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Clear aligners are a virtually invisible and removable alternative to traditional braces. The aligner trays are made of smooth, BPA-free plastic and are typically worn for 22 hours a day. They can be removed for eating, brushing/flossing your teeth, and other oral hygiene needs. If you are looking for a discreet, quick, and convenient way to straighten your teeth, clear aligners are the ideal option.
Clear aligners cost anywhere between $1200 and $8000. The cost of clear aligners depends on the brand chosen, the length of treatment, and the type of aligner you choose (night vs. traditional).
At-home aligners, also called direct-to-consumer aligners, are cheaper than in-office aligners. Treatment is monitored remotely, which means you won’t visit an orthodontist for check-ups throughout treatment. Popular at-home aligner brands include:
In-office aligners, such as Invisalign and ClearCorrect, require in-office impressions and check-ups. They are also capable of fixing more severe teeth misalignment (malocclusion) cases.
While convenient, at-home aligner treatment is not monitored as closely as in-office orthodontic treatment. Because of this, most at-home aligner companies only accept mild cases of teeth misalignment. If you have more severe bite issues, Invisalign (a popular in-office aligner) is the safest choice.
At-home aligners are the cheapest alternative to Invisalign and traditional metal braces. Instead of visiting a dentist or orthodontist for in-person scans, you can order an impression kit online. The kit will get shipped directly to your home address.
From there, you will take the teeth impressions yourself and then send them back to the company. If you are a candidate for treatment, they will mail you the aligners within a few weeks. Remote check-ups with a qualified professional will occur every few weeks as well. Some popular direct-to-consumer aligner brands include:
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Byte stands out among other aligner companies because you’ll receive a ton of value for your money. Not only will you receive all of your aligners at once, but the kit also includes a carrying case, BrightByte treatment (teeth whitening), a HyperByte (an FDA-approved tooth movement acceleration device), and a FREE medical-grade retainer. Byte offers a lifetime guarantee if you wear your aligners and retainers as instructed. This means if there are any future problems, they will guarantee additional treatment at no additional cost.
Read NewMouth’s full review of byte aligners here.
Byte All-Day Aligners cost $1895, and the At-Night Aligners cost $2245. There are also payment plans available ($349 to $415 down payment; $83 to $99 a month/29 months).
The nighttime aligners are worn for 10+ hours a day (while sleeping). The traditional aligners are worn for about 22 hours a day.
The impression kit costs an additional $95. You can take a byte candidacy quiz online before ordering it. If you are not a candidate for treatment, you’ll get a full refund on the kit. The first retainer you receive after treatment (to keep your teeth straight) is included in the cost. Any additional retainers (if you lose or break one) will be an additional cost.
With daily HyperByte use, byte aligners can straighten teeth 2x faster than other leading brands:
Candid aligners are made of a BPA-free and phthalate-free plastic called Zendura. This material claims to offer clearer, lower-stress retention, and more comfortable aligners. These aligners also have higher impact strength and keep the teeth more stable than other at-home aligners.
To begin treatment, you can either get a free in-person scan at a Candid Studio or order an impression kit online. Candid also works with highly qualified orthodontists who have at least 20 years of experience in the teeth straightening industry.
Candid only accepts minor cases of teeth misalignment, and a licensed orthodontist oversees each case.
Read NewMouth’s full review of Candid aligners here.
Candid aligner treatment costs $2400, which covers your entire set of aligners and the remote check-ups. If you can’t afford to pay this cost upfront, Candid also offers a payment plan. You will pay a $399 down payment and then $99/24 months.
An impression kit costs $95, and the retainer costs $99 with free shipping. Additional or replacement retainers will cost $100. However, Candid often provides discounts on the starter kits (up to 50% off). You can take a candidacy quiz online before ordering it. If you are not a candidate for treatment, you’ll get a full refund on the kit.
Candid aligners straighten teeth in about six months but can take up to a year.
SmileDirectClub is a 6-year-old company that offers at-home teeth straightening for 60% less than braces. The aligners are made of comfortable, smooth, BPA-free plastic.
SmileDirectClub only accepts minor cases of teeth misalignment, and a dentist or orthodontist oversees each case.
SmileDirectClub aligners cost $1950. You can also choose a payment plan, including a down payment of $250 and a monthly payment of $89/24 months.
You can get a free 3D scan at a SmileShop or buy a mail-in starter kit for $59. If a dentist determines you’re not a good candidate, the cost of your impression kit is fully refundable.
The retainer also costs an additional $99. You should order a new set every six months to keep them fresh.
Smile Direct aligners straighten teeth in about six months but can take up to a year.
Other brands of at-home clear aligners include SmileLove, Aligner Co, and SnapCorrect. These companies are not as well-known or established.
Aligner Co offers the cheapest aligners on the market ($1145). However, it is not always best to go with the most affordable option. Byte and Candid Co are more expensive ($1850 to $2400) but offer more value for your money. They are also more established and only work with qualified and licensed dental professionals. This ensures you receive high-quality care from start to finish. In addition to these benefits, an aligner-safe whitening treatment is included with every purchase.
In-office aligners provide closer treatment monitoring because they require regular in-office visits. You also have to set up an in-person appointment to get a teeth scan. Online starter kits are not provided. In-office aligners are typically more expensive than at-home aligners, but they can fix more severe misalignment cases.
Invisalign is the most well-known and established clear aligner brand. Invisalign clear aligners are FDA-approved. They also do not contain any BPS, BPA, gluten, or latex.
Invisalign aligners are different from other aligners because they are made of a patented thermoplastic material, called SmartTrack®. They claim to be more comfortable and are easier to put on and remove. These aligners can fix overbites, underbites, open bites, gapped/crooked teeth, and even misaligned baby teeth.
The average cost of Invisalign is between $3000 and $8000. The higher price is attributed to longer treatment time. Also, Invisalign is often used to treat more complicated cases of teeth misalignment.
Each Invisalign treatment plan is unique. Talk with your dentist about monthly payment plans.
Invisalign requires in-person consultations that can cost $100 or more, depending on the type of work-up you require including dental x-rays, images, and impressions.
Invisalign treatment takes between 12 and 18 months.
ClearCorrect is similar to Invisalign, except it is a younger company. After 12 years in business, ClearCorrect has helped hundreds of thousands of patients achieve new smiles. To begin treatment, you’ll visit a ClearCorrect qualified dentist for an in-person scan and treatment plan.
ClearCorrect costs between $2500 and $5500. The payment plan depends on the length of treatment and how many aligner trays you need. If you require additional refinement trays at the end of your treatment, this can also increase the cost.
ClearCorrect treatment takes between 12 and 18 months.
Most clear aligner brands offer payment plans, including SmileDirectClub, Candid, and byte. These payment plans include a down payment and monthly payments for about two years. Invisalign and other in-office aligners also offer customized payment plans, depending on your treatment plan.
In some cases, dental insurance covers invisible aligners. Check with your provider and the clear aligner company of your choice for more details about insurance coverage.
You can use an HSA or FSA to pay for clear aligners, including at-home and in-office aligners.
FAQs About Invisible Aligners. (n.d.). https://www.byteme.com/pages/faq.
Hyperbyte: The Technology Behind Faster Invisible aligner results. (n.d.). https://www.byteme.com/pages/hyperbyte.
Insurance Coverage for Our Invisible Aligners. (n.d.). https://www.byteme.com/pages/insurance.
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Candid. “Candid Starter Kit.” Candid, www.candidco.com/products/starter-kit.
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“Express Your Joy.” ClearCorrect | Clear. Simple. Friendly, www.straumann.com/clearcorrect/en/home/doctors.html.
“FAQ.” Invisalign, www.invisalign.com/frequently-asked-questions.
“How Does Invisalign® Treatment Work?” How Does Invisalign Work | Invisalign Braces, www.invisalign.com/how-invisalign-works?utm_source=google&utm_medium=paidsearch&utm_campaign=NI+-+Brand+-+General+-+Exact&utm_term=what+can+invisalign+fix&gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=CjwKCAiAtK79BRAIEiwA4OskBvlUIxBlPwRLvuhz4GthNXakvdM4Qq4nb03mcW0kV53ya5thPdvZsBoC0_kQAvD_BwE.
SmileDirectClub. “Insurance.” https://smiledirectclub.com/insurance/.
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SmileDirectClub. “How Does Smile Direct Club Work.” https://smiledirectclub.com/how_it_works/.
Proffit, William R., et al. Contemporary Orthodontics. Elsevier/Mosby, 2019.
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.