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Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club: Which Aligners Are Best?

Natalie Asmussen
Natalie Asmussen
Amanda Dexter
Amanda Dexter
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Sarah Abbas
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If you have ever considered straightening your teeth with aligners, you have probably come across the Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club debate.

The short answer is that Invisalign is better if you require more extensive braces treatment, with in-person dental visits, and Smile Direct Club may work for those who only require slight adjustments.

Let's take a closer look at the similarities and differences as well as answer the following questions:

  • How do they work?
  • Who is eligible for treatment?
  • What do they cost?
  • What do reviewers have to say?
  • Which ones are right for you?

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about these clear aligner brands, so you can make an informed decision about the best dental braces alternative for you.

Which Aligners are the Best?

In this article, we discuss the differences between Invisalign vs SmileDirectClub. Something they have in common, is that they can be pricey, and can cost up to £5.500 depending on your treatment.

If you are looking for a more affordable alternative, we recommend Smile White Aligners. Like Invisalign and SmileDirectClub, SmileWhite can treat even complex cases; but at a lower price.

Use our discount code “DENTALY5OFF” to save an additional 5% on your treatment.

Smile Direct vs Invisalign: How do they work?

Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club
Comparing Smile Direct Club vs Invisalign in the UK

The main differences between Invisalign and Smile Direct Club are the complexity of cases they can treat, the length of treatment, and the difference in treatment monitoring.

Costs vary between the two companies as well, but that is to be expected with the differences in treatment and technology.

We go into more detail about the costs and treatment options for each in separate articles about Smile Direct Club and Invisalign, but let's do a quick recap here.

Both are a type of clear aligner used for teeth straightening, and they are both popular with adults and teens since they are nearly invisible. 

For each of the two systems, the steps are generally as follows:

  • Eligibility for treatment is determined
  • A mould or digital scan is taken of your teeth to get 3D digital images
  • Treatment begins with clear aligners that change roughly every two weeks to gradually align and straighten your teeth
  • Once your treatment is complete, you wear retainers to maintain your smile

The main difference, aside from the cost, is the way in which your treatment is monitored.

Invisalign works in the same way as traditional metal braces: You visit for an initial consultation and you return for regular checkups during your treatment. SmileDirectClub, on the other hand, relies on newer remote monitoring technology. This means that there is no need for any visits to a dentist as your treatment progress is tracked via an app.

This different treatment model has a few implications. Firstly, SmileDirectClub costs just £1,639, which is significantly less than most Invisalign treatment courses. Secondly, because you're not getting hands-on care and the aligner technology is not as advanced, SmileDirectClub can't treat such a wide range of cases as Invisalign can.

Invisalign treatment options

Another similarity when it comes to Smile Direct vs Invisalign treatment is the availability of multiple treatment options. Let's take a closer look at the treatment options available with each brand.  

smile direct vs invisalign uk
Invisalign has multiple options depending on your individual case
  • Invisalign Comprehensive: The most common Invisalign treatment is a fully comprehensive system for mild to complex cases and the treatment time is normally from 12 to 24 months.
  • Invisalign Lite: This option is for mainly mild and some moderate orthodontic cases and the treatment time is between six and eight months.
  • Invisalign Express: Meant for very mild cases and the treatment time is generally three to six months.
  • Invisalign First: This system is made specifically for the growing mouths of children, and the aligners come with indicators that let parents and dentists know how often they've been worn.

Smile Direct Club treatment options

  • Smile Direct Club Clear Aligners: Average six-month treatment plan with 20-22 hours of wear per day. 
  • Nighttime Clear Aligners: Average 10-month treatment plan, 10 hours of wear per day (while you sleep). Many professionals opt for Nighttime Clear Aligners because they don't have to wear them at the office.

Invisalign vs Smile Direct cost in the UK

Invisalign treatment can cost anywhere between £2,000 and £5,500. This depends on the complexity of your case and your particular orthodontist or dentist's prices.

The price of Smile Direct Club starts at £1,639, and both regular and nighttime options cost the same. You can pay a lump sum of £1,639 or opt for their payment plan. The payment plan is £69.43 per month (£1,805.19 total).

Have a look at this table for a summary and comparison of Smile Direct and Invisalign treatment costs:


Smile Direct Club


£2,000 - £3,000

Standard or Nighttime plan (as many aligners as needed to successfully complete treatment)

Fixed cost of £1,639 or monthly payments of £69.43 (total of £1,805.19)


£2,500 - £4,000

Smile Direct Club has a fixed price and Invisalign does not, so we recommend you make an appointment with an Invisalign provider to find out what your treatment cost would be and to work out a personalised treatment plan for you.

Smile Direct Club vs Invisalign reviews

Client reviews

Check out Hannah's Invisalign review in the video below. She is currently on her ninth week with her trays, and everything is going well.

Hannah had braces in the past but her teeth became crooked again after treatment. She talks about the Invisalign process – from consultation to wearing aligners – and gives some helpful tips and tricks along the way.

Now have a look at this Smile Direct Club video review; the reviewer, Lorelai, checks after finishing her Smile Direct treatment. Overall she is happy she chose Smile Direct, but it wasn't a perfect journey.

Lorelai shares her before and after photographs and shares some tips for getting through your treatment.

To read some more reviews of both these brands and compare them further, check out our more in-depth pages with Smile Direct Club reviews and Invisalign reviews.

Dentist reviews

It can be difficult to find impartial opinions from dentists about either of these brands.

That being said, in the video below, Dr Dave does a really good job explaining that in his opinion, Smile Direct Club is for cases where teeth are not severely misaligned.

According to Dave, patients who have really complex cases of malocclusion would probably be better off with traditional braces. 

He also mentions how it took him years to learn how to take a perfect dental mould. As a result, he's a bit concerned that patients are expected to do this by themselves in their homes with some kind of clear aligners.

This isn't necessarily the case with Smile Direct, however, since you have the option to go to a SmileShop where a trained representative will take digital scans of your teeth. Dr Dave says these are 7–8% more accurate than moulds. He also emphasises that these digital scans are really important in creating an accurate treatment plan.

Which is the better brand?

Well, the answer to this question certainly depends on your individual case. Invisalign can treat a full range of cases and uses advanced technology as indicated in this study, including their SmartForce attachments. With the use of this new technology, the aligners can have much more control over tooth movements and bite alignment.

At-home aligners can be a successful solution for milder cases that don't require any complicated tooth movements. So if you do choose to go down this route, make sure you see a dentist before any at-home treatment and choose a brand where a qualified dentist or orthodontist will be planning and monitoring your treatment.

Consider nighttime aligners if during the day you have to speak with important clients, give speeches, or adhere to strict aesthetic requirements, or if you'd simply rather not have to deal with aligners while you're at work.

Just keep in mind that nighttime-only treatment does take on average four months longer overall, and is not available from Invisalign or other in-office systems.

If you still aren't sure which brand to go with or are concerned you may not qualify for either, make an appointment with SmileDirectClub to discuss your options further. You can also take their free online assessment to see if you're a candidate for treatment before committing further.

Other considerations

  • Both Smile Direct Club Clear Aligners and Nighttime Clear Aligners come with their ‘premium teeth whitening' solution. The Invisalign system doesn't come with complimentary whitening, but you can purchase other whitening kits separately.  
  • As mentioned before, with Smile Direct Club, if you aren't comfortable taking your digital scans at home, you can go to a physical SmileShop location and a trained representative will assist you.

Summary of the differences and similarities

That's a lot of information to take in! Have a look at the table below for a summary of the differences to help you choose the best brand for you:


Smile Direct Club

Professional supervision

In-office visits with your Invisalign doctor every 4–6 weeks and track your progress with the Invisalign app

Remote supervision by qualified professionals with virtual check-ins every 90 days and in-person assistance at SmileShops

Who is eligible?

Mild to complex cases

Mild and some moderate

Treatment length average

12–24 months

4-6 months

Whitening treatment included?



Other aligner brands

If you're still not convinced by Invisalign or Smile Direct Club, you can read about some other top teeth aligner brands in our separate guide.

This is an important investment in your smile and you want to make sure you are getting the best care possible!

When looking at other brands of clear aligners, be sure to check reviews of their customer care, since this is the first place you'll need to turn if you're unsure about something during your treatment.

Find the right clear aligners for you
  • Treats up to 90% of Cases
  • Up to 40% cheaper than Invisalign
  • Buy now, pay later in interest-free instalments.
  • Rated 4.9/5 on Trustpilot
  • As seen on 5, BBC, 4, DailyExpress, TheMail
  • Get 5% OFF with our discount code DENTALY5OFF and FREE Whitening and Retainers worth £790

Smile White offers a hybrid model for clear aligner treatment. You have 3 in-office appointments, so your dentist can ensure in person that your treatment is going as planned.

That means that, unlike other clear aligners, Smile White can treat even the more complex cases of bite misalignment.

To get started:

Every treatment comes with free teeth whitening, so you can whiten your teeth while you straighten them!

  • Hybrid in-office and remote treatment
  • In-person visits with your orthodontist for safe, effective treatment
  • Treats even complex cases of misalignment
  • Various pricing options
Book your consult
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Discover the flexibility and effectiveness of Impress Invisible Braces, the hybrid orthodontic solution that blends in-person care with the convenience of remote appointments. Suitable for both kids and adults, Impress offers a range of treatment options designed to cater to various needs, from mild to severe cases of misalignment. With the initial consultation happening in person, you're assured of a tailored treatment plan that can address even the most complex orthodontic issues.

Impress Treatment Plans:

  • Impress Super Light ($6,999): Perfect for mild cases, this plan promises results in up to 3 months, making it the quickest route to a better smile.
  • Impress ($4,599): Designed for moderate cases, this option aims to perfect your smile within 4-10 months.
  • Impress Plus ($5,599): Tailored for moderate cases requiring a bit more time, this plan spans 11-14 months.
  • Impress Advanced ($6,999): The go-to choice for complex cases, offering comprehensive treatment over 11-24 months.
  • Teens ($4,599): Specifically designed for teenagers, this plan addresses mild cases within 4-10 months, ensuring a confident smile during those crucial years.
  • Impress Kids ($4,599): Offering orthodontic treatment for children, this plan covers a period between 8-18 months, setting the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

With flexible payment plans available, starting your journey to a perfect smile has never been easier or more accessible. Whether you're looking for a quick fix or need extensive treatment, Impress Invisible Braces provide a tailored solution that meets your needs and budget. Click below to get started!

Find out if you're a candidate!
  • Free retainers and whitening
  • Nighttime aligners available
  • 0% interest finance options
  • £1,395 £1,295 or £83.33/month
Save £100 on NewSmile
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NewSmile is a Canadian company that brought its clear aligners to the UK market in 2022. NewSmile aligners are made from the clearest material and the company offers excellent service at the best price.

They don't have any physical locations, so you'll need to purchase an aligner kit to get started. One of their Impression Specialists will guide you through the process on a video call when you're ready.

NewSmile aligners are very affordable, costing just £1,395 (currently discounted to £1,295). But even better, this price includes whitening foam to use in your aligners, plus your first set of retainers!

Choose their daytime package for treatment in 4-6 months, or nighttime aligners for a more discreet treatment that takes 8-10 months. Both options come with 0% interest payment plans available.


If you're trying to decide whether Invisalign or Smile Direct Club aligners are best for you, it may simply come down to a balance of individual preference and budget. Sure, SmileDirectClub is more affordable in most cases, but you're not getting hands-on care from a dentist or orthodontist.

smiledirectclub vs invisalign
With Invisalign, you get face-to-face appointments with your doctor

If you want to get a second opinion before committing to a certain brand, you can ask a dentist, but make sure to find one that you can trust to offer you an unbiased opinion.

We recommend you read our full guide to Invisalign alternatives if you'd like to know more about the other brands available.

Ultimately, SmileDirectClub aligners are an affordable way to correct mild orthodontic issues without having to deal with traditional braces or dentist appointments.


What is the cost difference between Smile Direct and Invisalign treatment?

There are two ways to pay for Smile Direct Club. You can pay a lump sum of £1,639, or you can pay in instalments of £69.43 per month (£1,805.19 total). 

Invisalign also has the option to pay all at once or to follow a payment plan. The prices vary a lot more with Invisalign options than with Smile Direct Club. Invisalign treatment costs anywhere from £2,000 to £5,500.

Is Invisalign or Smile Direct Club safer?

Both Smile Direct Club and Invisalign work with qualified dentists and orthodontists to develop and supervise your treatment, so safety shouldn't be a concern.

Is Smile Direct Club as good as Invisalign?

Yes and no, depending on the treatment you need. Invisalign aligners can treat mild to complex cases of malocclusion, while Smile Direct can only treat mild to moderate, and mostly mild at that.

Some people with mild teeth straightening needs have had successful treatment with this brand, but for more severe cases, you'll have to choose an in-office brand like Invisalign, or even traditional braces.

Does Invisalign own Smile Direct Club?

Align Technology is the company that makes Invisalign's aligners, and at one point part-owned Smile Direct Club. They have since parted ways and Smile Direct is now owned by Camelot Venture Group.

Use “DENTALY5OFF” to get an additional 5% discount.

Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club: Which Aligners Are Best?
4.3 (86.67%) 21 vote[s]


NCBIEfficient Design of a Clear Aligner Attachment to Induce Bodily Tooth Movement in Orthodontic Treatment Using Finite Element Analysis. Consulted 23rd February 2023.

Prices stated are indicative only and are based on publicised treatment prices at dental clinics across the UK.