Smile Direct Club Alternatives

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Smile Direct Club is a very popular option these days for those who want to straighten their teeth remotely. They are not as cheap as some invisible braces brands and they cost less than traditional braces.

However, you should know that there are a lot of Smile Direct Club alternatives out there and they are worth considering. Your teeth says a lot about you and greatly affects the way you look and how confident you can be. It just makes sense that you do more research and assess all your options before you make a final decision.

In this article, we will give you an overview of your preferred choice at the moment, Smile Direct Club, and then compare what we know about it with Smile Direct Club alternatives that you might want to consider.

Smile Direct Club Overview

Smile Direct Club offers a discreet way to have straight teeth through clear aligners and goes by remote monitoring.

There is no need to see an orthodontist face to face to have your teeth straightened for the entire Smile Direct Club treatment process from start to finish. Not only that but the treatment time is also shorter compared to the treatment time of traditional metal braces.

The best thing about Smile Direct Club aligners is that they are affordable! Each Smile Direct Club aligner is made out of transparent, BPA-free plastic trays. Since they are custom-made, you can expect them to fit snugly around your teeth.

How to start

To start your Smile Direct Club treatment, you need to take a 20-second assessment test on the Smile Direct Club website. This assessment will determine if you are an eligible candidate for clear aligners or not.

If you pass the online assessment, you will be able to order a Smile Direct Club impression kit. Once you receive your impression kit, you need to follow the detailed instructions given then send back your impressions to Smile Direct, where an orthodontist will be assigned to your case.

Another option is to check if there is a SmileShop near you for a free consultation. SmileShops are physical locations for Smile Direct Club and they are located all over the country. A Smile Direct Club representative will see you during your appointment and take 3D scans of your teeth to determine if you are eligible for the Smile Direct Club clear aligners.

If you went through the SmileShop, you do not need to order the impression kit. The 3D impression can be created through your 3D scans and will be sent to a Smile Direct orthodontist to be assessed.

Once the impressions are in the Smile Direct Club lab, the decision of whether you can get clear aligners or not will be finalized. If you do not make the cut, the money you spent on the Smile Direct Club impression kit will be refunded.

Treatment plan

As mentioned earlier, the Smile Direct Club treatment is a remote one. There is no need for dental in-office visits or to go back to the SmileShop.

If you are clear for Smile Direct Club treatment, the assigned dentist or orthodontist to monitor your case will start creating a personalized treatment plan and the Smile Direct lab will start working on your custom aligners. Once the set is completed, it will be sent to you by mail.

You will be receiving a set of aligners. You will be moving from one to the next as your treatment progresses until you have finished the treatment. The orthodontist or dentist assigned to you will let you know when you will be using the next aligner on the set.

Once treatment is done, you will need retainers, which you can get from Smile Direct Club also. These retainers will be worn for 24 hours for a few months to ensure that your teeth will not move back to their original position and then every night when you sleep for the rest of your life.

This may sound extreme at first but it is a standard reality that every person has to go through for orthodontic treatments.

Treatment options

Smile Direct offers two treatment options: standard and nighttime.

The standard option is the classic clear aligner where you have to wear them for at least 22 hours each day.

The nighttime clear aligners are worn after dinner time so you do not have to deal with them during the day. The clear aligners are supposed to be worn for at least 10 hours each day.

No matter what treatment you choose, your package will arrive with a premium teeth whitening kit included.

Treatment time

The standard option has an average treatment plan of 4 to 6 months to straighten teeth. The nighttime option has an average treatment plan of 10 months.

Treatment cost

The one-time payment for Smile Direct Club clear aligners is $1950. For those who can’t make direct payments, Smile Direct Club has SmilePay, their installment plan where you give a $250 deposit and then pay $89 per month for 24 months.

You also can do other payment options for your aligner treatment. Smile Direct Club also takes payments from FSA, HSA, and CareCredit. You have to check your dental insurance provider if they will be able to cover a portion of your treatment.

Smile Direct Club Alternatives

As mentioned earlier, Smile Direct Club is not the only option available in the market for you. There are other alternatives similar to Smile Direct Club that works similarly but may have some differences that might make you change your mind.

Here, we give a list of factors that you should consider and how each alternative brand compares with Smile Direct Club.

How to start

Smile Direct Club

You can order an impression kit or check if there is a SmileShop in your area and make an appointment.

Invisalign

You have to visit a credited local orthodontist for assessment to start the Invisalign treatment.

Candid

You can check if there are CandidStudios near you so you can make an appointment or order an impression kit from their website.

Byte

Byte has no physical locations so the only way to start is to order an impression kit from their website and send them your teeth impressions.

Aligner Co

You can make an appointment at an Aligner Co Smile Studio or order an impression kit from their website.

NewSmile

To start your NewSmile treatment, go to their official website and order an impression kit.

ClearCorrect

ClearCorrect is an in-office treatment plan so you have to visit a ClearCorrect-accredited dentist or orthodontist to start treatment.

Treatment plan

Smile Direct Club

Smile Direct Club works with both orthodontists and dentists. Treatment is done remotely. The Smile Direct Club kit comes with a complete set of aligners and a free teeth whitening product.

Invisalign

Invisalign works with orthodontists only. Treatment is not remote – you will have to do in-office visits for close monitoring every 3 to 6 weeks. Because of this, the aligners will not be delivered to your home. instead, they will be delivered to your orthodontist. Take note that Invisalign treatment is designed to deal with complex teeth-straightening cases.

Candid

Candid works exclusively with orthodontists. Treatment is done remotely for the entire process. Your Candid aligner kit comes with a complete set of aligners and a premium teeth whitening product. They have an AI technology that allows more frequent check-ins (every 14 days) and better monitoring.

Byte

Byte works exclusively with orthodontists. Treatment is done remotely. The Byte aligner kit comes with a complete set of aligners and a free BrightByte bottle, a 3-in-1 solution that you can use to clean your aligners, whiten your teeth, and freshen your breath. The first set of retainers after treatment is included for free.

Aligner Co.

Aligner Co. works exclusively with orthodontists. Treatment is done remotely. The Aligner Co. kit comes with a complete set of aligners and your first set of retainers after treatment.

NewSmile

New Smile treatment is done remotely. The NewSmile package includes a complete set of aligners, free premium teeth whitening kit, and your first set of retainers.

ClearCorrect

ClearCorrect works with orthodontists and dentists. Remote treatment is not available for this brand. Your dentist or orthodontist will be the middle man between you and the dental lab. You can consider this as a Invisalign alternative brand.

Treatment options

Smile Direct Club

Smile Direct offers daytime and nighttime treatments.

Invisalign

Invisalign is designed to be worn for at least 22 hours a day so you only have one treatment option.

Candid

Daytime aligners only.

Byte

Daytime and nighttime treatments are available.

Aligner Co.

Daytime and nighttime treatments are available.

NewSmile

Daytime and nighttime treatments are available.

ClearCorrect

ClearCorrect aligners are worn at least 22 hours a day. No nighttime only option is available.

Treatment time

Smile Direct Club

Daytime treatment time average is 4 to 6 months. Nighttime treatment is 10 months.

Invisalign

The treatment time average is 12 months. The more correction your teeth needs, the longer it will take.

Candid

The average treatment time is 6 months.

Byte

On average, Byte’s daytime treatment time average is 3 to 4 months. The nighttime treatment is 5 to 6 months. Byte has the HyperBite device, a unique tool that speeds up the treatment time. If your teeth’s misalignment is not that bad, you may only need 2 to 4 months of treatment, thanks to HyperBite.

Aligner Co.

The average treatment time is 6 months.

NewSmile

The average treatment time is 6 months.

ClearCorrect

The average treatment time for ClearCorrect is 6 to 18 months.

Treatment cost

Smile Direct Club

The impression kit is $59. One-time payment for both daytime and nighttime treatments is $1950. An installment payment plan is available.

Invisalign

There is no general cost for an Invisalign treatment. The total cost will depend on the complexity of your case. It is said that treatment can cost anywhere between $3000 and $7000. An installment plan is available.

Candid

The impression kit is $95. Candid treatment costs $2400. An installment plan is available.

Byte

The at-home kit is $95. Daytime treatment costs $1895 while nighttime treatment costs $2295. An installment payment plan is available.

Aligner Co.

The starter kit is $75. The daytime treatment costs $1145 while the nighttime treatment costs $1345. An installment plan is available.

NewSmile

The impression kit is $49. The daytime treatment plan costs $1195. The nighttime treatment costs $1295. An installment plan is available.

ClearCorrect

There is no general rate to follow for ClearCorrect since the total cost will depend on the severity of your dental case. To give you an idea, a ClearCorrect treatment can cost anywhere between $2000 and $5000. An installment plan is available.

FAQs

Is Smile Direct Club better than traditional braces?

Smile Direct Club is better than traditional braces because they are hardly noticeable. Smile Direct Club offers a totally discreet way to straighten your teeth without having to be conscious about it all the time. It is a huge step up aesthetically.

But if you have complex orthodontic needs, there is a possibility that your dentist or orthodontist would recommend you to go for traditional braces because they can do a better job. Take note that invisible aligners can only handle mild to moderate cases of misalignment.

What makes Smile Direct Club stand out among the Smile Direct Club competitors?

Smile Direct Club may not be the cheapest or the most expensive aligners in the market but it does have affordable, reasonable rates. The fact that there is no price difference between the daytime and nighttime aligners speaks for itself. Even the impression kit is affordable compared to its competitors.

Smile Direct Club also have physical locations all over the country called SmileShops. This is an advantage because it means your issues can be addressed immediately by just dropping by instead of having to go through customer service.

Also, this means that you no longer have to struggle with an impression kit and make your own impressions if there is a SmileShop nearby. They will do a in person scan of your teeth for free and that will be used to make your impression.

All things considered, Smile Direct is a wise choice to correct your misaligned teeth.

Among the Smile Direct Club competitors, which is best?

This will depend on your dental case and what your priorities are.

If you are looking for high-quality results for straighter teeth, Invisalign is the best choice.

If you want a faster treatment time, Byte will be the best brand to consider.

If you are looking for the cheapest Aligner Co. has the most affordable treatment plans.

Why do I need to go through an assessment to straighten teeth?

Unfortunately, invisible braces are not for everybody. Some brands can only handle mild issues of teeth straightening while some dental cases may need more serious treatment such as metal braces and other orthodontic treatment. Some brands can work with dental implants while others do not. Different brands also have different age requirements.

As a general rule, you also need to have good oral health to be able to get teeth aligners. This means no cavities, no gum problems, and other dental issues. If you do have dental issues, you will be rejected as a candidate and be asked to deal with these problem areas first.

Although all impression kits are refundable, it can be a hassle to spend money, do the impressions, send them back and then find out that you are not eligible.

To be sure, do a general checkup of your teeth with your local dentist or orthodontist – even if you think your teeth look fine. You may not see anything wrong but a thorough dental checkup can detect oral conditions that are not physically visible.

You can then casually ask if you would qualify for a clear aligner. Your dentist will then give you thorough advice on whether it is the right move for you or not.

Does it matter if you are being monitored by an orthodontist or a dentist?

Yes, this determined a difference in the quality of treatment and results that you may be getting. As you can see from above, some brands work with licensed orthodontists exclusively.

This is because they have more training and knowledge when it comes to teeth straightening – this makes them specialists in the field. So, basically, all orthodontists are dentists but not all dentists are orthodontists.

Not to underestimate dentists, they can straighten teeth if you only have minor issues or need slight adjustments. But if your dental case is more complex, you will be better off with an orthodontist since they specialize in more complex and serious dental issues.

Remote monitoring vs. office monitoring

Remote monitoring means your aligners will be delivered to you at home and you have to check your progress virtually through an app or the website. You will be asked to send pictures of your teeth from time to time so that the orthodontist or dentist assigned to you can check your progress. You will be told if it is time to stop wearing your current aligner and to move on to the next one on the set.

The advantage of remote monitoring is that you no longer have to do office visits and pay doctor fees. This saves you a lot of money in the long run. The disadvantage is that since all the aligners will be delivered to you in one go, you have to make sure that you store them properly and that you do not lose your clear aligner. Otherwise, you will have to order new aligners again.

In-office treatments mean you have to work closely with an orthodontist or a dentist. You will be asked to do in-person visits every couple of weeks to check your progress.

The advantage of office monitoring is that you really feel the personalized treatment and that all your queries can be answered immediately. No need to go through customer service all the time since your orthodontist or dentist will act as the middle man. They can even process your health insurance papers for you.

Plus you do not have to worry about the responsibility of taking care of your clear aligner since the dental office will take care of that for you. The disadvantage of office monitoring is that it is more expensive.

Both types of monitoring have their own strong and weak points. In the end, it is a matter of preference.

Day vs. night treatment plants

As you can see from above, some brands also offer nighttime treatment plans. You may be wondering which one is better.

Daytime clear aligners are worn for a longer period during the day but they have the advantage of having a faster treatment time. For nighttime only aligners, treatment time is long since you wear them less.

Daytime teeth aligners require a higher level of responsibility though and you have to be ready for it. You will be taking them off every time you eat or drink so you have to make sure that you do not lose them. You will also have to be disciplined enough to clean your teeth and aligners before and after you eat.

Nighttime clear aligners are worn right after dinner time and throughout your sleeping time. So, there are fewer responsibilities involved when it comes to handling and care.

Invisible braces may affect your speech as you get used to them on your teeth so this may be a problem for you if your job involves speaking most of the day (although this will only be for the first few months). With nighttime treatment, you do not have to worry about these issues at all.

In the end, it is a matter of preference and how much discipline you think you have. No matter what type of clear aligner you choose, the most important thing is that you wear aligners in the right duration of time as recommended by the brand. Going less than what is instructed will delay and affect your results.

Last Thoughts

Crooked teeth or misaligned teeth is not that bad compared to other dental issues but it is also totally understandable if you are bothered by it. Improving your smile is something that you should not be ashamed of! Aside from crooked teeth, invisible aligners can also fixed tooth gaps, crowded teeth, and minor bite issues. It is a worthy investment!

When it comes to choosing a brand, it is ultimately up to you to decide which one you should go for. You can choose Smile Direct and you can change your mind and go for a Smile Direct alternative from the list above. Now that you know all the options available for you, you will be able to make an informed decision that you will not regret later on!

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.

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