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What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a popular and effective treatment for crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, and other types of malocclusion.

Clear aligners are becoming incredibly popular in the oral health industry due to their nearly invisible appearance, reduced cost, and ability to straighten teeth faster than traditional braces.

However, Invisalign aligners plus monitoring typically cost between $4,000 and $8,000, which can be more than metal braces. This is why people are looking for alternative treatments that provide the same results but at a much lower price point.

Everything We Recommend

The Best Invisible Aligners:

Other Brands:

"In-Office" vs "At-Home" Clear Aligners

When it comes to choosing a clear aligner company and treatment plan, there are two options:

1. In-Office Aligners

In-office aligners (Invisalign and ClearCorrect) require you to visit an orthodontist or dentist throughout treatment.

You also have to set up an appointment to get teeth impressions and x-rays taken before beginning the teeth straightening process. You'll visit the same dental professional regularly to receive your next set of aligners.

With the dentist's office acting as the 'middle man,' you will get a higher standard of care, along with a much higher price tag.

In-office aligners are recommended for people with complex cases of teeth misalignment and jaw discrepancies.

Dental Aligners Group 4

2. At-Home Aligners

At-home aligners are a cheaper alternative to Invisalign, ClearCorrect, and braces. These companies sell plastic aligners directly to consumers. Everything is monitored remotely with direction from orthodontists and dental professionals.

At-home aligners are growing in popularity due to their nearly invisible appearance, reduced cost, and ability to straighten teeth faster than traditional braces. Invisalign costs between $4,000 and $8,000, while most at-home aligners cost under $2,000.

To begin treatment, you'll take an online assessment to see if you're a candidate. Then you can order an at-home impression kit, which will get delivered to your home address.

The impression kits come with detailed instructions to ensure you take them correctly. You'll send the impressions back using a prepaid package.

After receiving the impressions, the aligner company will review your case. In some cases, you may have to retake the impressions.

From there, a dentist or orthodontist will create a digital 3D image of your teeth. This model shows your tooth movement progress from start to finish. The treatment plan also includes your estimated treatment length and how many aligners will be needed.

Once you approve the plan, you'll be charged for the aligners. You should receive them within two to three weeks. Keep in mind: you aren't obligated to follow through with treatment until you approve the treatment plan.

Best Invisalign Alternatives

This list of the best Invisalign alternatives only includes high-quality at-home aligners. The prices included are estimated out-of-pocket expenses for people without dental insurance.

For information on payment options, contact the aligner companies directly. Most of this information can also be found on their websites. Contact your dental insurance provider directly to see if your plan covers clear braces.

Invisalign Byte Candid NewSmile
Cost $3,000 to $8,000 $1,895 to $2,295 $3,300 (on average) $1,245 to $1,345
How to Start Visit a certified Invisalign doctor Order an at-home impression kit Visit a certified CandidPro provider Order an at-home impression kit
Financing Options Depends on provider Starting at $82/mo  Depends on provider Starting at $74/mo
Treatment Time 12 to 18 months 4 to 6 months 4 to 12 months 4 to 10 months
Treatable Cases Mild to severe  Mild, some moderate Most mild to severe Mild, some moderate
Progress Monitoring In-person visits every 6 to 8 weeks Remote Remote with a licensed orthodontist Remote

Some of the brands listed below also offer night-only aligners. However, we recommend regular aligners over night aligners. Learn why.

1. Byte: Editor's Choice

Byte® is a popular at-home aligner company that works with orthodontists and dentists. The brand stands out in the at-home aligner industry for its fast treatment times (4 to 6 months).

This is made possible with the HyperByte — Byte’s very own HFV device that’s included in every treatment plan. This dental movement acceleration device should be used for 5 minutes a day. Read our article comparing the positives and negatives of the HyperByte and similar vibration-based aligner therapies. We also talk about the risks of moving teeth too fast.

A BrightByte whitening foam is included with every purchase. This foam disinfects, whitens, and freshens your aligners and teeth. Byte also provides free retainers for aftercare to make sure your teeth stay in place.

We recommend Byte for convenient, 100% at-home teeth straightening if you have mild teeth alignment issues. They do not offer in-person scans or consultations.

Pros of byte:

  • Fast treatment times
  • Good customer support
  • Free retainers
  • No credit check is required (100% approval with no credit impact)
  • Remote treatment
  • Payment plan available
  • More affordable than Invisalign and Candid
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cost: $1,895 to $2,295

Treatment Time: 4 to 6 months

Monthly Payment Plan: Starting at $82/mo for 32 months

byte personal aligners

byte®

Convenient treatment

Byte aligners can straighten teeth in 4 to 6 months with daily HyperByte use (a tooth movement acceleration device).

Limited Time Sale: 70% off Impression Kit, $100 off Aligners + Free BrightByte Whitening Treatment.

2. SmileDirectClub: Best In-Person Scans

SmileDirectClub (SDC) is the first-ever remote aligner company. They offer both daytime and nighttime clear aligners.

There are two ways to begin treatment with SDC. The first option is to visit a SmileShop for a risk-free, in-person scan. Here, a trained technician will take 3D scans of your teeth and ensure you are a good candidate for treatment. The second option is to order an at-home impression kit and send them back.

We recommend SDC if you prefer an in-person scan and have mild to moderate teeth misalignment. They have SmileShop locations all around the U.S. and in other countries.

Pros of SmileDirectClub:

  • First remote aligner company
  • In-person consultations available

Cost: $1,950

Treatment Time: 4 to 6 months

Monthly Payment Plan: Starting at $89/mo

smile direct kit

SmileDirectClub

The biggest aligner 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.

3. NewSmile: Budget Option

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.

We recommend NewSmile if you have very mild teeth alignment issues. These aligners are not recommended for moderate to severe misalignment. Treatment is not as comprehensive as other brands.

Pros of NewSmile:

  • Most affordable aligners (however, the quality of treatment may be lower)
  • Live impression kit video calls are available
  • Convenient treatment
  • Comfortable aligner design

Cost: $1,245 to $1,345

Treatment Time: 4 to 10 months

Monthly Payment Plan: Starting at $74/mo

newsmile impression kit

NewSmile

Budget option

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.

NewSmile aligners are more affordable than other brands. However, treatment is more hands-off after you approve the plan.

4. ALIGNERCO: Another Affordable Option

ALIGNERCO offers some of 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. After you receive the kit, you'll take a dental impression at home and send them back to ALIGNERCO.

We recommend ALIGNERCO if you have very mild teeth misalignment, as treatment isn't monitored closely by a dental professional.

Pros of ALIGNERCO:

  • Affordable aligners (however, the quality of treatment may be lower)
  • Convenient

Cost: $1,145 to $1,345

Treatment Time: 8 to 12 months

Monthly Payment Plan: Starting at $99/mo

aligner co kit

ALIGNERCO

Another budget option

ALIGNERCO is another brand that offers an affordable aligner experience. However, treatment is more hands-off after you approve the plan.

5. Candid: Hybrid Option

Candid is a popular at-home aligner brand that has recently shifted its business focus, no longer offering at-home impression kits. It’s now a hybrid option for those who want some of the convenience of at-home teeth straightening without sacrificing the quality of care. 

To begin treatment with Candid, you’ll visit a qualified CandidPro provider (dentist or orthodontist) for an initial consultation and to have your bite digitally scanned or impressions taken.

After that, a licensed orthodontist designs and monitors your treatment. This ensures you get the highest quality remote care from teeth straightening experts.

Candid is an effective alternative to Invisalign that offers superior care with added convenience. Treatment outcomes are similar to Invisalign. However, Candid is thousands cheaper than in-office aligners, making it an affordable option that places patient satisfaction at the forefront.

* Candid offers the best of both worlds by providing patients with Invisalign level care without having to visit an orthodontist in person throughout treatment.

Pros of Candid:

  • A mix of in-office quality of care and convenience of remote monitoring — begin treatment by visiting a CandidPro location for (risk-free) in-person scans and x-rays. Treatment is then monitored remotely via the top-rated CandidApp
  • Every treatment plan is designed and monitored by a licensed orthodontist
  • Can treat most minor to severe cases of teeth misalignment
  • Customer safety is a top priority; candidates are carefully selected based on eligibility
  • Communicative customer service (via the CandidApp or website)
  • Payment plans might be available (ask your CandidPro provider)

Cost: $3,300 (on average)

Treatment Time: 6 to 12 months

Monthly Payment Plan: Depends on the provider

candid aligner kit

Candid

Comprehensive care

Every treatment plan is overseen by a qualified orthodontist with over 20 years of experience. Treatment is monitored in the CandidApp.

Candid treatment costs $3,300 (price may change depending on various factors). 

You can begin treatment by visiting a CandidPro location:

What’s Next?

The most popular at-home clear aligner kits can be found right here:

Learn about the different brands and what they offer.

Last updated on May 6, 2022
12 Sources Cited
Last updated on May 6, 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. Blue Ocean Publishing Group. The Million Dollar Smile, Changing Lives with Cosmetic Dentistry. 2018.
  2. Candid. “Discover the Candid Difference.” Candid, www.candidco.com/why-candid.
  3. Candid. “Candid Starter Kit.” Candid, www.candidco.com/products/starter-kit.
  4. Candid. “Candid Clear Aligners.” Candid, www.candidco.com/faq/p/treatment.
  5. SmileDirectClub. “Insurance.” https://smiledirectclub.com/insurance/.
  6. SmileDirectClub. “Pricing.” https://smiledirectclub.com/pricing/.
  7. SmileDirectClub. “How Does Smile Direct Club Work.” https://smiledirectclub.com/how_it_works//.
  8. FAQs About Invisible Aligners. (n.d.). Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://www.byte.com/pages/faq.
  9. Hyperbyte: The Technology Behind Faster Invisible aligner results. (n.d.). Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://www.byte.com/pages/hyperbyte.
  10. Insurance Coverage for Our Invisible Aligners. (n.d.). Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://www.byte.com/pages/insurance.
  11. 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/.
  12. 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.
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