After staring at your crooked teeth in the mirror for the last few years, you need to straighten your smile. A straight smile does a lot to help you with your first impression when you meet new people. Having a mouthful of gapped or crooked teeth can kill your confidence in social situations.
Clear aligners can help you get the smile you deserve in life. The two top competitors in this market are Smile Direct Club and Invisalign. While they’re both clear aligner systems, there are some significant differences.
In our review of Smile Direct Club vs Invisalign, we unpack everything you need to know about these companies’ offerings. We’ll look at the differences between the systems and their pricing. We aim to help you select the right aligner system to match your dental needs and your budget.
Smile Direct Club vs Invisalign: What Is Invisalign?
Founded in the late nineties by two Stanford students, Zia Chishti and Kelsey Wirth, Invisalign is the world’s most popular and successful orthodontic aligner system. The company launched a massive $31-million TV ad campaign in 200, introducing America to Invisalign, and the rest is history.
Over the last 20-years of operations, Invisalign helped more than 4-million people straighten their smiles. Invisalign is the only dental aligner system recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). The FDA also recognizes Invisalign aligners as a Class II medical device.
With an impressive legacy and track record, Invisalign seems like the best choice for straightening your teeth – until you see the price tag for the treatment.
Smile Direct Club vs Invisalign: What Is Smile Direct Club?
Founded in 2014 by Jordan Katzman and Alex Fenkell, Smile Direct Club is the original at-home aligner brand. Alex and Jordan were friends in college, and they both had to deal with a social life dominated by their insecurities around their orthodontics.
After leaving school, the duo decided to enter the clear aligner market. After founding the company, it experienced rapid growth, making it the most successful at-home aligner system and a serious competitor to Invisalign.
To date, the company has helped more than a million people get the smile they deserve. SDC has mid-tier pricing on its aligner system, but it’s much more affordable than Invisalign. With SDC, you could save as much as 60% on the cost of Invisalign treatment.
What’s the Difference Between Invisalign and SmileDirectClub?
Take a look at Invisalign and SmileDirectClub aligners in a visual comparison, and they look remarkably similar. Both companies use clear plastic for your aligners that doesn’t scratch your teeth or damage your gums. Smile Direct Club aligners are slightly thinner than Invisalign. As a result, you get a more natural fit and feel, but the aligners aren’t as durable as Invisalign.
The real difference between Smile Direct Club and Invisalign comes in the form of the cost and the treatment. Let’s look into both to see which option is the right choice for your new smile.
What Do Smile Direct Club and Invisalign Cost?
Smile Direct Club Cost
If you want to start with Smile Direct Club, you’ll need to order an impression kit at the cost of $59. Alternatively, you can visit a Smile Shop location in malls across America for a free scan of your teeth.
If Smile Direct Club approves you for treatment, you’ll make a payment of $1,950 for your aligners. Smile Direct Club realizes not everyone can afford this price upfront, and you get an option to take your system on credit. Smile Pay in-house financing will issue you your treatment without conducting a credit check.
Smile Pay financing allows you to take your Smile Direct Club aligners for a down payment of $250 and 24-monthly installments of $89. You also get free teeth whitening, valued at $67, included with your purchase.
Invisalign requires you to visit your orthodontist’s office for assessment. There are five different Invisalign systems, each used to resolve specific dental issues involving overcrowding or gapping of your teeth.
The Invisalign i7 and Express versions are the most affordable, but it’s still going to cost you $3,500 to $5,000 for the treatment. The Full and Teen options could cost you upwards of $8,000 for the set.
The bulk of the costs involved with your Invisalign treatment come in the form of orthodontic consultations. Every time you visit your doctor, they’ll charge you, and these costs accumulate.
Smile Direct Club vs Invisalign: Pros and Cons
- Professionally managed aftercare with an orthodontist.
- More than 4-million customers globally.
- The only aligner system recognized by the FDA and ADA.
- Three to four times the cost of Smile Direct Club.
- Requires checkups with an orthodontist.
- Limited insurance contribution.
- No teeth whitening included.
Smile Direct Club Pros
- A third to a quarter of the cost of Invisalign.
- At-home teeth straightening with no trips to the orthodontist.
- Affordable smile correction.
- Leading at-home brand.
- In-house financing of your treatment available.
- Insurance covers a large part of your treatment costs.
- Free teeth whitening.
Smile Direct Club Cons
- Not registered with the ADA or FDA.
- Limited aftercare and support compared to Invisalign.
Smile Direct Club vs Invisalign: Our Recommendation
Invisalign is the world’s leading clear aligner system. With over 4-million satisfied customers worldwide, it’s easy to see why this treatment is one of the best ways to correct your smile. If you don’t want to do things at home and feel you need professional aftercare during your treatment, Invisalign is the better option.
Smile Direct Club can’t compare to the professional aftercare you get sitting in an orthodontist’s chair. However, you’ll pay for this privilege, and you can expect it to show up in your treatment costs. Smile Direct Club might not offer you the same aftercare level, but you do get a treatment plan designed by a real orthodontist.
If you’re on a budget and need the most affordable solution to straighten your teeth, Smile Direct Club is the better option. Typically, Smile Direct Club aligners are around 70% less for the costs of your treatment compared to Invisalign. Considering you get the same results, it’s a massive saving, as long as you’re comfortable with remote aftercare.