Finding alternatives to traditional braces is growing in popularity for their cost-effective and convenient qualities. For a long time, Invisalign® had the invisible aligner market all to itself, at least until 2017. In 2017 Invisalign®’s patents expired, allowing others to mimic the company’s technique. SmileDirectClub emerged into the marketplace and people have constantly pitted the companies against each other ever since. With many pros and cons to weigh between the brands, which is the safest and smartest choice for you?

Jump Ahead:

While Invisalign® and SmileDirectClub rely on clear retainers to adjust and re-align your teeth, that’s really where their similarities end.

In the SmileDirectClub vs. Invisalign® battle, there is one obvious winner. Because of the attention, and care you’re given by the dentist, Invisalign® comes out on top based on reviews from professionals and consumers alike.

Why Misaligned Teeth are More Than an Appearance Problem

It’s normal not to have perfectly straight teeth. However, there are more reasons to straighten out your teeth beyond appearance’s sake. You can have a mouth that’s too small for your teeth, your upper and lower jaw could be different sizes causing an over or underbite, or maybe something happened while you were growing up to create teeth issues. How bad can crooked teeth be for your mouth’s health?

  • Messes with proper chewing
  • Makes keeping your teeth clean more difficult
  • Increases the chance of tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis
  • Strains the teeth, jaws, and muscles
  • Increases the risk of breaking a tooth
  • Can be a contributing factor in migraine sufferers

How Invisalign® Works

While Invisalign® is a pretty familiar brand, you may not know how it works. For the sake of comparing the two brands, we are going to break down the process for each company. With Invisalign®, you start with a consultation with a dentist. They will look at your mouth and see how Invisalign® can help you. Then your dentist will scan your teeth. The scan allows your dentist to create a custom treatment plan for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the scan is complete, you agree to the treatment and custom aligners are created. They should arrive at your dentist’s office within a few weeks. You will put them on and see if they fit correctly under your dentist’s supervision. Then you go along with the treatment and attend occasional visits to make sure everything is going according to plan.  

Benefits of Invisalign®

  • Feels more comfortable
  • It’s faster than braces (6 months to a year)
  • Insurance can cover part of it
  • Removable for eating or playing sports
  • Professional service every step of the way
  • Comprehensive individual Invisalign® Treatment Plan
  • Unlimited trays and all appointments are included in the cost
  • Free smoothing of edges and chipped teeth
  • Free tooth whitening
  • Repair of damaged teeth
  • Laser recontouring to alleviate “gummy smiles”
  • Payment plans available

Drawbacks of Invisalign®

  • Higher cost
  • Occasional office visits

How SmileDirectClub Works

SmileDirectClub works very differently and is considered DIY braces. To start, you either go to one of their SmileShops or make a mold yourself. They have SmileShops scattered around the Alberta and are adding more each year. In the shop, an employee will scan your mouth similar to a dentist.


It’s more likely though that you will end up making a mold yourself. The company will send you an impression kit, which costs $65. Making this mold will be tricky for first-time users. You will probably have to do it a few times before you get it perfect for your aligners to work. Once the company has an impression of your teeth, a licensed dentist or orthodontist will look at it. They will talk you through the whole treatment plan online. Next, they will send you a preview of how your smile will look after the treatment is finished and start building your aligners. The aligners will be delivered straight to your door. When your treatment is done, you can buy retainers for $125. While you can consult with a licensed professional, these DIY braces are mostly self-serve.

Benefits of SmileDirectClub

  • Comfortable
  • Lower cost (around $3,000 CAD)
  • Allows payment plans
  • Done at home
  • Like Invisalign, insurance can cover part of it
  • Like Invisalign, removable for eating or playing sports

Drawbacks of SmileDirectClub

  • You make your mold
  • A lot of pressure on you; you assume all risk and associated costs of unforeseen circumstances
  • No individualized customer service
  • No professional monitoring which can cause the process to go wrong, destroy your bite, and give you headaches.

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SmileDirectClub vs. Invisalign® Based on Reviews

In the SmileDirectClub Vs. Invisalign® battle, there is one obvious winner. Because of the attention, you’re given by a dentist or an orthodontist, Invisalign® comes out on top based on reviews from professionals and consumers alike. The main reason for this is the safety of having a professional with you every step of the way.

invisalign vs smile direct club

So many little things can go wrong with SmileDirectClub. Having the eyes of a dentist makes it easy and comforting as you go throughout the process. If you are having any problems, you can contact your dentist to schedule a face-to-face appointment, instead of a 1-800 number.

There have been complaints from people about SmileDirectClub’s communication. It appears it’s hard to get in touch with anyone, let alone a dentist.

Need to Find a Calgary Dentist for Invisalign®?

Nosehill Dental does Invisalign® in Calgary and can answer any questions you may have. They will go through everything step by step to make sure this is the right choice for you.

If you’re interested in Invisalign® Calgary services, Nosehill Dental at (403) 241-1900 or make an appointment here.

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