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Byte and SmileDirectClub are both affordable and convenient options for teeth straightening. They can straighten mild to moderately crooked teeth without dental visits.
The clear aligners are sent to your home, where you’ll complete your treatment. You’ll be given instructions and access to an app that allows a dental professional to monitor you remotely.
Choose Byte if you want faster results and better value for your money. It straightens teeth faster than most brands and includes a lifetime guarantee with your treatment.
But if you want a trained specialist to assess you in person and take digital scans of your teeth, you should go with SmileDirectClub and visit a SmileShop near you.
To help you decide, we’ll compare Byte vs. SmileDirectClub in this review. We will take a closer look at what they have to offer, including their:
We also considered their pros and cons based on customer reviews, expert opinions, and our own experience with Byte and SmileDirectClub.
Byte and SmileDirectClub are affordable Invisalign alternatives that allow you to straighten teeth at home. Here’s a comparison of their features:
|Our rating||4.2 out of 5⭐||3.7 out of 5⭐|
|Treatment times||All-Day: 3 to 4 months1|
At-Night: 5 to 6 months2
|Full-Time: 4 to 6 months3|
Nighttime: 8 to 10 months3
|Suggested wear time||All-Day: 22 hours|
At-Night: 10+ hours
|Full-Time: 24 hours|
Nighttime: 10+ hours
|Treatment costs||All-Day Aligners: $1,999|
At-Night Aligners: $2,399
|Finance options||BytePay, Affirm, CareCredit, SplitIt, HSA/FSA/HRA||SmilePay, CareCredit, HSA/FSA|
|Payment plans||Starts at $70/month for up to 36 months||Starts at $89/month for up to 28 months|
|Down payment||$0 to $249||$0 to $250|
|In-person teeth scans||No||Yes|
|Remote monitoring||My Byte App (iOS and Android)||SmileDirectClub app (iOS and Android)|
Here are the main differences between Byte and SmileDirectClub:
The average treatment time for Byte is 3 to 6 months.1,2 It beats SmileDirectClub’s treatment timeline of around 4 to 10 months.3
People often choose Byte because of its fast treatment times. This is made possible by the HyperByte, a device included with your kit.
HyperByte emits high-frequency vibrations (HFV) that can loosen teeth from gums. When used together with Byte aligners, it may cause teeth to shift more quickly into the desired position.
Early studies suggest that HFV—the technology found in HyperByte—can speed up teeth movement when used with clear aligners.4 It explains why Byte is faster than its competitors.
Byte and SmileDirectClub have an at-home impression kit that you can order online. However, only SmileDirectClub has physical locations that you can visit for consultations.
Known as SmileShops, there are over 100+ locations in the US.5 They have trained professionals who can take digital teeth scans to see if you’re qualified.
Compared to teeth impressions, it’s an easier way to start your treatment. It also eliminates the risk of inaccurate teeth molds, which can affect the fit of your aligners.
While SDC has cheaper nighttime aligners than Byte ($2,250 vs. $2,390) and impression kits ($59 vs. $95), Byte is the more affordable option.
Here’s why Byte gives you better value for your money:
Byte and SmileDirectClub offer flexible payment options to pay in monthly installments. However, Byte gives you more ways to pay for your treatment.
Byte offers BytePay and accepts payments via Affirm, CareCredit, and Splitit.
You can also use your health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), and health reimbursement arrangements (HRA) to pay for Byte’s treatments.
SDC only offers SmilePay and accepts payments using CareCredit, HSA, and FSA.
Insurance companies with qualifying orthodontic benefits may help cover the costs of your Byte or SmileDirectClub treatment. However, SDC is partnered with more insurers.
Among the dental and health insurance providers that are in-network with SDC are:
Byte has fewer insurance partners in comparison. Some are Aetna, Anthem, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Guardian, and Humana.
Byte’s exceptional support team will guide you throughout the treatment process. SmileDirectClub’s customer service can be inconsistent.
Based on customer reviews, some SmileShop locations have unprofessional staff, even though most of them usually help with any questions you may have about your treatment.
SDC’s online support can also be unresponsive and difficult to reach. However, the company has reportedly been improving its customer service.
Byte will help you with practically everything. This includes checking your insurance coverage, choosing your payment method, and the step-by-step of your aligner treatment.
Its customer service tends to be less responsive as you get further into your treatment.
Byte was founded in 2017 but didn’t launch its aligners until 2019. Smile Direct Club has been around since 2014, making it the more established clear aligner company.
SDC has served 1.8 million customers since its founding.8 It has also branched out to more locations than Byte, including Smile Direct Club Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Byte only sells its clear aligners through Byte US and Byte Australia.
Why Choose Byte?
Byte offers great value for your money with the Byte for Life Guarantee. It can give you straight teeth in as little as 3 months, which is faster than most brands.
Byte’s fast aligner treatments are made possible by the HyperByte. It’s a portable device that can speed up teeth movement and shorten your treatment time.
If you’re unsatisfied with your results or your teeth become misaligned after treatment, Byte will continue to work with you and provide free teeth aligners until you get what you want.¹
Byte has two treatment plans: All-Day and At-Night Clear Aligners. After you complete treatment, you’re expected to wear post-treatment retainers. Here’s a comparison:
|Treatment Plan||Byte All-Day Aligners||Byte At-Night Aligners||Byte Retainers|
|Cost||One-time payment: $1,999|
|One-time payment: $2,399|
|With Byte Protection Plan: $75 every 6 months|
Without Byte Protection Plan: $129 every 6 months
|Recommended Wear||22 hours a day||10+ hours of continuous wear||1 year or less after treatment: 22 hours a day|
More than 1 year after treatment: Only wear at night
|Average Treatment Time||4 months1||5 months2||Lifetime|
All Byte treatments are reviewed, approved, and monitored by state-licensed dentists or orthodontists with the help of the My Byte app.
When you purchase a Byte treatment plan, you’ll get the following with your kit:
The HyperByte device ($699 value) is also included free with your kit. Apart from speeding up tooth movement, it can help relieve the pain or discomfort caused by your Byte aligners.
It’s straight teeth for life… as long as you’re following all their rules and don’t break their warranty, you’ll get impression kits, and they’ll keep working with you for free for the price you paid in the beginning until your teeth are where you want them to be.Brianna Liebl
Byte has an average rating of 4.4⭐ from over 19,200+ customer reviews on BBB, Best Company, Consumer Affairs, and Trust Pilot.
Most Byte reviews are positive. However, some have a negative experience with the company, its products, or its services. Here are some pros and cons of Byte based on these reviews:
Many dentists recommend Byte for mild to moderate teeth misalignment. Among the cases it can treat are crooked, overcrowded, and gapped teeth.
Our team asked the help of Dr. Shane Smith, DDS, a general dentist from Jonesboro, AR, for his expert opinion on Byte:
Byte claims their treatment time is about 4 months with a comparison to braces often taking over a year. Since there is a limit on how fast we can move teeth, we can see that Byte is going for the easy cases.Dr. Shane Smith, DDS
Dr. Smith says that people should manage their expectations of what Byte’s aligners can do in such a short time.
Here’s how Byte works so you know what to expect:
Byte’s treatment time usually falls anywhere between 3 and 6 months.1,2 It may last longer, depending on your condition and if you’ve followed the treatment recommendations.
Why Choose SmileDirectClub?
SmileDirectClub (SDC) makes it easy to start treatment. You can buy an impression kit online or visit a nearby SmileShop for a free consultation.
It has over 100+ SmileShop locations across the US.5 You can schedule an appointment to see if you’re qualified for at-home teeth straightening.
SmileDirectClub also has some of the cheapest clear aligners we recommend. The company is in-network with many insurance providers that offer orthodontic benefits.
SmileDirectClub offers All-Day and At-Night Clear Aligners. After completing treatment, you need to switch over to SDC’s retainers. Here’s how they compare:
|Treatment Plan||SDC Full-Time Aligners||SDC Nighttime Aligners||SDC Retainers|
|Cost||One-time payment: $2,250|
|One-time payment: $2,250|
|If you buy one set of retainers: $125|
If you buy two sets of retainers: $250 plus one free set
|Recommended Wear||24 hours a day except when eating or brushing||10+ hours of continuous wear||First 2 weeks after treatment: 24 hours|
3 weeks or more after treatment: Only wear at night
|Average Treatment Time||4 to 6 months5||8 to 10 months5||Lifetime|
When you opt for SmileDirectClub, you’ll get the following with your kit:
My whole journey’s… although it’s been… a little painful putting them in and out…it’s been a really painless and such an easy thing for me to do.Lorelei
The company has an average rating of 4.4⭐ from over 34,400+ customer reviews. It received mixed reviews from Best Company, Consumer Affairs, and Trust Pilot.
SmileDirectClub has primarily positive reviews. But there are many complaints about its products, services, and effectiveness. Here are the pros and cons of Smile Direct treatment based on reviews:
Dentists are often concerned with the safety and effectiveness of at-home teeth aligners like SmileDirectClub since they don’t involve frequent dental check-ups.
We asked Dr. Shane Smith, DDS, what he thinks about SmileDirectClub. He explains that its physical locations give it a considerable advantage:
I have done cases with Invisalign with impressions and their Itero scanner. Trays made based on the scan fit better, and treatment was more predictable.Dr. Shane Smith, DDS
Here’s how SDC works so you know what to expect:
SmileDirectClub has an average treatment time of 4 to 10 months.3 But your treatment can last longer depending on your teeth misalignment and compliance.
At-home teeth aligners like Byte and SmileDirectClub are only recommended for mild to moderate cases of misalignment. This includes crooked, gapped, and overcrowded teeth.
If you have severely misaligned teeth or problems with your bite (like overbite, underbite, and crossbite), you may need in-office treatments that involve dental supervision.
Below are some alternative orthodontic treatments you can consider:
If you want the guidance of a dentist or orthodontist, in-office clear aligners like Invisalign treatment may be a better choice than at-home aligners.
In-office aligners like Invisalign cost more ($3,000 to $8,000) and have longer treatment times of 6 to 24 months. But they can treat more complex cases and some bite issues.
You’ll visit a dental professional regularly to have your aligners fitted and changed every few weeks. They will closely monitor you and adjust your treatment plan as necessary.
You should consider metal braces if you have severely crooked teeth that cause bite problems. However, they also work on mild to moderate teeth misalignment.
It’s a traditional orthodontic treatment that uses metal brackets, wires, and elastic bands to straighten teeth. Unlike clear aligners, they’re visible, and you can’t remove them on your own.
It may cost you anywhere from $2,750 to $11,500. Treatments may last for 24 to 36 months.
Lingual braces are like metal braces, except they’re placed behind your teeth. They let you straighten teeth discretely since they’re hidden from plain sight.
They can correct mild, moderate, and severe cases of misaligned teeth. Treatments with lingual braces may cost up to $10,000 and last 12 to 28 months.
Surgery is often recommended for severely crooked teeth that cause severe jaw misalignment. This includes excessive overbite, underbite, and crossbite.
Without insurance, it may cost you $15,000 to $50,000. The effects are immediate, but it can take several weeks for you to recover fully.
Byte and SmileDirectClub can help you achieve a straighter smile from home.
While they're both affordable and convenient alternatives to in-office treatments like Invisalign, each clear aligner brand has advantages and disadvantages that you need to consider.
If you plan to purchase Byte or SmileDirectClub, consult a dentist or orthodontist. They can help you determine which orthodontic treatment suits your needs.
We ordered the Byte and SmileDirectClub and had in-house writers test them out throughout the duration of their prescribed treatment.
While testing the clear aligners, our team assessed and scored them based on five traits. Each trait was assigned a “weight” so we could calculate their individual rating and weighted average scores on a scale of five.
Here is how we rated the best clear aligners on our list:
Using artificial intelligence, we gathered and analyzed feedback from 53,600+ people who tried Byte and SmileDirectClub.
This helped us determine the users’ experiences with a brand, including:
We compared the brands’ average treatment times and effectiveness for correcting mild and moderate teeth misalignment.
Our team also examined them for any products or services they provided that would help customers during and after their treatment, such as:
We explored the total treatment cost of Byte and SmileDirectClub, including their upfront prices, payment options flexibility, insurance eligibility, and maintenance costs for additional retainers.
Our team investigated each brand’s customer support in-depth when answering queries and resolving issues. We assessed their:
We also checked Byte and SmileDirectClub to see if they offered guarantees for clear aligner adjustments, refinements, replacements, or refunds if you’re not qualified or if the treatment doesn’t work for you.
With the help of advanced AI algorithms, we were able to sort through 53,600+ customer reviews that would indicate the level of trust they had in Byte and SmileDirectClub.
We have a dedicated team of medical writers, expert researchers, licensed dental professionals, and medical reviewers who curate and approve content for NewMouth.
Before publishing this review, our team:
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