Invisalign vs. Smile Direct Club

It’s not uncommon to look in the mirror while you’re getting ready in the morning and find yourself being less than enthused about any crooked teeth you may see reflecting back at you. The desire to have straight teeth and a beautiful smile is shared by a large portion of the American public, as has been shown by a boom in the number of companies offering clear aligner products

The clear aligner industry is essentially dominated by two companies — Invisalign, which was founded in 1997, and Smile Direct Club, established in 2014. Clear aligners can create generally straighter teeth, but they also treat many different smile issues such as gapped teeth, crowding of teeth, open bites and cross bites, and even overbites or underbites. Before you make the decision to get clear aligners, it is important to find out which product is the better option. 

Invisalign Vs. Smile Direct Club

Which brand of aligner is best for you may depend on what problems you’re trying to fix, and how much risk you’re willing to take by handling your own aligners, versus having your treatment overseen by a dental professional. While both Smile Direct Club and Invisalign can handle simple cosmetic straightening cases, Invisalign also has aligner options that can treat more complex dental needs. 

Comparing the two in terms of treatment isn’t quite apples-to-apples as a result. Smile Direct Club promises a treatment time of six months at a typically lower cost than Invisalign, which can take up to 18 months to complete. But the shorter, cheaper option might not be the best one for your oral health and long-term smile improvement. 

Differences in Fitting

While the companies have similar products, the process of getting your fitted clear aligners is completely different between them. If a customer doesn’t live near one of Smile Direct Club’s SmileShops, he or she would have to order the product and have it sent to their home. Then, customers will have to make their own dental impression at home. Sometimes the customer doesn’t have complete success in that process, and the end result is a clear aligner that doesn’t properly fit.

Invisalign takes the at-home human error out of the equation. Your Monterey Peninsula Dental Group dentist will take complete 3D scans of your teeth right in the office. Those scans will result in a complete model of your teeth, which is then processed into a set of correctly-fitting, BPA-free clear aligners. To do this, Invisalign uses an advanced form of 3D printing that actually makes them the largest worldwide user of the technology. 

Invisalign aligners also have the option to use small attachments between your aligners and the teeth in need of straightening, which are placed by your dentist, and allow them to tweak and customize how the aligners are moving your teeth. Smile Direct Club aligners don’t have this feature, which can lead to aligners slipping and improper pressure on the teeth. If you have any existing dental issues, at-home aligners not only might not work to straighten your teeth, but they could do your bite and smile harm. A qualified dentist can use your dental history to individualize your clear aligners and get the most out of the treatment. That’s why we always recommend Invisalign to MPDG patients and carefully help them through the process in our office. 

As for the aligners themselves? Well, there’s not much difference; they are made from similar materials, and the process by which they straighten your teeth is essentially the same. But, there are some key differences in how supervised and personalized your treatment will be, and that can have real effects on the results you get from your aligners. 

Dentist Supervision

The fitting process isn’t the only place Smile Direct Club and Invisalign differ. With Smile Direct Club, you get your aligners mailed to your home and you switch them out as you progress through the treatment plan. Invisalign, however, has a more hands-on approach that involves your dentist helping create an individual care plan with personalized attention to ensure your teeth are properly moving in the right direction. 

The involvement of your dentist is really the largest difference between the two companies and their products. With Smile Direct Club, you have the opportunity to arrange for a phone consultation, but personal attention beyond that is minimal. That leaves the customer to determine if the clear aligner is pushing their teeth too far, or even causing damage in the mouth. 

Invisalign doesn’t leave customers with those kind of worries. The continual involvement of your dentist in your treatment plan means you’ll always have a professional available to regularly check on your progress and give you peace of mind. Get in touch with us to find out more — We work closely with Invisalign as a preferred provider, and recommend their products to our patients who are seeking a straighter, more beautiful smile. 

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