You may ask yourself if you can afford to straighten your teeth. Not everyone has the budget for metal braces or time for visits to the orthodontist, but there are some over the counter teeth aligners, or invisible braces, that you can take advantage of.
I'll go over some of the most common questions:
What are teeth aligners?
Teeth aligners are often referred to as invisible braces. Traditional metal braces are very noticeable and have some eating restrictions associated with them, so companies are emerging with new teeth straightening solutions. Clear teeth aligners are plastic, custom-fitted mouthpieces that slowly shift teeth over a period of months. Since the teeth aligners are clear, they’re almost “invisible.”
These invisible braces are a great option for straightening teeth without having bulky, metal, conventional braces. They’re common among adults who don’t want the look of traditional braces and only need to fix minor teeth straightening or teeth alignment issues. Clear braces aren’t recommended for any dental correction that would require surgery or widening of the palate.
What companies are out there?
The most popular invisible braces company is Invisalign. Invisalign was one of the first companies to start orthodontic treatment without traditional metal braces and has nearly 100,000 trained dentists and orthodontists in over 90 countries. Although this is the most well-known company for teeth aligners, there are alternatives to Invisalign aligners.
Byte, SmileDirectClub, and Candid are some of the best options for invisible braces. These companies have helped thousands of customers achieve a straighter smile, but the process varies depending on each aligner treatment.
Byte is rated number one of the top invisible braces companies, with 4.9/5 stars from customer reviews. Byte has one of the shortest treatment times, just three months on average, and uses high frequency vibration technology, or HyperByte, to get the best results with its clear aligners. HyperByte is a device that goes over invisible braces and vibrates the jaw. Using the device for five minutes per day helps aligners get a better fit around teeth and lessens discomfort during tooth alignment. Customers can also rest easy with the byte-for-Life guarantee — if teeth move out of alignment after treatment, byte will cover the cost to fix them.
SmileDirectClub has an average treatment time of four to six months and is rated number two among the top invisible braces companies with 4.2/5 stars. SmileDirectClub also specializes in teeth whitening and includes whitening products with its clear aligners. A new teen treatment also adds new options and care for teens who don’t want traditional braces.
Candid comes in third with a solid 4-star consumer rating. Candid’s average treatment time is six months, and its clear aligner packages come with teledentistry services. Customers can use this benefit to receive orthodontic care without having to go to an office.
How much do teeth aligners cost?
The simple answer is “it depends,” but there are price windows for the top companies. The most common invisible braces for adults are Invisalign, but a reason people hesitate to choose Invisalign clear aligners is because they have to go through their dentist or orthodontist to receive the aligners, so it gets costly.
An Invisalign treatment can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $7,100, without dental insurance, to achieve straighter teeth. Most dental plans don’t cover braces, which leaves a hefty price tag for a straight smile.
A benefit of companies like byte, SmileDirectClub, and Candid is that they work directly with you, and you don’t have to go through a dentist or orthodontist. This means these treatments cost less and vary more depending on the type of treatment you need.
Byte offers a few payment options that make its treatment plan very affordable. Customers can choose a one-time payment of $1,895 or monthly payments of $83 over 29 months with a $349 down payment. Byte also offers other solutions to split the payment into interest-free monthly installments.
SmileDirectClub has a similar price with a one-time payment of $1,896 or monthly payments of $85, totalling $2,290 with a $250 down payment included.
Candid’s treatment plans vary depending on the treatment, but typically cost $2,400. Customers can apply for financing and qualify for payments as low as $99 per month for 24 months.
Though the cost is important to compare, it’s also a good idea to look at the different perks included with each treatment plan. Byte includes high frequency vibration technology to reduce discomfort and create more accurate teeth movement. SmileDirectClub offers teeth whitening products in its plans. Candid includes a new dental monitoring technology valued at $350. Teledentistry allows Candid customers to inquire about any teeth straightening concerns with its board-certified orthodontist instead of having to schedule an appointment with a local orthodontist.
Before going with the cheapest price, compare the best invisible braces companies to see all the details and find the value you want.
Do teeth aligners really work?
In a study of over 2,700 reviews on BestCompany.com for the top three invisible braces companies, we found that 88 percent of the reviews were 4 or 5 stars. Most reviewers are happy with the invisible aligner process and feel that it works.
Reviewers highlighted great customer service, satisfaction with the cost compared to metal braces, the simple and easy process, quick results, and satisfaction with their beautiful smile.
Let's break it down by company.
Byte customer reviews
Ninety-eight percent of byte’s 1,400+ customer reviews are 4 or 5 stars. With 91 percent of all reviews being 5 stars, byte has an overwhelmingly positive response from its customers.
Of 30 reviews that mentioned byte’s teeth vibrating technology, Hyperbyte, 98 percent say that it improves the treatment and helps reduce discomfort during teeth straightening.
Customer Review: Patti from Eugene, Oregon
My smile is transforming before my eyes!!
For SmileDirectClub, 79 percent of 1,100+ customer reviews are 4 or 5 stars. Many people seem to be pleased with their results from SmileDirectClub. Some reviews mention the free whitening treatment that comes with their clear aligners, and 95 percent of reviews that mention the whitening treatment are positive. Not only are many customers happy with their straight teeth, but they also report that their teeth shine like never before.
Customer Review: Christy Barton
Quick results, my crooked teeth were corrected in 6 months!
Seventy-one percent of 100+ Candid reviews are 4 or 5 stars. With a rate just slightly below SmileDirectClub, Candid keeps up with the competition. Many customer reviews mention great customer service when talking about their experience with Candid.
Customer Review: Young Doucette from Silver Spring, Maryland
Very affordable, easy to follow, and great results!
Overall, the most common theme among invisible braces reviews is great customer service. Many customers said that the treatment gave them minor discomfort during tooth movement, but that the program was easier to follow and keep up with because of the support that the companies give to their customers. A big factor in whether invisible braces work or not is if you stick to the treatment plan and wear your retainer regularly — and this becomes much easier with a support system from the company.
What are the best teeth aligners?
In the end, it depends on what you want from invisible teeth aligners. Aside from just a straighter smile, you should think about the overall cost (including replacement aligners or clear retainers after your treatment is finished), getting the right treatment plans and treatment time that will fit your schedule, and other perks that the company may include, like teeth whitening or teledentistry.
Invisible braces are a great, less noticeable alternative to metal braces and have helped many customers see positive results. If you think that invisible braces may be right for you, look at the best invisible braces companies.
Review data was taken on July 23, 2020.