- Clear aligners are popular alternatives to traditional braces for many reasons, and consumers have a few choices of companies to work with.
- Smile Direct Club offers a cheaper version of clear aligners, but they lack the personal touch and can only correct basic alignment issues.
- Invisalign is more expensive, but they can address more dental issues and there are a lot of benefits to having regular visits with an orthodontist during treatment.
Clear aligners are one of the hottest new trends in teeth because they’ll improve your smile without a mouthful of metal. As the popularity grows, more companies are competing for the chance to mend your mouth.
Arguably, the two biggest names in clear aligners are Invisalign and Smile Direct Club, but which deserves your business? They offer very similar services, but there are some key differences that might impact your decision.
The Skinny on Smile Direct Club
Smile Direct Club’s biggest claims are pricing and convenience. For some people, these benefits may sell them on using Smile Direct Club. However, before you jump on board, you may want to dig a little deeper on both claims.
The Pricing Perk
Smile Direct Club’s price is indeed lower than Invisalign. However, this may be a case of getting what you pay for. Several users have come forward to praise the results they achieved from Smile Direct Club. What happens if your results aren’t up to par and you need more treatment? Smile Direct Club will not help with additional treatment.
Oh, and your post-treatment retainer is not included in the original price tag. You’ll have to purchase one from them for an additional fee.
Is the Convenience Worth the Cost?
The other benefit to Smile Direct Club is that you don’t have to visit a dentist at any point. Everything is done virtually or by mail, which can be a pro or con depending on your needs and lifestyle. The upside to no follow-up visits is saving you time, but there are downsides to consider.
- While your case will be handled by a licensed dental professional on their end, you won’t be able to discuss past treatment or personal concerns.
- If something happens, there’s nobody to talk to about it. For example, if you lose a tray, you have to go through phone or virtual chats to try to replace it.
- Hopefully you’re comfortable making your dental mold because you’ll get the mold in the mail, do it yourself, and mail it back. However, some cities have “SmileShops” where you can go to have a technician digitally scan your mouth.
What Smile Direct Club Can’t Do
Perhaps the biggest problem with Smile Direct Club is what they can’t fix. Unless you’re looking for basic teeth alignment, Smile Direct Club will refer you to a dentist for treatment. That means anybody with a bite issue (like an overbite) would not be a candidate for Smile Direct Club.
Benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign does come with a heftier price tag than Smile Direct Club. You also need to go through an orthodontist and follow-up with them every 10 weeks or so for replacement trays. There are a lot of Invisalign benefits, and they remain a reliable alternative to traditional metal braces.
The Pros of Seeing a Professional
For every downside of Smile Direct Club, Invisalign has an answer. When you choose Invisalign, you’re choosing a more involved process with a personal touch. You’ll see an orthodontist for a consult and to have 3D scans done by a trained professional. There’s no worry about errors meaning your molds will be more reliable.
Yes, you’ll have follow-ups with your orthodontist when you choose Invisalign, but there are a lot of perks to those visits.
- A trained professional will monitor your progress. If you need some accountability, encouragement, or a tough talk to make sure you’re wearing the trays enough, your orthodontist can help with that.
- Do you have questions or concerns about your treatment? When you choose Invisalign with an orthodontist, you’ll have somebody to talk with before, during, and after treatment.
- Lose a tray? Not a problem, call your orthodontist’s office and let them know. They’ll be able to direct you on your next steps.
Also, Invisalign can treat more complicated issues including bite problems because your orthodontist can add clear attachments to help your teeth move and accommodate appliances or rubber bands.
The Bottom Line: Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club
If you’re looking for a cheap, easy way to make minor adjustments to your teeth for a straighter smile, then Smile Direct Club may work for you. They have some very satisfied customers and a pleasing price tag for a cosmetic fix.
However, if you have bite issues or more complicated adjustments, Invisalign offers more comprehensive treatment plans guided by professionals who will take you through the process from your first impressions to your retainer.
Keep in mind, clear aligners are not an option for everybody. Regardless of which company you prefer, there are some issues, like large gaps and midline movement that clear aligners cannot fix. It’s best to have a consult with an orthodontist before making any decisions.
Interested in learning more about Invisalign? The team at Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics can answer your questions and help you get started when you’re ready. Contact the clinic nearest you to make an appointment.