Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club

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If you have ever thought about straightening your teeth, you have probably already have heard of braces. But since the appearance of the first clear aligners, the traditional braces soon got replaced.

How do Aligners Work?

The invisible braces or clear aligners are the best solutions for individuals who want to be discreet in their effort to correct their dental condition. They use constant force to push the teeth, but instead of brackets, they use a set of custom-made trays for each patient based on impressions. Unlike regular braces, which are pretty noticeable, invisible aligners are pretty hard to recognize. They are removable so that you can clean your teeth easily.

Bracelets vs. Clear Aligners

The aligner treatment usually takes up to 12 months. A professional dentist would be able to guide you in every step of your treatment online.

When it comes to remote treatment for clear aligners, Invisalign products were the most popular orthodontic options for many years. Until another teeth alignment treatment has started to gain a lot of exposure, and that is Smile Direct.

There are also a few other alignment treatments that we will mention along with the article that will offer you the same high quality but at pretty affordable rates. So for everyone who is on a budget but still wants to have invisible aligners, this would be a great alternative option.

What Should You Consider Before Choosing a Clear Aligner?

Before jumping to the major decision and choosing the best clear aligner, let’s go ahead and see some of the factors that you must notice before buying a clear aligner. The goal is to help you make informed choices, so here are all the things you need to know before starting your clear aligner treatment.

Discreet orthodontic treatment choice

The clear aligners will be custom so that they can precisely fit your teeth, slowly moving the teeth within their original positions.

These clear plastic aligners are practically transparent when they are on your teeth, making them challenging for others to see. For this reason, they are an excellent option for patients who want to smile confidently without having to be self-conscious about their looks.

Heal dental issues quickly and efficiently

The clear aligner patient starts to see the effects of treatment within several months as their teeth begin to straighten and the treatment procedure occurs.

Think about how often and for how long you eat each day

It is essential to wear them for at least 22 hours in a single day. That means your eating and drinking schedule will need to fit comfortably within a two-hour time slot. While this may seem daunting at first, you will soon see some side benefits. For instance, you can say goodbye to mindless snacking (and the impact it can have on your waistline).

Don’t panic if your teeth feel loose

Your clear aligners will slowly strengthen your misaligned teeth, so because of that, your teeth may seem loose whenever you get your aligners out. Don’t worry, this is common, and it’s totally normal, as they progress and realign in their original positions.


Whenever you eat or drink, you will need to brush or floss before placing the aligners back. The reason for this is to prevent food leftovers from getting caught between the aligners and your teeth. This would be pretty bad for your teeth and can result in the aligners creating a yellowish color, which can be pretty gross to see.

Keep your aligners completely clean

So just like you brush your teeth and keep them clean each time you eat or drink, you’ll need to wash your aligners as well. But you shouldn’t use toothpaste to wash them, as it carries abrasive elements that can damage your aligners. Instead, rinse them with clear aligner cleansing crystals or denture cleaner.

You may seem more relaxed removing and replacing aligners in private

Because of your aligners’ snug fit, you may find it pretty challenging to remove them and put them in your mouth whenever you are done eating or drinking. Because of this, you may be more comfortable doing this in private.

Treat a broad range of dental health issues

Depending on what type of clear aligners you’re considering, they would be able to fix several issues, from gapped or crooked teeth crowded to crossbite and overbite. We would be happy to assess your smile and help you find out if you’re the right candidate for treatment with clear aligners.

What Is Invisalign?

The Invisalign treatment includes a number of clear & removable aligners to move teeth into the original position over time smoothly. Each set of aligners is made out of lightweight material, and it is custom-made so that it will perfectly fit your teeth.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign treatment goes through several steps:

  1. The Impression of your teeth is made using tray-filled putty in your mouth to mold the teeth. A plastic 3D model of your teeth is creating using this mold. Also, they might require you to take X-rays so that they can determine the bone and the root structure. This will help your doctor to create the proper treatment plan.
  2. Next up, the models are used by a lab professional to create your custom aligner that will help you move the teeth into the position that your dentist prescribes.
  3. Once they are done, you will go and pick up your trays at your dentist. The doctor will be the first to put the aligners and see if everything fits perfectly. He might add some attachments to your teeth to improve your teeth’ ability to move.
  4. Then you would need to follow up on every appointment that your dentists book. Usually, you will have meetings with your dentist every five weeks to check on the progress and do any needed adjustments so that he can ensure that you reach the wanted outcome in the slightest time possible.

Invisalign advantages

  • The progression of the Invisalign therapy is supervised by a dentist who will continuously meet you in person.
  • If you have goofy teeth, your Invisalign specialist can use IPR, which is the method of forming little places within the teeth to eliminate crowding and support your teeth to shift into the right position without any problems.
  • Complicated movements can be performed by having attachments implemented by your doctor to help push your teeth.
  • Invisalign treatment offers X-rays which supports the doctors to see the underlying structures of your teeth.
  • Unlike Smile Direct Club, Invisalign is able to help more complicated cases, including light to moderately crooked gaps, teeth, and malocclusion problems.
  • Invisalign offers a real-life relationship with your doctor, and this means they will comprehend your dental history and have a better perception of your suitability for therapy.
  • Your doctors can assist you in making post-alignment choices if any extra work is necessary to create your perfect smile.

Invisalign disadvantages

  • Invisalign is significantly more expensive than Smile Direct Club, which isn’t affordable for an average person.
  • The Invisalign procedure’s therapy time is usually longer because it’s suitable for more complicated problems than Smile Direct Club.
  • Not as helpful for patients who are located far from their nearest Invisalign provider.

What Is Smile Direct Club?

Smile Direct Club also utilizes clear aligners to achieve straighter and stronger teeth. Smile Direct Club is intended to reduce visits to a dentist by allowing the therapy to be performed from your home’s comforts. This implies that the patient never has personal contact with a dentist but instead receives the trays in the mail, followed by uploading progress photos online.

How does Smile Direct Club work?

The Smile, Direct Club method, involves the following steps:

  1. To make an impression of your teeth, you must visit a “Smile Store” where the staff can create digital impressions of your teeth with the use of 3D technology. But if you don’t have a Smile store close to you, then don’t worry. They have established a way where you will receive a kit in the mail with all the instructions and products needed to take a mold of your teeth entirely by yourself. Also, you will need to take pictures of the teeth from various angles. This way, the dentists assigned to your case would surely design the proper treatment plan.
  2. The custom trays are then generated from the impressions you’ve taken yourself, or the 3D scan from the Smile Store then sent to you with instructions for application.
  3. Every 90 days, you will be contacted by professional dentists by Smile Direct Club to ensure that your teeth progress in the right direction.

Smile Direct Club advantages

  • Support for patients who discover it challenging to attend the dental office or don’t like to check and prefer doing it from their homes regularly.
  • Smile Direct Club is a lot more affordable when compared to Invisalign.
  • The whole therapy is performed in the comfort of your home, so you can sit on a chair and take your regular check done.
  • The average therapy time is usually faster when compared to Invisalign.

Smile Direct Club disadvantages

  • It only works for the smallest gaps and goofy teeth.
  • It is not as good for crowded teeth as there is no dental visit possible to provide IPR, which implies that there won’t be sufficient room for crowded teeth to move to be shifted forward.
  • Smile Direct Club concentrates a lot more on the front six visible teeth for visual appeal than on the bite teeth. And because of this, Smile Direct Club won’t be able to correct significant bite problems.
  • If there are flaws when designing your mold yourself, the aligners may fit inaccurately, and you won’t get the expected results.
  • Your doctor can’t observe your therapy process in person, which makes it a lot more challenging to make adjustments as you go.
  • You are entirely responsible for all the risks and additional costs if any problems occur.
  • If you somehow drop or forget your aligners, you will have to reach the customer service team, which will take a lot more time for you to get the replacements than visiting your local dentist.

Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club: Supervision and Treatment


Smile direct doesn’t offer any dental supervision. Usually, there are dental problems that need additional treatment before you can start aligned treatment. So because of this, you’ll need to attend a dentist previously to sort these problems out. Your private dentist will have to help with issues that may occur during the alignment treatment.

And on the other hand, Invisalign is managed and administered by qualified registered dentists and orthodontists to determine whether you are the right patient and where there are issues before beginning the alignment treatment.


The Smile Direct Club aligner motto is that it will straighten up your teeth, and that is what they do. They openly notify customers that their transparent aligner system is intended for the treatment of minor to moderate teeth misalignment. While this fits some cases, it isn’t great for complicated issues or severe misalignments that need resolving.

Invisalign, on the other half, works to straighten mild, medium, and severe teeth misalignments, while also correcting any issues with the bite.

Treatment options

So let’s continue to another thing that these things have in general. And that is the availability of various treatment choices. 

Invisalign treatment choices:

  • Invisalign Full: Traditional Invisalign invisible braces that can be utilized to treat medium to complicated cases of malocclusion. The time of the Invisalign treatments is usually from 12 months up to 20 months. Your dentist can request multiple aligners so that you can achieve the full treatment of your teeth.
  • Invisalign Express: This is an option that is suggested for only easy cases and grants limited movement of your teeth. They come with a limited kit of 10 or 5 aligners individually, so the dentist will see what the best option for you is.
  • Invisalign Teen: This is specifically made only for teens and kids, and the aligners come with pointers that let parents and dentists recognize how frequently they’ve been used. 

Smile Direct Club treatment options:

  • Smile Direct Club Clear Aligners: Common 6-month therapy plan with 22 hours of use per day. 
  • Nighttime Clear Aligners: Average 12-month therapy plan, around 10 hours of use per day (while you sleep). Many experts suggest Nighttime Clear Aligners because they don’t have to wear them when doing daytime activities.


Licensed dentists supervise Invisalign through routine visits to the dentist. On the other side, Smile Direct Club utilizes dentists to supervise the treatment, with the patient just having to attend to them remotely. So the supervision is a big difference. While it’s better for dentists to see your teeth aligners in person, some people don’t have the time. And if you can’t go on a routine visit to the dentist, then Smile Direct Club can be a great choice.

Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club: Direct cost


Choosing Invisalign can cost you anywhere between $3.000 and $9.000, which puts it among Smile Direct Club and traditional braces in terms of price. Depending on your situation and treatment requirements, treatment time and cost will change. You’ll also require to visit in for routine appointments with your dentist or orthodontist to ensure everything is going correctly. So the prices are a lot higher when compared to others.

Smile Direct Club

With both regular wear and nighttime only options, Smile Direct Club offers systems under $2000, which is unquestionably one of the affordable options when it comes to orthodontic products. Smile Direct Club treatment will cost you $1895, plus $49 for the first impression kit delivered and $99 for your retainers at the end of the treatment, which are worn each night to keep your teeth in their new position.

Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club: Alternative

The prices are pretty high for both the options, so if you are looking for alternative options, that will do the job as efficiently and professionally. Here’s a quick summary of some other brands you might want to consider:


You’ve presumably heard ofCandid aligners while investigating clear aligners, as they are one of the top brands besides Smile Direct Club. They have a strong emphasis on quality and care, and their AI monitoring technology makes treatment more effective and precise.

Like Smile Direct Club, Candid has various physical locations called Studios, which you can attend for a 3D scan of your teeth to get your mold. Also, there is an option for you to order an impression kit and perform everything from your home. And if you are interested in comprehending more about how Smile Direct Club and Candid compare, you can go ahead and check out our Candid vs Smile Direct article. And check out our full Candid review, where we will briefly describe all the pros and cons.


This might be a new name to the US business, but NewSmile is firmly established as a provider of clear aligners in Canada. NewSmile uses the most transparent material available and applies a multi-tooth movement method for faster and better treatment.

If you are looking for an affordable way to buy your clear aligners, NewSmile has one of the cheapest monthly packages that start at just $84 a month over 12 months. You can also buy the full package and pay up-front so that you can save $100 using the following code DENTALYDEAL. This is one of the most significant discounts that they currently offer – open up their website for further details.


If you’re comparing Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club because you’re on a low budget, then ALIGNERCO may be your best choice. Their package will only cost you $1,145, and it includes the complete treatment therapy– even a set of retainers.

ALIGNERCO are recognized for their exceptional and friendly customer service, so you will always feel like you’re in safe hands when using them. Discover more about ALIGNERCO on their official site


Byte is another aligner brand that understands the value of working exclusively with dentists to observe patients’ treatment. With the use of the high-frequency Hyperbyte technology, they use vibrations to decrease treatment time to an average of only 3 months. So if you’re interested, start by reading our Byte reviews article and buying an impression kit to do at your home.

Now you know that we saw all the alternative options, let’s get back to our Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club comparison and see which one is better.

Which is better, Invisalign or Smile Direct Club?

Based on Invisalign and Smile Direct Club’s research, the option can really vary from the requirements of the patient, so there isn’t a clear winner here.

If you are incapable of reaching an Invisalign provider regularly, have a medium malocclusion, and have a limited budget, then Smile Direct Club may be a more suitable option for you.

But, if you have severe malocclusion, favor face-to-face cooperation, and the most reliable results possible while still willing to pay a higher rate of treatment, then Invisalign treatment is the way to go!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are smile direct and Invisalign aligners the same?

Although Invisalign and Smile Direct Club aligners look pretty similar, they are entirely different. The most obvious difference is that Invisalign aligners securely lock into position on the teeth because of the additional attachments.

Can Smile direct ruin your teeth?

Smile Direct Club is one of the best remote treatment options, and they have helped more than 1 million happy grinners smile confidently. So if you follow all the rules, the teeth straightening will be successful without any problems.

Do orthodontists recommend smile Direct Club?

Even though orthodontists recommend going to a personal visit to your dentist, they recommend Smile Direct Club for medium malocclusions. But if you have significant problems, then Invisalign or even traditional braces may be a better route for you.

Are the Alternative Options a great choice?

All of the alternative options are a great way to straighten your teeth at the most affordable payment plan. They are all pretty reliable, and in most cases, your condition can be securely treated with mail-order brands like ALIGNERCO, Byte, NewSmile, and Candid. These are all new entry brands that will do quality teeth straightening at home at affordable costs.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.