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Best Invisible Braces: Which Aligner Brand is Right for You?

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best invisible braces
There are so many options!

What are the best invisible braces? With so many brands to choose from it can be hard to know for sure. Our favorites include brands like Candid, AlignerCo, Invisalign and Smile Direct Club, but there are plenty of others to choose from as well.

To help you decide which is the best clear aligners brand to straighten your teeth, we'll have a look at things like:

  • Eligibility for treatment
  • Cost of treatment
  • Treatment time
  • Dentist or orthodontist supervision

We hope that by the end of this article you have a much clearer idea of which brand could work for you.

How do invisible braces work?

First things first, let's review the how and why of invisible braces.

Invisible braces are plastic ‘trays' that fit over your teeth and gradually move your teeth into the correct position. The plastic is clear so that you can straighten your teeth more discreetly than with traditional metal braces. They are also removable, so if you need to take an important photo or attend an important event, you can briefly take them out, although usually for no longer than two hours, as they must be worn for 22 hours a day.

This type of orthodontics aims to provide a solution to the fact that around 60% to 75% of the global population has misaligned teeth every year, according to Align Technology.

There are two main kinds of invisible braces: at-home, and in-office. Below we'll briefly go over the differences.

In-office braces

In-office isn't really the official name of this type of aligner, but refers to the fact that treatment with these invisible braces requires regular, in-office visits with your dentist or orthodontist. You begin with an in-person consultation with your braces provider, at which point they may take molds or 3D scans of your mouth and teeth. They then plan your treatment and your invisible aligners are crafted in a lab.

Once your aligners are ready, you'll go back to see your dentist who will make sure that your first pair of aligners fits as it should, and you'll make an appointment for your next visit. At each visit, if all goes well, you'll get to move on to your next set of aligners, and so on and so forth until you have a perfect smile.

best aligners
In-office braces may be the best option for you

When you're all finished with your treatment, your dentist will give you retainers to wear for the rest of your life to keep your teeth in place. But don't worry, after the first few weeks or so you only have to wear your retainer at night. Currently the two most popular brands of in-office braces are Invisalign and ClearCorrect, both of which we'll discuss briefly below.

At-home braces

The teledentistry invisible braces market is booming, and that's an understatement. In fact, the market is estimated to reach $8.2 Billion by 2026. The goal of most at-home braces brands is to provide a more convenient and more affordable way to straighten your teeth. Let's face it, not everyone has upwards of $3,000 lying around for orthodontics, especially if your problems are mostly cosmetic. But that shouldn't mean that just because you're not wealthy you should have to go without straight teeth. In fact, crooked smiles can have both physical and social consequences, and even enhance the levels of inequality in our society….but we digress!

How do these teledentistry braces work? Well, they work very much like in-office clear aligners, except that everything is done remotely. This might sound odd at first, but studies have found that teledentistry could be comparable to in-office visits. First, you take an online assessment that will let you know if you're eligible for at-home braces. If you are, you can then order an impression kit online and take the molds of your teeth at home. You then send your molds in and a dentist or orthodontist remotely creates your treatment plan. Once your aligners are made, they are all sent to you at the same time, and you can begin your treatment. Your treatment will involve remote monitoring with your dentist, sometimes involving video chat check-ins. Once you're done with treatment, just like with any other kind of braces, you'll have to wear a retainer at night for the rest of your life.

The most notable at-home aligner brands are Candid, AlignerCo, Smile Direct, Byte, Smilelove and Snapcorrect. Candid and Smile Direct also have physical locations where you can have certified representatives take 3D scans of your teeth if you don't like the idea of taking your own molds at home.

The best teeth aligners: At-home

As promised let's take a look at some of the best invisible aligners brands on the market today.

Candid

best inviible aligners
Some of the best invisible aligners are from Candid

Candid clear aligners give you the option of 100% remote orthodontic treatment, but if you aren't comfortable taking your own molds with impression kits at home, you can visit a Candid Studio where a trained representative will take 3D scans of your teeth. The process is very easy and straightforward:

  • Take Candid's Smile Assessment online
  • Order your impression kit and make your impressions, or visit a Candid Studio to get scans of your teeth
  • Receive your aligners in the mail and begin your orthodontic treatment
  • Whiten while you straighten with Candid's whitening foam
  • Check-in every 10 days with your teeth scanner and Dental Monitoring
  • Post treatment care with retainers

This is actually our favorite brand of clear aligners, for a couple of reasons:

  • Physical locations: It's great that if you need to speak with someone in person, or you want 3D scans of your teeth instead of ordering an impression kit, you can visit a Candid Studio at no cost to you.
  • Dentists vs orthodontists: While many brands work with dentists or orthodontists to plan your orthodontic treatment, Candid works exclusively with orthodontists. Why is this important? Because orthodontists are dentists who then go on to specialize in the art of teeth straightening.
  • Customer service: According to Candid invisible aligners reviews, Candid has wonderful customer service, including an online video chat option so you can talk with someone in real-time if you have any issues.

There's another reason we prefer Candid and that's because of their partnership with medical tech company Dental Monitoring. Through this partnership, they use AI-based remote monitoring technology, including a ScanBox that you use every 10 days to take pictures of your teeth. The AI technology then analyzes the images of your teeth and sends the information along to your orthodontist who will have a look and determine if you're ready to move on to your next set of aligners.

Best clear aligners
AI tech speeds up treatment time

The benefits of this technology are wide ranging. For one, it holds patients more accountable. Many remote aligner wearers don't wear their aligners as often as they should. This slows treatment down and can even negatively impact your results. Candid's system sends reminders to patients to follow their program, while more frequent check-ins with their orthodontists helps keep them on track.

Another way that this special remote monitoring system benefits patients is by significantly cutting down treatment time. Without the AI technology, Candid treatment time is on average six months, rarely exceeding 11 months, with check-ins with your orthodontist every two weeks. But with this new technology, since you are checking in with your orthodontist more frequently, it means that if you get their OK, you can move on to your next aligner trays in 10 days as opposed to two weeks. This results in an average of a 20 to 30% reduction rate in treatment time.

Read more about Candid in our in-depth review here, and if this sounds like a system that interests you, you can take their Smile Assessment now to get started.

Have a look at the following table for a summary of Candid highlights:

Brand Cost Average treatment time Orthodontists or dentists? Eligible cases Extras
Candid $2,400 6 months Orthodontists Mild to moderate malocclusion Dental Monitoring and AI tech

AlignerCo

AlignerCo is another brand we prefer over others, primarily because of the cost and the fact that just like Candid, they work exclusively with orthodontists to plan and monitor your treatment.

The cost is especially appealing with AlignerCo as it is the cheapest option available. AlignerCo costs just $1,145 if you decide to purchase their standard plan called SmileAdvantage. They also offer payment plans if that works best with your budget. And for those who don't mind paying a bit more (but still less than for other brands), AlignerCo offers a nighttime option for just $1,345. You can find out more about AlignerCo in our in-depth article here. You can also take their online assessment now to get started with this affordable treatment.

Brand Cost Average treatment time Orthodontists or dentists? Eligible cases Extras
AlignerCo $1,145 6 months Orthodontists Mild to moderate malocclusion Dental Monitoring and AI tech

Smile Direct Club

Smile Direct Club was one of the first teledentistry aligners brands to appear. At $1,895 they are neither the most expensive nor the cheapest on the market. One thing that stands out about Smile Direct is that they offer a nighttime option, which means you only have to wear your aligners for 10 hours a day (ideally while you sleep, with a little run-over).

Read more about Smile Direct in our article here, and have a look at the table below for a summary of its features:

Brand Cost Average treatment time Orthodontists or dentists? Eligible cases Extras
Smile Direct Club $1,895 6 months Either Mild to moderate malocclusion Nighttime option

Byte

Byte is one of the newer brands to the clear aligner game. It's an at-home brand, founded to increase access to orthodontic treatment with shorter treatment time and a lower pricetag. Your treatment is planned exclusively with orthodontists and they offer a nighttime version, with payment plans that are available as well.

Their special product is called HyperByte, which is a device that uses pulse therapy to speed up treatment time. In fact, the average treatment time with Byte is just three months. Byte is also committed to community outreach and service, which is perhaps what we most love about them.

We have a whole article about Byte if you want to find out more. And if it sounds like a brand you might be interested in, you can order your Byte impression kit now.

Otherwise, check out the table below:

Brand Cost Average treatment time Orthodontists or dentists? Eligible cases Extras
Byte $1,895 for standard, $2,245 for nighttime 3 months Orthodontists Mild to moderate malocclusion Nighttime option and HyperByte technology

The best teeth aligners: In-office

In-office invisible aligners tend to be more expensive than their at-home counterparts, however they may be your only option (besides traditional braces) if you have a more complex case of malocclusion. Let's take a closer look at two of the most popular and potentially best in-office brands: Invisalign and ClearCorrect.

Invisalign

Invisalign is the poster child for invisible aligners teeth straightening. Besides their invisible and removable nature, these braces are almost more similar to traditional braces than they are to at-home options.

Invisalign treatment time can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months and they cost between $3,500 and $8,500. Your treatment is monitored during in-person visits with your dentist, which is why Invisalign can also be used to treat more severe cases of malocclusion. Find out more about Invisalign in our complete guide here.

ClearCorrect

ClearCorrect is the same as Invisalign in process and treatment time. The differences are the price and orthodontist vs dentist involvement. The price for ClearCorrect can be anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000, and treatment is planned exclusively with orthodontists. Read more about ClearCorrect here.

Other brands

There are myriad brands of clear aligners and teledentistry aligners options on the market today, and the offerings are bound to keep growing. Two other brands that we've reviewed are SnapCorrect and Smilelove. They are quite similar with a bit of a price difference and treatment time difference.

Additionally, Smilelove is made with Essix plastic, the same plastic used in Essix retainers, and are known for being even more invisible than most brands. You can check the table below to see how they compare to each other.

Brand Cost Average treatment time Orthodontists or dentists? Eligible cases Extras
SnapCorrect $1,749 9 months Either Mild to moderate malocclusion N/A
Smilelove $1,895 4-6 months Either Mild to moderate malocclusion N/A

How do these brands differ?

There's a lot of information to sort through when it comes to choosing the best aligners for you, and it can definitely become overwhelming. The most important differences to look for when deciding which invisible braces are best for you are generally the following:

  • In-office or at-home: Some people prefer the convenience of remote treatment, while others feel more comfortable with in-person monitoring.
  • Cases they treat: Some brands like Invisalign or ClearCorrect can treat more complex cases of malocclusion, while the majority of at-home invisible brands are only meant for mild to moderate malocclusion.
  • Cost: If price is a big issue for you you may want to consider one of the more affordable, at-home invisible options, especially those that offer payment plans.
  • Nighttime option: Standard treatment plans usually involve wearing your aligners for at least 22 hours every day. If you know that you don't want to wear your aligners during the day, you'll have to consider a brand that offers a nighttime wear option.
  • Average treatment time: Ultimately, it's really not your decision how long treatment will take; it depends on the severity of straightening that you need. But if you are dead-set on spending as little time with aligners as possible you may want to check out the brands with the fastest average treatment time, or brands like Candid that offer special technology to speed treatment up.

To help you sort which brand meets your requirements, we've compiled all of the differences and similarities for each brand in the table below.

Candid AlignerCo Smile Direct Club Byte Invisalign ClearCorrect
Remote or in-office? Remote Remote Remote Remote In-office In-office
Orthodontist or dentists Orthodontists Orthodontists Either Orthodontists Either Orthodontists
Average treatment time 6 months 6 months 6 months 3 months 12–18 months 12–18 months
Physical locations? Yes No Yes No N/A N/A
For... Mild to moderate malocclusion Mild to moderate malocclusion Mild to moderate malocclusion Mild to moderate malocclusion Mild to severe malocclusion Mild to severe malocclusion
Cost $2,400 $1,145 with payment plans available $1,895 $1,895 and $2,245 for nighttime $3,500–$8,500 $2,000–$8,000
Extras Dental Monitoring and AI technology N/A Nighttime option HyperByte and nighttime option N/A N/A
All prices correct at time of writing but subject to change

Choosing the best invisible braces brand for you

Every mouth, every budget and every lifestyle is different. What works for some may not work for you. To help you decide we've outlined which brands are the best for you depending on what you're looking for.

Choose Candid if:

  • You want a discreet way to straighten your teeth
  • You want the convenience of remote treatment
  • You want the security of physical locations if you need them
  • You want to pay less than you would for in-office brands like Invisalign
  • It's important to you to work exclusively with an orthodontist
  • You want more accurate and efficient treatment with AI technology
  • Customer service is important to you
  • You don't want to compromise quality of care for a lower price tag
  • You have mild to moderate malocclusion

Choose AlignerCo if:

  • You want a discreet way to straighten your teeth
  • You want the convenience of remote treatment
  • You are looking for the best price
  • You want to work exclusively with orthodontists
  • You have mild to moderate malocclusion

Choose Invisalign if:

  • You want a discreet way to straighten your teeth
  • You don't care if you work with an orthodontist or a dentist
  • You want in-person monitoring
  • You don't mind higher costs for direct care
  • You have mild to severe malocclusion

Choose Smile Direct Club if

  • You want a discreet way to straighten your teeth
  • You want the convenience of remote treatment
  • You want the security of physical locations if you need them
  • You want to pay less than you would for in-office brands like Invisalign
  • You want a nighttime option
  • You have mild to moderate malocclusion

Choose Byte if

  • You want a discreet way to straighten your teeth
  • You want the convenience of remote treatment
  • You want to work exclusively with orthodontists
  • You have mild to moderate malocclusion
  • You don't mind paying more for a nighttime option
  • You want to use HyperByte technology to speed up treatment

Choose Smilelove if

  • You want a discreet way to straighten your teeth
  • You want the convenience of remote treatment
  • You are looking for the best price
  • You have mild to moderate malocclusion

Choose Snapcorrect if

  • You want a discreet way to straighten your teeth
  • You want the convenience of remote treatment
  • You are looking for the best price
  • You have mild to moderate malocclusion

Choose ClearCorrect if

  • You want a discreet way to straighten your teeth
  • You want to work exclusively with an orthodontist
  • You want in-person monitoring
  • You don't mind higher costs for direct care
  • You have mild to severe malocclusion

You've got a big decision ahead of you. Whatever you decide, invisible braces are considered by many to be the best way to straighten teeth. Have a look at the video below to see why the Chief Dental Officer of Candid recommends clear aligners over regular braces.

The clear aligners vs. braces decision can be tricky. In this video, Dr. Lynn Hurst explains the benefits of clear aligners. This video touches on three main differences between clear aligners (also known as clear braces or invisible braces) and traditional fixed braces. While both of these teeth straightening options are effective, clear aligners have some very significant advantages. Here are the topics Dr. Hurst addresses in this video: 1) Oral hygiene. Because invisible aligners are removable, they make it much easier to maintain your oral health than braces do. Plus, they don’t leave white spots on your teeth after treatment. 2) Comfort. Dr. Hurst describes the difference between controlled and uncontrolled tooth movement: in other words, the targeted precision of treatment with clear aligners vs. the more generalized movement you get with braces. 3) Discreteness. This one is pretty simple. By the way, Dr. Hurst has treated tens of thousands of patients with traditional braces and now with invisible braces, too — so he’s an expert in these two methods of teeth alignment. He was an early adopter of Invisalign, and he’s been treating his own patients with clear aligners exclusively for years. And, as he told us during the shoot: “I had traditional braces in my twenties — the bands, the brackets, the wires, all of those things.” Which makes him the perfect person to speak to clear aligners vs. braces, since he’s lived the difference himself. Want to learn more about the different options for straightening your teeth? Check out these articles: All Your Teeth Straightening Options, Explained https://www.candidco.com/theimpression/article/teeth-straightening-options 9 Questions About Clear Aligners, Answered https://www.candidco.com/theimpression/article/questions-about-clear-aligners One more difference between braces and clear aligners that this video *doesn’t* touch on is price. At Candid, we provide clear aligner treatment with remote monitoring by an orthodontist for thousands less than braces. So you can get care directed by experts like Dr. Hurst no matter where you are.

Conclusion

With so many invisible braces options it can be overwhelming to figure out the best option for you. Our favorite is Candid since they work exclusively with orthodontists, offer affordable treatment, have physical locations for in-person assistance, and use Dental Monitoring and AI technology to make treatment more accurate and efficient. If you're interested in treatment with Candid, you can take their Smile Assessment now to get started.

However, when choosing the best brand for you, you'll need to consider your budget, your level of malocclusion, and how long you want to spend on treatment. And keep in mind that if you have severely crooked or misaligned teeth or jaws, you will most likely need to opt for an in-office version like Invisalign or ClearCorrect, and you might even have to go with traditional braces. The important thing is that you straighten your teeth for better oral health and overall health.

FAQs

Which brand has the best customer service?

Customer service is essential, especially when you're working with at-home braces. According to many customer reviews, Candid has some of the best customer service of all of the brands, with a live video chat option for real-time assistance.

What are the cheapest invisible braces?

The cheapest option currently on the market is AlignerCo at $1,145. They also offer payment plans if that works better for you. If you find options that are significantly cheaper, you must approach them with caution, and you should probably ask your dentist about them.

What works better braces or Invisalign?

Both Invisalign and traditional braces are highly effective treatment methods for those who have mild to severe malocclusion. However, if you have a particularly complex case of crooked or misaligned teeth or jaws, you may have to go with traditional braces.

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Contributors:
Natalie Asmussen
Natalie Asmussen
Natalie Asmussen on LinkedinNatalie Asmussen on Website
Natalie used to work as a Community Health Worker and Health Insurance Navigator. She continues to follow her passion for connecting people with the healthcare they need by writing informative content about dentistry and medicine.
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