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Invisalign financing: What are your payment options?

How to pay for the smile you always wanted.

Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean it’s too late to straighten your teeth. In fact, improving your oral appearance can have a significant impact on your daily life and mental health. But the cost can be prohibitive if you don’t have dental insurance.

At one point, Statistics Canada reported that a third of Canadians had no dental insurance. Furthermore, a third of Canadians stated that the cost of dental treatment was what prevented them from visiting a dentist over the prior year or from getting the full treatment that was recommended to them.

But you don’t necessarily need to have the money up front to pay for Invisalign, which is the new preference for adult braces.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that helps straighten teeth with a series of clear, removable plastic trays instead of typical metal braces. Founded in 1997, it’s since been changing the face – or smile more specifically – of teeth straightening around the world.

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign aligners are designed to be near-invisible and are custom-made to each individual. Your treatment timeline can be broken up into four main stages.

1. Meet with your dentist or orthodontist for a consultation.

This is when you’ll get a clear idea of cost and level of health insurance coverage. They will likely capture a 3D image of your teeth using a scanner and show you what your teeth will look like once the treatment is complete.

2. Get fitted for your first set of aligners.

Once your aligners are ready, they’ll be trimmed to suit your gum line and your orthodontist will make sure they fit well. At each appointment, you’ll be given enough sets of aligners to last until your next appointment, usually every 6-8 weeks.

3. Maintain your new routine.

Your dentist will discuss what you need to know but there are three important parts to any Invisalign routine:

  • Wear your aligners for 20-22 hours per day
  • Remove your aligners for eating and drinking (other than cold water)
  • Floss and brush after each meal

4. Switch to a retainer once treatment is over.

Once you’ve completed your Invisalign treatment, it’s recommended that you swap your clear aligners for a retainer. A retainer will prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original position. Initially, you’ll have to wear your retainer between 12 and 22 hours per day depending on your doctor’s advice. After 3-6 months, you can switch to just nighttime-wear.

How can I finance Invisalign?

Invisalign isn’t always affordable. But you have several options when it comes to Invisalign financing — and not all involve taking on debt.


Is Invisalign covered by insurance in Canada? Before you look into any other options, take a look at your insurance plan. While many dental plans cover Invisalign, some general insurance plans also cover orthodontic procedures. Even if you have a dental plan, there’s a chance you won’t be entirely covered — usually up to 50% at most up to a lifetime maximum amount. Invisalign can cost as much as $4,000 – $7,500.

Note that the CRA has made it clear that sole proprietors with no arm’s length employees cannot deduct HSA contributions from their business income. Valid HSAs must conform to the rules for private health service plans as outlined by the Income Tax Act. As publicly stated on the Government of Canada website, “If [a] business is a sole proprietorship with no arm’s-length employees, the CRA does not consider an HSA to be a private health services plan and any costs incurred for amounts paid to this account are not deductible business expenses.”

You can open an HSA through an insurance company. Some may come with a debit card to access funds, while others require you to pay for expenses up front and get reimbursed.

Flexible spending account (FSA)

Also called a Hybrid Employee Spending Account, FSAs are only offered by your employer and combine the benefits of Health Spending Accounts with Wellness Spending Accounts. While HSAs are meant to cover standard medical, dental, vision and orthopaedic expenses, WSAs cover expenses that promote healthy living like gym memberships, vitamins and personal trainers.

FSA funds cover HSA expenses plus whatever WSA expenses your employer selects. These funds don’t roll over into the next year, so you can’t use an FSA to save up for medical expense that exceed what you can save in a given year.

Personal loan

If you have strong personal credit and relatively few debts, you might qualify for a low-interest personal loan. Personal loans typically range from $2,000 to $35,000 with APRs starting at around 3% and going as high as 36% depending on your financial profile. Often you have between 1 and 7 years to pay it off, though many lenders don’t charge a penalty to pay it off early.

You can look for a general-use personal loan or a provider that offers medical loans. Before you apply, take into account exactly how much you’ll need for Invisalign financing.
Should you get a personal loan?

Credit card

Think you’ll be able to pay off your debt within the next year and have good credit? Consider taking out a new credit card to pay for Invisalign. Many come with interest-free promotional periods from 6 to 18 months, making it a flexible, low-cost financing option.

Pay off your balance before the promotional period is up, however. Credit cards tend to come with higher interest rates than personal loans. And without a structured repayment plan, it can be tempting to let that interest add up.

Compare and apply for credit cards

Save up

If you have bad credit or don’t want to take on more debt, consider good old-fashioned saving. Set up a high-interest savings account and contribute what you can each month until you have enough money to cover what your insurance can’t. To help you save faster, create a budget or use an app that allows you to set a savings goal like Mint.

Compare personal loan providers

1 - 6 of 6
Name Product Interest Rate Loan Amount Loan Term Requirements
Loans Canada Personal Loan
5.4% - 46.96%
$300 - $50,000
4 - 60 months
Requirements: min. credit score 300
Spring Financial Personal Loan
9.99% - 46.96%
$500 - $35,000
6 - 60 months
Requirements: min. income $1,800/month, 3+ months employed, min. credit score 500
SkyCap Financial Personal Loan
19.99% - 39.99%
$500 - $15,000
9 - 60 months
Requirements: min. income $3,333/month, full time employment/pension, min. credit score 600, no bankruptcy
LoanConnect Personal Loan
6.99% - 46.96%
$100 - $50,000
3 - 120 months
Requirements: min. credit score 300
Mogo Personal Loan
9.90% - 46.96%
$200 - $35,000
6 - 60 months
Requirements: min. income $13,000/year, min. credit score 500
Fairstone Secured Personal Loan
19.99% - 24.49%
$5,000 - $50,000
36 - 120 months
Requirements: must be a homeowner, min. credit score 560

Representative example: India gets Invisalign

India has had crooked teeth since she was a child. She recently discovered Invisalign, and with her new job’s insurance plan, she can finally look forward to some orthodontic coverage. Her orthodontist has notified her that the procedure will cost $5,500.00 in total. Her insurance will cover $3,000.00, meaning she has to pay $2,500.00 out of pocket. Since this is a procedure she has wanted for many years, she decides it’s worth the extra expense – even though finances are pretty tight at the moment. India has a fair credit score and knows her bank won’t offer her a personal loan for this amount, so she heads online to compare non-traditional lenders. She is offered a fairly high interest rate of 15.00% – however over the course of a year, the loan will only cost her $282.75 in interest and fees.

Cost of Invisalign$5,500.00
Loan typePersonal loan
Loan amount$2,500.00
Interest rate15.00%
Loan term1 year
Additional feesOrigination fee of 3% ($75.00)
Monthly payment $225.65
Total loan cost$2,782.75

*The information in this example, including rates, fees and terms, is provided as a representative transaction. The actual cost of the product may vary depending on the retailer, the product specs and other factors.

How much does Invisalign cost?

Invisalign is typically more expensive than other types of braces. The actual cost can range anywhere from $4,000 to $7,500. In comparison, other braces typically cost between $3,000 and $7,000.

Other costs to consider include:

  • The consultation. While some orthodontists charge up to several hundred dollars to take a look at your teeth and see if you can benefit from Invisalign, others may offer this consultant for free. If you’re required to pay, your insurance might cover this cost.
  • X-rays. Your orthodontist may X-ray your teeth before fitting you with Invisalign, which could set you back between $30 and over $100.
  • Continuing treatment. Brand new retainers can cost hundreds of dollars, while repairing a retainer can cost $50 or more. Add in the cost of extra checkups and this can raise up to over $1,000.

Generally, the less work that needs to be done, the less expensive the treatment. If you have other dental issues such as missing teeth, you might have to pay more.

Invisalign alternatives

Invisalign isn’t the only way to straighten your teeth as an adult. If you’re concerned about the cost, check out these alternatives:

  • ClearCorrect. ClearCorrect is similar to Invisalign — it’s a plastic tray that you can put in and remove from your mouth to eat or brush your teeth.
  • Smile Direct Club. If your teeth don’t need much work, Smile Direct Club lets you forego the orthodontist entirely. All you have to do is send in an impression of your teeth and receive your aligners in the mail. The cost of an impression kit is $95, while the full treatments costs $2,350. Alternatively, you can opt for a payment plan with a $300 down payment and $99 per month afterwards for 24 months. No credit check is required.

5 tips to get the most out of Invisalign

  1. Wear your aligners. Invisalign isn’t going to be much help if you don’t wear them the recommended 22 hours a day. If you wear them 19 hours or less, add on about 2 more weeks to your original schedule.
  2. Keep them clean. There’s a lot going on in your mouth when you’re wearing Invisalign. While it’s always important to brush and floss your teeth, you’ll also want to clean your aligners with warm water and antibacterial soap to keep germs away.
  3. Use wax. You can apply small, cylinder-shaped wax pieces to your aligner to make sure it fits tight against your teeth. Making sure your Invisalign is on properly can speed up the time it takes to straighten your teeth.
  4. Practice speaking. Aligners can give you a slight lisp until you’re used to speaking with them in. The more you practice speaking with close friends or family, the more comfortable you’ll be wearing them all day.
  5. Listen to your orthodontist. Not everyone needs to wear aligners for the same period of time. Go in for regular appointments and listen if they say you need to wear an aligner for a few more days before moving on to the next.

Bottom line

Invisalign can cost as much as $8,000 and your insurance likely won’t cover it all. If you don’t have an HSA or FSA to help you out — or the time to save up yourself — a personal loan might be what you’re looking for. You can learn more about how borrowing work and compare lenders by visiting our personal loans guide.

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