Considering teeth straightening methods and can’t decide between Invisalign and SmileDirect? These clear aligner options are both more discreet than old metal braces but have key differences.

Is Invisalign Better Than SmileDirect

As experienced Invisalign Platinum providers in Loudoun County at Lansdowne Family Dental, we often get asked – which is better: Invisalign or SmileDirect? Read this side-by-side comparison to find out.

What is SmileDirectClub?

SmileDirectClub launched in the mid-2010s as a teledentistry platform offering remote clear aligner therapy. Here is how it works:

  1. You order impression kits online to create molds or 3D images of your teeth
  2. These are used to manufacture custom clear aligner trays
  3. Aligners are shipped directly to you in a series
  4. Treatment monitoring is done remotely through SmileDirect phone apps

This direct-to-consumer model often costs 60% less than traditional orthodontic methods. But as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

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Invisalign Vs. SmileDirect Benefits Comparison

BenefitInvisalignSmileDirect Aligners
MonitoringIn-person every 4-8 weeksVirtual only
PrecisionHigh (0.25 – 0.3mm)Low (1mm)
Treatment OptionsFull; wide rangeLimited range
ExpertiseOrthodontist/DentistRemote company
FitCustom-madeMass produced
TrackingSmartphone appsmartphone app

Let’s analyze these benefits in more detail:


With Invisalign, you see your orthodontist frequently to ensure aligners are working and teeth shifting properly. This means:

  • Changes to treatment can be made quickly if needed
  • Poorly fitting aligners are addressed promptly
  • Oral health is monitored closely
  • You get in-person support and motivation!

With SmileDirectClub, all monitoring is done virtually by submitting phone pictures. Concerning issues may be missed or progress slower without in-office oversight.


Invisalign uses advanced 3D modeling technology to move your teeth in 0.25 – 0.3 mm increments. This gradual precision is why Invisalign takes less time with better results than SmileDirect. Their aligners only shift teeth in 1 mm movements which are too drastic.

Treatment Options

Invisalign can treat simple to complex cases because certified doctors plan your treatment. Options include:

SmileDirect aligners mainly only treat very minor orthodontic issues. Their remote model cannot correct more complex cases.

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Invisalign aligners are prescribed by orthodontists and dentists with advanced clinical training. At Lansdowne Family Dental, our doctors have 10+ years of perfecting Invisalign treatment with hundreds of successful cases.

With SmileDirectClub, aligners are prescribed remotely by their dentists and orthodontists who never see you in person. This lack of expertise for specific cases results in cutting corners.


Invisalign trays are custom 3D printed from your exact dental impressions. This guarantees properly fitting aligners that apply targeted pressure in the right areas.

SmileDirectClub aligners are mass-produced in standard sizes based on generic molds. Ill-fitting trays mean less effective tooth movement.


Both options use smartphone apps to digitally track wear compliance. But since Invisalign has more precision movements each week, skipping wears is more detrimental.


Lastly, SmileDirectClub averages $1850 for aligners which is 60% cheaper than Invisalign. But this lower price comes from cutting corners with quality, expertise, and customization. We believe straightening your lifelong smile is worth investing in – and avoiding potential risks from SmileDirectClub treatment limitations.

While both options utilize clear aligner therapy to straighten teeth, Invisalign is the superior system. Paying more gets you an exact custom treatment plan monitored closely in person by orthodontic specialists. This guarantees you achieve results safely with no surprises.

Ultimately smile goals dictate which straightening method is right for you. Book a Lansdowne Family Dental consult today to discuss your best options.