Dental insurance coverage is a big factor when considering orthodontic treatment options. With the rising popularity of aligner treatments, the question of insurance coverage has become more relevant than ever. Are aligners covered by dental insurance in Illinois? What are your financial options for a straighter, healthier smile? Let’s explore some answers to these questions.

What Are Aligners?

An aligner, often referred to as a clear aligner, is a dental appliance that can sometimes serve as a less visible alternative to braces. It is a clear, plastic mold of your teeth that can be worn to gently straighten them. Aligners serve as a discreet, comfortable, and effective option for many patients seeking orthodontic treatment.

Understanding Dental Insurance Coverage

Dental insurance coverage can vary widely from one plan to another. Review your specific policy to determine the extent of your orthodontic coverage. In Illinois, as in many other states, dental insurance typically falls into two categories: traditional dental insurance and orthodontic insurance.

Traditional Dental Insurance

Traditional dental insurance usually covers preventive and diagnostic services, such as routine check-ups, cleanings, and X-rays, as well as restorative procedures like fillings and extractions. These plans may also cover a portion of orthodontic treatment costs in some cases, but this is not guaranteed.

Orthodontic Insurance

Orthodontic insurance is a separate type of coverage designed explicitly for orthodontic treatment, including braces and clear aligners. These policies provide more comprehensive coverage for orthodontic services.

Coverage for Aligners in Illinois

Illinois dental insurance providers often have specific coverage limitations for orthodontic treatments. Here are some key factors to consider:

Age Limit

Many dental insurance plans limit orthodontic coverage to individuals under a certain age. Typically, coverage is more readily available for children and teenagers.

Orthodontic Waiting Period

Some policies have waiting periods before they provide orthodontic coverage. You may need to wait for a specific period after purchasing the plan before becoming eligible for orthodontic benefits.


In some cases, insurance providers may require pre-authorization before starting orthodontic treatment, meaning you’ll need to obtain approval from your insurance company before proceeding with aligner therapy.

Alternative Funding Options

If your dental insurance doesn’t provide sufficient coverage for clear aligners, don’t worry. There are other financing options that you may be able to explore:

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA)

These accounts allow you to use pre-tax dollars to pay for orthodontic treatment, potentially reducing your out-of-pocket costs.

Monthly Payment Plans

Many dental and orthodontic providers offer flexible payment plans that can help you spread the cost of treatment over several months, making it more manageable for your budget.

Orthodontic Discount Plans

Some organizations offer discount plans that can provide substantial savings on orthodontic treatments, including clear aligners.


This is a healthcare financing credit card that allows you to cover expenses related to dental and orthodontic treatment, with convenient monthly payments.

Contact Smile League Dental in Joliet

At Smile League Dental, one of our primary missions is to make dental care more affordable. If you have questions about getting aligners in Joliet, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our knowledgeable staff is happy to help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile without breaking your budget. You can reach us at 815-782-6243.