Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club: 4 differences & which is better

If you’ve been considering treatment to get your teeth straightened with aligners, you have most probably been researching the differences and weighing the pros and cons of Invisalign vs Smile Direct. Despite the fact that these two treatments look similar when reading about how they work, there also exist differences between Invisalign and Smile Direct. Read more to see how they compare!

Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club: 4 Differences & Which Is Better

Invisalign is a treatment used by orthodontists to straighten patients’ teeth. Using nearly invisible aligners custom-made for your teeth, Invisalign will treat cases like overbite, crowded teeth, and more (Does Invisalign work? article). Smile Direct Club is another teeth straightening method that also uses clear aligners. It is directed by your doctor who will oversee your treatment virtually. However, the difference is that Smile Direct is a remote treatment while Invisalign is an in-person treatment. Here is everything about Invisalign vs Smile Direct.

4 similarities between Smile Direct Club vs Invisalign

Whether it is Invisalign or Smile Direct Club you choose, both will achieve the same end result - which is to straighten your teeth and adjust your smile. While trying to figure out the difference between Invisalign and Smile Direct, it is helpful to know how they compare. Here are the similarities between Invisalign and Smile Direct.

Clear aligners

Invisalign and Smile Direct share a basic similarity, which is the use of clear aligners to straighten teeth. Compared to braces, both Invisalign and Smile Direct Club will offer a discrete and more comfortable treatment.

Efficiency of the treatment

When considering Invisalign or Smile Direct for the correction of the cosmetics of your smile, one should know that both treatments are successful.


Invisalign and Smile Direct Club are both safe. Therefore, safety is present in both treatments. Although Invisalign is an in-person monitored treatment, so it is supervised much more closely than Smile Direct Club.

Aligner Maintenance

Whether you are using Invisalign or Smile Direct aligners, both can be cleaned in the same way and with the same frequency. Click here to know more about how to clean Invisalign aligners (How to clean Invisalign article).

4 differences between Invisalign and Smile Direct

We now know that both Invisalign and Smile Direct Club offer clear teeth aligners for teeth straightening. However, the main difference between Smile Direct and Invisalign is that dentists and orthodontists retail, administrate, and oversee Invisalign, while Smile Direct Club sells trays to customers via the postal service through remote tele-dentistry. There are also other differences to consider when deciding between Invisalign or Smile Direct Club.


Smile Direct, being a DIY teeth straightening method, comes at a lower cost and can take as little as 4 months. Due to all of its advantages like in-person expert supervision and being able to treat a variety of issues, Invisalign has a higher cost (you can check everything you need to know about Invisalign’s costs here - Invisalign cost article. Both treatments are eligible for insurance.


Invisalign can treat cases ranging from mild to severe. It works for cases like overbite, crowded teeth, and more, whichever the severity. On the other hand, Smile Direct Club can only treat mild cases and some moderate ones. So depending on your case, professionals will assess your eligibility for teeth straightening treatments.

Treatment monitoring

Because Invisalign is an in-person monitored treatment, it is supervised much more closely than Smile Direct Club. With Smile Direct, you won’t get the thorough examination and x-rays you get when following an Invisalign treatment. So whenever an issue pops up, you will have more trouble fixing it or consulting it with anyone.

Treatment Time

While both Invisalign and Smile Direct are faster treatments than conventional braces, Smile Direct is even faster (i.e. it takes 4 to 6 months) than Invisalign (which requires at least 6 months of treatment depending on the severity of your case). The reason for that is only because it is used to treat mild and sometimes moderate cases only. However, since you are not being monitored in person, your treatment might be prolonged if nobody catches issues during the treatment.

Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club cost: Is Smile Direct cheaper than Invisalign?

When considering the cost of Smile Direct Club vs Invisalign, it is true that Smile Direct is 60% cheaper. The main reason for that is that your Smile Direct treatment is completed without the regular dentist appointments aimed at supervising your progress. Some patients prefer getting close treatment supervision when getting their teeth straightened. Invisalign is therefore the best option for that. Despite its higher cost, Invisalign professionals will most of the time happily have a payment plan discussed. Dental insurance can also be used for Invisalign treatment. You can read everything about Invisalign costs on this link.

Invisalign or Smile Direct Club comparison chart

To summarise everything we’ve discussed on Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club, here is a chart to help you visualize the similarities and differences between the two:

So, which is better: Smile Direct or Invisalign?

If you’re reading this, it means you are wondering if Smile Direct Club is better than Invisalign.
In answering that question, the answer is simple. Invisalign can treat cases ranging from moderate to severe. As its technology advances, patients with severe overbite and crowded teeth are more and more eligible for Invisalign treatments. You can check how and whether Invisalign really works here.

Final Points about Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club

Smile Direct Club or other invisible aligners such as Candid and Byte may seem lucrative options for individuals with limited budgets, have minimal teeth alignment difficulties, and are comfortable completing some of the work themselves. However, we, at Trident Smiles Dental, advise going for Invisalign. Invisalign is a better alternative in which you get one-on-one attention that only a dentist or an orthodontist can provide.
Whether you take a DIY approach or go via the dentist's course, it's always a good idea to discuss beforehand with your trusted orthodontist to avoid complications later on.

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