No one likes going to the dentist. And frankly, if you want to straighten your smile, it’s a hassle: you have to set up an appointment and endure the annoyance of the dentist’s office.
Then they give you a referral to the orthodontist, making you repeat the process. All. Over. Again.
Is a straight smile worth all the trouble? Luckily, there’s an alternative: you can get a million-dollar smile from the comfort of your own home with home teeth aligners.
Using a home alignment system, you can ditch the dentist and straighten your teeth on your own. Home clear aligners aren’t just convenient, either. For many people, they’re also much faster and cheaper than braces.
Invisalign is the big name on the clear aligner scene, but they don’t have a monopoly. In fact, there are a lot of different home teeth aligner companies. For example, AlignerCo is one company that has recently joined the home aligner scene, but is AlignerCo right for you?
In this review, we’ll give you the full scoop on AlignerCo and their home teeth aligner system.
How Does AlignerCo Work?
AlignerCo’s procedures are relatively simple: once you submit your order, they ship you an impression kit. Then, you take impressions of your teeth, send them back, and AlignerCo’s treatment team will design your set of aligners. You’ll receive them within 4 to 5 weeks. For most people, treatment lasts an average of 6 to 11 months (the difference depends on your condition’s severity).
- Step 1: You order an impression kit from AlignerCo. Once it arrives, you mix the included putty and take 3D molds of your teeth. If you need help, you can set up a video conference to ensure that you nail your impressions. Once your impressions are complete, you’ll send them back. Shipping is easy thanks to a prepaid shipping label.
- Step 2: AlignerCo’s treatment team analyzes the molds you’ve created to develop a personalized treatment plan within 2 weeks. After you approve this plan, they will begin manufacturing your aligners.
- Step 3: Pay for your treatment all in one go, or sign up for one of AlignerCo’s financing plans. There are two to choose from, allowing anyone to have access to financing—regardless of your credit score.
- Step 4: After about 2-3 more weeks, you’ll receive your full aligner kit from AlignerCo. You’ll wear each aligner for roughly two weeks and regularly take pictures to show your dentist your progress.
What Sets AlignerCo Apart?
On the whole, the at-home clear aligner industry is still pretty new (the oldest company, Smile Direct Club, didn’t get started until 2014!). AlignerCo is even newer; they got started in 2019.
Being such a young company has pros and cons. The biggest con is that you won’t find a lot of customer reviews online to get a feel for AlignerCo’s online reputation.
The good news? AlignerCo’s treatment price is the most affordable in the industry. In fact, AlignerCo prides itself on being hundreds cheaper than its at-home competitors. But they don’t sacrifice quality to give you their low sticker price, either. With AlignerCo, you can feel confident that you’re getting a top-notch treatment at a fraction of the cost.
- ✔ Lowest Cost Aligners
- ✔ Great Customer Support
- ✔ Hundreds of Positive Reviews
- – Compare Your Options
- – Find the Best for You
- – Get Special Discounts
AlignerCo makes use of the technology Invisalign created, they’ve just adapted it to suit remote treatments. Clear aligners apply pressure to your teeth to gradually move them into a straighter smile. But what are these aligners made of? Let’s take a closer look.
AlignerCo’s aligners are made by RaintreeEssix—a respected dental supply company that’s been making clear aligners since 2005. These aligners are made of medical-grade, BPA free plastic. You can feel confident that your AlignerCo aligners are safe, effective, and made from quality materials.
There are two different ways to cut the top of clear aligners: straight across, or scalloped to match the natural look of your gums. AlignerCo opts for the scalloped method—this helps the aligners blend in a little better, since the straight cut can be more obvious where it overlaps the gumline. It’s a bit of a trade off though, since straight cut aligners can exert more force and usually deliver shorter treatment lengths.
AlignerCo claims that they offer the “world’s clearest invisible aligners,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the most natural looking. Competitors like Candid and Invisalign use a slightly frosted plastic to make their aligners. This gives the aligners a matte appearance, which better blends in with the natural surfaces of your teeth. Transparent aligners like AlignerCo’s are a bit shiny, which can draw attention to your aligners.
All that said, appearance is subjective—some people love having an added gleam in their smiles. It’s all about finding the clear aligner that works best for you.
Since AlignerCo is relatively small (their customer base included), they can give a lot of personal attention to each customer. In fact, AlignerCo’s support team is regularly praised in their online reviews.
When we tested their support channels, we got near-instant responses through chat. Phone calls are pretty quick, too. Email can take about 24 hours to get a response, though. You’ll get faster responses if you contact them during their posted hours: 9 am to 9 pm, seven days a week.
Throughout your treatment, you’ll send the AlignerCo team photos of your smile so they can ensure you’re progressing as planned. You’ll email these photos every 10-14 days; or whenever you switch to a new set of aligners.
If you’re worried about capturing quality photos of your grin, don’t worry; AlignerCo has you covered. Your treatment bundle includes the aptly titled “cheek retractor,” which helps get your pesky cheeks out of the way so you can snap some clear photos of your smile.
AlignerCo treatment wraps up in less time than traditional braces and Invisalign, but they’re a bit slower than other at-home aligner companies. AlignerCo treatment typically lasts between 6 to 11 months for daytime treatment and 8 to 12 months for nighttime treatment.
6+ months with your aligners seems like a long time, keep in mind that Invisalign’s treatment can take as long as 24 months; with in-person appointments every 4-8 weeks. By contrast, AlignerCo’s 6-12 month treatment with bi weekly emails may be a bit easier for a busy schedule to accommodate.
Bang For Your Buck
AlignerCo is easily the most affordable home aligner treatment on the market, but there’s still some cost involved. Here’s the impact AlignerCo will have on your wallet:
AlignerCo’s $75 impression kit gets the ball rolling; you’ll receive putty and trays, and it’s up to you to mix them and create 3D molds of your teeth. Some people find this step tricky, so AlignerCo offers video support to help you walk through the process.
If you’re willing to pay for your treatment up front, AlignerCo will give you the impression kit for free (and they’ll refund the entire amount if it turns out that you’re not a good candidate). Keep your eye out for discounts, too. We’ve seen the impression kit discounted to under $40.
With AlignerCo, you’ll get to choose between all-day aligners (22 hours of daily wear), and nighttime-only treatment (10 hours of daily wear). All-day treatment costs $1,145; which covers all the aligners in your treatment plan and your first set of aftercare retainers. Nighttime-only treatment is priced a bit higher ($1,345) because it requires more total aligners than the day plan.
Keep your eye out for sales! We’ve seen AlignerCo knock their industry lowest prices down even further with occasional sales and promotions.
To keep costs low, AlignerCo doesn’t throw in very many bells and whistles to your aligner package. However, AlignerCo does offer some extras you can purchase at check out; like a pull tool to help gently remove your aligners ($15), “chewies” ($15) which help seat your aligners, and a whitening kit ($49.99).
Don’t have $1,000+ hidden in a drawer? (We get it; who does?) Thankfully, AlignerCo offers two different financing options. First, there’s SmileFlex. This option requires a soft credit check, but it’ll get you treatment for $110 per month for 12 months. Or, if your credit isn’t great, you can get automatically approved for SmileFlex Easy. This option gives you 11 monthly payments of $95 provided you make a $275 down payment. Their nighttime only treatment has slightly different financing.
Some people note that AlignerCo has higher monthly payments than some other companies. And technically, that’s true, especially for the SmileFlex option (SmileFlex Easy is comparable). But we don’t necessarily consider this to be a problem; after all, the monthly payments are a bit higher, but there’s only 12 of them. Other companies have 24, so even though you pay more per month, you’re “in debt” for less total time.
Regardless of which financing option you choose, both options will end up costing you a bit more than paying for everything up front. Your total will be $1,320 ($1,500 for nighttime treatment). So if you can pay the whole price at once, it’s worth it.
If your insurance includes orthodontic benefits, then it’s possible your AlignerCo aligners could be partially covered. Some insurance companies categorize clear aligners as a “cosmetic” treatment, and won’t contribute to the cost. Typically insurance companies are more likely to cover an in-office option like Invisalign or braces, but that’s gradually changing; so be sure to ask your insurance provider about your options.
After your treatment wraps up, the best way to keep your new smile in place is to wear a retainer. Lucky for you, AlignerCo includes your first set of aftercare retainers for free! Though these retainers are durable, they won’t last forever. Typically retainers need to be replaced every 6 months or so.
AlignerCo offers a post-treatment retainer subscription plan called Worryfree Protection. Here’s how it works: for $599, AlignerCo will ship you a new retainer every 6 months; for 6 years. While that might initially give you some sticker shock, keep in mind that this plan covers 12 total retainers, making the per retainer cost about $50—which is a steal compared to the industry average of $99.
Which treatment plan is right for me?
Aligners are way more convenient than traditional treatment options, but they still require some maintenance. You’ll need to remove them at mealtimes, then brush your teeth and clean your aligners before wearing them again. If your days are already stuffed to the gills, even minor upkeep like this could be difficult to squeeze in.
With nighttime only treatments, you won’t have to think about your treatment until the evening. Just carry on with your day as usual, then pop in your aligners a few hours before you go to sleep (unless you manage to get 10 hours of sleep a night, in which case; congrats!).
Once AlignerCo reviews your impressions, they’ll be able to let you know which treatment options are available to you. Though clear aligners can treat mild to moderate cases, nighttime-only options are best suited for conditions on the milder side. So if you’ve got a packed schedule and some minor crowding/spacing, then nighttime-only treatment may be a great fit for you!
Affordability and quality are important aspects of treatment, but so is how you’re treated throughout the process. Let’s take a look at what you can expect when you choose AlignerCo for your clear aligner treatment.
Internet purchases are convenient but sometimes hard to trust. In the “old days,” you could just ask your family and neighbors for their recommendations. Now, that old word of mouth often gets replaced by customer reviews. What are other customers saying about AlignerCo?
Here are a few of the things customers like about AlignerCo:
- Small-company feel gives unparalleled customer support and personal attention
- Extremely affordable treatment, including referral discounts
- Process is easy to complete
- Consistent discounts that make treatment more accessible
But it’s important to note the bad alongside the good, and there are a few drawbacks:
- Emails can be frequent and come from multiple addresses
- Photos occasionally get misplaced
- Occasional aligner breakage
The majority of AlignerCo’s reviews are extremely positive, but every company has a few areas they could stand to improve. All told, AlignerCo does an excellent job with their customer service. Their small size lets them give individualized attention to each patient.
Let’s be clear: moving your teeth from one location to another is never going to be a total walk in the park. This is true with all orthodontia—even traditional options like braces and Invisalign involve some aches and pains.
That being said, this discomfort is usually a bit of soreness; nothing that some over the counter medicine can’t fix. This typically occurs within the first few days of switching to a new aligner—which makes sense; since the new aligner should be a bit tighter than the last.
AlignerCo’s reviews indicate that their aligners follow this same pattern. Many customers were actually surprised at the lack of discomfort. All in all, AlignerCo’s customers seem to find any soreness during their treatment totally manageable.
Sometimes the edges of aligners can feel a bit sharp. Luckily there’s an easy fix—with the go ahead from AlignerCo, you can use a small nail file to dull the edges that are causing discomfort. It’s important you check with AlignerCo before taking this step, but once they give you the green light, this is a cheap and quick way to make yourself more comfortable.
AlignerCo really only has one guarantee: if you are deemed ineligible for treatment, you’ll be refunded for the cost of your impression kit (or your full treatment, if you opted to pay upfront).
This makes the impression kit a pretty low stakes option. You can give it a try, see if this is the path for you, and if AlignerCo can’t treat your condition then you’ll be refunded.
If you reach the end of your original treatment plan, but your teeth need a bit more movement—you’ll need to get refinements (extra aligners).
To start this process with AlignerCo, you’ll need to submit for a reevaluation with their support team. If you’ve followed the treatment guidelines, it’s possible they’ll provide you with additional aligners for free.
If AlignerCo determines that refinements are needed because you didn’t follow the treatment guidelines, then you’ll need to cover the cost of these additional aligners yourself for $200. It’s never fun to spend extra money, but we think that AlignerCo’s low prices makes this cost a little easier to take. Even with the potential extra cost of refinements, AlignerCo is still more affordable than nearly all of their competitors.
What if I break an aligner?
If one of your aligners breaks during your treatment, reach out to AlignerCo’s support team right away. Unfortunately AlignerCo doesn’t replace lost or broken aligners, so if this happens you’ll need to move on to the next aligner in your treatment plan.
We recommend spending a few extra bucks to get AlignerCo’s pull tool, which helps you safely and gently remove your aligners. It’s just a $15 tool, but it can save you from some headaches in the long run.
Is AlignerCo right for you? After all, treating your smile is a big decision. You keep it for life! So, you may want to consider some alternatives before making your choice. Here are 3 other options to keep in mind:
Byte has the shortest treatment lengths on the market. Thanks to their HyperByte device, Byte can correct some smiles in as little as four months. They offer both nighttime and full-day wear schedules, too.
Candid began as a fully remote clear aligner provider, but recently pivoted to “CanidPro,” a hybrid at-home/in-office treatment option. If you’re interested in the convenience of home aligners, but want the robust oversight of in-office care, look no further than Candid. Their sophisticated CandidMonitoring system allows you to complete the majority of your treatment from home—without compromising on oversight.
Like AlignerCo, Smile Direct offers both nighttime and daytime treatments, but they charge the same price for either method. They also have more than 300 physical SmileShop locations across the country, so it’s convenient to get started.
Should You Use AlignerCo?
AlignerCo has a lot of positives, but that doesn’t mean that they’re right for everyone. Let’s talk about when you should use AlignerCo and when you should steer clear.
✔ When to use AlignerCo:
If affordability is your top priority, then look no further than AlignerCo. AlignerCo is the most budget-friendly option you’ll find anywhere.
✖ When NOT to use AlignerCo:
If your teeth are severely misaligned or you have a bite issue like overbite or underbite, then you’re probably not a good candidate for any home alignment system—AlignerCo or otherwise. AlignerCo isn’t the best choice if you’re in a rush to see your perfect smile.
All told, AlignerCo is a good (albeit newer) option in the home aligner sector. We rank them as our #3 choice for home clear aligners. To us, it’s pretty impressive how quickly they’ve established a good reputation in the market. And we expect that reputation to keep on improving. Pair that with their high product quality and unrivaled prices, and you’ve got a safe treatment that won’t break the bank.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does AlignerCo offer discounts?
AlignerCo’s most common “discount” comes in the form of a referral program. Here’s how it works: you get a referral code from a friend. If you use the code, your friend gets $100, and you score $100 off your aligners, taking your price down to $1,045. If you don’t personally know someone who’s used AlignerCo, you can occasionally find codes shared online (influencers and reviewers for the win!).
What if I’m not happy with the outcome?
If you follow your treatment plan carefully and send photos to AlignerCo on a regular basis, then you should be satisfied with your treatment. That said, if you get to the end of your aligner kit and you’re not thrilled, you can request a re-evaluation. In some cases AlignerCo may provide these extra aligners for free, but other times you’ll need to pay $200 for them.
Does AlignerCo offer nighttime-only treatment?
Yes. AlignerCo recently added NightOnly aligners to their treatment offerings. The treatment is pretty similar to daytime treatment, too. The primary difference is that you’ll wear your aligners for 10 hours per night instead of 20-22 hours a day. Your total treatment time will last a touch longer, too.
Do I need an X-ray before AlignerCo treatment?
No X-ray necessary! The impression kit is all you need to get started; it measures the spaces and orientation of your teeth, not your bone structure. That’s assuming you have a relatively normal bone structure, though. If you suspect that your jaw is slightly misshapen or that you have a bad overbite or underbite, then you may want an X-ray to be sure. Bite issues can hinder effective treatment and only a traditional orthodontist can treat those deeper issues.
How does AlignerCo compare to Candid, Byte, Snapcorrect, and SmileDirectClub?
Of these options, AlignerCo is the newest company on the market. But they’re also the most affordable. In fact, they’re several hundred dollars cheaper than their competitors. That said, their competitors have other perks. Smile Direct Club has the most experience in the at-home clear aligner scene, and they offer convenient retail locations to kickstart treatment. Candid is able to offer a higher level of treatment oversight than AlignerCo, but Candid’s price tag is much higher. Last but not least, Byte has the best satisfaction guarantee in the entire industry and the shortest treatment lengths.
Is AlignerCo better than braces and Invisalign?
It depends on what you mean by “better.” Braces, Invisalign, and AlignerCo will all get the job done and leave you with an impressive grin. The real questions are: how soon will you have your smile? And how much are you willing to spend? AlignerCo is more affordable and has much shorter treatment lengths than Invisalign and braces. On the other hand, braces and Invisalign can treat a much wider range of conditions.
Is AlignerCo cheaper than braces or Invisalign?
Yes! AlignerCo is thousands cheaper than both braces and Invisalign. These traditional treatment in-office methods cost around $3,000-$5,000 (and sometimes even more). AlignerCo’s price tag is much, much smaller at just $1,145. Even if you use the pay-as-you-go method, you’ll still pay only $1,320, making them more affordable than in-office methods.
Does AlignerCo treatment last forever?
As you age (or during a pregnancy), your teeth can shift. However, you can prevent this shift by wearing your post-treatment retainers. Typically, you should wear these retainers for 20-22 hours a day for the first two weeks. After that, you can wear them at night.
Does AlignerCo offer teeth whitening services?
A lot of at-home aligner companies include free whitening formulas in their aligner bundles. AlignerCo doesn’t include complementary whitening, but they do sell a whitening kit separately for $49.99.
I’m in a rush—is AlignerCo the fastest at-home treatment option available?
AlignerCo is a touch slower than other home aligner companies. Most users will need about 6 months to complete their treatment. If treatment length is a big factor for you—say there’s a big wedding day, graduation day, or portrait session on the horizon—then you’re better off going with Byte. Thanks to their HyperByte system, Byte can give some customers a new smile in just 4 months.
Does AlignerCo have a refund policy?
AlignerCo offers a refund on their impression kit, but only if you turn out not to be a candidate for treatment. Other than that, AlignerCo doesn’t give refunds for their aligners. So, it’s extra important that you wear your aligners as prescribed. Deviating from your treatment is the surest way to mess it up.
What happens if I mess up my impressions?
AlignerCo understands that the impression process can be a bit tricky. To help with that, they offer video calls to coach you through the process. There are two impressions’ worth of putty, so you have multiple chances to get it right. But if you mess up both times, contact AlignerCo’s support, and they’ll send another kit your way.
Does AlignerCo have upsells?
If you decide to whiten your teeth during your treatment, their whitening kit will add $49.99 to your total cost. This isn’t an aggressive upsell by any means, but it’s available if you want it.
Is there an age requirement for using AlignerCo?
AlignerCo will treat all ages 14 and above. However, they do recommend that if you still have your wisdom teeth, you check with your dentist to see if you’ll need them removed. If not, you can proceed with treatment. But anyone who needs their wisdom teeth extracted should have that done before starting aligner treatment.
Will AlignerCo make me talk funny?
Using clear aligners is essentially wearing a foreign object in your mouth. So, your mouth might feel a bit funny, and you could have the slightest hint of a lisp. For most people, though, the aligners are minimally invasive and practically imperceptible to others.
How many hours a day should I wear my AlignerCo aligners?
If you have chosen all-day treatment then you need to wear your aligners for 22 hours per day. If you’ve opted for nighttime only treatment, then you will need to wear your aligners for 8-10 hours a day (or night).
Can I drink coffee while using AlignerCo?
With any aligners, you should not eat or drink anything (except water) with your aligners in. That said, you can remove them during meals and snacks, then replace them, and repeat as needed.
What happens if I lose my aligners (or retainers)?
Accidents happen. It’s possible that you’ll misplace an aligner. If you do, contact AlignerCo’s support right away. They’ll help correct the situation. In the meantime, you should wear your previous aligner to keep your teeth from shifting too far back.
Is AlignerCo covered by insurance?
It all depends on your insurance policy. If you have orthodontic benefits, you’ll probably be reimbursed. We recommend that you check with your provider to know for sure.
How can I contact AlignerCo’s customer support?
The easiest, fastest way to get in contact with AlignerCo is the chat portal on their website. You can also contact them at their email address, [email protected] Or, reach them via phone at 1.877.840.1561.