Thanks to their remote treatment model, clear aligner services like AlignerCo have given millions of people access to affordable dental care. But AlignerCo hasn’t stopped there.
They wanted to make teeth-straightening treatment not only accessible, but also convenient, and that’s why they introduced AlignerCo NightOnly. This nighttime-only treatment option allows users to wear their aligners for just 8-10 hrs/night instead of 22+ hrs/day.
But what else makes AlignerCo NightOnly stand out, and how should you decide if it’s right for you? In this review, we’ll dig into the specifics of NightOnly, from pricing to treatment oversight and everything in between.
How Does AlignerCo NightOnly Work?
For the most part, AlignerCo NightOnly treatment looks similar to traditional aligners. You take an impression of your teeth, AlignerCo creates a treatment plan for you, and you wear your aligners for the prescribed amount of time.
That’s the process in a nutshell. Here’s a more thorough idea of what to expect from AlignerCo’s nighttime aligners:
- 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 their 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.
AlignerCo NightOnly treatment is slower than traditional treatment. And that’s to be expected; when you wear your aligners for less than half the time, your treatment speed will naturally be longer. On average, NightOnly treatment lasts between 8-12 months (that’s roughly 2-4 months slower than daytime treatment).
What Sets AlignerCo NightOnly Apart?
On the whole, the at-home aligner industry is still pretty new (the oldest company, Smile Direct Club, didn’t get started until 2014!). Like the industry, AlignerCo is still pretty young; they were founded in May of 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. Thankfully, this review can help you out.
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.
AlignerCo’s NightOnly aligners use the technology Invisalign created, but they’ve adapted it into a remote treatment option. These 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 Night-Only 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.
One thing we should note: AlignerCo makes their NightOnly aligners exactly the same way as their all-day option, but they charge more for them. When we asked them about this, they told us that it’s because NightOnly treatment requires more aligners than all-day treatment.
We can appreciate their reasoning, but we prefer to see a provider take the approach to the nighttime-only treatment that Byte has taken, which is to make nighttime-only aligners out of thicker and more durable plastic.
There are two different ways to cut the top of clear aligners: straight across, or scalloped to match the gumline. AlignerCo opts for the scalloped method—this makes the aligners a little less noticeable since there’s no overlap with the gums. It’s a bit of a trade-off though since straight cut aligners can exert more force which can lead to shorter treatment lengths.
Clear aligners typically have either a highly transparent, or slightly frosted appearance. AlignerCo claims that they offer the “world’s clearest invisible aligners,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the most natural-looking.
Frosted aligners have a more matte appearance, which better blends in with the natural surfaces of your teeth. Transparent aligners are a bit shiny, which can draw attention to your treatment.
That said, appearance is subjective—some people love having an added shine to their smiles. It’s all about finding the clear aligner that works best for your unique tastes.
Since AlignerCo is relatively small (their customer base included), they can give a lot of personal attention to each customer.
Throughout your treatment, you’ll send the AlignerCo team photos of your smile so they can ensure everything is going according to plan. You’ll email these photos every 10-14 days; or whenever you switch to a new set of aligners.
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. This check-in progress isn’t as robust as Candid’s Remote Monitoring program, but it’s still nice to have such frequent treatment oversight.
If you ever encounter problems or have questions during your treatment, you’ll need to contact AlignerCo’s customer support. Thankfully, they’re pretty responsive. When we tested their 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.
AlignerCo treatment wraps up in less time than traditional braces and Invisalign, but they’re a bit slower than other at-home aligner companies. NightOnly treatment typically lasts between 8-12 months.
If 8+ 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, the NightOnly 8-12 month window with simple, bi weekly emails may be a bit easier for a busy adult to incorporate into their schedule.
Bang For Your Buck
There’s no question that AlignerCo has the most affordable treatment on the market. But there’s still some expense involved. Let’s see where your money is going when you choose AlignerCo’s NightOnly treatment option.
Tip: Visit our in-depth Byte At-Night review to learn more about our #1-recommended nighttime clear aligners.
A $75 AlignerCo impression kit gets the ball rolling for your treatment. It includes enough putty to make two impressions, so you have a “practice run” if you need it. AlignerCo also offers video support to walk you through the process. We’ve also seen sale prices on this kit, so you may not have to pay full price. As an added plus, if you pay for your entire aligner treatment upfront, you’ll get the impression kit for free!
AlignerCo’s NightOnly aligner package costs $1,345. For this price you’ll receive the aligners needed for your treatment and a free set of aftercare retainers.This price is $200 more than their all-day aligner package, since this plan requires more total aligners.
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).
If the total sticker price of $1,345 sounds like a bit too much to pay at once, don’t worry. AlignerCo offers two financing options. First, there’s NightFlex, powered by Affirm. This option requires a credit check, but it will spread the cost out across 12 months with payments of $125 per month.
Then there’s NightFlex Easy which doesn’t have a credit check; instead, there’s a downpayment of $345. After that, you’ll pay $105 for 11 months. That results in a total cost of $1,500, so it’s cheaper to pay the whole price up front if you’re able to.
If your insurance includes orthodontic benefits, then it’s possible your AlignerCo NightOnly aligners could be at least partially covered. Some insurance companies view clear aligners as a “cosmetic” treatment, and therefore won’t contribute to the cost.
Oftentimes 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 you finish your treatment plan, 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! These retainers are durable, but they won’t last eternally. Aftercare retainers usually 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, which makes each retainer set about $50, which is a great deal compared to the industry average of $99 per set.
Of course the cost and quality of your clear aligner treatment are important, but so is how you’re treated throughout the process. Let’s see what you can expect from AlignerCo when you choose them for your NightOnly treatment.
If you’re like a lot of online shoppers, you like to read customer reviews before making a purchase. That’s just good sense. To make your life a little easier, we’ve summarized what most customers had to say.
Just a note before we dive into the details: most of these comments are from people who went with traditional, 22-hour wear. But since AlignerCo NightOnly is fundamentally similar to AlignerCo’s all-day method, the reviews still apply:
Without further ado, here’s what customers loved 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
And here’s what they didn’t like so much:
- Emails can be frequent and come from multiple addresses
- Photos occasionally get misplaced
- Confusion over impression kit instructions
All told, AlignerCo has a good reputation, but since there aren’t thousands upon thousands of reviews, we do take their overall rating with a grain of salt (they just founded in 2019, after all). As they gain more experience, we expect that we’ll be able to place even more confidence in this score.
Let’s be clear: moving your teeth from one location to another is never going without some aches and pains. This is true with all orthodontia—even traditional options like braces and Invisalign involve some discomfort.
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. This soreness can easily be tackled with an over-the-counter pain reliever.
NightOnly treatment may cause a bit more discomfort than an all-day wear option since your teeth spend more hours per day out of the aligners.
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 an emery board to dull any edges that are giving you trouble. 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 their team determines you aren’t a candidate 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 could work 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 on the house.
If AlignerCo determines that you need refinements because you didn’t follow the treatment guidelines, then you’ll need to pay $200 for the additional aligners. It’s never fun to spend extra money, but we think that AlignerCo’s low prices makes this potential cost a little easier to take. Even with the 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.
AlignerCo NightOnly is a very convenient method to straighten your teeth while you sleep. However, they’re not the only option to consider.
If nighttime treatment is a priority for you, then you should also check out Byte At-Night. Byte is our #1 pick across all clear aligners, so it’s no surprise that their At-Night treatment gets top marks from us, too. At $2,295, it’s a bit pricier than AlignerCo. However, Byte is considerably faster, with some nighttime-only users finishing up in just 5 months.
Smile Direct Club
Next, Smile Direct also offers Nighttime Clear Aligners. The average treatment time with SmileDirect’s nighttime aligners is 10 months, so they’re slower than Byte At-Night but on par with AlignerCo. As one of the most experienced home aligner companies out there, SmileDirect is a very well-known name in the industry. You’ll pay a bit more for that experience, though: nighttime treatment from SmileDirect costs $1,950.
Should You Use AlignerCo NightOnly?
AlignerCo NightOnly is great, but it’s not the right treatment method for everyone. Let’s talk about when you should use AlignerCo NightOnly and when you should steer clear.
When to Use AlignerCo NightOnly
Let’s say you drink lots of coffee, all day long (hey, no judgments here). Taking out your aligners and brushing your teeth after every single cup would be a pain. Thankfully, AlignerCo NightOnly takes away that hassle. And with AlignerCo, you can get the convenience of nighttime-only treatment without breaking the bank.
When NOT to Use AlignerCo NightOnly
Not everyone is a candidate for AlignerCo NightOnly. Unfortunately, tougher cases will need to opt for AlignerCo’s daytime option or an in-office treatment like Invisalign. And if you’ve got a need for speed, AlignerCo won’t fit the bill; you’d be better off with a method like Byte.
AlignerCo is a nice compromise between the convenience of nighttime treatment and the affordability of the best-priced clear aligners on the market. You won’t get any extra bells and whistles like whitening or free retainers, but it’s a good option if you’re on a budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does AlignerCo ever 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 $1,245.
If you don’t personally know someone who’s used AlignerCo, you can occasionally find codes shared online (influencers and reviewers for the win!). They also offer occasional promotions, especially around the holidays.
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. If your re-evaluation is accepted, AlignerCo will send you new aligners for $200.
Do I need an X-ray before AlignerCo treatment?
No X-ray needed! 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 to get an X-ray to be sure.
How does AlignerCo compare to Byte, Candid, and SmileDirect?
SmileDirect and Byte both offer nighttime treatment options; Candid doesn’t. But Candid is still worth a look; they offer the best remote monitoring in the industry. SmileDirect has the most brand power, and their SmileShops make it easy to start your treatment.
Byte, however, is our favorite. They have a lifetime guarantee, a great value, and can deliver the shortest treatment lengths in the industry.
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 fast does the treatment go, and how much are you willing to spend? Of these three options, AlignerCo is the cheapest and quickest way to get treatment.
Even better: AlignerCo is the only one that gives you the flexibility to wear your aligners solely at night. Braces are affixed to your teeth all day and night, while Invisalign requires 22+ hours of wear per day.
Is AlignerCo NightOnly cheaper than braces or Invisalign?
Yes! AlignerCo is cheaper than both traditional braces and Invisalign. Before insurance, AlignerCo NightOnly costs $1,345. Invisalign can cost several thousand dollars before insurance. The same goes for braces. Ultimately, AlignerCo NightOnly can cost thousands less.
Does AlignerCo treatment last forever?
As you age (or during a pregnancy), 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, however, doesn’t include any complimentary whitening. You can buy AlignerCo’s whitening kit separately for $49.99. They do this to keep your aligner package as affordable as possible.
I’m in a rush—is AlignerCo NightOnly the fastest at-home treatment option available?
Nope! Since you only wear your aligners for 8-10 hours with nighttime treatments, you can naturally expect the treatment to take longer than daytime treatments. So if speedy treatment is a priority, you should look into daytime treatments.
More specifically, you should check out Byte. Thanks to their HyperByte system, in some cases their daytime treatments can wrap up in just 4 months, and their nighttime treatments as soon as 5 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?
Nope! With AlignerCo, what you see (and ask for) is what you get. They do their best to keep the process as streamlined as possible. You can buy whitening separately, but they don’t “bait you in” with a free bottle.
Does AlignerCo have an age requirement?
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 NightOnly make me talk funny?
With any home aligner system, you have a foreign object in your mouth. That’s unavoidable. 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.
But since you’re wearing these aligners at night, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue, right? If you’re a sleeptalker, that’s another story.
How many hours a day should I wear my AlignerCo NightOnly aligners?
AlignerCo recommends that you wear your aligners for 8-10 hours each day. For the most part, you’ll wear them while you sleep. Unless you’re the rare person who actually gets ten hours of z’s each day, then you should put them in a few hours before bedtime to get the full required wear.
Can I drink coffee while using AlignerCo?
We generally don’t recommend that you drink coffee while sleeping. The two don’t go together.
In all seriousness, though, you shouldn’t eat or drink anything except water when wearing your AlignerCo NightOnly aligners. If you do decide to grab a late-night snack or drink, then you should take out your aligners and brush your teeth before replacing them. This helps avoid stains and keeps your aligners fresh and clean, too.
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 NightOnly 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.