In this article
Clear aligners can save you thousands of dollars compared to braces. Learn about clear aligners.
SmileDirectClub is a 6-year-old aligner company that offers remote teeth straightening for 60% less than braces. They are the first and most well-known brand of at-home aligners.
At-home clear aligners, also called direct-to-consumer aligners, are a convenient and affordable way to straighten teeth.
Unlike Invisalign treatment and traditional metal braces, you do n't have to visit a dentist or orthodontist for bi-weekly checkups. Instead, you’ll take virtual scans from home every few weeks to ensure your teeth are moving correctly.
SDC also works with registered doctors, dentists, and orthodontists to ensure each treatment case runs smoothly.
SmileDirect’s aligner trays are made of comfortable, smooth, BPA-free plastic. The aligners are nearly invisible and slowly straighten your teeth in small increments. They can be removed anytime for cleaning, eating, and brushing your teeth.
SmileDirectClub is only suitable for people with minor to moderate teeth misalignment, including:
Direct-to-consumer aligners like SmileDirectClub's aren't suitable for severe cases of teeth misalignment, including:
These treatment cases will require braces, Invisalign, and/or other orthodontic devices (like attachments).
We recommend at-home clear aligners if you have mild teeth misalignment. View our top recommendations.
The SmileDirectClub aligner process is straightforward and convenient. Here are the basic steps:
SmileDirect's aligners are cut to fit along your gumline to ensure maximum comfort. On average, your treatment can last up to 6 months, but this will depend on your unique treatment plan.
The average treatment time for SmileDirectClub is between 4 and 6 months. However, some cases may take longer, especially if you need refinements (an additional set of aligners after your initial treatment is complete).
Yes. SmileDirectClub offers two types of aligners – the original aligners and the Nighttime Aligners™.
The most popular are the original aligners, which are worn for 22 hours daily. The Nighttime Aligners™ are only worn 10 hours a day (at night/while sleeping).
* Disclaimer: Although night aligners may be convenient, NewMouth does not recommend them over traditional aligners. Many oral health experts are concerned about their safety and effectiveness.
There is no scientific proof that night aligners are safe. They may actually do more harm to your teeth than good.9 From a clinical perspective, there are also concerns about what could go wrong if aligners are only worn for a few hours each day (less than 20 to 22 hours).9, 10
Every additional hour that you aren't wearing the aligners increases the likelihood of your teeth shifting in an undesired direction.9, 10
In addition, without a longer and more consistent wear schedule, your teeth can be left in a limbo state of inflammation. This means it would take your teeth and gums much longer to heal, if at all.9
NewMouth recommends SmileDirect's original aligners over the night aligners. Learn why.
SmileDirectClub's original and nighttime aligners both cost $2,050 for a one-time payment.
Their SmilePay option lets you pay $89 monthly for 26 months after a $250 deposit.
Here are other costs that you need to pay for during your SmileDirectClub treatment:
Yes, but only if your dental plan provides orthodontic benefits. The aligners will not be covered in full.
In most cases, SmileDirect coordinates payments directly with insurance companies. This means patients will pay the balance of what they owe after the insurance coverage and discounts are applied.
Interested in straightening your teeth at home? Here are the best clear aligner companies.
While SmileDirectClub is a pioneer for at-home aligner treatment, the company has mixed reviews.
Some patients have developed jaw issues and migraines due to improperly fitting aligner trays.1 Others said they were also at risk of losing a few teeth because the aligners moved them too fast.1
Concerns about patient safety prompted a congressional request to the FDA and FTC for a probe into SmileDirectClub. California now requires teledentistry patients to undergo a diagnostic scan pre-treatment, with Virginia considering similar regulations.
However, research shows that direct-to-consumer aligners are generally considered effective and safe (87.5% satisfaction rate).2 To prevent poor results, follow the impression kit instructions carefully and stick to your treatment plan.
There are many aligner options to choose from. If you're unsure which one is right for you, read the comparisons below:
Byte and SmileDirectClub both offer regular aligners and night aligners. Byte’s regular aligners cost about $100 less than SmileDirect, while SmileDirect’s night aligners cost about $300 less than Byte's.
The length of treatment for byte and SmileDirect are also about the same (between 3 and 6 months, on average).
Candid costs more than SmileDirectClub. You can visit a CandidPro location studio for an in-person scan to begin treatment.
SmileDirectClub's treatment time is less than Candid’s (4 to 6 months vs 4 to 12 months).
However, based on customer reviews, Candid has better remote monitoring and customer service than SmileDirect. It also has more in-depth care, with in-office visits required at the beginning and end of treatment.
ALIGNERCO aligners cost hundreds less than SmileDirectClub aligners. The average treatment time for SmileDirect is between 4 and 6 months. ALIGNERCO can take up to 12 months.
ALIGNERCO only offers in-person consultations at their New York Smile Studio. Most impressions are completely remote.
NewSmile costs about the same as ALIGNERCO but is an even newer company. They also have similar treatment times of around 4 to 6 months.
NewSmile only offers online consultations with an Impressions Specialist. There is no available way to start your treatment in-person.
Invisalign aligners are best for moderate to severe cases of tooth misalignment. SmileDirectClub is cheaper than Invisalign, but treatment is not monitored as closely.
Also, with SmileDirect, refinements cannot be made mid-treatment since you receive all of the aligners at the start of treatment.
After learning more about SmileDirectClub through our research, here's what we like and don't like about the aligner company:
SmileDirectClub is the first and most well-known brand of at-home aligners. The company works with registered doctors, dentists, and orthodontists to ensure each treatment case runs smoothly.
Rating by Alyssa Hill
SmileDirectClub offers remote teeth straightening for 60% less than braces, with two payment options. Their average treatment time is around 4 to 6 months, and are best for mild to moderate teeth misalignment cases.
NewMouth is a trusted website for dental health. We aim to provide unbiased reviews so that you can make the best decision regarding dental products.
For this article, our team did the following:
At-home aligner treatments are riskier than in-office treatments, like Invisalign or traditional braces. This is because dental professionals cannot personally monitor your teeth's movements. Treatment will likely be successful if you follow the instructions, wear your aligners correctly, and do not have severe misalignment issues.
Invisalign is better for moderate to severe cases of teeth misalignment.
Most dentists recommend in-office aligner treatment over remote aligner treatment. If you decide to go with at-home aligners, set up an oral exam and teeth cleaning beforehand to check for any dental health issues.
The cheapest at-home aligners are ALIGNERCO and NewSmile.
Yes. SmileDirectClub allows you to pay with an HSA or FSA.
In this article