Invisalign alternatives are copious and common 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.
What’s more, the desire to have the perfect smile comes with being a part of modern-day society. Not to mention straighter teeth are also important when it comes to overall oral health.
So how is one to choose between Invisalign and alternatives with this embarrassment of options?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all of the Invisalign competitors out there, don’t worry! We’ve created this guide that will cover Invisalign competitors and alternatives, both in-office and at-home, including but not limited to:
- Smile Direct Club
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.
Table of contents
- 1 In-office Invisalign Alternatives
- 2 At-home Invisalign Alternatives
- 3 Invisalign vs Competitors Summary
- 4 Problems with cheaper alternatives to Invisalign
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 FAQs
In-office Invisalign Alternatives
ClearCorrect was founded in 2006 and is the main competitor to Invisalign. That’s because the experience and process 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. Many patients appreciate the professional supervision that Invisalign and ClearCorrect offer. What’s more, prices for ClearCorrect are comparable to Invisalign, costing anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000.
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.
Read our article on ClearCorrect vs Invisalign to read more about the similarities and differences.
Uniform Teeth is similar to ClearCorrect and Invisalign because treatment includes regular meetings with your orthodontist. This, of course, is reflected in the higher cost ($3,500) than you’ll see with remote-care clear aligners.
Uniform claims to be different from Invisalign by employing only trained orthodontists who specialize in clear aligners, which they say helps cut treatment time down by 50%. They are also proud to say that their aligners are made in the United States.
Since, like Invisalign, you have in-office visits with an orthodontist, Uniform Teeth aligners can be used to treat not just mild, but also severe cases of malocclusion.
According to their website, most patients finish treatment within 6 months, and the average cost is between $2,500 and $5,000.
Orthly has made their mark on the clear aligner industry by providing an option between in-office options like Invisalign, and completely remote options like SmileDirectClub. Should you opt for treatment with Orthly, you will meet with an orthodontist who creates and supervises your treatment plan. For most treatment plans, you only meet with your orthodontist at the beginning and then 1-3 times more during the treatment process. However, you also have the option to meet with an Orthly dentist in-person if needed.
Due to the greater amount of supervision with Orthly than with remote clear aligners, Orthly can treat complex cases of malocclusion.
Distinguishing itself from Invisalign, Orthly doesn’t use teeth attachments, and their clear aligners have a “flowing scalloped” edge that fits to your teeth along the gum line. This, in theory, results in a more natural look and shorter treatment time, due to the extra pressure exerted on your teeth.
At-home Invisalign Alternatives
The following Invisalign Alternatives all share two things in common that separate them from Invisalign: There are no regular in-office visits with your dentist or orthodontist, and they are, on average, cheaper. Invisalign competitors tout the remote aspect as a pro for those who are interested in Invisalign but would prefer a cheaper alternative, as it allows for lower costs and is said to be more convenient.
Invisalign, however, would argue that this is one of the downsides of at-home braces, because, according to Invisalign, due to lack of professional supervision, they aren’t entirely safe, nor is their accuracy guaranteed.
As you read through these descriptions of the at-home aligner options, keep in mind that the purpose of each is relatively the same: Correct cases of malocclusion that aren’t so severe they require careful dentist supervision or surgery. The main differences between these alternatives to Invisalign will be costs, treatment time, severity of cases they can treat, and the availability of in-person assistance.
SmileDirectClub (SDC) was the first popular alternative to Invisalign braces to make its mark on the teeth straightening market. It entered the clear aligner race in 2014, advertised as a convenient and cheap alternative to Invisalign.
SDC allows customers to take their own dental impressions at home. You then send them to SDC for orthodontists to review, and chart your teeth straightening journey, before mailing you your clear aligners. If customers are more comfortable going to a physical location so an SDC representative can make the dental impressions, there are now over 75 stores around the United States where that can be done.
SDC has been successful due to its social media campaign, helping it to gain quite a bit of brand recognition, and its affordable pricing. For SDC clear aligners you make a one-time payment of $1,895.
Treatment with SDC usually lasts between six and 18 months, and you are assigned a dentist or orthodontist to check in with you and see how your teeth are progressing.
Other positives to SDC include:
- A+ rating from Better Business Bureau
- Good customer service
- 30-day guarantee allows you to be completely refunded if you aren’t satisfied with your aligners
Since SDC has become so popular there are tons of video reviews out there, both positive and negative. Check out this video for an example of a positive review:
And now for a little equilibrium check out this video of an unhappy patient’s experience:
Smile Direct Club is growing in popularity due to its convenience, lower cost and continued success in teeth straightening. They’ve also introduced the new Nighttime Clear Aligners, which only have to be worn for 10 hours a day, so mostly while you sleep.
If you think you might be a candidate for at-home braces like Smile Direct Club, you can take their free online Smile Assessment to find out. Just click the button below!
CandidCo involves a process very similar to that of SDC, as another at-home clear aligner that is a cheaper alternative to Invisalign braces. With Candid, you can either visit one of their physical locations so that a representative can determine if you are eligible, or order a kit for $95 to find out on your own if you’re eligible. The $95 will be refunded in full if it turns out you aren’t a candidate for this type of clear aligner.
Candid “differenciates” themselves from other home clear aligners by stressing that they only use expert doctors, that they have high standards of care, and that the aligners are comfortable and virtually invisible. Although, to be fair, that seems to be pretty much what most clear aligner companies are offering.
Treatment with Candid takes an average of six months, and you have two payment options to choose from: a one-time payment of $1,900, or $88/month.
SnapCorrect is one of the cheapest clear aligner alternatives to Invisalign on the market, costing a total of $1,749. If you qualify, you can also opt for a payment plan of $80.84 per month. SnapCorrect differs from SDC and Candid in that there don’t seem to be any physical stores where you can go if you’d rather get your impressions done with the help of a representative.
SnapCorrect also claims that not only are they less expensive than SDC, they are also much clearer and therefore less noticeable. They tout contoured edges on the top of the aligner that don’t cut into your gum line (which they claim is a problem with SDC).
As far as a self-comparison with Invisalign goes, SnapCorrect claims that their aligners are less noticeable than Invisalign, due to the almost total transparency of their retainers. They also mention the benefit of not needing attachments on teeth, and no visits to the dentist, making it a more convenient alternative to Invisalign.
The thing that differenciates SmileLove the most from the other Invisalign competitors is that they have the most affordable payment plan. You can pay as little as $66 per month over 12, 18 or 24 months. You are subject to a credit check and a down payment might be required.
This monthly payment includes:
- At-home impression kit
- Whitening kit
- Post-treatment retainers
SmileLove accepts Health Savings and Flexible Spending Account plans to help with costs as well.
SmileLove works very similarly to SnapCorrect; you take your impressions at home, send them in and doctors will develop a plan. There’s no satisfaction guarantee with SmileLove. You can return your impression kit unopened and unused within 30 days, but once you open it you’re locked in.
SmileLove has a good rating from the Better Business Bureau, and although they came later to the game, it seems they are able to keep up with other competitors.
Invisalign vs Competitors Summary
So that’s a lot of information we just went over about alternatives to Invisalign. For a quick summary, have a look at the following table that compares Invisalign with Invisalign competitors.
Problems with cheaper alternatives to Invisalign
Invisalign and its other competitors that require in-office visits cost more than the sort of hands-off, at-home clear aligners. The lower cost and often shorter treatment times attract many looking for more affordable and convenient teeth straightening solutions.
And although it’s true that many for many cases of malocclusion, at-home options may be a sufficient solution as an alternative to Invisalign. However, the American Dental Association warns about some of these options, due to “potential harm to patients” and the American Association of Orthodontics has issued a consumer alert about these products.
This is all to say, you should look at all of your options, do thorough research and consult your trusted dentist before beginning any tooth-straightening procedure. And remember that shorter treatment time and lower costs don’t necessarily mean that they are better, but you also shouldn’t pay more for an expensive treatment, when your problem can be fixed with a cheaper option.
Nowadays there are a plethora of options for those looking to straighten teeth. Not only are there countless alternatives to traditional metal braces, but there also many alternatives to clear aligners like Invisalign. And as a consumer, we encourage you to investigate thoroughly and shop around until you find the best option for you. While you’re doing your research, keep in mind that cheap doesn’t necessarily mean better, and sometimes it’s worth paying more upfront, so you don’t have to pay more later.
And remember, if you’re ready to begin your journey with at-home clear aligners, take the Smile Direct Club Smile Assessment now.
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, and don’t mind limited-to-no dentist supervision, you can opt for at-home options like SmileDirectClub or SnapCorrect.
If you would like more supervision from an orthodontist, and don’t mind paying the higher price, then you may be more comfortable with Invisalign, Uniform Teeth or Orthly. Additionally, if you have a complex or severe case of malocclusion, then aligners that require in-office visits may be your only option, (besides traditional braces of course).
When considering your options, please always consult your dentist for their professional opinion.
What are some cheaper alternatives to Invisalign?
A cheap Invisalign alternative might include online or at-home options like SmileDirectClub, SmileLove and SnapCorrect. These are just a few of the names that have flooded the remote-care clear aligner industry in the past few years.
What’s the best Invisalign alternative at home?
The best at-home Invisalign alternative will be whatever is best for you as an individual. SmileDirectClub is one of the most popular brands available now, and has a lot of positive reviews. They also have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. That being said, always proceed with caution when considering at-home alternatives to Invisalign.
ADA.org: ADA discourages DIY orthodontics through resolution. Consulted 12th October 2019.
AAO: Questions to Consider When Researching Direct-To-Consumer Orthodontic Companies. Consulted 12th October 2019.