Invisalign vs SmileDirectClub

Kaitlyn Short
Kaitlyn Short | Senior Editor
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
#4 Invisalign
6.8 Overall Score
4.4
star star star star star_half
(236)
SmileDirectClub logo verified_user
#2 SmileDirectClub
7.8 Overall Score
4.2
star star star star star_border
(2,633)

Overview

Invisalign

Cost of Impression Kit

N/A

Payment Options

One-Time Payment, Monthly Installments, Accepts Insurance

Cost of Treatment Plan

Varies

Average Treatment Duration

Varies

Monthly Payment Plan

Varies

Down Payment

Varies

Time in Business

25 Years

SmileDirectClub

$59

N/A

$89

6 Months

24 Months

$250

8 Years

Ratings

Invisalign

Overall Score
6.8 of 10
Review Score
4.4
star star star star star_half
Value for Money
4.3
star star star star star_half
Quality of Product or Service
4.5
star star star star star_half
Company Trustworthiness
4.5
star star star star star_half
Likely to Recommend
8.2 of 10

SmileDirectClub

7.8 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
236
Review Breakdown
4.4
star star star star star_half
5 star
65%
4 star
21%
3 star
6%
2 star
5%
1 star
3%

SmileDirectClub

2,633
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

Bridget Walker

August 29th, 2022

DETAILS

Invisalign is great. They are the best way to get your teeth straightened and they are very affordable. It was noticable in less than a month. I recommend using them and can vouch that they do work wonders.

Helpful Critical Review

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Dave

August 16th, 2022

DETAILS

My son, 11, is getting them removed from the “1st phase” at $3,000. He is not even close to having all permanent teeth and Invisalign is now “cut off,” even though for the same cost, my daughter is in braces for her 4th year. Also, all series of trays became useless halfway through and we had to order new trays, which take 30 days to receive. They are at times painful, get lost, dog eats them, etc. I would never in a million years use Invisalign. Total joke, total waste of money.

Reviews for SmileDirectClub

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star

Shaterria N

August 29th, 2022

DETAILS

The staff at the Boca location are extremely welcoming and professional. I went in this morning to get my teeth scanned for my new aligners and had the best experience. I was helped by Kuxam and her supervisor. Both of them thoroughly explained the process to me, answered the questions I had and took the time to figure out the best payment options and aligner plans that would suit me best. I would highly recommend this location and Smile Direct if you are looking to have a professional and pleasant experience while working to improve your smile. I am very happy with my experience!

Helpful Critical Review

star star star_border star_border star_border

Ashli Crowe

June 7th, 2022

DETAILS

check_circle

Review Source

My final result didn’t match my smile plan even though I followed the plan exactly as prescribed. It’s impossible to get through to anyone in customer service, so I’m stuck paying $88/month for teeth that are hardly better than when I started.

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

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SmileDirectClub

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