Invisalign vs. Smile Direct Club: Who's The Clear Winner?

  • Invisalign and Smile Direct Club are popular options for clear aligner treatment, but they differ in the treatment process and supervision.
  • Invisalign involves in-person visits to the dentist, personalized treatment plans, and regular check-ins, while Smile Direct Club offers at-home options with remote consultations and progress checks.
  • Invisalign can address a wider range of teeth misalignments and bite problems, while Smile Direct Club focuses on more minor to moderate issues.
  • Smile Direct Club is generally more cost-effective compared to Invisalign, but it provides less in-person supervision and care.
  • When choosing between the two, consider factors such as specific dental needs, comfort, supervision preferences, aligner appearance, and treatment duration. Consulting with a certified provider is crucial for making an informed decision and ensuring long-term oral health.

In 2000, Align Technology introduced clear aligners as an alternative to traditional braces with their Invisalign product. The goal was to straighten teeth without using brackets and wires, but instead by using clear plastic trays, also called "aligners." Since then, the company has had a lot of success with its innovative solution, and millions of people have been treated with the Invisalign product.

Since it was so popular, it wasn't surprising that other options came out. The biggest of these companies is Smile Direct Club, which started selling clear aligners in 2014. The goal was to take teeth straightening to the next level by giving people a way to do it at home. And the company worked with Align Technology, albeit briefly, to make some of its aligners.

Since both Invisalign and Smile Direct Club use clear aligners to fix misaligned teeth, it would be easy to think that they are very similar. But there is a lot of confusion and bad information, which makes it hard for patients to choose wisely. Even though the aligners look similar on the outside, both companies can straighten teeth without anyone knowing. The difference is mostly in how the treatment is given.


How do they work?

With traditional braces, brackets are glued to the teeth and wires connect them together to put a gentle but constant force on the teeth. In the same way, aligners use steady pressure to move teeth. But instead of brackets, they use a series of trays that are made specifically for each patient based on impressions. Aligners can be taken off to clean your teeth, and they are almost invisible, so they can be used in private.


Steps for Invisalign Treatment

1. Go to the dentist to see if you area good candidate for treatment.

2. The dentist takes digital scans and makes a personalized treatment plan.

3. Made-to-order aligners are sent to the dentist.

4. Checking in with the dentist in person regularly to see how things are going

Smile Direct Club

Steps for Smile direct Club Treatment

1. Visit a Smile Shop for an in-person scan or

2. Use a dentist-approved at-home kit to make a mold of your teeth.

3. Have a dentist remotely check your suitability and approve your custom treatment.

4. Have regular remote checks with your dentist to check on your progress.

Aligners are a good alternative to traditional braces because they are more comfortable and less obvious. In this way, Smile Direct Club and Invisalign are the same. Both move teeth gently by using a series of clear plastic trays. But the two brands are very different in some important ways.


What are the main ways that Invisalign and Smile Direct Club are different?

Even though both Invisalign and Smile Direct Club straighten teeth with clear tray scaled aligners, they are not used in the same way. There are three big differences between them:


Invisalign is supervised by licensed dentists and orthodontists in Australia who make regular visits to the dentist. Smile Direct Club still has Australian registered dentists and orthodontists oversee the treatment, but the patient never has to go in for an in-person consultation. Then, a dentist monitors the progress of the treatment from afar, which is good for people who don't want to go to their dentist in person.

Case types

On the Smile Direct Club website, their aligner is advertised as a way to straighten teeth, and that is exactly what it does. Customers are told right away that their clear aligner system is made for minor to moderate misalignment of the teeth and some bite correction. This works in some situations, but it doesn't take into account complicated problems or major misalignments that need to be fixed. Invisalign, on the other hand, works to straighten teeth that are slightly, moderately, or severely out of place. It can also fix problems with the bite.


Smile Direct Club costs less than Invisalign all together. This can be tempting, but you need to think about it more. With Smile Direct Club, you don't have to see a dentist or orthodontist as often to finish your treatment. All supervision is done from a distance, which is helpful if you don't want to see a dentist at all during your treatment. But if you are worried about straightening your teeth without a dentist there to watch, Invisalign might make you feel more at ease.

What Should You Look for in a Clear Aligner?


The main differences between Invisalign and Smile Direct Club are how the treatment plan is delivered and how much it costs. When choosing a clear aligner, you should also think about the following:

1. Will The Aligners Work For You and Your Specific Situation?

When choosing an aligner, you need to think about your personal situation and the problem that needs to be fixed. If your bite is wrong or your teeth are very out of place, you need to make sure that smile direct club or Invisalign can fix these problems.

Smile Direct Club's main goal is to fix minor to moderate misalignment of the teeth and some bite problems. But they don't advertise that they can fix major misalignments. A Smile Direct Club dentist will use the telehealth platform to figure out if you are a good candidate for treatment and tell you if your problems can be fixed remotely. Invisalign, on the other hand, can be used to fix teeth that are slightly, moderately, or very badly out of place. It can also fix overcrowding, overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite.

There is also the question of what will happen after your teeth have moved. Will your bite change? If so, it could wear down the enamel on your teeth and cause cavities. In the long run, trying to straighten your teeth without taking care of your bite, both before and after, could hurt your oral health. So, when choosing a clear aligner, you should think about how it will affect both your mis aligned teeth and any bite problems you may have. This is why you need an initial consultation for either treatment option, so that your situation can be accurately assessed and you can find out if your misaligned teeth or bite problem scan be fixed.

2. Are You OK With Getting Treatment From Away?

Even though orthodontic treatment is safe, it is always possible that your teeth won't move the way they should. This won't give you a perfect smile, and it could also hurt your jaw, gums, and teeth. Because of this, both smile direct club and Invisalign treatment require regular checks by your dentist.

You should think about what kind of treatment supervision suits you best. Smile direct club lets you do your clear aligner treatment from the comfort of your own home, and you can ask for a check-in at any point during your treatment. On the other hand, you might like the idea of seeing your aligner dentist face-to-face in a dental office and being able to visit your dentist whenever you want. Whether you choose smile direct club or Invisalign, you will be working with a team of experts in straightening teeth.

3. What Do The Aligners Look A like?


The materials that go into clear aligners are very important to how well they work. Still, there is no proof that either smile direct club or Invisalign aligners are better than the other. So, we can't compare the two types of aligner materials in any way. But both brands have recently come up with new technology for their aligners. Below, we show how the new aligners from both brands are different from their old ones.

The smile direct club aligners are made of plastic that doesn't contain BPA and won't irritate your cheeks and gums as metal braces can. Smile direct club came out with comfort sense in January 2021.Comfort sense's aligners fit better because they are cut with a laser with great accuracy. By making the aligner thicker bit by bit, patients can start their treatment with less forceful movements. This means that, compared to their old plastic aligners, the new ones fit better and make it easier for patients to meet the "wear requirements" of their treatment plan.

Invisalign recently switched out their old single-layer EX30 plastic aligners for new ones made of an innovative material called SmartTrack. This came about after 260 tests on 260 different materials and eight years of experience. The old plastic aligner for Invisalign would lose its shape and strength after just a few days. In the end, this made the aligner a little less effective because it didn't have the constant force it needed to move the teeth. The new SmartTrack material is made of many layers and is very flexible. It was designed to apply a gentle but constant force. Compared to their old EX30 plastic aligner, the Smart Track material makes it easier to control how the teeth move while also making the aligner more comfortable. The new Smart Track aligner from Invisalign fits better around the teeth and is easier to put on and take off than its predecessor.

4. Will The Alignments Be Painful?

The other thing to think about with material, besides its ability to do the job, is comfort. Both Invisalign and smile direct club have recently made changes to their aligner technology, and now both say that their new aligners are more comfortable than their previous generations. Again, we have no proof that one aligner is more comfortable than the other. Below, we'll explain how both brands make their aligners comfortable.

Invisalign's new smart track aligner is more comfortable than its old ex30 plastic aligner. That's because the old Invisalign aligner material would lose some of the energy it needed to exert the right forces and start to slip. To make up for this, the aligners could sometimes be put on more tightly, making it a little more painful each time a new one was used. And if they come loose, they could rub against the cheeks and gums and cause sores or more discomfort. Compared to their previous plastic aligner, Invisalign's new smart track aligners are very flexible and fit the shape of your teeth better, giving you more control and comfort. Each aligner is cut to the gum line for maximum comfort, and it is made to fit the shape of the teeth to keep the gums from getting sore.

Smile Direct Club's Comfort Sense laser technology cuts the aligners so that they fit more smoothly. The aligners are not cut close to the gums. But instead, it was made straight across the top of the aligner so that it could turn with more force. The aligner also has different thicknesses that help patients ease into treatment. So, compared to Smile Direct Club's old plastic aligners, their new ones fit better and are more comfortable for patients.

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5. How Quickly Does It Work?

Both smile direct club and Invisalign take less time to fix than traditional metal braces. Treatment times for clear aligners depend on a number of things, such as how well you follow the treatment instructions and how bad your misalignment is.

Smile direct club says that its average treatment times are shorter than those of Invisalign(between 4-6 months). Invisalign treatments take longer and can fix mild to moderate malocclusion in as little as 6 months. In the end, the dentist will decide how long your treatment will take based on how bad your case is and how complicated it is.

Also, the Invisalign website says, "Treatment times are up to 50% faster with technological advances to the Invisalign system, including SmartTrack material. When you change your aligners every week instead of every two weeks."

Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club

Is it clear who won?

Smile Direct Club can straighten mild to moderate cases and fix some bite problems, but they don't claim to be able to fix more severe cases. Invisalign is a great way for both adults and teens to straighten their teeth and fix bite problems, no matter how simple or hard they are. Both Invisalign and Smile Direct Club are good ways to fix problems. But how well each method works for you will depend on your unique situation and your own preferences. Only you can decide, but don't do it by yourself. By talking to a certified clear aligner provider, you will know exactly what you need and which treatment will be best for your long-term oral health.