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How many appointments are required during clear aligner treatment?

Regular check-ups with your orthodontist are recommended throughout the treatment process to make sure teeth are moving appropriately and to address any issues that may arise. Some orthodontic offices offer remote monitoring options that can minimize the number of appointments needed in person. While this can be an added convenience for you, it also allows the orthodontist to be more regularly updated and involved with your ongoing treatment. 

What is the process for getting clear aligners?

  1. Scan in office (10-15 minutes) 
  2. Production and shipping of the aligners (this step can take up to 6 weeks for some offices)
  3. Delivery of aligners, placement of attachments, how-to wear and care instructions, etc. (45 minutes -1 hour) 

Is getting aligners faster than getting braces?

Not necessarily. Clear aligners are not usually fabricated on site, and delivery from the manufacturer can take 4-6 weeks. Combined with initial scans, placing attachments, and educating the user on how to properly wear and care for them, aligners can take just as long as braces.

What if a problem comes up and I can’t make my payment?

If you are unable to make your payment(s) for orthodontic treatment, communicate that to your orthodontist immediately. The orthodontist needs to be aware of this change in your circumstances.

Do I have to sign a contract?

Typically, a contact is signed when you decide to move forward with orthodontic treatment.

Do orthodontists take credit cards?

Many orthodontists accept major credit cards. Check with your orthodontist’s office about whether credit cards are accepted as payment, and if so, which ones.

How do I find an orthodontist who takes my insurance?

To find an orthodontist who takes your insurance you can:

  • Call AAO orthodontists to ask if they accept your insurance
  • Contact your insurance company and request a list of their providers

Just because an insurance company lists someone as a provider of orthodontic treatment, it does not guarantee that the doctor is an orthodontist. To be sure any provider truly is an orthodontist, use the American Association of Orthodontists’ (AAO) Find an Orthodontist service. The AAO only admits orthodontists, who have training in the orthodontic specialty, as members. Selecting an AAO orthodontist for orthodontic care is your assurance that the doctor is an orthodontist.

I do not have employer-provided insurance for orthodontic treatment. Can I buy insurance myself?

Yes, you can purchase orthodontic insurance.

Does insurance cover orthodontic treatment?

Many people have dental insurance that includes orthodontic benefits, usually provided by their employer. Such insurance covers a portion or percentage of the fee for orthodontic treatment, many times there may be a specific dollar amount or lifetime cap.   If your dental insurance is through your employer, your human resources department may be able to provide coverage details. The information can also be obtained directly from the insurance company. With your permission, the orthodontist may be able to confirm your insurance benefits for you, such as:

  • The amount of coverage or the percentage of the fee covered
  • If there any limitations to your coverage are specified
  • Whether you are required to choose from the insurance company’s providers

Not all providers used by insurance companies to provide orthodontic treatment are orthodontists. To be sure any provider you are interested in using is an orthodontist, check the Find an Orthodontist service, where you will find members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). The AAO only admits orthodontic specialists as members.

Can I use my flexible spending account or health savings account funds for orthodontic treatment?

Yes, funds from flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts can be used to pay for orthodontic treatment. Talk to your orthodontist about how to make the best use of your benefits.