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What is SmileDirectClub?

Founded in the U.S. in 2014, SmileDirectClub is the oldest at-home aligner company. In 2018 it started operating in Canada. At one million patients treated, it’s the second-most popular clear aligner company after Invisalign.

Clear aligners are transparent plastic trays that apply gentle pressure to slowly reposition teeth. They're an effective alternative to traditional braces for most teeth misalignment issues.

Treatment with SmileDirectClub can address the following:

SmileDirectClub treatment can resolve these conditions in 4 to 6 months on average.This is much faster than Invisalign, which can take anywhere from 6 to 18 months.

Note: SmileDirectClub also offers nighttime aligners. Aside from extending treatment time (10 months), we at NewMouth have safety concerns regarding nighttime treatment. 

For Canadians with mild teeth misalignment, SmileDirectClub treatment can be a convenient and cost-effective alternative to Invisalign or traditional braces.

How Does SmileDirectClub Work?

There are two ways to start treatment:

  1. Book an appointment at a SmileShop (physical studio) with a licensed dentist or orthodontist.
  2. Have a SmileBox impression kit delivered to your home.

If you visit a physical location, a trained dentist or orthodontist will take a 3D scan of your bite. We recommend this option to minimize the chance for errors.

SmileShops are available in the following Canadian cities:

  • Edmonton
  • Calgary
  • Vancouver
  • Brampton
  • Toronto
  • Etobicoke
  • Montreal

If you can’t make it to a SmileShop, here’s how to begin treatment remotely:

  1. Order an impression kit online.
  2. Once the kit arrives, take impressions of your teeth and send them back.
  3. A Canadian dentist or orthodontist will review your impressions and determine if you’re a suitable candidate for treatment. 
  4. If they approve you, they will create a series of aligners for each stage of your treatment plan. You’ll be asked if you want to make any refinements. Next, you’ll submit payment for treatment. 
  5. The entire series of aligners will be sent to your door.

Once you receive your aligners, you’ll wear them for 22 hours per day and change them out weekly. You can remove them to eat, drink, brush and floss your teeth, or play an instrument or sport. 

You’ll take part in virtual check-ins on a regular basis so that your dentist or orthodontist can check your treatment progress. Total treatment time varies but is usually between 4 to 6 months.

SmileDirectClub vs. Invisalign: What Are the Differences?

There are several important differences between SmileDirectClub and Invisalign:

At-Home vs. In-Office Treatment

SmileDirectClub is an at-home clear aligner company. That means treatment can occur entirely from the comfort of your home, from taking impressions to check-ups. 

Invisalign is an in-office aligner. This means in-person consultations and check-ups are required.

Treatment involves a visit to the dentist or orthodontist every 6 weeks to check progress and receive new aligners. This is inconvenient for many people.

The added convenience of remote monitoring is one reason many people choose at-home aligners like SmileDirectClub. However, in-person treatment allows for more precision.

Affordability

Treatment with SmileDirectClub costs between $2,570, making it much more affordable than Invisalign. 

By contrast, the cost of Invisalign in Canada is between $2,000 and $8,000 on average. This can vary by location. For example, Invisalign in Vancouver may cost between $7,000 and $12,000.5

SmileDirectClub is 60% less than traditional braces.

For minor teeth alignment issues, SmileDirectClub is an affordable alternative to Invisalign.

Fast Treatment Times

SmileDirectClub treatment can fix minor teeth misalignment in 4 to 6 months. 

Invisalign treatment can be as fast as 6 months but generally ranges between 12 to 18 months. Sometimes it can take up to 24 months.

Variety of Treatable Issues

SmileDirectClub treats a more limited set of issues than Invisalign. 

On the other hand, Invisalign is better for moderate to severe alignment issues.

For mild spacing or crowding issues, SmileDirectClub may be a good option. However, Invisalign treats a much wider range of teeth alignment issues.

How Much Does SmileDirectClub Cost?

A one-time payment for SmileDirectClub aligners costs $2,570. This is around the middle range for at-home aligners, but still significantly more affordable than braces or Invisalign.

You can also finance treatment. SmileDirectClub offers a payment plan called SmilePay. After making a $300 down payment, you can then finance treatment for $115 per month. There’s no credit check required

Additional costs include:

  • Impression kit ($65)
  • SmileShop Scan ($65)
  • Aftercare retainer ($125)

Note: If the dentist or orthodontist does not find you suitable for treatment, you’ll receive a refund for the cost of the impression kit or scan.

Does Insurance Cover SmileDirectClub?

Canadian Medicare does not cover dental care. Instead, the majority of dental and orthodontic treatments are paid with private insurance or out-of-pocket.

According to the Canadian Dental Association (CDA), private insurers will generally pay for 50% of dental and orthodontic expenses.2

SmileDirectClub accepts both HSA and FSA as payment.

SmileDirectClub Costs vs. Other At-Home Aligner Brands

Here’s how the cost of SmileDirectClub stacks up against other clear aligner companies in Canada:

SmileDirectClub vs. ALIGNERCO

ALIGNERCO is a budget-friendly clear aligner brand. Treatment with its daytime aligners costs $1,285 and takes 4 to 6 months

Because treatment is monitored completely remotely, it’s a good option for minor teeth alignment issues. 

SmileDirectClub vs. NewSmile

NewSmile is a newer, Canadian-based clear aligner company that offers teeth realignment for 75% less than braces. 

It can correct mild-to-moderate teeth crowding or spacing in 4 to 6 months. A one-time payment for treatment costs $1,649.

Pros of SmileDirectClub

  • Treatment costs 60% less than braces or Invisalign
  • Two ways to begin treatment
  • Accepts HSA and FSA
  • Includes a free whitening treatment
  • Refunds scan or impressions costs if you are not a good candidate
  • Dentist or orthodontist designs and monitors treatment

Cons of SmileDirectClub

  • Not the most affordable at-home aligner option
  • Entirely remote monitoring means treatment may be less precise than in-office treatment
  • No refunds on aligners (only the impression kit)
Last updated on April 2, 2022
9 Sources Cited
Last updated on April 2, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Al Daghreer, Dr. Saleh. “INVISALIGN VS. BRACES COST IN CANADA.www.cityorthopeds.com, 2021.
  2. Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry. “GOVERNMENT DENTAL PROGRAMS.www.caphd.ca.
  3. Canadian Dental Association. “Welcome to the Canadian Dental Association.www.cda-adc.ca.
  4. Group Enroll. “How Much Does Invisalign Cost in Canada?” 2020.
  5. INVISALIGN® Costs in Vancouver 2021/2022 - A Comprehensive Guide.Orthologie Orthodontics
  6. Invisalign. “Join the 12 million smiles.” www.invisalign.ca, https://www.invisalign.ca/.
  7. Ling, Paul H. “Clinical Limitations of Invisalign.” Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, vol. 73, no. 3, 2007, pp. 263-266. http://www.cda-adc.ca/.
  8. SmileDirectClub. “Clear aligners for up to 60% less than braces.**.smiledirectclub.ca.
  9. Taylor, Paul. “Direct-to-consumer orthodontics is coming to Canada: What you need to know.health.sunnybrook.ca, 2018.
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