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Invisible braces are a very popular option for teens and adults who wish to straighten their teeth but don’t want a visible metal mouthpiece.

Clear aligners, also known as invisible braces, are more discreet than traditional metal braces and can be removed for eating or socializing. Clear aligners may be a better option for those with sensitive gag reflexes and they are less bulky than traditional braces. They’re also an excellent option for those who wish to have their teeth straightened at home.

Our product review team looked at the top clear aligner brands available today to help you choose the right invisible teeth straightening solution for you.

In This Review:

    Our Picks for the Best Invisible Braces of 2022:

    Provider

    Cost

    Treatment Time

    Payment

    Plan

    Remote

    Monitoring

    Lifetime

    Guarantee

    Best Treatment Value:

    Byte

    $1,894

    4-6 months

    Best for Hybrid Care:

    Candid

    $3,000 to $7,000

    4-12 months

    Best for Busy Schedules:

    SmileDirectClub

    $1,950

    4-6 months

    Best Included Perks:

    NewSmile

    $1,295

    4-6 months

    Best Price:

    AlignerCo

    $1,145

    4-6 months

    Most Options:

    Strayt

    $1,848

    4-8 months

    Best for Severe Corrections:

    Invisalign

    $3,000 to $7,000

    12-18 months

    Why Trust Our Expert Review?

    3,300
    Hours of research
    5
    Experts consulted
    1
    Survey deployed
    1
    Focus group held
    17
    Brands considered
    7
    Brands selected

    Our experts independently research and recommend products we believe provide value in the lives of our readers. We’ve spent collectively more than 3,300 hours conducting in-depth research on invisible braces. Throughout this process, we did the following:

    • Engaged in ongoing independent research
    • Consulted with dentists and orthodontists
    • Mystery shopped the brands
    • Surveyed 1,000 invisible braces users
    • Held a focus group of invisible braces users
    • Became customers of invisible braces companies
    • Interviewed experts in the field
    • Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Consumer Reports

    Here Are the 7 Top Invisible Braces Brands

    Best Treatment Value: Byte

    Byte invisible braces kit

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    Byte’s average treatment time is 4-6 months for mild cases. The company also offers the HyperByte mouthpiece, which uses high frequency vibrations to help straighten teeth. Every Byte treatment plan includes a HyperByte device. Every plan also includes free teeth whitening as well as your first retainer.

    Pros

    • Treatment overseen by board-certified dentists and orthodontists
    • Complementary teeth whitening
    • First retainer included
    • Options for financing

    Cons

    • There are no physical locations
    • Only for mild to moderately severe alignment problems
    • Monthly payments are higher than those of some competitors

    Cost: $1,895
    Average treatment time: 4-6 months
    Treatment: Remote monitoring for at-home teeth straightening

    Byte dentists and orthodontists will create a treatment plan that takes into consideration your entire facial structure, not just your teeth. Byte offers two options for treatment, an all-day and at-night system. This allows you to choose when you wear your aligners. You can wear your aligners for up to 22 hours per day with the all-day system, and only need to take them off to eat or drink. The at-night system allows you to wear your aligners 10+ hours each night while you sleep.

    There is one downside to Byte: It’s not the best alternative to Invisalign for severe alignment problems. You might need to see your dentist or an orthodontist if your teeth are badly misaligned. Byte also does not have any physical locations, which could be a drawback if you prefer to visit a dentist in person. According to our January 2022 focus group, several invisible braces users said they preferred to see a dental professional in person for treatment.

    Byte does offer a lifetime guarantee for your smile. If your teeth move after you have used Byte, the company will offer additional treatment to correct the problem at no cost. Our December 2021 survey found that a treatment guarantee was the most important factor for customers in choosing an invisible braces brand.

    Byte Costs

    For Byte’s all-day or at-night aligner systems, you can choose to pay a one-time or monthly fee. The all-day aligner package costs $1,895 and includes your treatment plan, aligners and HyperByte device. It also includes your first retainer. You will need to pay $2,295 for the at-night alignment system.

    BytePay

    Monthly financing plans from Byte require a $249 deposit, and $82 per monthly for 32 months of the all-day system. The at-night system will require a $299 deposit along with $99 per month for 32 months. If you use BytePay, the total cost for the all-day and at-night systems will be $2,873 and $3,467, respectively.

    Although monthly financing is more convenient, it will be significantly more expensive in the long-term. Monthly financing costs $978 more for an all-day system, and $1,172 for an at-night system. BytePay does come with the Byte Protection Plan. This includes five years worth of retainers as well as coverage for lost and stolen aligners. If you choose the one-time payment plan, these items will be paid out of pocket.

    Customer Reviews of Byte

    Consumer review site Best Company shows Byte received four stars from 90% of invisible teeth aligner reviewers. Reviews praised responsive customer service representatives who answered all questions and kept them informed about their progress. Customers rated Byte 4.67 stars out of 5 stars on BBB.

    Best for Hybrid Care: Candid

    Candid invisible braces impression kit

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    Candid is one of the best clear aligner companies that combines in-office visits to your dentist or other dental professional with remote monitoring and support. Candid treatment must be recommended by your CandidPro dentist or orthodontist. We found that over 43% of survey respondents reported that a dentist’s recommendation was the most important resource when researching invisible braces options. During your appointment, your dental professional will take impressions, scans and X-rays of your teeth to design your treatment plan. Your aligners can then be sent to you at home and you can track your progress using your smartphone and the CandidApp.

    Pros

    • Combining in-office support and virtual assistance
    • Treats the whole mouth, not just the front six teeth
    • Offers Philips Zoom teeth whitening
    • Available custom financing options
    • You can track your progress and share images of your teeth every 10-14 working days via the app

    Cons

    • No nighttime-only option
    • Candid is not available everywhere

    Cost: $3,000 to $7,000 (Varies depending on your provider)
    Average treatment time: 8 months
    Treatment: In-office scans, remote monitoring and virtual support

    Candid offers remote monitoring via the CandidApp. This allows you to upload intraoral photos (inside your mouth) of your teeth, send updates to your dentist or orthodontist, chat with the Candid support staff, track your progress and view 3-D previews for your new smile with your smartphone.

    Candid’s other advantage is that it treats your whole mouth. This is in contrast to some invisible braces companies which only treat your front six teeth. Additionally, Candid can provide more complex straightening services than some other brands. Candid is also the only clear aligner provider to offer Philips Zoom Whitening, a professional-grade whitening system that can achieve results in as little as three days.

    Candid asks you to upload photos of your teeth approximately every 14 days in order to track your treatment progress. Candid also offers a “treatment guarantee” (with certain restrictions) which allows you to continue your treatment at no extra cost if you are not satisfied with the results.

    Candid Cost

    Pricing for Candid depends on the CandidPro doctor you choose, and factors such as case complexity and geographic location. On average, Candid invisible aligners can cost between $3,000 and $7,000. You will be charged directly through your doctor’s office. This allows you to check your dental insurance coverage to confirm that it covers all your costs and to work with them to file any claims.

    Customer Reviews of Candid 

    Customers who have used Candid are generally happy with their experience. Candid received four stars or more from Best Company, and 95% of the reviewers gave Candid five stars. Candid received an average rating of 4.74 stars from BBB, and 4.3 stars from Trustpilot. Several customers reviewed these invisible aligners and mentioned their satisfaction with the responsiveness and helpfulness of the customer service representatives.

    Best for Busy Schedules: SmileDirectClub

    Smiledirectclub invisible braces impression kit

    VISIT SITE

    SmileDirectClub offers patients the option of in-office or at-home treatment. People with busy schedules may appreciate this flexibility. This is a well-known company in the clear aligner space, and you’ve likely seen one of its TV commercials. In fact, they were the second most popular brand among survey respondents, behind Invisalign. Customers can choose between nighttime and daytime clear aligner options. SmileDirectClub also offers three options for busy people to take impressions of their teeth: they can start at home with an impression kit, visit a SmileShop (one the company’s physical locations) or see one of more than 1,500 SDC-affiliated orthodontists. Since it has helped more than 1.5 million people with teeth alignment since its inception in 2014, SmileDirectClub may be the right choice for you. SDC also offers several impressive perks, such as a 30-Day Money Back Promise and a Lifetime Smile Guarantee, as well as 24/7 access to a dental care team by real-time chat, phone, email or video chat.

    Pros

    • Complementary teeth whitening
    • Multiple options available for initial impressions, including in-person at a SmileShop, at-home kits and SDC-affiliated orthodontists and dentists.
    • Lifetime guarantee if you maintain your retainer subscription

    Cons

    • Retainers cost an additional fee and last for six months
    • No guarantee that an orthodontist will be able to oversee the treatment

    Cost: $1,950
    Average treatment time: 4-6 months
    Treatments: At-home or in-office impressions, remote monitoring for at-home teeth straightening

    To start your treatment, the company will send you a kit to take a 3-D impression of your teeth to determine if your smile is a good fit. You can also schedule a 3-D scan at a SmileShop if you live close to one. SmileDirectClub operates more than 300 retail locations across the country, so if you’re interested in beginning your home straightening with a professional scan, there’s likely one nearby.

    SmileDirectClub uses Comfort Sense technology that crafts aligners using lasers to better fit your teeth and contour to your gums. This makes it less obvious that your aligners are visible. Although it isn’t the most expensive aligner available, customers might appreciate the financing options that don’t require a credit review. This means everyone automatically qualifies, though you do have to make a $250 down payment and your APR will vary by state.

    SmileDirectClub Cost 

    SmileDirectClub offers two payment options. Prices are the same regardless of whether you choose to align your teeth at night or daytime.

    • Single Payment: This payment method is the most economical option. It’s a one time payment of $1,950 and includes free teeth-whitening.
    • SmilePay: This monthly payment plan costs $89 per month and requires a $250 deposit. This includes teeth whitening for no additional cost.

    Customer Reviews of SmileDirectClub

    SmileDirectClub has high customer ratings from verified review sites. On the BBB, customers rated SmileDirectClub as four stars out of five. Nearly 80% of the more than 2,500 reviews gave SmileDirectClub four or more stars on Best Company. Trustpilot reviewers gave it a rating of almost five out of five stars.

    There have been complaints that SmileDirectClub has asked customers to sign non-disclosure agreements when they request refunds, according to The New York Times. Others have complained about inconsistency in communication and delayed refunds.

    Best Included Perks: NewSmile

    Newsmile invisible braces impression kit

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    One of the best perks of NewSmile clear aligners is that it does not charge extra for the initial impression kit. Some brands charge $99 or more for that, but NewSmile includes it in the cost of your treatment plan. NewSmile also provides a three-month supply of teeth-whitening solution for free. If you need more, it costs $39 for a month’s supply. These included extras can help keep the overall price down, and both our survey and focus group found that cost a top concern for customers.

    Pros

    • Video chats with orthodontists
    • Set of retainers are free upon completion of treatment
    • No extra fee for initial impression kit

    Cons

    • Treats only very mild cases and alignment issues
    • There are no physical locations

    Cost: $1,295
    Average treatment time: 4-6 months
    Treatment: Remote monitoring for at-home teeth straightening

    Clear aligners from NewSmile are latex-free and do not contain bisphenol A (also known as BPA). According to the Mayo Clinic, BPA can be found in some plastics and has been linked with health problems in children and adults. After you sign up for your impression kit, you can schedule a video chat with an impression specialist to help make sure you do them correctly. Your aligner plan will then be created by the NewSmile team and sent along with a treatment progress plan.

    The company’s NewSmile app makes it easy to track the progress of your smile from home. The treatment is managed by a mix of dentists as well as orthodontists. You can also choose between an all-day or nighttime alignment plan.

    NewSmile Costs

    NewSmile offers three payment options for daytime wear.

    • Fast Track: This daytime plan is the most economical and only requires a lump sum payment of $1,295. This plan includes a one-month supply of free whitening foam.
    • Monthly Plan: This plan costs $77 per month for a minimum of 18 months, with no down payment and 0% interest. You also get a one-month supply of free whitening foam.
    • Impression Kit + Preview: This plan is designed for people who aren’t sure if NewSmile is right. It costs $49 and includes your impression kit as well as a preview of the treatment. You can then choose to pay for your invisible aligners separately if you are satisfied with your treatment plan.

    NewSmile offers three payment options for nighttime aligners:

    • Night Aligners: This plan is the most affordable and costs $1,395. It includes a one-month supply free of whitening foam.
    • Night Aligners Monthly: The monthly payment plan for NewSmile Night Aligners is $83 per month and includes a minimum of 18 months at 0% interest. There is no down payment. You also get a one-month supply free of whitening foam.
    • Night Aligners Preview plan: The impression kit and treatment preview are $139 each. If you are satisfied with your results, you can pay for your invisible aligners separately.

    Customer Reviews of NewSmile

    NewSmile’s customer service is another reason why it stands out from other brands. Every time we called the customer support line with product questions, our call was answered within a minute. We were directed to another department if the representative couldn’t answer our questions right away. NewSmile is a great option for people who want to receive remote care and responsive customer service. NewSmile is a relatively new company at only two years old, so there are not many reviews on customer review sites like the BBB and Trustpilot.

    Best Price: AlignerCo

    Alignerco invisible braces impression kit

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    AlignerCo provides a high-quality teeth straightening service at a low price. There are six treatment options available, including three for daytime and three for nighttime. Some plans include a teeth whitening kit.

    One drawback to AlignerCo is that treatment is overseen by dentists instead of orthodontists like some other brands. While both dentists and orthodontists are dental professionals who must graduate from an accredited dental school, orthodontists undergo additional post graduate training to specialize in correcting bites and teeth alignment issues. The price tag for AlignerCo treatment, however, can be much lower and it might be the right option if cost is important to you when selecting the best invisible braces. As mentioned previously, we found that the cost of invisible braces was one of the most important factors for customers in both our survey and focus group.

    Pros

    • Options for financing
    • Six treatment plans
    • Average treatment time of four to six months

    Cons

    • There are no physical locations
    • Only dentists oversee treatment, not more experienced orthodontists

    Cost: $1,145
    Average treatment time: 4-6 months
    Treatment: Remote monitoring at home for treatment

    AlignerCo Cost

    An AlignerCo treatment program could help you achieve a brighter smile for less. The plans will vary depending on whether you want to use night-wear or day-wear aligners. Let’s take a closer look at daytime packages.

    • SmileAdvantage: This is the most affordable daytime plan. It costs $1,145 in a one-time payment and includes free teeth whitening.
    • SmileFlex: This plan will require a credit check. It can be as low as $81 per monthly for 12 months if approved and includes free teeth whitening.
    • SmileFlex Simple: This plan does not require credit checks and costs $95 per monthly for 11 months. There is a $275 downpayment. This plan does not include free teeth whitening, and it is the most expensive AlignerCo daytime plan.

    Nighttime only treatment subscriptions can be more costly.

    • NightAdvantage: This is the most affordable nighttime plan. NightAdvantage costs $1,345 as a one-time payment and includes free teeth whitening.
    • NightFlex: This option requires credit checks. It costs $99 per month for 12 months, and includes free teeth whitening.
    • NightFlex Simple: This plan does not require credit checks and costs $105 per month for 11 months. There is a $345 downpayment. This plan does not include free teeth whitening, and it is the most expensive AlignerCo offer.

    Customer Reviews of AlignerCo

    Nearly 90% of Best Company reviewers gave AlignerCo at least four stars. This is comparable to brands that have higher price points. Although Trustpilot received fewer reviews, these reviews were mostly positive. AlignerCo received an F rating by the BBB because of the volume of complaints they received. However, the company was awarded a 4.26 star rating out of 5 by 39 customers. Some negative reviews mentioned problems with refunds or dissatisfaction regarding the results. According to a representative from AlignerCo, their F rating stems in part from the fact that they are not currently BBB accredited. They have, however, taken steps to gain accreditation and to increase their rating.

    AlignerCo does not have a physical location and the treatment plans are only overseen by dentists. This is in contrast to other options that use orthodontists with more training in correcting bite and alignment issues. AlignerCo does offers a much more affordable option than Invisalign, which can cost thousands of dollars.

    Most Options: Strayt

    Strayt invisible braces impression kit

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    Strayt is the most flexible brand on our list with its many treatment options, multiple payment plans and Mobile Scan offering. This sends an operator in an electric vehicle to your house to perform a free digital scan of your teeth in place of you taking the impressions yourself. Mobile Scan isn’t available in all areas, but it provides a greater variety of treatment options where it is available.

    Pros

    • At-home impression kits or in-office scans
    • A Mobile Scan consultation option for a digital scan of your mouth
    • Flexible payment options and treatment plans
    • Professional orthodontists create a 3-D preview of a treatment plan
    • 30-day money-back guarantee

    Cons

    • Potentially longer treatment periods (up to 8 Months)
    • Aligners do not cover molars

    Cost: $1,848
    Average treatment time: 4-8 months
    Treatment: Remote monitoring of at-home teeth alignment or in the office

    Strayt is flexible and allows users to choose whether they want an at-home or in-office treatment. You can choose when and where you want your teeth to be scanned, when you will wear your clear aligners and how you will pay. The first step in starting a Strayt treatment plan is to decide how you want to complete your impression kit or teeth scan. There are three options available:

    • Mobile Scan: A Strayt professional visits your home to take a digital scan of your mouth and teeth
    • Strayt in-office scan: Have a dental professional scan your teeth in-office
    • Kits for at-home impressions: Receive a DIY impression kit right at home

    Mobile Scan is the most flexible option for teeth scanning and one of the brand’s biggest distinguishing features. It allows you to set up a time for a Strayt technician to visit your home and take a digital scan of your teeth. Strayt Mobile Scan is also powered by a fully-electric vehicle fleet. The Strayt technician will also show you the digital scan of your teeth after it is complete. This service is not available in all areas. To check if this service is available in your region, you can use the Mobile Scan ZIP code search.

    If you are deemed a suitable candidate for Strayt aligners, Strayt will send you your interactive, 3-D treatment plan preview via its SmileDesign app. This app allows you to visualize the progress of your treatment plan and has interactive functionality that lets you view your teeth from every angle throughout the entire process. A 3-D preview of your treatment plan is also an option that will allow you to visualize how your smile will look during and after the process.

    Once you have approved your treatment plan, it is time to decide on your preferred treatment method. Your clear aligners can be worn at night or during the day. Limiting your use to nighttime is a good idea if you don’t want to worry about your aligners during the day, but it will slow down the treatment time.

    Strayt Cost

    Strayt, like other companies on the list, offers several payment plans. Strayt has a single difference: you pay the same price for either the daytime or evening option. Other brands charge more for the nighttime plan. Let’s take a closer look at Strayt’s payment options.

    • StraytPay: This plan is the most affordable. This plan requires a one time payment of $1,848. It also includes teeth whitening as well as your first set of retainers.
    • 12-Month Plan – This plan has the lowest down payment. It costs $154 per month for 12 months, after a $199 downpayment.
    • 24-Month Plan – This plan is the cheapest monthly option, at $87 per month for 24 months with a $248 downpayment.

    Customer Reviews of Strayt

    Strayt was founded in 2019, so it has fewer reviews on verified customer review websites than more established brands. It has over 30 reviews on Best Company, and these customers gave the service 4.9 stars out of 5.

    Best for Complex Cases: Invisalign

    Invisalign invisible braces

    VISIT THE SITE

    Invisalign is one of the oldest clear aligner companies. According to research published in June 2021 by the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Invisalign uses three proprietary technologies that are capable of helping patients with more complicated cases. Invisalign offers professional consultations with dental professionals for patients who prefer to meet face-to-face. Both our focus group and survey found that Invisalign was by far the most commonly used brand of invisible aligners.

    Pros

    • The treatment plan and appointments are all in-person
    • Complex dental issues such as underbite or overbite can be addressed
    • Children as young as six years old can receive treatment plans
    • Invisible aligners for teeth are made from SmartTrack material. This is a patent-pending, more durable material than conventional aligners

    Cons

    • The most expensive clear aligner brand
    • The treatment time is longer than that of its competitors
    • Involves more in-person appointments than other aligner brands and no remote monitoring

    Cost: $3,000-$7,000 (variable)
    Average treatment time: 12-18 months
    Treatment: In-office, with 3-D scans and X-rays

    Invisalign is one of the most common choices for invisible braces. Invisalign is a trusted brand that has been around for over two decades and has years of positive customer feedback. Invisalign is a brand that uses custom attachments to address difficult dental problems. This makes them one the most popular teeth aligner choices. SmartForce attachments and SmartTrack aligner material make Invisalign one of the most effective invisible aligners, while SmartStage planning allows you to predict how your teeth will move during treatment. This makes Invisalign ideal for people with more severe tooth crowding or overbite. This also means that the price tag is higher than other brands.

    Consultation with a dentist or other orthodontist is required to determine if Invisalign is right for you. Your medical professional will create your customized at-home straightening kit using your digital scan. Another reason users have been able to trust the company for years is its hands-on approach to treatment. At-home treatments are safer when supervised by a qualified dentist or orthodontist. Some people find the inconvenience of seeing a dental professional every month too burdensome and prefer a remote monitoring option.

    Invisalign Cost

    Prices will vary depending on how severe your alignment issues are. The more complicated the case, the longer the treatment will take  and cost more. Other factors that affect Invisalign costs are the fees of your dentist or orthodontist, your location and what type of insurance you have.

    Invisalign is a popular choice for many clients. Because your smile is unique, it may be worth paying a higher price to customize your treatment with Invisalign. Invisalign is also the only brand to offer a treatment plan called InvisalignFirst for children ages 6-10.

    Customer Reviews of Invisalign

    Invisalign averages 4.4 out of 5 stars on Best Company. However, there are no reviews on trusted sites like Trustpilot or BBB. Invisalign clear aligner users are generally satisfied with the service. However, some reviewers pointed out the high price compared to other invisible braces companies.

    How Do Invisible Aligners Work?

    If you choose clear aligners to straighten your teeth, either you or a dentist or orthodontist will take impressions of your teeth to begin treatment. This can be done by either scanning your teeth digitally or by having you bite into molds. These molds can then be used to create your aligners according to a “progression plan,” which means that each set of aligners is designed to gradually move your tooth in the desired direction. Your trays will gently shift your teeth into the correct position each time you put on your aligners. According to Erica Anand, DDS, a New York pediatric dentist, Invisalign trays move your teeth between 0.25 and 0.3 millimeters every two weeks.

    The treatment can be done either remotely using an at-home kit for teeth straightening or in-office by a licensed professional. Candid requires photos of your teeth every two weeks. Some companies, like Invisalign, require photos every four weeks. It is important to follow the instructions step-by-step. For example, you should wear your daytime aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day so that treatment does not get delayed.

    After your treatment is completed, you will need to wear a retainer to protect your results and keep your teeth from shifting.

    Terminology: Braces Versus Aligners

    When discussing the best options for teeth straightening, people use many terms. The main confusion stems from the differences between “braces” or “aligners.”

    • Traditional braces: These are metal mouthpieces attached by an orthodontist to the teeth. These types of braces have been in use for many years and have helped millions straighten their teeth. However, metal braces are visible and sometimes uncomfortable.
    • Invisible braces: These braces are nearly invisible, or less visible than traditional metal braces. The term Invisible braces was originally used by orthodontists for braces made of polycrystalline alumina, a type of ceramic. They are designed to match the color of your teeth, making them less noticeable and more aesthetic than traditional metal braces. These braces are as effective as traditional metal ones, but they tend to be more costly. Although invisible braces are sometimes called transparent braces or ceramic braces, these terms are less commonly used. Invisalign, Byte and other clear aligner companies have used the term invisible braces in recent years to describe their products. We use the term invisible braces interchangeably with clear aligners.
    • Clear aligners: Also called “invisible aligners,” clear aligners are very popular as they can be almost invisible to casual observers and can correct mild to moderate alignment problems. Clear aligners are great for those who want to straighten their teeth at home without visiting an orthodontist. Clear aligners are also less expensive than traditional metal braces or ceramic braces, and you don’t need to visit an office to begin the process with certain brands.

    What Are the Differences Between Clear Aligners and Metal Braces?

    People who don’t want metal hardware but want their teeth straightened can opt for invisible braces. They offer a lot more flexibility and are an excellent option for correcting mild or moderate dental issues at home.

    Clear aligners and traditional braces differ in their appearance. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, traditional braces can be worn in two ways.

    • Standard metal wires
    • Clear braces made of a metal wire, but with a ceramic tooth-colored coating that reduces the visibility and gives them a more transparent appearance.

    Greg Asatrian, DDS, a board-certified Southern California orthodontist who treats patients with both clear aligners and traditional braces, explains that “Clear aligners offer an advantage over traditional braces because they are aesthetically pleasing and removable.” He adds that “If you have to take a photo or take them off for whatever reason, you can, and it will be very hard to tell that you are undergoing orthodontic treatment.”

    Traditional braces also require a longer treatment plan. This can be up to two to three years. Invisible braces can be worn for about one year, with some treatment plans only lasting four to six months. This does, however, make them less suitable for people with serious dental needs.

    Visit your dentist to find out if invisible braces are right for you. Before you make a decision about invisible braces, it is important to have your teeth evaluated. The best home straightening options for your teeth can be suggested by your dentist or orthodontist.

    Let’s take a closer look at metal braces compared to invisible braces in terms of the benefits, comfort, cost and convenience.

    Metal braces

    Invisible braces

    Cosmetic

    Visible

    Barely noticeable

    Cost

    Metal wires are in around the clock;

    you must avoid certain foods;

    pressure from the wires can be painful

    Easy to remove while eating or for cleaning;

    aligners are generally more comfortable to wear

    Comfort

    $6,000 on average

    $1,000 to $7,000

    Convenience

    Treatment lasts between six to 36 months

    Treatment lasts between four to 12 months

    Who Can Wear Clear Aligners or Invisible Braces?

    It can be difficult to decide the right course of treatment for your case. Clear aligners may not be right for everyone. This is why it’s so important to consider all the factors.

    The severity of your alignment requirements is one of the most important factors. According to University of Michigan Hospital, invisible braces can correct mild-to-moderate malocclusions. This is also known as having crooked teeth, underbites, overbites, gap teeth or poor bites. Dr. Anand also recommends invisible braces or clear aligners for correcting small spacing and mild relapses following prior orthodontic treatment.

    Caroline Girard, DDS, is a Beverly Hills dentist who specializes in cosmetic treatments. “At-home aligners are a fantastic option for consumers hoping to improve the alignment of their front six top and bottom teeth,” says Dr. Girard. “I’ve seen excellent results for these mild cases. For anything more challenging, it’s best to work with a dentist or orthodontist.”

    Invisible braces are best suited for teens and adults who are committed to their treatment goals and want a straighter smile. Next, you will need to find a dentist who is licensed and do a thorough dental exam.

    When Are Invisible Braces Not a Good Fit?

    Invisible braces do have limitations in terms of what they can do. Even the most effective invisible braces may not be able to correct severe alignment problems. Traditional braces might be a better choice if this is the case.

    According to Dr. Anand, invisible braces are not recommended for people who have spacings greater than 5mm, severe jaw discrepancies or open bites. In those cases, your dentist should be consulted about your treatment requirements.

    If you are unable to wear your invisible braces as prescribed, compliance can be a problem. For treatment to be successful, aligners must be worn between 20 and 22 hours each day. Dr. Anand says that if treatment is not continued as planned, it can delay your treatment time or cause teeth to move differently than expected.

    Another important aspect to consider is your age. Invisalign offers a treatment plan that can be used for children aged 6 to 10 years old. However, most other brands require candidates to be at least 13-years-old as younger patients may have difficulty following all of their treatment plan’s directions. Parents should monitor their teenagers who have invisible braces. This will ensure that they follow the directions and don’t hinder the treatment.

    How We Test and Review the Best Invisible Braces

    We determined our top picks for the best invisible braces based on the following criteria:

    • Price
    • Whether the treatment is led by dentists or orthodontists
    • The type of screening process for determining eligibility
    • Overall treatment process
    • Ease and consistency of follow-ups during treatment 
    • Willingness to assess and provide revisions during or after treatment if needed
    • Customer service
    • Customer satisfaction
    • Product guarantee
    • Financing, warranties, and product guarantees

    Testing

    Before beginning our testing, we surveyed 1,000 users and held a focus group to better understand the invisible braces journey. We then ordered impression kits for relevant brands that supplied them to test in-house and deeply researched and mystery shopped brands that did not. Next, we rated each company on a 10-point scale based on the following criteria. Each attribute we considered was weighted in order of importance from most to least critical based on our user survey.

    • High level product attributes: Treatment guarantee, cost, treatment time, virtual orthodontist availability, apps for tracking progress and contractual practices
    • Product functionality: Ease of use for impression kits, at-home maintenance required, customer reviews and added perks like free or lower-cost teeth whitening
    • Customer service: Reliability, friendliness and availability

    Bottom Line

    Invisalign, despite its large user base, is more expensive than the other brands. If you have complicated misalignments, such as an overbite or crowding, this brand might be right for you.

    Candid and Byte are better choices if you want to save money but still get high-quality care. Byte is our top choice because of its many options to connect with customers and the lifetime smile guarantee. Candid is our top choice for Best in-Person and Virtual care. The company lets you work directly with your dentist or orthodontist to start and then track progress via the app. AlignerCo will be your best choice if you are looking to save money as it’s the lowest-priced provider.

    You should look at NewSmile, SmileDirectClub and Strayt if you are looking for brands with more flexibility. These brands all offer remote monitoring and a variety of treatment plans so they’re great for people who are constantly on the move. Strayt has several payment options, while SmileDirectClub is the most expensive.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    References

    Dr. Courtney Schmidt is a clinical consultant pharmacist and health and wellness writer. Since completing her Pharm.D. at the University of Florida, Dr. Schmidt has worked in multiple clinical settings and as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Central Florida. She writes about topics including senior health, hearing aids, oral health, and invisible braces.

    Dr. Erica Anand is a licensed dental specialist with experience in personalized dental content writing and blogging for corporate publications. She is skilled at developing and editing dental health related content, creating product reviews, and producing high-quality oral health materials for several marketing firms. She has over five years of experience with dental marketing firms and her passion for writing has led her to do part-time consulting in the dental health and technology fields.