Invisalign has long been the country’s go-to clear aligner treatment. From New York to California, they’ve crafted dazzling smiles and renewed confidence for over twenty years. And while Invisalign delivers consistent coast-to-coast results, their prices can vary based on where you live. Why? That’s a good question.
Numerous factors can sway Invisalign costs, depending on your home state. You might see high prices in Chicago, but as a Midwestern state with a reasonable cost of living and numerous dentists, Illinois’ average Invisalign prices are better than many states. Generally, you can expect to pay between $3,500 and $7,000. However, where you fall in that range depends on several factors.
So, if you’re trying to plot out a budget, but don’t have a good Invisalign estimate, we’re here for you. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a better idea of what you can expect to pay for Invisalign in Illinois.
|Area||Cost in Illinois||National Average|
|Urban||$5,500 - $7,000||$5,000|
|Suburban||$4,500 - $6,500||$5,500|
|Rural||$3,500 - $5,500||$4,500|
These ranges are estimates based on what we know about Invisalign costs and some information from a few Illinois-based orthodontists. But they should give you a general sense of what you might pay.
Table of Contents
Why Is Invisalign So Expensive?
We won’t lie: Invisalign is pricey no matter where you live. But there are good reasons for this, and many people think it’s worth the expense.
Every part of your treatment will go through your dentist or orthodontist, which gives them the chance to make on-the-fly adjustments, implementing additional attachments and altering timelines where they see fit. This is the most drastic difference between Invisalign and at-home aligner services like byte, Candid, and SmileDirectClub. And it enables your orthodontist to treat a wide variety of severe conditions, even jaw misalignments like overbite and underbite.
The average Invisalign treatment time is 12-18 months and requires office visits around every six weeks. But your dentist or orthodontist’s time, facilities, and equipment aren’t free, which means Invisalign often costs substantially more than at-home alternatives.
Looking For Affordable Orthodontic Treatment in Illinois?
Invisalign is a great product, but the price tag can be difficult to swallow. If you're looking to straighten your teeth without breaking the bank, there are more affordable options out there.
Home-based clear aligner brands like SmileDirectClub and byte sell similar products for a fraction of the cost of Invisalign. We've researched and reviewed these services to help you find the best solution for your smile (& your budget).
What Factors Influence Invisalign Costs?
No matter where you are, Invisalign is somewhat expensive. But just how expensive depends on numerous factors. Some apply to every state while others are based on where you live, but you can find all of them in detail below.
This is the most significant price-determining factor. A minor case of crowding or spacing simply takes less time and aligners to correct than a severe case of crossbite. The fewer office visits and aligners your teeth require, the less you’ll pay. During your initial consultation, your dentist/orthodontist can evaluate your teeth and estimate how long your treatment might take.
In general, orthodontic care costs more on the coasts and less in the middle of the country. The northeast is particularly expensive, while southern states like Alabama and Mississippi boast some of the nation’s lowest costs. Taxes can also play a role. The state will add sales tax to your total Invisalign cost, and higher corporate taxes might cause your orthodontist to accommodate by raising prices.
The Midwest traditionally has inexpensive dental and orthodontic care. Granted, it’s not quite as cheap as in the south, but it’s much more affordable than on the east or west coast. Thanks to Chicago and its comparatively higher taxes, Illinois’ cost of living is slightly higher than surrounding states like Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri. This can mean higher Invisalign prices too, but not by a whole lot.
Live near one of Illinois’ borders? There’s a chance you can find cheaper treatment in Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, or Kentucky. If you live in Chicago (Illinois’ most expensive location), you’re not far from both Indiana and Wisconsin, so you can jaunt over the border in search of less expensive aligners. Remember, though, that Invisalign requires office visits every 4-6 weeks, so don’t go too far.
Illinois has higher taxes than many of its Midwestern counterparts, which can lead to higher orthodontic costs. The statewide sales tax is 6.25% but can be as high as 11% when you factor in local taxes. This amount will be added directly to your final Invisalign costs. Then there’s the 4.8% corporate income tax, which you won’t have to pay, but your dentist might. Fortunately, this isn’t so high that it will drastically influence treatment prices.
Urban, Suburban, or Rural?
Not only are Invisalign prices different between states, but they also vary depending on your location within the state. Urban areas, for example, often have a higher cost of living, and it’s less expensive to live in a small town. Do you have high rent and utility payments? Then your dentist or orthodontist likely does too. Higher overhead costs usually result in more expensive orthodontic treatment.
Chicago isn’t just the biggest city in Illinois, it’s also the third-largest city in the nation with a population well over 2.5 million. It sprawls over the flat landscape into a series of suburbs, creating a huge metropolitan area. Chicago has a significantly higher cost of living than the rest of the state, which can drive up Invisalign costs to between $5,000 and $7,000. The good news is that from the city, you have the opportunity to look for cheaper options in one of Chicago’s many suburbs, Indiana, or Wisconsin.
Chicago’s suburban sprawl is expansive, and some of the suburbs would challenge the largest city in some less-populous states. Aurora, for example, is Illinois’ second-largest city with a population of nearly 200,000, yet it’s still part of the Chicago metropolitan area. These suburbs aren’t quite as expensive as city life, but they’re still pricier than the rest of the state. In a way, these suburbs provide the best of both worlds – a slightly lower cost of living, plus access to the city’s wide variety of dental options, and a good number of their own too.
Illinois has a few other mid-sized towns scattered across the state, like Rockford in the west or centrally-located Bloomington, Peoria, and Champaign. Cost of living and health care expenses are, in most cases, significantly less expensive in these towns. They don’t, however, have quite as many Invisalign providers to choose from.
Drive two hours south or west from Chicago and you’ll think you passed into another state. Illinois is actually a fairly rural state dotted with a handful of larger towns and one huge city. It costs much less to live in one of Illinois’ small towns than it does in Chicago or its suburbs. In most cases, this means that small-town dentists charge less for treatment. The only problem is that there are a number of Illinois small towns that don’t have an Invisalign provider. In these cases, you would need to find one in a neighboring town. But if you do, you’re likely to get treatment at a lower rate.
When you have numerous dentists and orthodontists in a given area, they each need to find ways to stay ahead of the competition and attract new customers. Many times, this means lower prices and special offers or sales. So, if there’s a high concentration of Invisalign providers in your area, it can mean lower prices, giving you the ability to “shop around.”
Illinois has a lot of dentists and orthodontists, although most of them are clustered in and around the Chicagoland area. So, if you’re in northeast Illinois, there’s plenty of competition for your business. To stand out, Invisalign providers might lower their prices or offer special promotions. Small town dentists and orthodontists might run sales too, but they have less reason to do so because there’s not as much competition.
Dentist or Orthodontist Experience
A seasoned dental professional with an impressive portfolio of Invisalign successes will often charge more than a novice who just started offering clear aligner treatment. So, in some cases, you may need to decide between experience and affordability (but not always!). Sometimes it can be helpful to “shop around” to weigh your options if you have multiple dentists and orthodontists nearby.
Invisalign has a tiered series of levels (ranging from bronze to platinum) that tell you how much experience a given provider has. When you search for providers through Invisalign’s website, they will show you the level of each dentist and orthodontist in your area.
Managing Treatment Costs
When you’re staring down thousands of dollars in orthodontic treatment, it can be intimidating. Fortunately, there are effective ways to lower and manage those costs, from promotional discounts to payment plans. Here’s what you can do:
Review Your Insurance Plan
Some insurance plans will include Invisalign treatment and others don’t. If your plan includes orthodontic benefits, there’s a good chance you might receive partial coverage. But you don’t want to begin treatment expecting help from your insurance provider, only to find out that it’s not coming. So don’t commit to an Invisalign plan without first reviewing your insurance plan and contacting your provider to see if you’ll receive coverage.
You can also pay for Invisalign directly from an FSA or HSA account if you have one. Consult your dentist or orthodontist to see how they handle these payments.
Search for Sales and Discounts
Unfortunately, you’re not going to find sales plastered across Invisalign’s homepage and you won’t receive floods of promotional emails advertising “$100 off!” or “20% discount!” Invisalign doesn’t do that. However, your specific dentist or orthodontist might. Give their office a call to see if they have any special Invisalign offers. Sometimes, dentist offices will post these discounts on Groupon. Just head over to Groupon.com and search for Invisalign deals in your area and you might just find some.
Universities with dental schools will also offer discounts if you don’t mind a student or resident administering your Invisalign treatment. These individuals are qualified and overseen by professors and experienced dental professionals, so you can be assured you’re receiving quality care.
Illinois has three universities that offer dental programs: the University of Illinois at Chicago, Midwestern University, and Southern Illinois University. You can receive discounted dental and orthodontic care at both UIC in the city and SIU, which has clinics in Alton, Edwardsville, and East St. Louis.
Ask About Financing
Most people can’t pay thousands of dollars for treatment all at once, so in many cases, financing is a must. Invisalign doesn’t have any company-wide payment plan policies – they leave it up to each provider. So, speak with your dentist or orthodontist to see what types of financing they offer. Many offices partner with specific third-party companies like CareCredit or beWell to break Invisalign costs into more manageable payments.
Discuss Aftercare in Advance
Even after Invisalign treatment, teeth have a tendency to shift back to their old positions. Aftercare retainers keep that from happening. When you remove your last aligner, you’ll have a perfect new smile, and you’ll need to purchase a retainer to protect it. Retainer costs vary, but you can usually get one for $100 - $300. Ask your Invisalign provider what they charge so you can plan it into your budget.
Because your dentist can make tweaks and course corrections throughout your treatment, they can ensure that you’ll get a perfectly straight smile. But sometimes, teeth simply don’t move as expected. In the rare case that things don’t turn out as you hoped, you might be eligible for a refinement, where your dentist will craft new aligners to deliver the results you’re after. Of course, this will take more time and resources, so refinements often cost an additional fee.
3 Affordable Invisalign Alternatives
If you’ve come this far, you’re probably pretty serious about Invisalign, but it’s not ideal for everyone and there are some other high-quality options out there. Take a look at three of our favorites:
byte is an at-home aligner service, so you’ll receive your full aligner series in the mail, then administer treatment from the comfort of home, no office visits required. We love byte because they combine a lightning-fast treatment time with top-quality care.
They can’t treat the same scope of conditions that Invisalign can, but for mild and moderate cases, they can usually deliver results in just 3 months. And they don’t sacrifice quality to make it happen. byte guarantees that your treatment will be designed and monitored by an orthodontist, not a general dentist or dental technician. Then, they ensure your smile forever with their byte-for-life guarantee.
Want to review byte and Invisalign side-by-side? Take a look at our byte vs. Invisalign comparison guide.
Here’s another home aligner company that we think goes above and beyond. Out of all home aligner options, Candid comes the closest to Invisalign’s in-office care. Their Remote Monitoring service lets you regularly check in with your assigned orthodontist to keep your smile on track and potentially shorten your treatment time. Their manufacturing partnership with ClearCorrect and orthodontist-only network means you’ll receive top-quality products and care.
Check out our Candid vs. Invisalign review for a more in-depth comparison.
ClearCorrect is Invisalign’s largest in-office competitor. Like Invisalign, ClearCorrect’s treatment is administered by a dentist or orthodontist, so you’ll need to make regular office visits. Much of ClearCorrect’s process is very similar. The advantage they have over Invisalign is that they charge dentists and orthodontists less for lab fees, which often makes treatment less expensive for the customer.
For a deeper analysis of these two companies, take a look at our ClearCorrect vs. Invisalign review.
One of the first steps in preparing for Invisalign treatment is working it into your budget, but it’s difficult when you don’t have an accurate cost estimate. But now that you know all the intricate pricing details in Illinois, you can better evaluate how viable this treatment might be.
Of course, the only way to get a truly spot-on estimate is by consulting a dentist or orthodontist. If you love Invisalign but aren’t sure about the cost, don’t let that hold you back. Speak with your dentist to see how you might be able to make it more affordable. Or, check out one of the quality alternatives we’ve outlined here. Either way, you’ll be on track to the perfect option for your perfect smile.