Teeth Straightening
Teeth Whitening
Updated on November 17, 2023
5 min read

How Long Does SmileDirectClub Treatment Take?

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How Long is SmileDirectClub Treatment?

On average, SmileDirectClub (SDC) treatment takes 4 to 6 months to straighten teeth. 

Treatment generally lasts up to 6 months but can be longer in some cases. SmileDirectClub states many customers start seeing results in as little as two months. Overall, treatment duration will depend on your personalized treatment plan.

This is on par with most at-home clear aligners (Byte is slightly faster). SmileDirectClub’s average treatment time is significantly faster than both Invisalign and braces. 

Invisalign treatment takes 6 to 24 months, while braces treatment takes around 16 to 24 months.

smile direct club impression kit

Clear aligners can save you thousands of dollars compared to braces. Learn about clear aligners.

SmileDirectClub Treatment Time Vs. Other Brands

This is the treatment time of SmileDirectClub compared to other brands:

Aligner BrandTreatment Time
SmileDirectClub4 to 6 months
Byte3 to 6 months
ALIGNERCOUp to 12 months
NewSmile4 to 6 months
Candid4 to 12 months
Invisalign6 to 24 months

Can I Speed Up SDC Aligner Treatment?

The duration of your aligner treatment depends on your needs and personalized treatment plan. 

While you can’t significantly speed up treatment time, the following tips can help you achieve your desired results within the suggested timeframe: 

  • Wear your aligners as directed — Adhering to your orthodontist’s instructions regarding wearing your aligners. This usually involves wearing your aligners 20-22 hours a day.
  • Change aligners on schedule — Clear aligner treatment consists of wearing a new pair of aligners every one to two weeks. Be consistent with changing your aligners so that your treatment continues as planned.
  • Practice good oral hygiene — Maintaining good oral hygiene prevents oral health issues that can prolong treatment.
  • Take care of your aligners — Broken or lost aligners mean you have to stop treatment until you get a new set. This will affect your treatment time and may even result in needing additional aligners.
  • Keep your scheduled check-ins — Regular virtual check-ins allow you to remotely connect with a SmileDirect dentist or orthodontist. Keeping up with your check-ins will help you stay on track with your treatment. 

Some individuals may believe that altering their aligner schedule by increasing the frequency of aligner changes will accelerate treatment.

However, this could be counterproductive and may cause unexpected oral issues or other orthodontic complications. Stick to your treatment plan for the best results.

We recommend at-home clear aligners if you have mild teeth misalignment. View our top recommendations.

What Determines Treatment Time? 

SmileDirect Club Product

Various factors determine the treatment time for SmileDirectClub treatment. These include:

Malocclusion Severity

The main factor affecting treatment time is your level of malocclusion (teeth misalignment). People with severe malocclusion will have a longer treatment time than those with moderate to minor malocclusion.  

Suitability for Treatment

SmileDirectClub is mainly recommended for minor to moderate crowding or spacing issues.

Issues SmileDirectClub treatment is less suited for include:

  • Underbites
  • Overbites
  • Overjets
  • Open bites
  • More severe crowding or spacing issues (greater than 8mm)6

You should address these issues through alternative treatment options like Invisalign or braces. Once these issues are addressed, you can start SmileDirectClub treatment for further refinement.

User Compliance

The other factor affecting SmileDirectClub treatment time is user compliance. 

As with all at-home brands, SmileDirectClub aligners are removable. This means treatment time depends to a great extent on the wearer. 

SmileDirectClub recommends wearing the aligners for 22 hours a day. Anything less will extend treatment time. 

Naturally, if you damage or lose the aligners, that will extend treatment time as you wait for replacements.

Nighttime Aligners

Another factor to consider with SmileDirectClub treatment time is which aligners you choose. The most popular option is the original aligners, worn 22 hours a day. 

SmileDirectClub also offers Nighttime aligners. These aligners are worn for ten continuous hours per night while sleeping. The other difference to the original aligners is that treatment time takes ten months instead of six.

However, scientific evidence for the safety and efficacy of nighttime aligners is currently lacking. As such, we at NewMouth recommend the original aligners.

SmileDirectClub Treatment Timeline & Schedule

SmileDirectClub treatment starts with taking 3D scans of your teeth. There are two ways to start aligner treatment with SmileDirectClub:

  1. In-person — Book an appointment with a licensed dentist or orthodontist at a SmileShop (physical studio).
  2. At-home — Order an at-home impression kit.

NewMouth recommends booking an appointment at a SmileShop if possible. This is because your teeth can be digitally scanned by a trained professional. 

SmileShops are currently available in 33 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington DC.

Before Treatment

This is the pre-treatment process for SmileDirectClub:

  • Smile assessment ⁠— Before starting SmileDirectClub treatment, you’ll take a 30-second smile assessment on their website. This will determine if you’re a suitable candidate. 
  • Approval and instructions — If you’re approved, SmileDirect will email you instructions on getting started. You’ll either visit a SmileShop or order an at-home impression kit. 
  • Aligner creation — After your bite is examined by a licensed dentist or orthodontist, a series of aligners will be created for you. 
  • Creating the custom aligners — Each set of aligners is designed according to where your teeth are projected to be during treatment. SDC will then mail the aligners to your door within 4 to 5 weeks.

During Treatment 

Once you receive your aligners in the mail, you’ll wear each set for the recommended amount of time. Every week, you’ll change them out for the next set. 

Your treatment is monitored remotely via Smile Check-ins, SmileDirect’s telehealth platform. 

Using their platform, you can contact SmileDirect’s dental team (overseen by your prescribing doctor) at any time.

After Treatment

When treatment is complete, your final set of aligners will double as retainers. 

You’ll wear them 24 hours a day for the next two weeks. After that point, you’ll wear them nightly while you sleep.  This is to prevent your teeth from reverting to their prior positions.

If you're not satisfied with your treatment, SmileDirect will make refinements through additional aligners. 

These aligners, which are free of charge, will correct any issues to ensure your teeth align properly.

Interested in straightening your teeth at home? Here are the best clear aligner companies.


  • On average, SmileDirectClub treatment takes 4 to 6 months to straighten teeth. 
  • Treatment with SmileDirectClub is significantly faster than other options like Invisalign and braces.
  • Various factors determine treatment time with SmileDirectClub, including malocclusion severity and user compliance.
  • You can’t significantly speed up SDC treatment, but following your orthodontist's instructions can help maximize results.

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 November 17, 2023
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on November 17, 2023
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. LaPonsie M. “The Average Cost of Braces and How to, 2021.
  2. FAQ.” SmileDirectClub. 
  3. How it Works.” SmileDirectClub. 
  4. Pricing.” SmileDirectClub. 
  5. Treatment Process.” SmileDirectClub.
  6. Weir, T. “Clear aligners in orthodontic treatment.” Australian Dental Journal, 2017.
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