Invisalign Clear Aligners Review (Australia)

Dr. Alberto Fernández Aiora

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign Logo

Invisalign Australia is a system of clear aligners to straighten teeth. It’s the Australian branch of the international brand Invisalign.

Since its introduction to Australia in 2007, Invisalign has treated over 1.4 million people, becoming the nation’s market leader in clear aligner treatment. 

Invisalign is our #1 recommendation because they provide comprehensive, in-person care and can treat more severe cases of teeth misalignment. Treatment can cost up to $9,000 and lasts an average of 12 to 18 months.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign uses transparent plastic trays that apply gentle pressure to reposition teeth slowly. It’s an effective alternative to braces.

Invisalign involves supervision from a dentist and wearing your plastic trays as directed. The process looks like this:

  1. Consultation — Invisalign treatment begins with a (typically free) in-person consultation with an Invisalign-trained dentist or orthodontist. During this consultation, your dentist or orthodontist will digitally scan your teeth. They’ll then design a personalized treatment plan for you.
  2. Manufacturing — Next, they will make a series of aligners based on your current and desired teeth alignment.
  3. Wearing your aligners — You’ll wear your Invisalign aligners for 22+ hours daily, only removing them to eat, drink, brush, or floss. The aligners will straighten your teeth by 0.25 to 0.3 millimeters every two weeks.3
  4. First check-up — After two weeks, you’ll return to your dentist or orthodontist for a check-up. They’ll review your treatment progress, and you’ll receive your remaining sets of Invisalign aligners. 
  5. Follow-ups — After that, appointments are every 6 to 8 weeks, and you’ll continue switching your aligners every two weeks.
  6. Retainer — You’ll wear a retainer at night to keep your teeth straight indefinitely after treatment ends.

Before you start the process, you can preview your new smile after Invisalign treatment using Invisalign’s SmileView tool. Open their SmileView webpage with your mobile phone, upload a smiling selfie, and see your potential results.

What Orthodontic Issues Can Invisalign Fix?

Invisalign can fix minor to severe dental issues, including:

What Orthodontic Issues Can’t Invisalign Fix?

While Invisalign is an excellent treatment for many misalignment issues, it’s not appropriate for everything.

Invisalign isn’t adequate for treating:

  • Large gaps in teeth
  • Excessively tilted or rotated teeth
  • Height of teeth in the jawbone

People with prior dental work, such as bridges, veneers, and crowns, may not be the best candidates for Invisalign.

How Long Does Invisalign Take?

On average, Invisalign treatment takes between 12 to 18 months. However, your treatment time will depend on several factors, including:

  • Severity of the issues — Complex issues will take longer to treat. Treatment may be as short as three months for minor problems (such as mild crowding or gapped teeth).
  • Treatment compliance — Wearing your aligners as directed for 22+ hours daily will speed up your treatment. If you don’t wear them as instructed, it may take longer.
  • Individual oral health — Other health factors may influence your treatment length. If you pause treatment for any reason, it will extend the time.

Success Rate and Potential Problems 

People generally report positive results and high satisfaction from their Invisalign treatment. However, scientific research on Invisalign’s success rate remains limited. 

While more studies will need to determine its success rate, at least one concluded that Invisalign was more effective than other aligners.5

Potential problems patients may run into when using Invisalign are:

  • Uncomfortable or hard-to-remove aligners
  • Aligner discoloration
  • Lost aligners
  • Excess saliva
  • Difficulty talking or kissing

Discomfort or trouble talking should typically subside after your mouth gets used to your aligners. If such issues continue long-term, contact your doctor. You may need to have new aligners made.

How Much Does Invisalign Cost?

On average, Invisalign Australia costs between $4,500 and $9,000. 

What you pay depends on your treatment length, location, and the Invisalign provider. You may also be required to pay extra for aftercare retainers.

Does Insurance Cover Invisalign?

Some insurance plans will cover all or part of Invisalign if it’s medically necessary. However, it depends on the details of your plan. Consult your insurance provider and dentist to learn whether Invisalign qualifies for coverage.

Medicare considers clear aligner treatment primarily cosmetic, making coverage for Invisalign Australia unlikely. You might want to talk to your dentist about braces if you need Medicare coverage. 

However, there is a government rebate available for those whose medical expenses exceed $1,500.1

Financing and Payment Options

If you don’t have or qualify for insurance coverage, you may have alternative financing options. 

Many dental offices have a payment plan you can use to pay for treatment. With a payment plan, you’ll make monthly installments for an agreed-upon period. Whether the plan requires a deposit and interest depends on your dentist’s policies.

You may also be able to use an FSA (flexible spending account) or HSA (health savings account) to pay for your Invisalign. Other loans or lines of credit may be available. The amount you can take out will depend on your credit score.

Discuss your options with the dentist you’ll be using for Invisalign. 

Pros and Cons of Invisalign

Invisalign may or may not be the right treatment for you. Compare the positive and negative aspects of Invisalign to help you decide.

Pros

The advantages of Invisalign include:

  • Reputation — Invisalign is a well-established brand with positive reviews and professional endorsement.
  • Wide applicability — Invisalign can fix many alignment issues, from crooked teeth to bad bites.
  • Good aesthetics — Clear aligners are discreet and less noticeable than traditional metal braces.
  • Removable — You can take your aligners out whenever you want.
  • Improved oral hygiene — Taking care of your teeth and mouth is easier with Invisalign than braces. 
  • No food restrictions — Since you take Invisalign out to eat, you don’t have to restrict yourself to certain types of food.
  • Lower maintenance — You won’t have to go to as many appointments as you do when you get traditional braces.

Cons

Some drawbacks to consider are:

  • Limited treatable conditions — Invisalign can’t fix as many issues as traditional braces can.
  • Price — The cost can be high, and insurance won’t always cover Invisalign.
  • Effectiveness depends on you — Since you can take your aligners out whenever you want, treatment effectiveness depends on the patient wearing them. If you don’t follow the instructions, the treatment may not work.

Invisalign vs. Traditional Metal Braces

Invisalign is an alternative to traditional metal braces, a common orthodontic appliance. Comparing the two may help you decide which one makes sense for you.

Appearance

Metal braces are a series of wires and brackets attached to your teeth. They straighten teeth and correct bites by applying force, just like Invisalign.


Unlike clear aligners, braces are noticeable. Invisalign is much more subtle in appearance, with the aligners being virtually invisible.

Cost

The cost of Invisalign ranges from $4,500 to $9,000, depending on various factors. Traditional metal braces cost between $3,000 and $7,000.

Metal braces are more affordable and likely qualify for insurance coverage.

Treatment Time

Invisalign takes between 12 to 18 months. Traditional metal braces treatment can last from 12 to 36 months.

The time for either orthodontic treatment depends on many factors, including the complexity of what’s being treated.

Effectiveness

Either Invisalign or traditional metal braces can be an effective orthodontic treatment. Each process is supervised and facilitated by trained dental professionals.

Metal braces are fixed to your teeth, meaning you can’t remove them. Invisalign is removable, so it’s easier to misplace the trays. Non-compliance makes treatment less effective and might take longer.

Invisalign vs. At-Home Aligners

Aside from Invisalign, most other clear aligners in Australia are at-home aligners. 

There are a couple of significant differences that set Invisalign apart from other brands:

What’s the Difference?

Invisalign Australia is an in-office aligner company. All Invisalign treatment begins in and is monitored by an orthodontic or dental practice.

At-home aligners allow treatment with minimal or no visits to the dentist’s or orthodontist’s office. This may be convenient for those with minor teeth alignment problems but leaves more margin for error.

Invisalign vs. Byte

Byte is a popular at-home aligner company known for its fast treatment times and robust customer service. They’ve been in Australia since 2020 and have some unique features.

Some highlights of Byte treatment include: 

  • Fast treatment — Byte treatment takes between 3 to 6 months. This is among the fastest of all at-home aligners. 
  • HyperByte — A proprietary device that uses high-frequency vibrations to straighten teeth quickly. Read about our concerns here.
  • Completely remote — The only way to begin treatment is to order a Byte impression kit. There’s no professional monitoring involved.

Treatment with Byte costs between $2,749 and $3,399, depending on your plan. You can also finance treatment.

Byte’s fast treatment times and remote monitoring might make it a good option for mild cases.

Invisalign vs. WonderSmile

WonderSmile is an Australian-based at-home aligner company. You can start treatment with an in-person consultation or order an impression kit.

Some features of WonderSmile include:

  • Interest-free financing
  • Single arch treatment (with discounts)
  • Orthodontists design your treatment (higher level of expertise involved)

WonderSmile treatment takes 6 to 9 months, depending on your teeth alignment issues. WonderSmile daytime aligner treatment costs $2,390 as a one-time payment. 

Because treatment is primarily remote, WonderSmile is a good Invisalign alternative for mild teeth alignment issues.

Invisalign vs. SmileDirectClub

SmileDirectClub pioneered at-home aligner treatment, first introducing the idea in 2014. They started operating in Australia in 2019 and have treated over one million people. 

The brand’s most valuable features include:

  • More payment plans than competitors, two of which are interest-free
  • Physical locations in multiple Australian cities
  • Payment plans with no credit checks required

SmileDirectClub treatment costs $2,825 and takes 6 months (on average). We recommend it for mild cases of teeth misalignment.

Invisalign vs. EZ Smile

EZ Smile distinguishes itself by its affordable price and having the most financing options of any at-home aligner. Two of these four are interest-free.

Other facts about EZ Smile include:

  • The third-most affordable price of treatment of any Australian at-home aligner
  • Over a dozen locations across Australia
  • 90-day money-back guarantee

To begin treatment with EZ Smile, you can book a scan at a physical location or order an impression kit. Treatment takes 4 to 8 months and costs an average of $2,449.

Invisalign vs. SmilePath

SmilePath is known for its highly affordable treatment and excellent customer service. 

Some features of SmilePath include:

  • Remote treatment (no physical locations)
  • WorryFree Plan for six years of additional retainers
  • Customer service available by phone, email, or chat

At $1,899, SmilePath is the most affordable option on this list. Treatment takes between 4 to 6 months, depending on the issues. It’s a budget-friendly option for minor teeth alignment problems.

Summary

Invisalign Australia is a system of clear aligners that straighten teeth and adjust bite issues. Treatment typically lasts 12 to 18 months and costs between $4,500 and $9,000.

We recommend Invisalign over at-home clear aligners for mild to moderate bite issues. You’ll work with a dentist or orthodontist throughout the treatment period. They’ll scan your mouth, approve you for the treatment, and monitor your progress.

Invisalign is a great choice if you know you’ll wear them the required 22+ hours a day. Wearing them inconsistently can lead to longer treatment times and less effective results. Talk to your dentist to see if Invisalign is right for you.

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