Invisalign vs SmileDirectClub

Kaitlyn Short
Kaitlyn Short | Contributor
The invisible aligner industry is booming, with several new companies emerging with their own unique way to make your new picture-perfect smile a reality. Invisalign is likely the most recognized name in the invisible braces industry, launching their product/service over 20 years ago. On the other hand Smile Direct Club has been around since 2014, but has shown tremendous growth by serving over 750,000 customers so far. 
 
Many people are torn between Invisalign and Smile Direct Club. When comparing the two companies side by side, there are a few similarities, but there are also some major differences. While both companies rely on clear, plastic trays to gently move your teeth into the desired position, the treatment process and delivery are entirely different. 
 

Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club

Invisalign is known for its innovative technology, high-quality products and trusted dentist led invisible braces treatments.

Smile Direct Club is know for its affordability, at home convenience, and short treatment time.

Below will show a side by side comparison of the key factors that make Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club different. The most notable factors include —
  • The average cost of each invisible braces treatment
  • The down payment and monthly payment requirements
  • The number of payment options
  • The average length of invisible braces treatment time
  • The average cost of the impression kit
  • The customer service ratings
  • The companies trustworthiness
  • The quality of the product
Invisalign logo
#7 Invisalign
5.4 Overall Score
4.4
star star star star star_half
(135)
SmileDirectClub logo verified_user
#3 SmileDirectClub
7.9 Overall Score
4.2
star star star star star_border
(2,570)

Overview

Invisalign

Down Payment

Varies

Monthly Payment

Varies

Contract Length

Varies

Impression Kit

Undisclosed

Cost of Additional/Replacement Retainers

Undisclosed

Avg. Treatment Duration

6 Months

Number of Payment Plans

4

Time in Business

24 Years

SmileDirectClub

$250

$89

24 Months

$59

$99

6 Months

2

7 Years

Ratings

Invisalign

Overall Score
5.4 of 10
Review Score
4.4
star star star star star_half
Value for Money
4.2
star star star star star_border
Quality of Product or Service
4.4
star star star star star_half
Company Trustworthiness
4.5
star star star star star_half
Likely to Recommend
7.9 of 10

SmileDirectClub

7.9 of 10
4.2
star star star star star_border
4.1
star star star star star_border
4.0
star star star star star_border
4.0
star star star star star_border
8.0 of 10

Pros & Cons

Invisalign

PROS

  • Widely trusted clear aligner brand
  • High-quality products
  • Ability to treat advanced malocclusions
  • In-office monitoring and care
  • Clear aligner program for teens

CONS

  • Doctor visits required
  • Highest costs in the industry
  • Long treatment lengths

SmileDirectClub

PROS

  • Teen treatment available
  • Ships internationally
  • Oral care and whitening products included
  • Flexible pricing options
  • Straighter teeth in as little as 6 months

CONS

  • Down payment required
  • Retainers not included in treatment price
  • Some customer service issues

Reviews

Invisalign

Number of Reviews
135
Review Breakdown
4.4
star star star star star_half
5 star
63%
4 star
24%
3 star
4%
2 star
5%
1 star
3%

SmileDirectClub

2,570
4.2
star star star star star_border
5 star
61%
4 star
17%
3 star
8%
2 star
4%
1 star
10%

Reviews for Invisalign

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star_border

Gabe Burton Riverton, UT

My bottom teeth had become crooked over the years, and so I tried Invisalign. They are very expensive, and after a year of wearing them regularly, my teeth are definitely straighter, but not perfect. I am somewhat disappointed that I did not achieve the end result I was hoping for. The Invisalign is great in the respect that you have flexibility, and I would recommend it for minor needs. I believe traditional braces give you a better end result.

1 month ago

Helpful Critical Review

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

adam Merrick, NY

invisalign ruined my bite and now my back teeth no longer contact and makes it difficult to chew...when my dentist tried to correct this invisalign came up with a two year additional plan (i wore for 2 years already) . I asked for a refund to go to orthodontist but they refused

7 months ago

Reviews for SmileDirectClub

Helpful Favorable Review

check_circle

Review Source

star star star star star

Jacquie Moore Northridge, CA

I'm happy with the response I've had from SmileDirectClub regarding extending my treatment. I felt like it just wasn't complete and everyone has been so quick to respond with a facetime call and the new impression kit. I can't wait to finish and show everyone my new smile!

1 week ago

Helpful Critical Review

check_circle

Review Source

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

DentalPatient Riverview, FL

It seemed like they were pushing to sell. I said I was waiting to see if my insurance would cover it. The person questioned me "Would you let insurance not covering stop you from straightening your smile?" I told her I didn't have the money and she insisted they worked with my insurance all the time and it would be fine to sign up for the fast track payments and I would for sure get reimbursed. Come to find out, my insurance does not cover SmileDirect and never has.

1 week ago

The Final Word

As shown in the table above, If you want to straighten your smile, both companies can make that happen. However, there are several factors you should consider before settling on one company. Below will highlight the differences the standout in the Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club face off.
 

 1. How the average costs compare    

The average Smile Direct Club cost is going to be significantly cheaper compared to the cost of Invisalign — Why?
 
Smile Direct Club relies solely on virtual communication, meaning there are no trips to the dentist or office visit fees. You are only paying for the product, there is no up charge to compensate for time spent one on one with a dentist. To start the entire process, you'll take a free 30-second online smile assessment. If approved, you'll get your at-home impression kit. Then a licensed dentist or orthodontist will create a treatment plan and your aligners will be shipped to your home. 

Depending on how you look at it, this can be a pro or a con. 
 

 2. The quality of orthodontist treatment vs. at-home treatment  

Smile Direct Club does the whole clear aligner process remote. The send supplies to your door and you consult with their professionals over the phone. While you might be thrilled at the fact that you won't ever have to visit a dentist's office again, it also means you won't be able to consult directly with your dentist if there are any problems or concerns. You'll have to rely on a stranger over the phone — who doesn't personally know you or your teeth — for advice and guidance. 
 
Those that choose Invisalign love the trusted assurance that they get from going into their orthodontist. It brings many patients peace of mind to know that for the extra money, their misaligned teeth will receive personalized attention to ensure the straightest smile in the end possible.

Another thing to consider is the quality of impressions versus the quality of scans. Smile Direct Club has its customers take their own impressions with a putty-like substance. By having the customer make the molds themselves, this increases the likelihood of needing a second or third impression — which can delay your straightening process by several weeks. Additionally, a putty mold isn't the most reliable method for capturing exact details. 

Invisalign eliminates the need for goopy putty molds and instead uses the iTero Element® scanner to get a 3D image of the patient's teeth. A high-resolution, interactive image of your teeth, taken by a professional is going to be more accurate and reliable than a putty mold. 

If you prefer you can visit a SmileDirectClub SmileShop (located throughout the country) and get a 3D scan instead of making an at-home impression. This is free of charge; however, it kind of negates the convenient, do-it-from-home aspect that SmileDirectClub advertises. 
 

 3. Customer service  

Lastly, before choosing a company, it's important to consider the company's customer service. The advantage Invisalign has over Smile Direct Club is the fact that people are working with their personal dentist and everything comes through them. Unfortunately, SmileDirectClub when it comes to customer service has struggled to keep up with consumer demands resulting in late shipments, mixed up orders, and other poor customer service experiences. 

If you want to straighten your teeth but don't want to have to visit the dentist every few weeks, Smile Direct Club might be for you. However, keep in mind that while straightening your teeth from home is convenient, it leaves ample room for user error and complete trust in someone you've never met. 
 

The bottom line 

The cost of Invisalign's clear aligners are going to cost more. You're going to have to visit the dentist's office every few weeks since your dentist/orthodontist will be your Invisalign provider however, at least you can sleep at night knowing that if a problem occurs you have someone you know and trust who can help solve the problem. You are also more likely to get better fitted aligners that can fix your crooked teeth due to the dental in house 3D image scanner compared to the traditional putty impressions.
 
The cost of Smile Direct Club is thousands of dollars cheaper and, on average, treatment time is significantly shorter than Invisalign's with the average time coming in at around six months. The convenience of the remote at-home treatment can be a huge bonus for some, or turn off for others who prefer more personalized supervision during their treatment.
 
Both are great companies with great customer reviews. We highly recommend customers in search of straighter teeth choose the the invisible braces provider that best suites their needs. For more info and customer reviews about Smile Direct Club, Invisalign and other top clear aligners companies, compare all top clear aligner companies here

Top Choice

SmileDirectClub Logo
SmileDirectClub

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