Having straight white teeth – that is part of everybody’s dream look. To achieve this, one chooses the best whitening toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, and other dental paraphernalias that he may use to ensure his dental health’s well-being. But the sad reality is that almost all of us have different levels of teeth crookedness, making our smile a little less perfect. As a matter of fact, orthodontic procedures to correct teeth alignment is one of the most requested dental procedures all over the world. This influenced the growing number of companies that offer orthodontic treatments and customizing them to meet everyone’s needs. Such is the case for clear dental aligners to substitute the tacky-looking metal braces. Invisalign, no doubt, led this battle and has been victorious. However, the ongoing need to improve and stay on top pushed newer companies and start-up businesses to offer their own take on this orthodontic innovation – the invisible braces.
Because there are just too many brands and types of invisible aligners that are being marketed as the ‘best,’ one can find it confusing to choose which is the right fit for him. We, at Southern Smiles, often encounter patients who ask our opinion about one brand after another, and these repetitive inquiries bother us at times. But more importantly, we care for them, and we want our patients to know which brands are worthy to be considered and which are not. So, we decided to take on a comprehensive product review of several available dental aligners that we can get a hold of and see which are promising and which do not work at all. Of the many brands and types that we were able to test and review, nine of them really stood out, including Invisalign (of course!). Our editorial team gathered all the analyses and data that they produced and came up with this list of best invisible braces. We hope that our patients, as well as people who search the net about invisible braces, will learn a thing or two about orthodontics and find this article helpful in their product research.
Best Orthodontist-Led Clear Aligners: Candid Orthodontists (not dentists) should handle teeth straightening procedures, and that is what Candid is practicing.’
Most Popular Mail-Order Invisible Aligners: SmileDirectClub ‘SmileDirectClub pioneered Direct-to-consumer dental aligner system, and all the others followed.’
Best Value for Money Clear Aligners: AlignerCo ‘AlignerCo is the cheapest mail-order invisible aligners that work wonders to your teeth.
Best Invisalign Substitute: ClearCorrect ‘This brand is by far the biggest competitor of Invisalign that offers and promises the same treatment process and results, with a more affordable price tag.’
Best Customer Service Provider: Byte ‘Byte offers a lifetime guarantee with their product; if you encounter a problem post-procedure, they will offer additional treatment for free!’
The Clearest Aligners: SnapCorrect ‘Imagine getting SnapCorrect’s crystal-clear aligners that makes your orthodontic procedure extremely unnoticeable.’
Best Process Combination: Uniform Teeth The process that Uniform Teeth is a lot like mail-order aligners, but with an exemption of having occasional meet-ups with an orthodontist.
Best Clear Aligners Package: SmileLove ‘SmileLove really thought of caring for the patient’s whole mouth that they included lip balm, aligner file, chewies, and a remover gizmo in their package.’
Best Invisible Braces Brand Comparison
Official Website: candidco.com
Impression Kit: $47 (regular price at $95)
Treatment Cost: $2400 (paid in full or may be broken down to $399 deposit and $99 per month for 24 months with a total cost of $2775)
Treatment Period: Average treatment time is 6 months In 2017, CandidCo introduced its direct-to-consumer orthodontic aligners and offered it at a very low price of $1900. This approach immediately made headlines and started a fan base of users that admire the online company’s strategy and quality of work. It is one of the mail-order orthodontic treatments that we can confidently recommend to our patients.
What Makes Candid Unique?
The whole treatment is designed and monitored by a specialist. It is possible and, somehow, usual that general dentists are able to provide Invisalign and other orthodontic treatment to their patients although they do not specialize in that area. To be honest, orthodontists are the ones who we should turn to when it comes to teeth straightening processes because that is what they dedicate their professions on. But so as to save money, these regular dentists offer their services for a fraction of what orthodontist charges. With Candid, only orthodontists can work with you and provide this modern orthodontic treatment. From the way the aligners were designed, the initial assessment (whether DIY or in a Candid Studio), until the monitoring and management of the teeth alignment process, there is a virtually assigned orthodontist with you. It has a unique remote monitoring system. To make sure that everything during the treatment is working perfectly, Candid devised a way so that patients using their product can send them high-quality images of their teeth for an orthodontist to examine and monitor. They developed Dental Monitoring, an AI monitoring program that makes use of a tool (called ScanBox) that is attached to your phone so that you can strategically align and capture images of your teeth. An AI technology begins to analyze your pictures and sends them to an orthodontist so they can monitor and re-examine your progress. All these can happen while you are lounging on your couch in your home!
Official Website: invisalign.com
Treatment Cost: $3000 to $8000 depending on the type of treatment and dental insurance coverage
Treatment Period: Depends on the type of treatment plan (Express: 3 to 6 months; Full: more or less than 1 year) When clear aligners are the topic, one household brand sticks out – none other than Invisalign. From the top celebrities to the average Joes, Invisalign is the brand that started this orthodontic innovation. More than 8 million people trusted and continue to believe in the power of these virtually invisible dental aligners in solving any teeth alignment issues.
What Makes Invisalign Unique?
This brand is the pioneer of all invisible braces ever created. Invisalign is the first orthodontic technology that replaced traditional braces by addressing improvement in the look and comfort of having teeth straightening devices. It is the gold standard when it comes to clear, invisible braces. Though there are now so many companies that manufacture dental aligners, none of them ever became successful in overshadowing the pioneer brand as of yet. It offers 6 treatments that cover all the different types of teeth misalignment and its severities. From the Full treatment that can last up to 18 months, to the Go and Express that will only last a few months, Invisalign just has everything an orthodontic patient needs to be covered.
Official Website: straumann.com/clearcorrect/en/home.html
Treatment Cost: Typically $3000 to $5500 depending on the type of ClearCorrect treatment.
Treatment Period: If worn correctly, ClearCorrect braces promises straighter teeth in 6 to 18 months Invisalign started in 1999, and it monopolized the market of traditional braces alternative. As the brand pushed its marketing strategies in order to gain traction and popularity, Straumann Group decided to create its own interpretation of the invisible braces that could become a competitor when it comes to demand and fame. It came up with ClearCorrect. It follows the same procedure and approach of Invisalign, except they are divided into different phases, four on average. Aligners should be worn for 3 weeks until the time that the orthodontist requires you to change them. Just like Invisalign, this orthodontic treatment is dentist-led, so the whole set of aligners will be in the care of the dentist. You will only be dispensed with the necessary sets once you present yourself on your appointment, making your meet-ups and monitoring mandatory.
What Makes ClearCorrect Unique?
Depending on how complex your teeth misalignment is, the phases of your ClearCorrect treatment change. For instance, minor to below moderate teeth crookedness may be fixed using 4 treatment phases, but severely crooked teeth may need 8 phases. They have different treatment types or options. ClearCorrect has 3 main treatment courses that reflect how many aligners a patient needs in a treatment period. You and your dentist can agree to use one treatment type depending on the complexity of your case because, of course, you may need more than 12 sets of aligners if you have overcrowded or widely-spaced teeth.
Uniform Teeth Clear Aligners
Official Website: uniformteeth.com
Treatment Cost: Around $2500 to $5000 depending on the severity of your teeth alignment case; its website declares their pricing is 40% less than what Invisalign costs.
Treatment Period: 6 to 10 months, depending on the severity of your malocclusion Uniform Teeth may have a rough start because its procedure is a mixture of Invisalign-inspired mode and mail-order treatment process. Many brands are also making their name known as cheaper invisible braces alternatives, making Uniform Teeth’s price tag somewhat expensive even if it is less costly than ClearCorrect and Invisalign. However, their great treatment history and the help of different investors funding their projects lifted their name and reputation which made them one of the brands that we can trust to provide suitable orthodontic corrections.
What Makes Uniform Teeth Unique?
It is a tech-supported orthodontic company. The developers of Uniform Teeth knew long before that the innovations surrounding orthodontics would be massive, so they thought of a way to make the changes and developments user-friendly and convenient without sacrificing its professional touch. This concept made them come up with a somewhat mixture of the standard orthodontic treatment procedure and the direct-to-consumer process. Uniform Teeth provides the patients with their whole treatment package but requires them to see their orthodontist every few months. To attain perfection, we must compromise. What they think mail-order invisible braces lack is the supervision of a dental specialist. On the other hand, they understand that not all people have the time and money to have several dental consultations during their teeth straightening treatments. So what Uniform Teeth offers is a process that addresses those two shortcomings in one process. You get to be examined by an orthodontist in the beginning as an extensive assessment. You can keep all your dental aligners so you can manage your treatment on your own, but you are still required to see your orthodontist once in a few months.
Official Website: smiledirectclub.com
Impression Kit: Regular price $49
Treatment Cost: Pay $1895 in full, or choose to pay $250 down payment and $85 per month for 24 months (SmilePay™ worth $2290)
Treatment Period: Average treatment period lasts for 4 to 10 months (depending on which type you get) If there is an award for the first mail-order invisible braces, SmileDirectClub should have it. Founded in 2013, SmileDirectClub that hails in Nashville, Tennessee, is the first brand that offered direct-to-consumer dental aligners. This company paved the way for others to break out from the shadows of Invisalign and ClearCorrect, which, at that time, dominated the orthodontic scene, and begin to create their own name and process of straightening teeth. The concept or principle that SmileDirectClub wants to pursue is very ambitious at the time but promised its users convenience and affordability.
What Makes SmileDirectClub Unique?
SmileDirectClub pioneered at-home invisible braces. The process of getting your orthodontic treatment at home is made simple and realistic by SmileDirectClub. First, you would have to get a clear impression of your dental cavity. You can get this using their $49 starter kit that includes 2 sets of molding trays, putty, and an informational guide on how to achieve great impressions of your teeth. If you prefer seeing a professional than doing it yourself, you can go to the nearest SmileShop for dental staff to get scans. These images help the dental team of SmileDirectClub to determine if you are a great candidate. If so, they will send you a detailed preview of your whole orthodontic treatment that shows you how your teeth would look before and after the procedure. If you agree, then they will fabricate the required number of aligners to address your condition and send it directly to your doorstep so you can take charge of correcting your teeth alignment. It has many reviews over the years. Since 2014, these invisible braces have been making headlines as the most suitable orthodontic treatment available for patients with mild to moderate malocclusion. However, when you search for at-home invisible braces or aligners, one of the most common topics would include ‘Is SmileDirectClub safe?’ This is addressed by the company through its performance. Despite the disconcerting write-ups that it receives up to this day, there are still so many patients and potential users that believe and choose the brand. In fact, more than 1 million customers trust SmileDirectClub. It has daytime and nighttime invisible braces. If you choose to wear the daytime aligners, you can correct your teeth alignment in as short as 4 to 6 months, provided that you wear your clear aligners for 22 hours every day. On the other hand, if you wish to correct your teeth at night and hide it from work or school, you can get the nighttime dental aligners and wear it for 10 hours every night. If done diligently, you can expect your teeth alignment to be straight after 10 months.
Official Website: snapcorrect.com
Impression Kit: $49 (regular price $95)
Treatment Cost: $1749 for the whole treatment; can decide on getting a monthly payment plan (Smile Now Pay Later) with $80.84 monthly fee for 24 months (total cost is projected at $1940).
Treatment Period: An average of 3 to 18 months Teeth straightening at home is made easy and possible by different brands that provide the full set of customized dental aligners delivered straight to your home. This is also the concept that SnapCorrect is following to provide safe and effective teeth alignment solutions to its thousands of satisfied customers. During its development in 2017, this is the cheapest dental aligners that are available to address minor to moderate malocclusion and teeth spacing problems. Up to this day, SnapCorrect still lives up to its name as one of the successful and efficient ways to straighten your own teeth at home.
What Makes SnapCorrect Unique?
Theirs are the clearest invisible aligners. SnapCorrect lives up to its tagline, truly invisible aligners. The company makes use of transparent plastic that is BPA and latex-free that passed the standards of the FDA. They made sure that the fabrication of the invisible braces is customized and snugly-fit so that the comfort and efficiency of the treatment are promised. SnapCorrect is not just a typical orthodontic treatment. When you visit your dentist or orthodontist for teeth alignment issues, they will give and let you pay for a treatment that only addresses that. Other necessary or complementary procedures like getting a retainer and undergoing teeth whitening post-treatment have a different price tag. With SnapCorrect, these two are already included in the package! Teeth whitening is free for life. Yes, you read it right. SnapCorrect really wanted to stand out from other contenders and making sure that their teeth are perfectly white after treatment is what they feel would really matter to their valued customers. Once you are done with the procedure, they would send you teeth whitening gel nonstop to make sure that your teeth are well-maintained and perfectly white for keeps.
Official Website: byteme.com
Impression Kit: $95 (can be availed at $29.95 through limited offer)
Treatment Cost: $1895 for the whole treatment; can be paid using a monthly payment plan via bytepay (pay $249 down payment then $83 monthly for 25 months) totaling $2324, or third party affiliates like Affirm and Splitit.
Treatment Period: Typically lasts for 2 to 4 months When remote monitoring of orthodontic treatments and procedures were booming, byte took advantage of the hype and introduced their product as another option that you can choose if you want to have the quickest way to correct your teeth alignment without frequent dental consultations. Developed by the celebrity dentist Dr. Jon Marashi, SnapCorrect introduced itself in 2018 as the answer to many patient’s orthodontic conditions without really needing to see their dentist or orthodontist.
What Makes byte Unique?
It promises the fastest teeth-straightening solution. The brand byte is a newcomer when compared to its competitors SmileDirectClub and Candid, but its technology made sure that it can give the best and fastest results at 2 to 4 months! How can it do that? Well, read on. It has HyperByte. The byte aligners have this high-frequency vibrations device that allows the teeth to move painlessly by massaging it for 5 to 10 minutes every day. This technology also makes the transition of the teeth faster compared to other at-home dental aligners. The brand byte is developed and supervised by orthodontists. The brand believes that specialists should be the only ones who should be reliable and accountable for your teeth straightening to do it successfully and safely. It has a lifetime warranty. If there is one unique trait the byte is most proud of, it is the fact that they offer their customers lifetime services for relapses or readjustments. As long as you have proof that you have undergone the correct procedures from byte, they will shoulder all your other additional post-treatment procedures.
Official Website: smilelove.com
Impression Kit: $79 (can also be made free if availed as a bundle)
Treatment Cost: $1895 in full; can be acquired through the monthly installment of $79 per month for 24 months, with a $250 down payment (total cost: $2145)
Treatment Period: The treatment period can last for 6 months, but the length of wearing time would depend on your situation, as it may even extend for a year. Just as many mail-order invisible braces would market themselves, SmileLove also has a complete direct-to-consumer orthodontic package that can straighten your teeth without going to your dentist. Following the same process of providing at-home orthodontic treatment, SmileLove mails all the sets of aligners that you need should you decide to push through with your teeth straightening solution using their product. Another breakout orthodontic solution developed and offered in 2017, it has similar advantages like its other competitors. Still, it is also packed with unique features that make it part of our recommended brands.
What Makes SmileLove Unique?
SmileLove offers a unique refund guarantee. Most providers would ensure that a refund is entitled to customers who paid for the impression kit but were found to be ineligible for the procedure. With SmileLove, they offer something a bit more special. After getting the impression and sending it to the SmileLove dental team for evaluation, they will determine if you are a good candidate and create a preview of your whole treatment. If you think you are not satisfied or impressed with its take on your orthodontic procedure, they will send you back a refund. Yes, even if you are eligible for the treatment, if you think SmileLove is not the product for you, you can get your money back. SmileLove aligners are made with high-quality plastic. One of the many advantages and unique characteristics SmileLove mentioned on their website is the fact that its aligners are made from Essix plastic. This type of medical-grade material is transparent, BPA-free, and is accepted and approved by the FDA as safe for orthodontic use. It is also manufactured through 3D printed molds to make sure that the aligners would be comfortable and effective in gradually moving the teeth. The SmileLove orthodontic package is different. Well, a lot of direct-to-consumer orthodontic package can ensure that their package is complete, but SmileLove has something more in store for its customers. If you avail of the complete bundle, they will send you the impression kit for free! Once you get approved, and you accepted your treatment plan, they will send you the full package containing your aligners, a storage case, a cleaning solution, and a lip balm. But that is not all! The package also has included the first retainer set that you need to use after you finished the teeth-straightening procedure, and it is absolutely free. SmileLove also provides a code that you can use post-treatment to avail of the free whitening treatment kit to make sure that your teeth look healthy and clean!
Official Website: alignerco.com
Impression Kit: $39.99
Treatment Cost: $1145 for one-time all-in payment; cost may be divided into easy installment plans (SmileFlex and Smile Flex Easy)
Treatment Period: Treatment period may be as short as 6 months or may last up to a year depending on your orthodontic needs and requirements. The youngest competitor of mail-order orthodontic packages, AlignerCo may have a lot of other things to prove first before saying that it is near the caliber of other high-quality teeth-straightening brands. Developed and marketed only in 2019, AlignerCo is another direct-to-consumer invisible braces brand that aims to provide orthodontic treatments in the comfort of your home. It allows you to straighten your own teeth without going to and from the dentist, and saving lots of money.
What Makes AlignerCo Unique?
It offers the lowest cost with different payment plans. One of the perks of getting mail-order invisible braces is the fact that they are more affordable than the ones offered by your dentists or orthodontists. With AlignerCo, the catchphrase that they use is that its orthodontic solution is 65% cheaper than the leading brands. It also is offering convenient payment plans that let you enjoy your teeth straightening journey without worrying about your finances. For instance, you can choose to pay for the full payment upfront (Smile Advantage) worth $1,145. If you avail of this payment option, you can get your impression kit for free. You can also ask for financial payment plans like SmileFlex (pay $110 for 12 months) and SmileFlex Easy (pay a deposit fee of $275 and enjoy an affordable monthly fee of $95 for 11 months). Both convenient financial solutions total to $1320, still the lowest cost when compared to other orthodontic treatment options. AlignerCo gives you a clear picture of how much time would be required for the pre-treatment process. When you visit the FAQs section of AlignerCo’s website, it details about how many days you need to wait for your dental aligners, from ordering your impression kit, sending it back for evaluation, waiting for the email about your Treatment Preview, and the at-home delivery of your dental aligners. AlignerCo can address different bite and teeth alignment issues. Overbites, underbites, crossbites, teeth crowding, wide-spaced teeth, and overjets (protruded bite) are just some of the mild to moderate problems that this orthodontic brand can solve.
What Do All These Clear Aligners Have In Common?
Now that you gained knowledge about the different brands that you can choose from in case you want to go ahead and avail or try the latest hype in orthodontics, you may have noticed that these brands have some similarities when it comes to their process, products, and freebies.
They are more comfortable to wear than traditional braces. This is a fact about all clear dental aligners. Made with different, smooth, and transparent types of plastic, these removable invisible braces are very comfortable and easy to wear than the usual attached wire-and-bracket system metal braces that cause lesions and accidental cuts inside the mouth.
One of their main goals is to make orthodontic treatment unnoticeable. These removable dental aligners are made with clear plastic that solves the common aesthetic complaints of people who undergo orthodontic treatment using the traditional braces. Metal, ceramic, or lingual braces are bulky and considerably more noticeable than these snugly-fitted invisible braces, making your teeth straightening procedure discreet and yet effective.
You have to wear the invisible braces for 20 to 22 hours a day every day. For the removable invisible braces to work, you would have to wear it almost all day so that the movement of the teeth is gradual yet consistent. The correct and systematic fitting of the aligners to your teeth slowly moves your teeth, so if you forget to wear them or do not follow the correct time needed to wear the aligners, the teeth position and movement may plateau and make the correction take longer than planned.
They make taking care of your dental cavity easier while on braces. One of the usual complaints dentists and orthodontists receive from their patients wearing braces is that it is so difficult to clean their teeth with all the wire, brackets, and elastic bands in place. With removable invisible braces, eating and drinking what you love is no longer a problem, and cleaning your teeth is more comfortable since there are no more built-in appliances that would block you from brushing and flossing your teeth.
They offer several additional freebies. Not only is the whole orthodontic solution package delivered directly to your doorstep, but it may also contain several convenient and complementary treatments that would undoubtedly benefit your teeth-straightening procedure. The following brands provide post-treatment teeth whitening and the first sets of retainers as part of their all-inclusive at-home DIY invisible braces.
- With whitening kit: Candid, SmileDirectClub, SnapCorrect, byte, SmileLove
- With retainers (first set): SmileDirectClub, SnapCorrect, byte, SmileLove, AlignerCo
We, at Southern Smiles, hope that we have given you an ample amount of information about invisible braces and if it is the treatment that would really benefit your condition and needs. As per usual, should you have any more questions that we were not able to address in this comprehensive review, do not hesitate to contact us or visit our clinic so our dental team can offer their expert advice and recommendations.
Southern Smiles implements strict policies when it comes to data gathering and research procedures. Its investigative findings rely on academic research studies, peer reviews, and interviews with dentists and dental specialists, as well as reliable online dental websites of international dental associations and established institutions.
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