Invisible aligners are changing orthodontics, making a straighter smile more comfortable and more convenient than ever before. For years, Invisalign has been an industry leader. However, at-home braces kits like Smile Direct Club are quickly gaining popularity.
Both Invisalign and Smile Direct Club use transparent, custom, removable aligners to gradually shift misaligned teeth into place. But is one better than the other? When it comes to Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club, this is what our team of Lehigh Valley orthodontists recommends.
What Are Aligners & How Do They Work?
First, we should take a look at what aligners are and how they work. While traditional braces use brackets and wires to apply pressure to teeth and move them into place, aligners use a series of trays made out of flexible plastic that fits the upper and lower sets of teeth. The trays must be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day, for about two weeks at a time, before they’re swapped out with a new tray.
This orthodontic treatment has grown in popularity because it offers a convenience not seen in orthodontics before. Adults love the aligners because they’re more discreet, while teens appreciate the added comfort. Meanwhile, they don’t limit the foods you can and cannot eat, which is a win for everyone!
The aligners used by Invisalign and Smile Direct Club are practically identical (in fact, Align Technology, the manufacturer of Invisalign, used to manufacture Smile Direct Club’s aligners). However, the difference comes down to the way the aligners are marketed, sold, and worn that ultimately makes one treatment plan better than the other.
In-Person Care vs Televisits
Invisalign is administered and supervised by licensed orthodontists. They’ll check in on your progress through regular visits, x-rays, and dental impressions in the office. This in-person treatment means that your orthodontists can pinpoint issues ahead of time and customize your treatment plan based on the progress they observe. You have the opportunity to ask questions and even see predictive time-lapses of your tooth movements. These visits don’t only help you achieve straighter teeth, but also give your orthodontist the ability to pinpoint larger health issues. Your mouth and smile give a much wider insight into your body’s overall health.
Meanwhile, Smile Direct Club focuses on remote treatment. A dentist online reviews pictures taken by the patient to determine the next treatment steps. While this at-home treatment is convenient for busy students, parents, and employees, it does not provide the same detailed care, support, and expertise office visits do. Patients are left on their own to determine their progress, but photographs do not provide the same detail as digital scans.
Bite Issues & Health Factors
We often tell our patients that there are key differences between the bite issues traditional metal braces and Invisalign aligners can fix. The same is true when it comes to Invisalign and Smile Direct Club.
Smile Direct Club is designed for minor to moderate teeth misalignment. They’re most effective for people who may have had braces when they were younger and need a quick touch-up. Crowding or gapping of the front teeth is the most common issue the aligners can fix.
Invisalign, however, works to straighten mild, moderate, and severe teeth misalignments like overbites, underbites, crossbites, or overcrowding. These aligners, with their attachments, can help achieve more significant tooth rotation.
Finally, cost is a major difference between the two options. Smile Direct Club is often believed to be the cheaper option, and while the aligners do cost an average of $2,000, there are long-term costs you have to consider. First, Smile Direct Club does not include retainers. Remember that retainers are vital to keeping your teeth straight. You will have to purchase retainers separately.
Here at Exeter Orthodontics, we offer Invisalign aligners for one all-inclusive price of $3,995. While it is a little more than the cost of Smile Direct Club, it includes x-rays, repairs, adjustments, all of your trays, retainers, and every visit. No matter how long your treatment lasts, you’ll never pay more. And you can rest assured that you have a qualified orthodontist by your side to walk you through your treatment and measure your progress.
The Final Decision
When it comes to making your final decision between Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club, we recommend going with Invisalign because of the quality care you’ll receive. However, even if you are still considering Smile Direct Club, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with our team. It’s important to speak with experts before making any decision so that you can have a straighter, healthier smile you can be confident in for years to come.