Let’s face it – everyone loves a good deal. That’s why, when people search online for Invisalign, their eyes are often drawn toward the ads for cheap promotions. $1800 Invsialign! $2500 Invisalign! Given that the average orthodontist’s fee for Invisalign is $6000-$7000 in Toronto, these deals seem almost too good to be true. And, as a general rule, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Imagine, for a moment, seeing an online ad for plastic surgery – “Nose jobs, normally $8000, now only $1999.99.” Seems like a good deal, right? But almost too good to be true? Why would a qualified plastic surgeon lower the fee so much? Now imagine reading the fine print and discovering that the sale price was not actually for a procedure that would fully correct the nose, just alter the appearance very slightly. And imagine finding out that the doctor performing the procedure was not actually a plastic surgeon, but just a family doctor who took a few weekend courses. Would the deal still seem as enticing at that point, or would alarm bells be ringing in your head?
Most of the online deals for Invisalign are very similar to our imaginary plastic surgery ad. The treatment offered at the low price is usually a product called “Invisalign Express,” vs “full Invisalign”. The Express product was designed for patients with the most minor dental problems, and is totally insufficient for the vast majority of patients. In other words, this cheap product is unlikely to give you the results you want, and is not the same as full Invisalign. Furthermore, most of the doctors offering these promotions are not orthodontists, but general dentists with much less training – similar to family doctors offering surgery. So even when full Invisalign is used, it is not used as expertly or with the same results that an orthodontist could provide.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to save money, and some promotions are legitimate. but before you go for that online promotion, here are some tips to be sure of what you are getting:
1) Be aware that there is a difference between orthodontists and general dentists, and that not everyone who does Invisalign is an orthodontist. Remember that Invisalign is just a tool and, like any tool, the results you get depend on the skill of the user. If you aren’t sure whether your doctor is an orthodontist or a general dentist, just ask! And beware of un-regulated terms like “cosmetic dentist” or “invisalign expert.”
2) Make sure that the product you are buying is full Invisalign, not Invisalign Express. This will ensure
that you will get as many aligners as you need, as well as a 5-year warranty on the results. Ask your doctor if they are using iTero 3D scanning to help map out your treatment plan? Our office is equipped with this exciting technology you can learn more about and watch a video about iTero here and read more in this article about it’s key benefits and why you will benefit from working with an Orthodontist that works with this technology.
3) Ask the doctor what happens if the results are less than perfect. Will more aligners be ordered at no extra charge? Will braces be provided at no additional charge to correct the problem? Or will you need to be referred elsewhere and have to pay again?
4) Ask the doctor whether the goal is simply to straighten the teeth or also to correct the bite. You, as a patient, may not care much about your bite, but the doctor performing Invisalign on you should. Without taking your bite into consideration, the results may cause you more harm than good.
Most of us wouldn’t shop for bargain basement medical care because we want the best for our health. Let’s not forget that our dental health is part of our overall medical health. Don’t settle for less than the best.