There are numerous Invisalign alternatives on the market these days. And for good reason. Many people who want to straighten their teeth are looking for options that are less noticeable than traditional metal braces.
Straighter teeth can not only boost your self-confidence but also improve your overall oral health. But with all the different brands out there offering clear aligners, how do you choose between Invisalign and their competitors?
Don't worry, we are here to help. Whether you're looking for a cheaper alternative to Invisalign and braces or a way to straighten your teeth without visiting the dentist every month, you've got plenty of options.
We've created this guide which covers Invisalign competitors and alternatives in the UK, both in-office and at-home, including:
- Straight My Teeth
- Smile Direct Club
- Straight Teeth Direct
We hope this guide helps you figure out which alternative to braces is the best option for you! Alternatively, if you want to learn more about Invisalign aligners, we have a separate page covering them in more detail.
Table of contents
- 1 Remote vs. In-office aligners
- 2 At-home Invisalign alternatives in the UK
- 3 In-office Invisalign Alternatives
- 4 Are at-home aligners really a good alternative?
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 FAQs
Remote vs. In-office aligners
We'll assume that by this point in your research, you're quite familiar with how Invisalign treatment works. You go to your local provider, they scan your teeth or take impressions, those get sent to a dental lab, and a few weeks later your first sets of aligners are ready. You go back to your dentist or orthodontist to have them fitted, and return every month or so for checkups and to collect your new aligners. Alongside this, you use Invisalign's app to track your progress.
Now, the Invisalign system is one of the best in this market; they've been operating for over 20 years, have treated over 11 million patients, and their aligners use cutting-edge technology backed by great research. This means that they can treat up to 90% of orthodontic cases, including some quite severe malocclusions.
But, there's a new breed of clear aligner brand which has become popular in the UK recently, and that's at-home aligners or ‘remote orthodontics'. The difference with these is that you don't visit a dentist or orthodontist; instead, you can carry out the entire process from home and your aligners are sent directly to you.
A cheap Invisalign alternative?
There are a few names in this market, which we will go into below, but they all operate in basically the same way:
- You take an online assessment to check that you're a suitable candidate
- You either order a home impression kit or visit one of their clinics for a 3D scan
- Your scans or impressions are sent to their lab, which creates your aligners
- You receive your aligners in the post
- You check in online by taking photos of your teeth as your treatment progresses
- A dentist or orthodontist monitors your treatment remotely
By cutting out the in-office visits, these can market themselves as cheaper alternatives to Invisalign and braces. However, they aren't suitable for everyone. Most can only provide mild to moderate straightening on the front six to eight teeth. Plus, the dental community has naturally raised some concerns over the safety and efficacy of this type of treatment.
Some brands don't even need impressions or scans of your teeth as they are a one-size-fits-all design. While these aligners are extremely cheap, there is no dental supervision and they could damage your teeth.
Before you assume that you can't afford Invisalign aligners and need to find an alternative, we would recommend that get a personalised treatment plan. This initial consultation is often free, and you may discover that Invisalign treatment is cheaper than you realised.
Here's a quick comparison of the pros and cons of in-office vs at-home aligners, before we look at some of the specific brands on offer.
£1,500 - £5,500
£999 - £1,599
Visit your dentist every 4-6 weeks
Monitored remotely using an app, no in-office visits
May be included, may incur an extra cost
Mild, moderate and some severe cases
Mild and moderate cases
By the way, did you know there's a free and easy way to see what you might look like with straighter teeth? Invisalign's SmileView tool lets you preview your new smile in just two minutes, and anyone can use it. Why not give it a try now?
At-home Invisalign alternatives in the UK
Let's look first at some of your options for remote orthodontic treatment from home. Not only are these options generally cheaper than Invisalign treatment, they also have the added convenience of not requiring in-office visits.
You might have the option to visit a local clinic, but if there isn't one near you or you can't leave your home, you can still order an impression kit and do everything yourself.
Do keep in mind that not all of these brands are the same; you'll see differences in cost, technology, monitoring techniques and treatment times which might help you narrow down your choices. Some include teeth whitening so you can achieve a brighter smile as well; some offer whitening at an extra cost.
If it turns out you don't like any of the at-home or in-office options, you may want to consider a hybrid option like Impress Aligners.
Smile Direct Club
Next up, let's talk about Smile Direct Club. They are one of the bigger names in this business; although they only launched in the UK in 2019, they have been operating in the US for several years.
The main benefit of Smile Direct Club compared to others in the UK is their network of SmileShops – physical locations you can visit for a 3D scan instead of having to take your impressions at home. There are seven SmileShops around the UK, so if you'd prefer a scan rather than take your own impressions, and you don't live in London, Smile Direct Club could be your best option.
Their aligners cost £1,539, making them similarly priced to other brands.
Straight My Teeth
If the main reason you're looking for affordable Invisalign alternatives in the UK is to save money, Straight My Teeth could be the solution for you. Their aligners cost just £799 – a saving of at least £800 on even the very cheapest Invisalign treatment.
This is the best price you'll find among the main aligner brands in the UK, and they often run promotions offering an even better price (you can check their website here to see what offers they have right now).
We have a separate page with more detail about Straight My Teeth, but here are the main points to know about this brand:
- Full treatment costs £799 and includes teeth whitening and one set of retainers
- It takes 9-12 months on average
- They do thorough checks to make sure you have good enough oral health for treatment
- You can visit their Smile Studio in London or do your impressions at home
- Their customer service gets great reviews
- Their referral scheme gives you a bonus if you refer a friend
Another thing worth noting is that Straight My Teeth have a nighttime-only aligner option called NightOnly. These aligners are worn for just 8-10 hours a day so you don't have to worry about the inconvenience of taking them in and out all day to eat and drink.
The price is slightly higher, at £749, and your treatment will take longer this way. However, it could be a good option for professionals who really don't want to wear their aligners at work, for example.
Straight My Teeth work with a mix of dentists and orthodontists to plan and monitor your treatment, which is similar to the Invisalign system which is available from both dentists and orthodontists across the UK. They only have one Smile Studio, located in London, but if you don't live nearby it's easy to order an impression kit and take your teeth moulds at home. Watch the video below to see how it's done.
If you want to check whether you're a suitable candidate for £799 aligners with Straight My Teeth, simply visit their website and take their quick online assessment. You'll have your answer in less than a minute!
NewSmile is another alternative to Invisalign in the UK. Their aligners are made from Raintree Essix plastic, which is the clearest plastic for aligners available on the market today.
After doing a quick online smile assessment, you can order your impression kit. Once you have your impressions, you can have a video call with an Impression Specialist before your treatment plan is finalised. NewSmile then creates your aligners and sends you a new set every two weeks. You'll also get free whitening treatments.
If you don't want to wear your aligners during the day, NewSmile offers nighttime aligners. The process is the same as for the daytime aligners, with the only difference being that you wear your aligners at night.
Your treatment time will likely be longer than with daytime aligners, but some people prefer this option over wearing aligners during the day.
NewSmile offers both upfront payment and payment plans. If you choose their ‘Fast Track' payment, which requires a once-off payment of £1,095 for daytime treatment or £1,195 for the nighttime treatment. This price includes the impression kit, treatment preview, aligners, retainers, and whitening.
You can also choose to buy the impression kit separately for £39. When you are approved for treatment, you can purchase the aligners, or get a full refund if you are not eligible. If you prefer a monthly plan, you'll pay a £295 deposit, and 12 monthly payments of £75 each.
For the nighttime option, it's a £295 deposit and then £83 per month for 12 months. Monthly plans start at 0% APR. Read our NewSmile review to find out more.
Straight Teeth Direct
Straight Teeth Direct is the only one of these companies to guarantee that an orthodontist will be overseeing your treatment. This is a good selling point – after all, orthodontists are specialists in the field of teeth straightening.
Their aligners cost £1,350, making them mid-range in terms of price, and they have one clinic in London, just like Straight My Teeth.
If you want to be sure an orthodontist is monitoring your treatment and you don't mind paying a bit extra for that benefit, this could be the best choice for you. Our Straight Teeth Direct review has more details.
Wondersmile have clinics in London, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham which you can visit for a scan. From this, they prepare an interactive 3D visualisation of your treatment. If you can't get to one of these locations you can use a home impression kit instead. Their aligner package costs £1,399, or you can purchase a nighttime-only option for £1,449.
Wondersmile is an Australian company that has only recently started operating in the UK. As such, there are not many customer reviews available and they haven't earned much of a reputation – good or bad – yet. However, you can read our full review on these aligners for more details.
Summary of at-home aligner solutions
All these Invisalign competitors with similar-sounding names can be a bit confusing, so here's a table summarising everything we've just mentioned (and a bit more):
Straight My Teeth
Smile Direct Club
Straight Teeth Direct
Mild to moderate issues
Cost for impressions
£39, or scan for free
1 in Ashford, London
21 around the UK
1 in London
Cost for treatment
£799 (including whitening)
1 included (worth £99)
1 included, can pay subscription for more
Deposit of £339 and 6 payments of £110
Deposit of £199 and 12 payments of £120
3 payments of £500 or finance through a lender
Materials and manufacturing
Raintree Essix Plastic
BPA-free resin, 3D printed
Treatment provided by
Dentist or orthodontist
Dentist or orthodontist
Main selling point
Biggest clinic network
Prices correct at time of writing but may change at any time.
And if you want to know more about at-home solutions, read our article on teeth straightening at home.
In-office Invisalign Alternatives
If you need more significant teeth straightening than is offered by these remote orthodontics companies, or you'd just prefer the assurance of regular face-to-face checkups, here are some in-office alternatives to Invisalign treatment for you to consider.
ClearCorrect was founded in 2006 and is the main competitor to Invisalign in the UK. The process and experience for getting these aligners are quite similar to the Invisalign system. Your dentist or orthodontist must register to be a ClearCorrect provider, and then ClearCorrect sends them the materials needed to straighten your teeth.
You have regular in-office visits with your dentist or orthodontist as you would with regular braces. ClearCorrect aligners are made from thinner material than Invisalign aligners, which their website claims make them less noticeable. It could be argued that the thinner aligners are more prone to break, while others say they are more comfortable.
Then there's the price. ClearCorrect market themselves as a cheaper Invisalign alternative, and you might save a few hundred pounds by choosing them. However, they still aren't as cheap as at-home solutions, except perhaps for very mild cases. Read more about ClearCorrect vs Invisalign in our separate guide which explores these two brands in more detail.
Quick Straight Teeth
Quick Straight Teeth, and similar competitors Six Month Smiles, work on just the front six to eight teeth to make treatment as quick and affordable as possible. You still visit a dentist throughout the treatment, so you could see these as an in-between option if you don't need Invisalign Comprehensive but do still want in-office treatment.
However, as you'll see from the table below, the prices aren't actually that cheap compared to Invisalign Express or Lite. If you only need mild cosmetic straightening, for a similar price you can probably get the expertise and technology of Invisalign. You'll need to contact your nearest Invisalign provider to get a personalised quotation for Invisalign Lite.
Summary of in-office alternatives to Invisalign treatment
Below is a quick summary table comparing some of the in-office Invisalign equivalents. Others like Smilelign aligners, ClearSmile, Inman Aligners and Six Month Smiles are all similar options that your dentist might offer.
Quick Straight Teeth
Suitable for mild problems?
Suitable for mid-level problems?
Maybe (only front 6-8 teeth)
Suitable for complicated problems?
£1,500 - £3,000 (Express)
£1,200 (minor treatment)- £4,500
£1,150 - £1,750 per arch (£2,500 + for 2 arches)
3 - 18 months
3 - 18 months
4 - 6 months
Prices correct at time of writing but may change at any time.
Are at-home aligners really a good alternative?
Invisalign is arguably one of the most popular in-office brands, however, there are really good alternatives available with at-home solutions like Straight My Teeth or SmileDirectClub. With direct-to-consumer aligners you can order your aligners from home or with a single visit to a clinic for a scan. Then, your aligners are posted out to you and you complete treatment remotely.
These companies include:
- Dr Smile
- Straight My Teeth
- SmileDirectClub clear aligners
- Your Smile Direct aligners
We can say that Straight My Teeth are a good option if you:
- Want the best price
- Are happy having your treatment checked remotely
- Want the convenience of not having to visit a dentist every month
- Only need mild, or moderate cosmetic straightening
- Want to whiten your teeth at the same time
On the other hand, Invisalign treatment is a good match if you:
- Aren't a good candidate for at-home aligners because of the amount of movement your teeth need
- Prefer face-to-face checkups with a dentist to check your progress
- Want to use the brand that's been around the longest in the UK
- Would like to benefit from the expertise and advanced technology gained from treating over 11 million patients worldwide
So, what are your next steps? If you're interested in Straight My Teeth's super affordable £799 aligners, you can visit their website and take a quick assessment, then order an impression kit or book an appointment at their London studio.
If you think Invisalign aligners are the best choice for you, you can take their free Smile Assessment to check your eligibility, and then search for your nearest provider to book your first appointment.
Nowadays, there are a plethora of options for those looking to straighten their teeth. Not only are there countless alternatives to traditional metal braces, but there are also many alternatives to clear aligners like Invisalign. If you want to see what we consider some of the best, check out our article on the best teeth aligners in the UK.
Some of these alternatives are much more affordable and convenient with remote treatment options. The one that we most recommend for those on a budget is Straight My Teeth, who offer great value for £799.
The Invisalign system is a proven alternative to metal braces in around 90% of orthodontic cases, so it's a great option if you need that extra level of treatment.
Regardless of the option you choose, we always recommend scheduling a general checkup with your dentist before starting any at-home treatment. It's important to deal with any untreated cavities or gum disease before wearing aligners and your dentist could assess your overall suitability for the treatment you choose.
We hope our guide has helped you figure out the best option for your smile!
Is Invisalign the best clear aligner brand?
With over two decades of experience and research behind them, the Invisalign system is certainly the most established. But it may not be the best for you if you're on a tight budget. Some Invisalign competitors do come in with a lower price tag.
What are the best Invisalign competitors?
The best Invisalign alternative is going to be different for each individual. That being said, if you are looking for a cheap Invisalign alternative, you can opt for at-home aligners. Some of the best brands in the UK include Straight My Teeth, Smile Direct Club or Straight Teeth Direct.
Alternatively, if you want to visit a dentist in person, you'll have brands like ClearCorrect, Smilelign and Quick Straight Teeth to choose from as alternatives to Invisalign. You might save a little on your treatment with these brands – or you might not. The Invisalign system has several options to treat different degrees of malocclusion.
Is there a cheaper alternative to Invisalign?
It depends how much movement your teeth need, and what type of braces you would like. If you want to stick with clear aligners, a cheap Invisalign alternative might include online or at-home options. Straight Teeth Direct, Smile Direct Club or Straight My Teeth are just a few of the names that have flooded the remote-care clear aligner industry in the past few years.
With a full treatment package costing just £799, Straight My Teeth is the cheapest Invisalign alternative we've featured here. Despite the low price tag, your treatment is planned and monitored by a licensed dentist or orthodontist, so you can be sure you're in good hands.
We recommend Straight My Teeth as an affordable alternative to Invisalign that still delivers great results. If you need mild or moderate cosmetic straightening, visit their website and take a quick assessment to check that you're eligible. Then, you can order an impression kit to get started from the comfort of your own home!
British Dental Journal: DIY orthodontics – safe, cheaper option or dangerous gamble? Consulted 28th March 2020.
Prices stated are indicative only and are based on publicised treatment prices at dental clinics across the UK.