Why Choose SmileDirectClub? It has over 300+ studios across the US that you can visit anytime to see if you’re qualified for at-home teeth straightening.
SmileDirectClub is also in-network with many insurance providers and has 24/7 online access to a dental team.
Notice: SmileDirectClub filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 29, 2023. The company plans to "maintain normal operations" as it restructures debts and seeks a buyer or funding. The founders invested $20 million and committed more to ensure SmileDirectClub can meet commitments without disruption. However, successful reorganization is not guaranteed.
SmileDirectClub Costs & Features
Average Treatment Time: 4 to 10 months
Recommended For: Correcting mild to moderately crooked teeth
Accepted Insurance: HSA, FSA, and many insurance providers
SmileDirectClub Daytime Aligners: $2,250 or $89/mo. for 28 months ($250 downpayment)
SmileDirectClub Night Aligners: $2,250 or $89/mo. for 28 months ($250 downpayment)
Impression Kit and Smile Spreader: $59 (refunded if you’re not qualified)
SDC Retainers: $125 (free first set with your treatment)
Bright On® Teeth Whitener: $67 (free with your treatment)
What’s included in the cost?
Here’s what you get if you visit a SmileShop or order your kit online:
Free in-person consultations with a technician if you visit a SmileShop
Impression kit and Smile Spreader (for a clear view of your front teeth)
A digital image that shows your teeth before and after treatment
Your custom treatment plan from a registered dentist or orthodontist
All of your day or night aligners depending on your chosen plan
Teeth whitening pens that give you a brighter smile
Lifetime Smile Guarantee™ and free shipping to the US
Why we recommend it
SmileShops can qualify you quickly and painlessly with 3D teeth scans
The staff at SDC shops are usually very friendly and accommodating
Great customer service that answers questions and explains treatments
It may help correct misalignments on your front and back teeth
Has its own app to help monitor your progress and give access to support
Why consider other brands
Booking appointments isn’t always easy (it may be better to buy online)
People say that the staff in some locations can be unprofessional
Requesting refunds or replacements for ill-fitting aligners may take time
Some encountered unexpected fees and price changes during treatment
Not everyone is confident about the effectiveness of SmileDirectClub
At-home invisible aligners are also not advised for severely misaligned teeth like an overbite, underbite, and open bite.
Do Clear Aligners Cause Side Effects?
When you wear clear aligners for the first time, you may feel sore and uncomfortable and experience changes in your speech.
For instance, you may suddenly find it difficult to pronounce “s” and “z” clearly (lisp) or hear whistling sounds when you talk.
These are normal side effects and usually disappear once you get used to wearing invisible aligners.
What to Consider When Getting Clear Aligners
Choosing the best clear aligner brand isn’t easy if you don’t know what to look for. Here are five things to consider to narrow it down:
1. Level of teeth misalignment
There are two kinds of clear aligners: in-office and at-home. What you’ll need depends on how severe your teeth misalignment or malocclusion is:
In-office clear aligners like Invisalign and ClearConnect work on mild, moderate, and severe misalignment. In-office visits to a dentist or orthodontist are required, but you can continue your treatment at home.
At-home clear aligners such as ALIGNERCO and Byte work on mild and moderate malocclusions. Treatments are done at home and are usually monitored remotely by a dental professional.
If you want to get your teeth straightened, it’s best that you talk to a dentist or orthodontist to find out which treatment option is for you.
2. Treatment costs and your budget
Many people just look at the price tag of clear aligners. But this only covers initial treatment costs. You should also consider other expenses, like:
The cost of the impression kit (if it isn’t included)
The cost of retainers needed after treatment
Other tools and products that will maintain your smile
If it takes longer to straighten your teeth or if your teeth shift back into place after the treatment, you may need more aligners to correct them.
While some companies have guarantees to help cover the cost of additional aligners, others don’t. You’ll have to pay for them yourself.
You must compare these costs across different brands to see which ones are within your budget.
3. Availability of flexible payments
If you can’t pay for the full treatment cost upfront, look for a brand that offers affordable monthly installments so you can fit it into your budget.
Companies that offer zero-interest or low-interest monthly installments and little to no downpayment will help you save more money in the long run.
4. HSA, FSA, and insurance
Most clear aligners are covered by a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA).
When to get traditional metal braces: If you have severely crooked teeth, bite issues, and other dental problems that cause jaw misalignment.
When to get at-home teeth aligners: If you have mild to moderately misaligned teeth and don’t have bite problems.
When to get in-office teeth aligners: If you have mild to severe teeth misalignment and want a more comprehensive treatment that’s still more affordable than traditional braces.
Which Clear Aligner is Right for You?
Choose Byte if you want the best value for your money. You’ll get everything you need to have that perfect smile: from teeth whiteners to a guarantee that offers new aligners if your treatment doesn’t work.
Choose ALIGNERCO if you want the most affordable aligners you can get upfront. But because its retainers cost $215, the upkeep for maintaining your straight teeth is going to be expensive.
Choose NewSmile if you want to split your payment into affordable monthly installments. There are plans with little to no downpayment, making it a budget-friendly option.
Choose SmileDirectClub if you have an insurance policy with one of its in-network providers. SDC is partnered with over 13+ insurers, including Aetna, Anthem BlueCross, Delta Dental, and United Healthcare.
At-home clear aligners are a practical and inexpensive way to straighten your teeth. When picking a brand, you must consider:
How severe your teeth misalignment is
The total treatment cost and your budget
Availability of flexible payments
If your HSA, FSA, or insurance will cover it
The time it will take to complete treatment
Remember to discuss your teeth straightening options with a dental expert. They can help you choose an orthodontic treatment based on these factors.
How We Chose the Most Affordable Teeth Aligners
To help you choose the best clear aligner for your budget, we spent 200+ hours researching the top brands based on the following criteria:
Doctor-directed care – the involvement of dental professionals
Safe onboarding – how the company qualifies patients
Treatment process – ease, safety, and effectiveness of the treatment
Upfront treatment costs – the amount you need to pay upfront
Insurance eligibility – the types of insurance accepted by a brand
Affordable monthly plans – how much you have to pay each month
Value for money – what you get with the amount you’re paying
Customer support – the level of support provided by a company
User satisfaction – how satisfied the customers are with the products, services, and their overall experience with a brand
Guarantees and refunds – offers additional treatments and refunds for dissatisfied customers and unqualified patients
NewMouth Rating System
We ordered the best kits that met our criteria 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:
Pricing and Financing
Customer Service and After-Sales Support
Using artificial intelligence, we gathered and analyzed feedback from hundreds of people who tried our list's clear aligners.
This helped us determine the users’ experiences with a brand, including:
Its availability for in-person and/or virtual consultations
The accessibility of its clear aligners and ease of ordering
Whether it gives clear instructions for taking dental impressions
The fit and comfort of its invisible braces when worn
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:
Access to dental experts who can answer your questions and guide you throughout your treatment
A dedicated app that reminds users to switch aligners and allows them to conveniently track their progress and contact support
Regular virtual and/or in-person check-ins with a dental professional who can ensure that your treatment is going well
Additional dental treatments such as teeth whitening
Pricing and Financing
We explored the total treatment cost of invisible braces, including their upfront prices, flexibility of payment options, eligibility for insurance, and maintenance costs for additional retainers.
Customer Service and After-Sales Support
Our team performed an in-depth investigation of each brand’s customer support when answering queries and resolving issues. We assessed their:
We also checked companies 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 hundreds of customer reviews that would indicate the level of trust they had in a clear aligner brand.
In this article
The most popular at-home clear aligner kits can be found right here:
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).