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It's no secret that orthodontic treatment is expensive. A quick Google search for the average cost of Invisalign or braces will send most people looking for financial assistance. For some, that help comes in the form of insurance. But every insurance company and plan is different. Some include the benefits of orthodontics, while others do not. Understanding the details of your specific plan will help you know how much you have to pay.
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If you have Delta Dental, you will likely be covered by braces or clear aligners, but it depends on your plan and treatment. Before you dive in, read this guide for an in-depth look at Delta coverage and instructions on how to use it.
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What amazing braces prices did we mention? It can vary greatly depending on the severity of your condition, the rates of your dentist or orthodontist, and the treatment you choose.
On average, your Invisalign treatment will cost between $3,000 and $8,000. This is a very large range, but only because the price is subject to many influencing factors. The severity of your condition, the length of treatment, the dentist's experience, and even where you live can all affect the final price. Read our Invisalign True Cost guide to get a closer look.
Although Invisalign pioneered the mainstream clear aligner treatment, it is no longer the only manufacturer. ClearCorrect burst onto the scene in 2006 and has been a worthy contender ever since. They charge a lower lab fee than Invisalign, so their prices can be a bit lower, often in the $3,000-$5,000 range (though $8,000 is possible, too). Then there's SureSmile, which offers an affordable, highly customizable alternative that typically costs $2,000-$6,000, and 3M Clarity, which makes some of the most powerful aligners out there and often costs $3,000-8,000.
While Invisalign must be administered in a dentist or orthodontist's office, home orthodontics allow you to complete treatment at home (you guessed it). Your teledentist will design your treatment and you will receive all of your braces in the mail, then gradually follow your treatment plan to replace your teeth.
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The appeal of clear home braces is largely due to their affordability. They are often thousands cheaper than in-clinic clear braces treatments, which cost an average of $1,200-$2,500. Unlike in-office options, home calendars come with a flat rate. The only difference is which company you choose. For example, SmileDirectClub is always $2,250, while AlignerCo is $1,145.
Our top-rated provider is Bite, which costs $1,999 for the standard treatment and $2,399 for the overnight Bite. They don't have the lowest prices on the market, but their treatment plan is only four months on average, and they offer a lifetime guarantee on your smile. Plus, Bait will walk you through the entire insurance process, from initial coverage checks to claims and anything else you might need, making it a lot easier. See our guide to insurance coverage with bait for more information.
The most tested orthodontic treatment can also be the most expensive. Traditional braces usually fall somewhere in the $4,000-$6,000 price range, although this price depends on several factors (see our guide on the true cost of braces). As with Invisalign, the exact amount depends on the severity of your condition, your orthodontist's rates, and where you live.
It also depends on the type of calendar you choose. You have a few options: traditional braces, lingual braces (which are placed behind the teeth), and transparent/ceramic braces. Special braces (both articulated and hinged) often cost more than traditional braces. For example, lingual orthodontics can cost up to $10,000.
Does Delta Dental Cover Clear Aligners & Braces?
Most plans cover 100% of preventative treatments such as cleaning. They may also cover basic treatments in full such as fillings, treatments for gum disease, and root canals, or they may cover a higher percentage of the cost. Major treatments such as crowns and bridgework are usually covered at a lower rate, sometimes around 50%. Plans rarely cover cosmetic procedures, such as whitening, veneers, and tooth shaping. Of course, the percentage for each category depends on your specific plan.
Notably, some providers consider clear aligners and cosmetic forms of orthodontics for treatment, and others categorize them as major procedures. Some plans will include orthodontic benefits that can help cover the cost of braces, braces, or other procedures, while others will not.
Different plans and providers cover different procedures, so you should not assume that you will get coverage for your treatment just because you have orthodontic benefits. In addition, these coverages sometimes come with age limits, annual limits, or lifetime limits.
You don't need to purchase orthodontic coverage separately - it's included with some Delta Dental plans. There are two ways to enroll in a qualified Delta dental plan: through your employer or by purchasing an individual plan.
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The most common way to obtain dental insurance in the United States is through your employer—whether it's you or your spouse. This option comes with a few advantages, the biggest being that the cost of your insurance premium is deducted directly from your paycheck, precluding income taxes. In many cases, employers will help pay for expenses, reducing your expenses.
Employer-sponsored dental plans also come with drawbacks. At the top of the list? You are limited to the plans offered by your company. If their plans don't cover braces or have other unfavorable terms, you either shop around or make a deal.
Another problem that arises with employer-sponsored dental plans is the open enrollment period. This means that you have to wait for a certain period of the year to get the policy out. Finally, your employer may not offer dental insurance at all.
If you don't have an employer-sponsored dental plan option, or the option offered doesn't fit your needs, you can get an individual plan. Delta Dental offers individual plans in most states, but before you lock in, compare their rates and terms with other insurance companies.
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For those who don't have dental insurance or have a plan that doesn't cover orthodontic treatment, DentalPlans can offer an attractive option. The service helps connect individuals to dental savings plans, an option that can offer more flexibility than traditional insurance.
These plans, which offer potential savings of up to 25% on orthodontic treatment, are designed to meet the needs of those with high costs. DentalPlans considers your unique circumstances to help you determine the best plan for your needs.
Some Delta plans will cover Invisalign treatments, but others do not. Delta PPO and Premier plans may cover a portion of the cost or provide an allowance for treatment. How much they cover depends on the plan, but it can be around 50% for children and adults. You will need to go to a dentist or orthodontist who is in network with Denta to get coverage.
Because ClearCorrect, SureSmile, and 3M Clarity align similarly to Invisalign, they may also qualify for partial coverage depending on your plan. The 6-month smile usually cures mild cases, so it's often considered a cosmetic procedure, but not always! You will have to check with the company and your dentist to find out.
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Coverage is slightly wider for braces. Many plans -- whether it's DeltaCare USA or a Delta PPO -- will provide some form of coverage for braces. Some plans cover more children than adults, and others have a lifetime limit, though this varies depending on the specific plan. Therefore, you will need to check your plan details to see how much you will need to pay out of pocket.
Lingual braces and articular braces are in the same boat because they are used to treat similar conditions. However, Six Month Smile usually treats mild cosmetic cases, so it may not be covered. You'll need to check delta to find out.
Remember, you will need to get treatment from a dentist or orthodontist in the Delta network to receive the full amount of your coverage.
Delta Dental has stated that their plans will not cover in-home clear braces. If you have a Delta plan, you should not expect to receive any help paying for your home care.
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In fact, SmileDirectClub took them to court for it, suing the Delta Dental Plans Association, the Delta Dental Foundation of Illinois, and the Delta Dental of California for refusing to cover home aligners even though they cover other teledentist methods.
Delta calls home straighteners a "DIY treatment," but that's not accurate. Popular straightener providers, including Bite and Smile DirectClub, hire a state-licensed dentist or orthodontist to create treatment plans and supervise each case. DIY braces, on the other hand, is a related trend where people use household items such as rubber bands or self-designed 3D printed aligners to reposition their teeth without any intervention from a dentist, and this can cause serious damage.
However, Delta Dental is currently being aggressive on the issue, so you won't receive coverage for home aligners in one of its plans.
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