Best Invisible Aligners

Which Invisible Braces Are The Best?

If you want straighter teeth — but don’t want metal brackets and wires on your teeth — invisible aligners are an excellent choice. They are made of clear plastic and are a removable alternative to traditional metal braces designed around comfort and convenience.

There are many brands of clear teeth aligners on the market today, making it easier to find one that fits your lifestyle, budget, and needs. Clear braces can fix mild to moderate cases of malocclusion (teeth misalignment). These cases include crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, and gapped teeth. 

In-Office vs. At-Home Invisible Braces

There are two clear aligner options available, including in-office aligners and at-home aligners

In-office invisible aligners require visits to your dentist or orthodontist throughout treatment. You also have to set up an appointment with them to get an impression made of your teeth before beginning treatment. 

Two of the best, FDA-approved in-office invisible aligners:

  1. Invisalign
  2. Clear Correct

At-home invisible aligners, also called mail-in aligners, do not require in-office visits. You will take an online assessment, and if you are a candidate, they will send an impression to your home address. Throughout the treatment process, you will attend virtual appointments with your doctor or orthodontist to ensure your teeth are moving correctly. Some at-home aligner brands offer free retainers to keep your teeth straight after treatment.

Not everyone is a good candidate for at-home clear aligners. Treatment is typically only recommended for mild cases of teeth misalignment like minor crowding or gaps.

The five best at-home (mail-in) invisible aligners:

1. Best Overall (Editor's Pick)byte

2. Best Remote Orthodontic Care Candid Co.

3. Best-Known Brand SmileDirectClub

4. Best on a Budget (up to 50% less)ALIGNERCO

5. Best Aligner DesignNewSmile

To help you choose the best invisible aligner for your needs, our specialists at NewMouth have compiled a list of the most popular brands below:

Best Invisible Braces (At-Home)

The five best at-home, or mail-in, invisible braces include:

Byte®: Quickest Treatment

The average treatment time for Byte aligners is 3 to 6 months with daily Hyperbyte use. The Hyperbyte is a special teeth movement acceleration device that safely straightens teeth 2x faster with HFV (high-frequency vibration).

You have the choice of buying all-day or at-night Byte aligners. Treatment is completely remote. You will order a mail-in impression kit and get virtual check-ups throughout treatment.

An aligner-safe teeth whitening kit (BrightByte) is also included with every purchase.

Cost: $1,895 (normal aligners) to $2,245 (night aligners)

Treatment Time: 3 to 6 months

Monthly Payment Plan: Starting at $83/mo for 29 months (not including down payment)

byte impression kit

byte®

Quickest treatment time and best value

Byte's All-Day Aligners are worn for 22 hours a day and can straighten teeth in 3 months. The At-Night Aligners straighten teeth while you sleep and can take up to 6 months.

Byte also offers a lifetime guarantee.

Candid Co: Best Remote Monitoring

Unlike other mail-in aligners, Candid Co. only works with licensed orthodontists. Many general dentists also offer orthodontic treatment options, but orthodontists are teeth straightening experts.

Investing in Candid aligners ensures you get the highest quality remote treatment available. You can either get started at a Candid studio or with an at-home starter kit.

Cost: $2,400 (normal aligners)

Treatment Time: 6 to 11 months

Monthly Payment Plan: Starting at $99/mo for 24 months (not including down payment)

candid aligner kit

Candid Co.

Only works with licensed orthodontists

It's not just about a great smile. Candid is committed to improving your quality of life. Your treatment plan is overseen by a qualified orthodontist with over 20 years of experience. This means you'll receive high-quality care from start to finish.

ALIGNERCO: Most Affordable Aligner

ALIGNERCO offers the cheapest invisible aligners on the market.

To begin the teeth straightening process, the first step is to order an impression kit online. These kits are just $39.99.

While more affordable, they are a newer company with fewer reviews than byte and Candid. They also do not work directly with orthodontists and dentists.

Cost: $1,145 (normal aligners) to $1,345 (night aligners)

Treatment Time: 6 to 12 months

Monthly Payment Plan: Starting at $86/mo (not including down payment)

aligner co kit

ALIGNERCO

The most affordable aligner

ALIGNERCO is making a name by providing a reliable at-home aligner experience at a budget-friendly price. Treatment costs just $1,145 vs. up to $2,400 for competitors.

SmileDirectClub: First Ever Mail-In Aligner

SmileDirectClub pioneered the mail-in aligner industry and is still the most widely known. Smile Direct offers both daytime and nighttime clear aligners, depending on your preference. You can either visit a SmileShop for an in-person 3D scan or order an at-home impression kit.

Cost: $1,950 (normal or night aligners)

Treatment Time: 4 to 6 months

Monthly Payment Plan: Starting at $89/mo (not including down payment)

smile direct kit

SmileDirectClub

The biggest company

SmileDirectClub is the largest, longest-standing clear aligner manufacturer. With hundreds of physical locations, you can choose an in-person consultation or order a mail-in impression kit.

NewSmile: Most Comfortable Aligner Design

NewSmile is one of the most affordable at-home aligners, but they are also one of the newest companies.

Unlike most at-home aligner brands, NewSmile aligners do not touch your gums. They are trimmed to comfortably sit along your gum line in a ‘scalloped fashion.’ Not only does this design cause less irritation, but it also makes the trays less visible. 

Once you receive the impression kit, you should get an email to book a time with an Impression Specialist. During this video call, they will walk you through the process to ensure accuracy. You’ll send in progress photos through the NewSmile app to ensure your teeth are moving correctly.

Cost: $1,195 (normal aligners) to $1,295 (night aligners)

Treatment Time: 4 to 10 months

Monthly Payment Plan: Starting at $84/mo

newsmile impression kit

NewSmile

Most comfortable aligner design

NewSmile aligners are trimmed along your gum line to provide a comfortable and less visible treatment experience. They also offer live video chats with a specialist to ensure you make accurate impressions.

Similar to ALIGNERCO, NewSmile aligners are more affordable than other brands.

SnapCorrect: Clearest, Most Affordable Aligners

SnapCorrect aligners are perfectly clear, almost see-through. They also have contoured edges, which provide a discreet and comfortable fit. To begin treatment, you will order an impression kit online, take the impressions of your teeth with the putty provided, and then mail the kit back. You’ll receive the first set of aligners in the mail within four weeks. 

Cost: $1,749

Treatment Time: about 6 months

Monthly Payment Plan: Starting at $80/mo for 24 months (not including down payment)


Best “In-Office” Invisible Aligner

The two best in-office invisible braces include:

Invisalign

Invisalign is the most widely-known invisible aligner available. These teeth aligners are made with SmartTrack® material, which is specifically engineered for the Invisalign system. The material claims to provide a more accurate and comfortable fit. Invisalign is only available through your dentist or orthodontist, not online. 

Invisalign provides very accurate tooth movement but is the most expensive aligner on the market.

Cost: $3,000 to $8,000

Treatment Time: 12 to 18 months

Monthly Payment Plan: Starting at $50/mo for 36 months (not including down payment)


Best Alternative to Invisalign 

The best Invisalign alternative is:

Clear Correct

ClearCorrect is the best alternative to Invisalign. These aligners are made of .030” polyurethane to achieve challenging tooth movements. They are also stain and crack resistant, hand-checked by a qualified dentist, and laser marked to ensure traceability. Similar to Invisalign, ClearCorrect requires in-office evaluation before beginning treatment. 

ClearCorrect provides controlled single-tooth movement but is more expensive than mail-in aligners.

Cost: $2,500 to $5,500

Treatment Time: Depends on if you choose Limited 6, Limited 12, Unlimited, or Flex treatment 

Payment Plan: Flex (pay per aligner), Unlimited (pay one flat rate for five years of aligners + one set of retainers), Limited 6, and Limited 12 (pay one flat rate for aligners + one set of retainers)

Candidacy Requirements for Invisible Aligners

At-home invisible braces only treat minor cases of teeth misalignment, including:

  • Small teeth gaps 
  • Minorly crooked teeth
  • Minorly crowded teeth

If you have any of the following, you'll likely need more invasive treatment with Invisalign or braces:

  • Cases of severe teeth misalignment. If your case falls outside of the range of mild to moderate malocclusion, you’ll be denied treatment. Malocclusion refers to a “bad bite” and is an imperfection in how your teeth come together when the jaw is closed. Severe misalignment — such as an overbite, underbite, or open bite — requires more invasive orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign.
  • Untreated dental conditions. If you have untreated oral conditions or upcoming dental work, you will need to make sure these issues are addressed first. This includes cavities, gum disease, and similar conditions. Your teeth and gums must be healthy enough before clear aligner treatment begins. 
  • Existing dental restorations. Certain dental restorations, including dental implants and bridges, cannot be treated with invisible braces.

Invisible Braces: Questions and Answers

Do invisible braces really work?

Clear aligner treatment has been around for more than 20 years. With advancements in 3D modeling, video conferencing, and digital cameras, creating an at-home clear aligner treatment plan is safe and effective. 

Are clear aligners worth it?

If you are looking for a quicker, virtually invisible, and more comfortable alternative to traditional braces, clear aligners are the ideal option. Unlike braces, it is easier to brush and floss and maintain better oral hygiene. You are less likely to develop cavities and can eat more comfortably. Remember, you must wear them for up to 22 hours per day for them to be effective.

What are the cheapest invisible braces?

The cheapest invisible aligner companies are SnapCorrect ($1,749) and ALIGNERCO ($1,145), compared to up to $8,000 for Invisalign. 

Does dental insurance cover clear aligners?

In some cases, your insurance company may cover part of the cost of clear aligners. You will have to work directly with your insurance provider to determine the coverage amount.

How long does treatment take?

Depending on the type of aligner, treatment can take between 2 and 24 months. Byte offers the quickest treatment, while Invisalign is typically the longest.

Do invisible aligners cost more than metal braces?

It depends. Metal braces are typically priced from $1,800 to $5,500. Invisalign aligners cost between $3,000 and $5,000, while at-home aligners cost between $1,200 and $2,400.

Resources

Candid. “Discover the Candid Difference.” Candid, www.candidco.com/why-candid.

Express your joy. (n.d.). Clear Correct, https://www.straumann.com/clearcorrect/us/en.html.

“How it Works.” SmileDirectClub, https://smiledirectclub.com/how_it_works/.

“How Does it Work?” SnapCorrect, https://snapcorrect.com/process.

Hyperbyte: The Technology Behind Faster Invisible aligner results. (n.d.). Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://www.byteme.com/pages/hyperbyte.

Insurance Coverage for Our Invisible Aligners. (n.d.). Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://www.byteme.com/pages/insurance.

Ke, Y., Zhu, Y., & Zhu, M. (2019, January 23). A comparison of treatment effectiveness between clear aligner and fixed appliance therapies. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6343314/.

Proffit, William R., et al. Contemporary Orthodontics. Elsevier/Mosby, 2019.

“Pricing.” SmileDirectClub, https://smiledirectclub.com/pricing/.

“How Do Smilelove Clear Aligners Work.” SmileLove, https://smilelove.com/how-it-works.

“Smile Direct Club vs SnapCorrect.” SnapCorrect, https://snapcorrect.com/smiledirectclub.

Weir, T. “Clear Aligners in Orthodontic Treatment.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 14 Mar. 2017, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/adj.12480.

“What to Expect with Invisalign® Treatment.” Invisalign, https://www.invisalign.com/how-invisalign-works.

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