Invisalign vs Braces vs Smile Direct Club: Which is Faster, Better, and More Affordable?

By In Ask The Expert November 26, 2018

Most adults have crooked or misaligned teeth. Fixing these small imperfections can mainly be for aesthetic purposes, but crooked teeth can lead to excessive wear on your teeth – aging them prematurely. Suffering headaches or earaches? It may be your teeth.

So, you know you’d like to do something about your teeth, but which route is the best option for you? Let’s discuss the different dental alignment correction options and which is your best fit.



What are they?

Dental braces are brackets fixed along a wire to support the proper alignment of teeth. This procedure is performed by an orthodontist and can correct from simple to extremely complicated dental cases.

Length of Time

The average length of wearing dental braces ranges from 18 months – 3 years.


Dental braces aren’t removable, which is a huge benefit for parents looking to get braces for their children. If they can’t remove their braces, they can’t ruin their progress. Braces can correct the more difficult dental cases, so this could be a great choice if you need a mouth overhaul.


Dental braces hit the highest price point at an average of $6000. Get a consultation first, as some cases have had a hefty $10,000 price tag for dental braces.


What is it?

Invisalign is an effective method that uses clear alignment trays to shift teeth to the desired spots. The trays are created to specially fit your both and should be worn 22-24 hours each day. Trays are swapped out every week to match your improving teeth positioning.

Length of Time

Although there are certain treatments that can be completed in as little as 1 month, the average treatment time is 6 months to 1 year. The length of time is enough to effectively improve your teeth, but not too long of a commitment.


Invisalign has the most benefits out of all these options. The trays are relatively invisible, so this takes out one of the main issues with braces – appearance. This option is great for any self- conscious teens or any adults not wanting to run into any adult braces’ stigma.

Other underrated benefits of Invisalign are:

  • eat any food you want
  • brush and floss normally
  • less painful than branches
  • no speech impediments


The cost of Invisalign falls under braces with a slightly lower average price tag sitting around $5000.


Smile Direct Club

What is it?

Smile Direct Club is a form of tele-dentistry, where you receive an at-home impression kit or you can visit a SmileShop for a 3D scan. Then, you get approved by a licensed dentist or orthodontist that is guided by a Clinical Advisory Board. Aligners are then shipped to you, with no office visits needed.

Length of time

The average span someone must wear Smile Direct Club aligners is 6 months. This is the shortest time frame to adjust your teeth, but is 6 months long enough?


This form of aligners allows a convenient option for those who may not be local or have a busy schedule with no time to visit the dentist. You can complete this course of treatment all from the comfort of your own home. However, unlike traditional braces and Invisalign it has its limitations.


The cost of Smile Direct Club is a flat rate of $1850. This falls at the lowest end of the costing options for improving your mouth map. Although many dental insurance plans will reimburse for these aligners, they do not accept direct payment from insurance companies.

What is the best option for me?

While Smile Direct Club has the lowest cost and length of wear time, it may seem like the obvious choice, but the actual winner here is – Invisalign.

Invisalign combines the best of medical monitoring and quality like dental braces, a lower price tag than braces, and an aesthetically pleasing option that Smile Direct Club cannot compare to.

If you are looking to fix any crowding or spacing issues in your mouth or simply improve the aesthetic of your smile, Invisalign can do this just as well as braces, with less time, cost, and pain. Unless you’re an extremely regimented person, the check-ins with your dentist that Invisalign offers to keep you on track ranks it above Smile Direct Club. Smile club also has many treatment limitations that Invisalign and braces do not.

Interested? Trillium Dental Centre is a well-known Waterloo dentist that is proud to be named an Invisalign Preferred Provider for the 6th year in a row. Set up a free consultation to see if you are the prefect candidate for Invisalign today.