Best Invisible Braces

Invisalign is the best overall brand of invisible braces

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If you need braces but want something more discreet than the standard metal kind, consider invisible braces. They're removable, clear trays that fit snugly over your teeth, and they don't use any metal brackets, wires, or elastics to shift your teeth. Instead, they're transparent dental trays that gradually shift your teeth into alignment, which is why they’re also called "aligners." While the trays themselves are removable, some people may require aligner attachments to help guide their teeth to their new location. These attachments are small bits of clear or tooth-colored material or metal that are bonded to teeth at precise locations so that the aligner can better grip onto them and shift them into alignment. A dentist removes these attachments at the end of treatment.

There are two ways to undergo invisible braces treatment: at home or through your dentist or orthodontist. In either case, treatment involves wearing a series of customized aligners. You’ll wear each set in the series for one to two weeks before graduating to the next. You may feel pain, pressure, or discomfort temporarily while adjusting to the new set of aligners—some people experience mild discomfort; for others, it's more intense. Keep in mind, though, that traditional braces also cause periods of pain and discomfort. 

Getting invisible braces is a commitment. If you don't wear your aligners the recommended times (up to 22 hours a day) and stick with the routine laid out for you, the treatment may not succeed. In addition, no brand is perfect, and some might suit your needs or budget better than others—though most invisible braces cost about the same as traditional braces.

If you have a complex case or are just concerned about whether invisible braces will work for you, visit your dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation. Any braces, traditional or invisible, can have far-reaching effects on your oral and overall health. For that reason, we recommend getting an orthodontic evaluation before making a final decision about getting invisible braces. However, to help you research your options, we've compiled the best invisible braces companies.

Best Invisible Braces in 2021

Best Overall : Invisalign


Invisalign

Invisalign

Why We Chose It: Invisalign is our best pick because the product is backed by over two decades of technology and real-world results. 

Pros
  • Your dental practitioner or orthodontist oversees treatment

  • Providers must complete Invisalign training

  • Addresses a wide range of bite and alignment problems

  • Offers a program for children 6 to 10 years old

Cons
  • Expensive; pricing depends on your dentist

  • Treatment time frequently longer than estimated

  • May not correct severe bite or alignment issues

  • Not for people with short, round teeth or sharp teeth


Invisalign treatment begins with a consultation with an Invisalign-trained doctor who will develop a customized treatment plan with you. Then, you will make an appointment with their Smile Concierge Team to get a digital scan or plastic mold of your teeth, which your dentist will use to custom design your braces (the aligners) with the Invisalign lab. Once the aligners are fabricated, they will ship directly to your dentist's office. Invisalign requires you to wear the aligners 20 to 22 hours daily, removing them only to eat or drink and for cleaning. 

Your dentist will ask to see you every four to six weeks to monitor your progress and give you your next batch of aligners. While Invisalign treatment time averages 12 to 18 months, a common complaint is completing treatment takes longer than anticipated.   

Invisalign aligners can correct various alignment issues, including crooked teeth, overbite, underbite, crossbite, and more, depending on the severity of the case. However, Invisalign is not recommended for people with short, round teeth or sharp teeth, as these can interfere with the aligner retention.  Additionally, Invisalign can't correct severely rotated or tilted teeth and dental bridges.  

Your dental office will set the price of Invisalign. Depending on the complexity of your case, fees can range from roughly $3,400 to $7,100, which excludes retainers. On the other hand, you will get as much personalized attention as needed through your dental office.

If you have young kids, Invisalign is the only brand that we reviewed that offers aligners for children ages 6 to 10.

Best Budget : ALIGNERCO


ALIGNERCO

ALIGNERCO

Why We Chose It: ALIGNERCO offers the lowest-priced invisible braces we’ve seen yet, with hundreds of positive online product reviews.  

Pros
  • Highly affordable pricing and payment plans

  • Additional discounts and special offers

  • Nighttime-only aligner option

Cons
  • No personal assessment or contact with dentist or orthodontist

  • Some complaints about poor results and customer service

ALIGNERCO claims to offer the most affordable invisible aligners in the U.S. With a price tag of about $895, including an impression kit and retainers, they may well be right. The company also offers two monthly installment plans, which add roughly $77 to $425 to the price, depending on which plan you choose. 

ALIGNERCO provides at-home care only, and you can choose all-day aligners or nighttime aligners, which you wear eight to 10 hours per day. Expect to change aligners every 10 days through a four- to six-month average treatment time, depending on the severity of your case. As you might expect, treatment time for nighttime aligners is longer since you wear them for fewer hours. And it costs a bit more at roughly $1,095.

Like some other brands, ALIGNERCO requires you to make your own impressions with a kit. The company will refund the cost of the kit (about $40) if you are not an aligner candidate. Once your mold is sent back to ALIGNERCO, a team of experts develops your treatment plan—you will not meet with a dentist or orthodontist during this process. Your aligners will be sent to you about 4-5 weeks after you approve the treatment plan.

During your treatment, you won't meet directly with a dentist or orthodontist, but you will be assigned a Smile Crew Member, and you can contact them if you have any concerns. They will then get back to you with a response from a dentist.

ALIGNERCO's aligners address limited alignment issues (i.e., gapped teeth, crowded teeth, overbite, and underbite). Although the company promises their licensed team of experts will create your treatment plan, they do not provide any information on their website about who the dentists they work with are.

Most Flexible Treatment Options : ClearCorrect


ClearCorrect

ClearCorrect

Why We Chose It: ClearCorrect not only allows you to use your own dentist for at-home or in-office treatment, it also offers à la carte pricing options. 

Pros
  • Your own dentist oversees your treatment

  • Aligners cover the gum line to minimize need for attachments

  • Flexible pricing options

Cons
  • Complaints of rough edges causing discomfort on the gums, tongue, and cheeks

  • No estimate on average treatment time on website

  • Mixed reviews on results

ClearCorrect offers in-office or at-home treatment with your own dentist or orthodontist. The service's in-office treatment is similar to Invisalign’s. Your dentist scans or takes a mold of your mouth; aligners are then designed, fabricated, and sent to your dentist’s office.

With ClearCorrect Now, the company’s at-home treatment, the process is the same, but you take your own impressions, and the aligners are shipped directly to you—all under the supervision of your own dentist. Your dentist also then monitors your treatment remotely. However, if you need aligner attachments, your only option is an in-office treatment. 

ClearCorrect aligners cover the gum line to minimize the need for attachments. In contrast, Invisalign aligners are trimmed to follow the scalloped shape of your gum line for a more natural appearance.  

The estimated treatment time for ClearCorrect is conspicuously missing from its website, likely because it depends on the treatment plan your dentist creates. For example, some dental offices estimate treatment will take eight to 14 months, while others estimate one to two years, depending on the case. Regardless, be prepared to wear your aligners 22 hours per day.

Patient reviews for ClearCorrect are in short supply. The company website directs site visitors to its Instagram page, which has very few posts featuring patient comments. However, at least one of them was highly negative with no discernible company response. Other review sites show mixed, uncertain reviews on results, with several people complaining that the aligners are not the most comfortable and that their edges can irritate your gums.

Your dentist or orthodontist provides ClearCorrect, which means that pricing varies by provider. Average costs are hard to pin down but appear to range from about $2,000 to $5,000. However, the company does provide payment options, depending on where you live and how many aligners your treatment plan will require, which could reduce your overall cost.

ClearCorrect is not recommended for patients with short teeth, multiple missing teeth, dental implants and bridges, gum disease, and other difficult or complex oral issues.

Best At-Home Treatment : Candid


Candid

Candid

Why We Chose It: Candid won us over with its higher quality of care at a reasonable price.

What We Like
  • Only orthodontists and dentists oversee cases

  • Remote monitoring technology

  • 14-day patient check-in

What We Don’t Like
  • Some complaints about poor results and customer service

  • Only 30 SmileStudios across the U.S.

Candid, which only provides at-home treatment, sets itself apart from the competition by showcasing its orthodontic expertise—the company works only with orthodontists to create treatment plans and oversee cases. 

Like other at-home providers, you start Candid with a starter kit to take impressions of your teeth. Your case is reviewed, and treatment planned by an orthodontist, and aligners are sent directly to you. If you’re not a Candid candidate, the company refunds the starter kit cost of $95. Or, if you happen to live near one of the company’s 30 SmileStudios, you can schedule a free scan there instead of ordering an at-home starter kit. 

Like the other brands, you’ll wear your Candid aligners for most of the day. Candid uses remote monitoring that allows your orthodontist to track progress, so you don't have to go in for an in-person appointment. This remote monitoring device is included with your aligner shipment. You attach it to your smartphone and use it to send scans of your teeth directly to your orthodontist every 14 days.  

Candid’s one-time fee is about $2,400. The company also offers a payment plan of about $299 down, plus monthly payments as low as roughly $79 (a total of about $3,143 for treatment). 

Note that Candid does not treat severe alignment and spacing issues or bite correction.

Best for Quick Treatment Time : Byte


Byte

Byte

Why We Chose It: Byte promises the speediest average treatment time of the products we've reviewed (starting at two months), provided you follow your treatment plan exactly.

What We Like
  • Fast treatment time

  • Company site features thousands of positive patient reviews

  • Affordable price

  • Nighttime-only aligner option

What We Don’t Like
  • Some complaints about poor results and customer service

  • Changing aligners every week might mean more discomfort

Byte invisible braces are only available for at-home treatment and, like other brands, are best suited for minor to moderate alignment issues. The company promises an average treatment time of just two to four months, as long as you wear its aligners 22 hours a day and use the company’s proprietary HyperByte device. This is, by far, the shortest treatment time we’ve seen for invisible braces.  

What makes Byte able to deliver such fast results? HyperByte, the company’s own oral appliance that is FDA-cleared and transmits high-frequency vibrations to your teeth roots and surrounding bone. Byte reports its device speeds tooth movement and reduces discomfort if you wear it five minutes a day (or 10 minutes a day for nighttime aligners).

You’ll graduate to new Byte aligners every week, and while this aggressive replacement schedule may speed the straightening process, the company cautions you’ll feel soreness for a few days after switching to new aligners. If you change Byte aligners every week, you could well spend much of your treatment time in discomfort. However, if fast results are important to you, it may be worth the discomfort.  

As with the other at-home treatment brands, you’ll need to purchase a DIY impression kit for about $95. (As of July 2021, the company is offering the kit for $20 and a $100 discount off of aligners.) If Byte determines you’re ineligible for treatment, the company will refund the cost of the impression kit. If you are eligible, an orthodontist or dentist creates your treatment plan and the aligners are delivered to your door.

If you opt for a one-time payment, you can purchase Byte for about $1,895 (note that this price does not include five years' worth of retainers to use post-treatment, as some of Byte’s payment plans do). However, if you opt for a payment plan, the total cost will be approximately $2,763, which includes retainers every six months for five years.

Note: If speed isn’t your primary concern, Byte offers nighttime aligners, which are worn 10 hours a day to complete treatment in an average of five to six months.

Best Alternative Option : SureSmile


SureSmile

SureSmile

Why We Chose It: Although SureSmile’s invisible braces are newer to the market, the company is a longtime supplier of other types of braces.

Pros
  • Lower pricing

  • Fewer dental visits

  • Manufacturer has previous experience with traditional braces

Cons
  • Must use SureSmile products to clean aligners

  • Scarcity of patient reviews, good or bad

  • May not work if you have veneers or crowns

SureSmile invisible braces are only available through your dentist or orthodontist. Although the aligners can address simple and complex cases, the company website emphasizes that the aligners are most effective on minor tooth movement.  

The SureSmile process begins with a digital scan of your mouth, followed by custom design and fabrication of your aligners and final product delivery to your dentist. You’ll visit your dentist every three months unless you have a complex case that would require more closely supervised care.  

You can expect to wear your SureSmile aligners 20 to 22 hours per day and change to a new set every one to two weeks. Most invisible aligners we reviewed can be cleaned with a toothbrush; however, you have to use SureSmile's Retainer Brite products, which are not included in your treatment plan cost. They cost about $20 for 120 tablets, depending on which retailer you buy them from.

Like ClearCorrect, SureSmile patient reviews for its invisible braces are scarce. This may be because the product is newer to market, but their exact launch date cannot be verified on their site. However, SureSmile is a longtime provider of other types of braces, including traditional, less-noticeable ceramic, hidden braces placed behind the teeth, and a hybrid solution of traditional braces followed by clear aligners. 

SureSmile pricing, which your dental office will determine, starts at about $2,000 and may be up to $4,000. If you have veneers or dental crowns, SureSmile may not work for you.

Final Verdict

Invisible braces, even with their shortcomings, allow you to transform your smile, without unsightly, irritating metal wires and brackets and while undergoing remote treatment.  

Invisalign is the gold standard of in-office treatment, with the largest customer base and over two decades of widespread use. ClearCorrect is the only provider with both at-home and in-office treatment by your own dentist or orthodontist, while SureSmile appears to offer lower-priced in-office treatment. 

Byte at-home treatment promises the fastest results out of all the brands we reviewed, while Candid is the only at-home provider to work exclusively with orthodontists. But when it comes to budget pricing, ALIGNERCO offers the most affordable price.

 Service  Cost  Payment Plan Treatment Time
Invisalign  Best Overall $3,400 to $7,100 N/A 12 to 18 months
ALIGNERCO  Best Budget $995 Yes 6-month average
ClearCorrect Most Flexible Treatment Options $2,000 to $5,000 (or request a quote) Yes 8 months to 2 years
Candid Best At-Home Treatment $2,400 Yes 6-month average
Byte Best for Quick Treatment Time $1,895 Yes 2 to 4 months
SureSmile Best Alternative Option Starts at about $2,000 N/A N/A

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Invisible Braces Really Work?

The effectiveness of invisible braces depends on your individual case. Most invisible braces companies can only correct mild to moderate alignment issues. Your success is also predicated on wearing the aligners for a prescribed number of hours daily, diligent oral hygiene practices, and the clinical expertise of your provider, whether it’s your local dentist, orthodontist, or a remote dental provider. 

Are Invisible Braces Safe?

Yes, invisible braces are generally considered safe by most dental professionals, but studies indicate that more research is needed to draw definitive conclusions about potential health effects. There has never been a reported death from invisible braces. One study found that only 175 reports of adverse events and reactions had been submitted to the FDA in a five-year period, and most of these were allergic reactions. That's why it's important to check what the braces are made of, as some materials may cause an allergic reaction. If you have any concerns, talk to your dentist or orthodontist.

How Much Do Invisible Braces Cost?

The cost of invisible braces depends on which service you choose and whether you opt for a payment plan, which can add interest to the estimate. Typically, invisible braces range from around $1,000 to $7,000. Our best overall pick, Invisalign, ranges from about $3,400 to $7,100, while our most affordable option, ALIGNERCO, is approximately $995.

If you’re hoping dental insurance will cover the cost of invisible braces, check with your insurance carrier. While you may have orthodontic coverage, it might fall short of covering the entire expense, including post-treatment retainers.

How Long Do You Need to Wear Invisible Braces?

The time commitment will depend on the extent of dental changes needed. The quickest treatment option on our list is Byte, which ranges from about two to four months. The treatment time for Invisalign and ClearCorrect ranges from roughly one to two years.

Methodology

We researched seven invisible braces brands by gathering information on the companies' official websites and comparing user feedback, treatment options, results, pricing, and length of treatment. We chose well-known brands that provide both in-office and at-home treatments to provide readers with various affordable and accessible options.

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