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. Thanks to its location and low cost of living, Iowa’s Invisalign costs are less expensive than many other states. Generally, you can expect to pay between $3,500 and $6,000. 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 Iowa.
|Area||Cost in Iowa||National Average|
|Urban||$4,000 - $5,500||$5,000|
|Suburban||$4,500 - $6,000||$5,500|
|Rural||$3,500 - $5,000||$4,500|
These ranges are estimates based on what we know about Invisalign costs and some information from a few Iowa-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 Iowa?
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.
Iowa falls right in the middle of America’s heartland which is, coincidentally, one of the best regions for affordable dental and orthodontic care. States like Indiana, Nebraska, and Iowa typically have much lower costs than states along either coast. Iowa is one of the more affordable states within the region too. Taxes aren’t excessive, housing is inexpensive, and it’s not overly costly to run a business, even in health care. Consequently, you should be able to find good deals on Invisalign treatment.
Iowa’s cost of living is surprisingly consistent across the state. It fluctuates slightly from town to town, but not nearly as much as other states, especially ones with large urban areas. This means that Invisalign costs aren’t drastically different from one place to another, which is nice.
Iowa’s taxes are slightly higher than you might expect, but they’re not anything extreme. The sales tax that’s added directly to your Invisalign cost is 6-7% depending on where you live, which is around the national average. And its corporate income tax is 12%, which is higher than a lot of states. However, this tax only affects you indirectly, as your dentist may or may not consider tax payments when setting their 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.
Iowa doesn’t have many urban areas. Its capital, Des Moines, is its largest city, and Cedar Rapids is second (although it’s more of a mid-sized town). Many times the cost of living in urban areas is higher than the state average, but this isn’t the case for Des Moines. It’s cost of living is actually slightly lower than Iowa’s average, which can mean lower Invisalign costs. Cedar Rapids is in the same boat. Neither city has an abundance of provider options, but enough that you can still compare prices to find the best one for your budget.
Because they’re not huge cities, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids aren’t the epicenters for miles of suburban sprawl, but they do have a few surrounding towns. Iowan suburbs are often more expensive places to live than the cities they surround. Additionally, that state’s largest college towns, Iowa City and Ames, are near the top of the list for most expensive towns in the state. Most of the time, these mid-sized towns have about half of the Invisalign providers that Des Moines and Ames do, about 5-10 per town, giving you fewer options. That, combined with the higher cost of living, can mean more expensive treatment.
Iowa isn’t in short supply of small towns. And if you live in one of them, you might not have an Invisalign provider down the street. Instead, you’ll need to find one in a neighboring town. Fortunately, Iowa’s providers appear to be pretty well dispersed throughout the state, so you likely won’t have to travel far. And these dentists located in more rural areas often have lower Invisalign prices since it’s less expensive to operate their business there.
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.”
Even though you can find Invisalign providers throughout the state, there are higher concentrations in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Ames, and Davenport. Dentists and orthodontists in these cities have more competition, so in an effort to stand out, they might run promotions or offer discounts. The only provider in a small town doesn’t necessarily have the same incentive. So, if you’re located in a city or suburb, you might be able to take advantage of a sale. Small town dentists might still offer deals, but it’s a little less likely.
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.
If you live in Iowa City, you’re in luck, because University of Iowa houses the state’s only school of dentistry. There, you can get orthodontic care for much cheaper than you would at a private practice.
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 Iowa, 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.