What would be a fair negotiating price for me to pay for only the trays?

Doctor Answers 2

Fair fees for Invisalign and transferring a case.

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First, Invisalign fees for a full case range from $5000-$7000 so your dentist is in the ballpark. The second thing to keep in mind is that Invisalign lab fees are charged up front to the dentist, and the records, Clincheck treatment plan design, placement of any attachments, and initial aligner tray insertion and adjustment are the most labor intensive for the Invisalign dentist so the majority of the cost of the case is in this initial phase of treatment. Third, most aligners are fabricated at the start of treatment, so unless there is a "refinement" or "midcourse correction" necessary  during treatment, there are no additional fees for the new dentist who should only monitor progress until completion of active treatment. There is also rarely a lab fee associated with refinement or midcourse correction procedures as the initial lab fee paid by the dentist covers the cost of this additional lab service. With these issues in mind, the balance remaining on your account, and your need to transfer to another dentist because of relocation, it would be fair for him to credit you a small portion of the cost of your treatment, but not 1/3. Most Invisalign dentists will supervise the completion of a case from another dentist as a courtesy and charge a nominal fee until the retention phase. In my opinion, he should help you find a reputable and experienced Invisalign dentist where you are moving, transfer your file, and even have a dialogue with that dentist so you can be successfully managed to the end of treatment. A credit of $1000 from treatment in consideration for the time and follow up with your new dentist would be a generous offer. 

How much should I pay after transfering in Invisalign?

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You are right....this doesn't seem fair...The treatment fee we charge for Invisalign is made up of two parts: 1 the cost of the aligners and 2 the fee for the doctor and office time (which is by far the majority of the total fee).  So even if the doctor has already paid for the total cost of the aligners he/she certainly does not have to do all of the treatment since you are leaving.  Most doctors have a formula that they use to adjust the fee to something that is "fair".  This is not to say that the total fee for both doctors would be the same as if you had not transferred but it should be somewhat close

Robert Waxler, DMD, MS
Saint Louis Orthodontist

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