Invisalign Alternatives: Find The Best Invisalign Competitor For You

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There are numerous Invisalign alternatives on the market these days. And for good reason. Many adults 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?

invisalign alternatives uk
Invisalign is not the only alternative to metal braces

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:

  • ClearCorrect
  • Straight My Teeth
  • Smile Direct Club
  • Your Smile Direct
  • Straight Teeth Direct
  • Franksmile

We hope this guide helps you figure out which Invisalign alternative is the best option for you! Alternatively, if you want to learn more about Invisalign, you can read our full guide here.

Remote vs. In-office

We'll assume that by this point in your research, you're quite familiar with how Invisalign works. You go to your local provider, they scan your teeth or take impressions, those get sent to Invisalign's lab, and a few weeks later your first sets of aligners are ready. You go back to the dentist to have them fitted, and return every month or so for checkups and to collect your new aligners.

Now, Invisalign is one of the best brands in this market; they've been operating for over 20 years 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. They have different levels of treatment ranging from a 3-month plan with Invisalign i7 to much longer treatment with Invisalign Full.

dental consulation
There's no one-on-one dentist contact with at-home options

But, there's a new breed of clear aligner brand which has become more 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.

There are a few names in this market, which 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 end up as much cheaper alternatives to Invisalign. 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.

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.

In-office At-home
Appearance Almost invisible Almost invisible
Treatment time 6-24 months 4-12 months
Cost £1,500 - £5,500 £999 - £1,599
Monitoring Visit your dentist every 4-6 weeks Monitored remotely using an app, no in-office visits
Adjustments/refinements Usually included May be included, may incur an extra cost
Suitable for Mild, moderate and some severe cases Mild and moderate cases
Eligibility Check here for Invisalign Check here for Straight My Teeth

At-home Invisalign Alternatives

Let's look first at some of your options for remote orthodontic treatment from home. Not only are these options generally a lot cheaper than Invisalign, 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.

Straight My Teeth

If the main reason you're looking for Invisalign alternatives in the UK is to save money, Straight My Teeth could be the solution for you. Their aligners cost just £999 – a saving of at least £500 on even the very cheapest Invisalign Lite 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).

alternatives to invisalign
Your scans or impressions are used to plan your treatment

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 £999 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

Straight My Teeth work with a mix of dentists and orthodontists to plan and monitor your treatment, which is similar to Invisalign who work with a network of 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 £999 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!

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 21 of these clinics, which is much more than any other UK brand. If you'd prefer to have a scan rather than take your own impressions, and you don't live in London, Smile Direct Club could be your best option.

They also have a nighttime only option, which is a unique offering in the market. These aligners only have to be worn for 10 hours a day (or night), rather than the usual 20-22 hours, but this does pretty much double the treatment time.

On the downside, their aligners cost £1,499, which is close to the price of Invisalign Lite. They also get mixed reviews, especially when it comes to customer service.

Straight Teeth Direct

invisalign alternative at home
All these aligner brands look much the same

Straight Teeth Direct are 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. Even Invisalign doesn't work exclusively with orthodontists, so this makes Straight Teeth Direct better than Invisalign in that regard.

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.

Your Smile Direct

Your Smile Direct have Smile Clinics in London, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. It's not a huge network, but it covers some of the UK's biggest cities. They are one of the more expensive options though, costing £1,599 and an extra £150 if you want whitening (which is included in Straight My Teeth's £999 package).

They also work only with dentists – no orthodontists – so it's not really clear what extra benefits you're getting for the higher price tag.

Franksmile

Franksmile is a German brand which has been operating in the UK since 2019. They have 6 clinics in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds.

The cost of Franksmile's aligners is £1,499 and they have one of the most affordable finance packages with payments of less than £40 per month, if you choose that option. Like Your Smile Direct, they only work with dentists, not orthodontists, so there is not a great deal to set them apart when you consider the cost.

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 Your Smile Direct Franksmile
Suitable for Mild to moderate issues
Average timeframe 9-12 months 4-6 months 5-9 months 20 weeks Approx 6 months
Cost for impressions £49 £39, or scan for free £42 £99, or scan for £49 £49, or scan for free
Physical locations 1 in Ashford, London 21 around the UK 1 in London 4 in the UK 6 in the UK
Cost for treatment £999 (including whitening) £1,499 £1,350 £1,599 or £1,749 with whitening £1,499
Retainer cost 1 included (worth £99) £79 1 included, can pay subscription for more 1 included (worth £139) 1 set included
Finance options Deposit of £295 and 12 payments of £67 Deposit of £199 and 12 payments of £120 3 payments of £500 or finance through a lender Available with credit check, apply for details Interest free payment option through external company
Materials and manufacturing Raintree Essix Plastic BPA-free plastic BPA-free resin, 3D printed BPA-free plastic, 3D printed 3D printed, free from BPA, parabens, and phthalatese resin, 3D printed
Treatment provided by Dentists, orthodontists, and dental technicians Dentist or orthodontist Personal orthodontist Dentists Dentists
Main selling poing Lowest price Biggest clinic network Orthodontists only None Most affordable payment plan
Prices correct at time of writing but may change at any time.

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 for you to consider.

ClearCorrect

ClearCorrect was founded in 2006 and is the main competitor to Invisalign. The process and experience for getting these aligners are quite similar to that of Invisalign. Your dentist or orthodontist must register to be a ClearCorrect provider, and then ClearCorrect sends them the materials needed to straighten your teeth.

You then 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. But 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. Our full ClearCorrect article explains more about what makes these aligners different to Invisalign.

Quick Straight Teeth

Quick Straight Teeth, and a similar competitor 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 Full 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 Lite and other ‘express' treatments. 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

Below is a quick summary table comparing some of the in-office Invisalign alternatives. Others like Smilelign, ClearSmile, Inman Aligners and Six Month Smiles are all similar options that your dentist might offer.

Invisalign ClearCorrect Quick Straight Teeth
Founded 1997 2006 2012
Suitable for mild problems? Yes Yes Yes
Suitable for mid-level problems? Yes Yes Maybe (only front 6-8 teeth)
Suitable for complicated problems? Possibly Probably not No
Price £1,800 - £3,000 (Lite), £2,500 - 5,500 (Full) £1,200 (minor treatment)- £4,500 £1,150 - £1,750 per arch (£2,500 + for 2 arches)
Treatment timeframe 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?

Since Invisalign is arguably the best of the in-office brands when you take everything into consideration, you might find your biggest decision is between Invisalign and an at-home solution like Straight My Teeth or Smile Direct Club.

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 is a good match if you:

  • Aren't a good candidate for at-home aligners because of the amount of movement your teeth need
  • Want to visit a dentist for regular checkups in person
  • Want to use the brand that's been around the longest in the UK
  • Don't mind paying a premium for the expertise and advanced technology that Invisalign bring

So, what are your next steps? If you're interested in Straight My Teeth's super affordable £999 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 is 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.

Conclusion

cheap invisalign alternative
There are many cheaper alternatives to Invisalign and braces

Nowadays there is 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.

Some of these alternatives are much more affordable and convenient with remote treatment options. The alternative that we most recommend is Straight My Teeth, who offer great value for £999.

Still, Invisalign is a proven alternative to metal braces in around 90% of orthodontic cases, so it's a great choice if you need that extra level of treatment.

We hope our guide has helped you figure out the best option for your smile!

FAQs

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 options like Straight My Teeth, Smile Direct Club or Your Smile 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. Invisalign has several options to treat different degrees of malocclusion, and we believe it's the best brand on the market.

What are some cheaper alternatives to Invisalign?

A cheap Invisalign alternative might include online or at-home options like Straight Teeth Direct, Smile Direct Club or Straight My Teeth. These 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 £999, 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.

Invisalign Alternatives: Find The Best Invisalign Competitor For You
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Contributors:
Amanda Napitu
Amanda Napitu
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Amanda has written on a wide variety of topics and now specialises in creating informative content about healthcare and dentistry.
Sources
British Dental Journal: DIY orthodontics – safe, cheaper option or dangerous gamble? Consulted 28th March 2020.
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