caucasian woman with white smile holding transparent

Invisalign vs Smile Direct: Making the Right Choice for Your Smile

Both Invisalign and Smile Direct are great options for aligning your teeth and achieving the smile of your dreams. But which one is right for you? What is the difference between the two options?

In this article, we’ll explore the Invisalign vs Smile Direct debate to help you determine the right choice for your dental needs.

Let’s start by explaining how Invisalign works.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that uses aligners for teeth straightening.

Each aligner is clear, making them nearly invisible when worn. They are also removable, meaning you can easily remove each clear aligner to eat and brush your teeth.

Invisalign treatment lasts anywhere from six to 18 months, depending on your teeth’s severity. With Invisalign, you receive new aligners every few weeks to accommodate the shifting and progress with the treatment. For effective treatment, your clear aligners should be worn 20 to 22 hours a day, including in your sleep.

The cost can also vary, but the cost in Ontario ranges from $3,000 to $8,000, once again depending on the severity of your teeth and consequently the length of treatment required.

Many people choose Invisalign treatment because it’s less invasive than traditional braces and allows for more flexibility. The removable retainers provide the convenience of eating without dental hardware and better teeth brushing.

Now that you know about Invisalign, let’s look at Smile Direct.

men holding invisalign braces in hand

What Is Smile Direct?

Smile Direct Club is a teledentistry company allowing you to order clear aligners online to straighten your teeth. It can be best described as a DIY option for straightening teeth.

Smile Direct is similar to Invisalign in that they both use alignment trays that use gentle pressure to align your teeth, and these trays have to be switched out every few weeks or so.

On average, the treatment lasts four to six months. Depending on your treatment plan, you may not need to wear them for the entire day.

Many people choose Smile Direct because they use remote teledentistry to mail the trays directly to you. You may require an initial consultation where 3D impressions of your teeth will be taken.

Alternatively, Smile Direct Club offers an at-home kit that you can use to take your own impressions and mail them in. From there, a licensed dentist or certified orthodontist designs your aligners.

What’s more, all of your Smile Direct Club aligners ship to you at once. You’ll also have virtual check-in appointments with your Smile Direct dentist to guide you through the process and track your progress.

As with Invisalign, Smile Direct is best for mild to moderate tooth improvement. The initial impression kit costs $65, and the actual treatment costs $2700. They also offer payment plans for those who need them.

Now that you know what Invisalign and Smile Direct are, let’s compare the two treatment options to help determine the best one for your needs.

bright on invisalign

Invisalign vs Smile Direct

Invisalign and Smile Direct may be viable options if your goal is to improve your smile. While they have basic similarities, you need to know a few key differences to make the right decision for your needs.

Here are some of the main differences between Invisalign vs Smile Direct.

Dental visits

The first significant difference between Invisalign vs Smile Direct is the number of dental visits each treatment requires.

Invisalign may require frequent orthodontist visits – sometimes more visits than traditional braces. These visits track your progress and give you new aligners to move your treatment forward. But you’re also getting direct access to a professional dentist regularly.

In contrast, with Smile Direct, you may never have to walk into an orthodontist’s office. You can choose to do the at-home kit for your initial 3D impressions, and from there, you’re mailed all of your aligners with instructions.

There are pros and cons to each option. Less dental visits through Smile Direct means you have to spend less time squeezing appointments into your schedule.

However, dentist visits through Invisalign allow you to receive more personalized care, and your orthodontist will be able to spot and address any problems with your treatment as they occur.

Length of treatment

Invisalign and Smile Direct both have a similar length of treatment. However, you’re more likely to need a longer treatment with Invisalign, with the average length being a year vs the average length with Smile Direct being around four months.

However, it’s also essential to consider what this average length of treatment means. Aligners can only do so much, especially when you’re taking a DIY approach. If you only need to wear aligners for four months, that probably means that your dental misalignment is mild. Therefore, Smile Direct is less suitable for serious dental problems.


The final significant difference between Invisalign vs Smile Direct is the cost.

As mentioned, Invisalign ranges from $3000 to $8000 based on various factors. Smile Direct is $2700. If, after your initial dental impression kit, Smile Direct determines that you aren’t a good candidate for their product, they will refund the cost of the dental impression kit.

Smile Direct Club costs are low because treatment does not require frequent dental visits. However, it’s essential to consider whether this lower cost is worth the non-personalized treatment.

If something happens with your Smile Direct treatment or it proves not to be as effective as you first hoped, it may cost you more treatment time and money in the long run to fix the problem. With Invisalign, the results don’t lie!

The Verdict: Choose the Treatment that Aligns with Your Needs

As a recap, Smile Direct Club treatment is a good choice for mild dental problems and those who don’t want the hassle of going to several appointments.

At the same time, choose Invisalign if you wish for personalized treatment and more effective results. Determining which treatment best aligns with your needs is up to you.

If you want to try Invisalign, contact You Make Me Smile to book your free consultation today.