I know it’s early to be thinking about Christmas, but I wanted to do something extra special for my wife this year. She has always wanted to try Invisalign and I think it would be a great confidence booster for her, but we’ve never had the money to do it. I think it would be awesome to give her Invisalign as surprise. But there’s a Grinch trying to steal my Christmas and it’s the dental office because they won’t let me purchase it in advance. They say she has to have an exam first, but that would totally blow my whole plan. Since they won’t get on board, I’ve been looking into mail-order options, but I’m not sure what to think because I have no idea of their quality or if they will even work. Any idea why the dentist is being such a stickler on this or if one of the mail-order choices is better than the other? — Matt
What a beautiful and thoughtful gift idea! Unfortunately, exams are an essential part of determining the proper course of treatment, as well as what the final costs will be. The actual cost of Invisalign treatment will depend on
several things, including:
- Amount and type of movement needed
- Number of aligners required
- Amount of diagnostic work (x-rays, etc.)
- Patient compliance
- Special circumstances
- Insurance coverage
Any of these things can contribute to the number of visits, total time in orthodontics, and the cost of materials. In other words, she really does need an exam in order to determine your costs. Moreover, some types of orthodontic work is better suited to other types of orthodontic appliances. The doctor can’t be sure what course of treatment is best until he does the exam and the two of them discuss it.
As for mail-order options, you need to be very leary of them because many are not legitimate and can even cause permanent damage to her teeth. More reliable, and safer, results will be created if you have the cosmetic work done under a dentist’s watchful eye and care.
Even if you can’t prepay the exact services, the office can probably ballpark what Invisalign will cost for you and may allow you to prepay it with a credit on your account. If, for some reason, your wife isn’t a candidate for the services you prepay, no doubt, they’ll provide a refund, but speak to them in advance, so they know what the money is for. You can also get a general estimate and set aside the funds on your own, and you’ll be prepared regardless.