Everyone deserves a smile they’re proud of. But up until now, teeth straightening treatment has been expensive and time-consuming. Thankfully, there’s an alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment: at-home clear aligners.
These invisible aligners (similar to Invisalign) are the latest alternative to braces. They’re faster, more convenient, and most importantly, more affordable than braces or Invisalign. But which service should you choose?
In this review, we’ll compare the five best Australian clear aligner brands to help you decide which is the right fit for you.
Best Online Clear Aligners Reviewed
Spoiler alert: Byte and SmilePath are our favorite clear aligners. But there are five Australian brands that we believe are truly the best. Here are our picks:
- Byte (Recommended)
- EZ Smile
- Smile Direct Club
Byte | #1
Byte first hit Australia’s clear aligner scene in 2020, but they’ve already made major waves. What makes Byte stand out? They’re able to deliver results in about half the time of their competitors. In fact, Byte users can get the smile of their dreams in just 3 to 4 months on average (other aligners usually take around 6 months).
This groundbreaking speed is all thanks to Byte’s HyperByte technology. Essentially, you put on your aligners and bite down on the HyperByte device for five minutes (or ten for nighttime-only treatment). HyperByte gives off gentle pulsations to facilitate faster shifts.
As an added bonus, Byte also offers a nighttime-only treatment option called Byte At-Night. Some other companies offer nighttime treatment, but Byte is the only one that designs their aligners specifically for nighttime wear. Byte At-Night aligners are made of a thicker, premium-grade material to allow your teeth to move safely and efficiently — even when you’re only wearing them 10 hours per day.
The sticker price for byte’s aligner system is $2,749 for daytime treatment and $3,399 for Byte At-Night. However, there are a couple other costs that go into your full treatment. For one, you’ll need to buy an impression kit for $95. That will kick off your treatment.
But for the price, Byte offers more than any of their competitors. With them, you’ll get every aligner in your treatment plan, the HyperByte device (costs $999 when purchased separately!), and free whitening treatment. In short, Byte gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
That said, if you don’t want to pay the entire amount up front, you can subscribe to BytePay, a credit-free financing plan. With this option, you’ll pay more in total ($3,828 for daytime and $4,578 for nighttime). Here’s how it works: you’ll pay a $40 account setup fee, plus $8 per month for account maintenance. Then Byte will spread out your remaining balance across 30 monthly payments.
A major bonus to BytePay is that you’ll get access to the Byte Protection Plan. This plan can be bought separately for $899-$999, and it’s worth the money in our opinion. You’ll get five years’ worth of free retainers (as opposed to just one free set) along with free replacements for lost or broken aligners mid-treatment.
Byte’s Customer Support
If you ever need help with your aligners or payments, Byte makes it a breeze. Their customer support is excellent, and you have plenty of options to reach out: social media, phone, and email. Phone support is easiest, but if you email them, they’ll get back to you within 24 hours.
Who Should Use Byte?
If you want an excellent mix of speed and value, then Byte is a great option. It’s ideal for quick results before big events and gives you so much for the price tag. To learn even more about this system, dig into our in-depth Byte review.
SmilePath | #2
One of the biggest obstacles to orthodontic treatment is the sheer cost of it. In general, at-home clear aligners are far more affordable than braces and Invisalign. But with SmilePath, the cost of orthodontic treatment isn’t too tough to deal with.
That’s because their sticker price is just $1,899. That’s hundreds cheaper than their closest competitor, EZ Smile. Another plus: they maintain extremely buyer-friendly financing programs. So even if you don’t have a good credit score, you can still break up the cost.
The only real drawback? SmilePath doesn’t have the fastest treatment speed on the market. Most people find that their treatment lasts between 6 to 11 months on average. That’s not slow in the strict sense of the word, but if you’re looking for the fastest method, Byte is your safest bet.
SmilePath’s base price for their aligners is $1,899. And with the occasional discount, you might be able to pay closer to $1,449. Nighttime treatment will only cost you $100 more, too. But what really matters is what that sticker price includes. This price will get you all of the aligners in your treatment. And if you pay for treatment up front, you’ll get the impression kit for free. That normally costs $75, so it’s a nice perk.
Making their system even more appealing, SmilePath offers two flexible financing options (either method costs $1,320). First, there’s SmileFlex. This option requires a soft credit check, but if you qualify, you’ll make monthly payments of $117 for 18 months. SmileFlex Easy is a bit different; there’s no credit check required, but there is a $299 down payment. After that, you’ll pay $150 per month for 12 months.
SmilePath’s Customer Support
Smilepath is growing, but their customer base is still small enough that they can deliver personalized attention to every customer. We think that’s pretty important.
If you need to get help or ask questions about your treatment, SmilePath offers fairly traditional support methods: phone, email, and webchat. The fastest methods are phone and chat. If you email, you can usually expect a response within 24 hours.
In a lot of online reviews, customers mention their representative by name, giving a shout-out for top-notch support. Good support is one of the top loves across the board for SmilePath.
Who Should Use SmilePath?
SmilePath is the champion of the budget-savvy buyer. If you want a million-dollar smile at a fraction of the cost, SmilePath is the best choice. It’s not the fastest option, but it’s a lot easier on your wallet.
EZ Smile | #3
Honestly, it’s a pretty close call between our #2 pick and our #3 pick, EZ Smile. Because EZ Smile comes pretty close to SmilePath’s low sticker price. They charge just $2,149 for treatment, and they include post-treatment retainers in that kit price. Plus, they have a great warranty and satisfaction guarantee. And no other company has more financing flexibility than SmilePath.
Their treatment is relatively quick, too: most patients will wear their aligners for about six months (although the range runs from 4 to 8 months).
Our biggest complaint? They don’t give you too much flexibility with your aligner wear schedules. There is no nighttime option, so you have to wear your aligners throughout the day and night.
EZ Smile’s Pricing
EZ Smile’s sticker price is $2,149, making them the second-most affordable aligner company in Australia. But that’s not the most impressive thing. We really like the variety you can get from their financing options. If you have good credit, you can choose the Zip Money option, which gives you 12 months interest free. There are options without credit checks, too. For example, you can go with the EZ Installments plan and pay $38 per week (for 52 weeks). And there are other payment plans, too.
Long story short: EZ Smile has a financing method that will work for you.
EZ Smile’s Customer Support
EZ Smile offers decent customer support hours (the standard 9-5). And no matter if you contact their support by social media, phone, or email, you’ll interact with representatives who are prompt, courteous, and helpful.
What we love most about EZ Smile, however, is their fantastic satisfaction guarantees. If you get to the end of your treatment and your teeth don’t look like the results you were promised, you’ll get new aligners for free (provided you wore your originals as prescribed). But there’s also the money-back guarantee. If you decide during the first 90 days of treatment that you don’t like EZ Smile after all, they will refund your money completely. No other company has such a great guarantee. The likelihood that you’ll be pleased with your treatment from EZ Smile is extremely high.
Who Should Use EZ Smile?
Overall, EZ Smile is a great service offering a lot for the price and strong guarantees.
If you’re looking for an affordable option (not necessarily the cheapest) and flexible financing, then EZ Smile is probably the only choice for you.
That said, if you’re looking for a flexible wear schedule, you’ll want to look elsewhere. The same goes if you’re hoping for the most affordable or the quickest option. Byte is fastest, and SmilePath is more affordable. Plus, both options offer nighttime wear schedules, which many adults find to be more convenient than daytime wear.
WonderSmile | #4
Our fourth choice is WonderSmile, an international company with roots in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Thanks to their extensive reach, they can offer perks like none of their competitors.
Want to use 3D scans instead of impressions? WonderSmile has your back thanks to an extensive network of participating dental offices. Want nighttime treatment? WonderSmile offers both daytime and nighttime systems. Need only one arch treated? WonderSmile does that for qualifying patients.
WonderSmile has a sticker price of $2,390, which sets them on the more affordable side of the spectrum. They don’t have the lowest sticker price, but they are a tad cheaper than competitors like Byte and SmileDirectClub.
It’s not uncommon for companies to charge more for nighttime treatment, and WonderSmile is no exception. But WonderSmile only charges $70 more, so it hardly feels like much of a difference.
WonderSmile charges $45 for impression kits but their 3D scans are free. If you end up purchasing aligners, WonderSmile takes the cost of impressions off your total treatment price. So in effect, it’s free to start up your treatment.
Another price perk? If you are a good candidate for single arch treatment, WonderSmile will take $500 off your aligner kit price. That makes them the most affordable on the market (but single-arch treatment isn’t a common occurrence).
WonderSmile’s Customer Support
WonderSmile does a great job with its support. In fact, if you check out their reviews online, you’ll see a lot of customers raving about the help they received.
Their representatives are easy to get in touch with through phone, email, or social media support. If you’re in a hurry to chat with them, we’ve found that their phone support is the quickest.
Alternatively, if you have questions about treatment and you opt for a 3D scan instead of impressions, you can talk with one of the technicians at the clinic. They’ll happily answer all of your questions at the outset so you can get right into treatment without any worries.
Who Should Use WonderSmile?
If you want the most flexible treatment offerings and the easiest way to get started, then look no further than WonderSmile. They aren’t the most affordable and they aren’t the fastest, but they’re still a great company with more flexibility than any of their competitors.
SmileDirectClub | #5
Odds are you’ve seen an advertisement for SmileDirectClub on TV or social media. That’s because they’re the oldest, most experienced service on the market, having helped more than a million customers since their U.S.-based start in 2014.
Like EZ Smile and WonderSmile, SmileDirectClub has retail locations, aptly named SmileShops. They have hundreds of them in the United States, and their number within Australia is growing. We won’t be surprised if (before too long) they have the most retail locations in Australia. But the best part? If you have scans taken, your start-up process is completely free. Most other competitors charge for the scans.
Another plus: SmileDirectClub also offers nighttime treatment, and they don’t charge anything extra for it. There are other competitors who offer nighttime wear schedules, but SmileDirectClub is the only one to charge the same amount for both daytime and nighttime treatment.
SmileDirectClub maintains a sticker price of $2,825 for both daytime and nighttime treatment. That’s not including the impression kit, though, which costs $79 (or free if you get a scan instead). It’s not uncommon for SmileDirectClub to run sales on the kit, either. Between that and occasional discounts for your aligners, SmileDirectClub isn’t expensive, but it certainly costs more than some of their competitors.
After you finish your treatment, you’ll need to shell out an additional $165 for post-treatment retainers. Other companies give you a set for free, only charging you for additional retainers after the first set. Thankfully, $165 isn’t a massive cost. But it’s still one you’ll want to budget for.
If SmileDirectClub’s base price is a bit too much to pay all at once, you can enroll in SmilePay. There’s no credit check; all you need is a $299 down payment and then 24 monthly payments of $119.
SmileDirectClub’s Customer Support
SmileDirectClub has a huge customer base, but they’ve had a few hiccups with their customer support. We suspect that their customer list has grown much faster than their help department. Once you get in touch, their team is great, but getting a response can be difficult.
Luckily, SmileDirectClub offers a ton of online resources, from how-to videos to FAQs to blog posts. If you need help, check their website first. Then, if you still have questions about your treatment or payments, you should try to contact them.
Email and phone are SmileDirectClub’s main communication channels. We’ve found that their phone support is much faster. Email inquiries can wait more than 24 hours for a response.
Who Should Use SmileDirectClub?
If you prefer an in-person office visit to completing your own impressions, then SmileDirectClub is the best choice for you. They have a good number of locations, too. They’re also worth a second look if you want to use a nighttime aligner system instead of traditional all-day aligners.
Which Should You Choose? We Recommend Byte
Byte is our #1 recommendation for home teeth straightening. They offer excellent customer support, fast treatment times, and a generous aligner bundle. If you decide Byte is right for you, be sure to take advantage of our special offer (for $165 off treatment).
Why These Brands Make the Cut
We’ve given you our top 5 choices for the best at-home clear aligners in Australia. So, why did these particular options make the cut above the rest?
- Byte: Fastest treatment speed on the market & best overall value; daytime and nighttime treatment.
- SmilePath: Most affordable aligner kit on the market; daytime and nighttime treatment.
- EZ Smile: Best satisfaction guarantees and warranty policies; flexible payment plans.
- WonderSmile: Most treatment flexibility with both nighttime and daytime treatment and single-arch treatment.
- SmileDirectClub: Most brand power; same price for both daytime and nighttime treatment.
But there are other clear aligner brands, too. So why did we pick those as our top five?
You can find our full evaluation process here, but here’s a quick look at the criteria we used:
Treatment Quality: How does your treatment go from start to finish? How many times does someone check in with you to see how your treatment is going? These are important questions to ask — no two aligner companies are exactly alike.
Treatment Speed: How long will you have to wait to see your perfect smile? The industry’s average treatment time is 6 months, but there’s some give and take depending on which company you choose.
Overall Value: Every clear aligner company has a different price point; that’s understandable. But the more important question is how much you’ll get for your money. Some companies throw in a lot of extras like post-treatment retainers and whitening, and others keep it simple.
Customer Service: Is it a pain to get in touch with a customer service rep? Or do you get quick responses from someone who’s familiar with your case? Some aligner companies shine in the customer service department, but others fall short.
Keep in Mind Before Starting:
You’ll soon be on your way to a winning smile. But before you kick off your treatment, follow these tips to make the process as simple as possible.
1) Get rid of those wisdom teeth first.
Technically speaking, you can still get treatment before your wisdom teeth have come in. But then you run the risk of having them come in and push your freshly straightened teeth out of the way. It’s better to postpone your treatment until you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed.
2) Follow your prescribed treatment to a T.
Each clear aligner company has its own treatment process, such as wearing an aligner for a week or two weeks, using a HyperByte tool, or wearing the aligners for a set time per day. Deviating from the plan can derail your treatment and cause additional discomfort, so don’t do it.
3) If anything goes wrong, contact customer support right away.
Life happens. Your aligners could break or go missing. Or maybe you get a tooth infection that prevents you from wearing your aligners for a bit. If anything obstructs your prescribed treatment, get in touch with your support team. They’ll be able to help you replace your aligners or revise your treatment plan accordingly.
4) For whitening, use the treatment your clear aligner company provides.
Some companies include whitening treatment, and there’s a good reason for that. The whitening product they’ve developed is formulated to use in conjunction with their aligners. Some other whitening treatments could damage the plastic.
5) Not all aligners are created equal.
Some have a matte finish while others are shiny. Some are scalloped to match the gum line, and others are cut straight across. These two differences affect the visibility and effectiveness of your aligners. Matte aligners are less visible than shiny ones, and straight-cut aligners are stronger than ones cut to match your gums.
On top of that, certain companies partner with trusted aligner manufacturers to ensure high-quality production. If visibility, quality, or treatment speed are important factors for you, you’ll want to investigate each company’s aligners before you purchase.
6) Clear aligners might come with some discomfort.
Everyone’s experience is a bit different, but your treatment’s aggressiveness goes hand-in-hand with levels of potential discomfort. For example, nighttime-only aligners tend to cause a bit more soreness than traditional treatment because your teeth have less time to adjust to their new positions. Similarly, some companies give you biweekly or weekly aligners, and weekly aligners cause slightly more discomfort.
7) Aligners don’t mix with food and beverages.
With any aligner company, you’ll need to remove your aligners whenever you eat or drink (plain water excluded). Then, before you put them back in, you should brush your teeth and floss. If you’re a frequent snacker or drink a lot of coffee, this can be a hassle since you wear your aligners for 20-22 hours per day. It’s an avoidable hassle, though: nighttime-only aligners only require ten hours of continuous wear.
Common Questions About At-Home Aligners
Q: Are home teeth straightening kits covered by insurance?
A: Generally speaking, at-home aligners are considered cosmetic treatments by Medicare since they are limited in what they can treat. If you have an additional private policy, you might have some coverage for teeth straightening kits.
As a general rule for those with additional benefits: we recommend you contact your company before purchasing your aligners. They’ll help you quickly determine whether or not your treatment qualifies for reimbursement. And if it does, your company will help make sure your treatment gets coded correctly. It’s a hassle, but it’s much easier to address this issue up front!
Q: What about Invisalign?
A: Home teeth aligners are not the same thing as Invisalign. Invisalign also utilizes clear aligner technology, but that’s where the similarity ends.
Invisalign is basically the same as braces, but without all the brackets and wires. Just like braces, treatment with Invisalign requires ongoing office visits, during which your dentist can incorporate other dental appliances (like elastics) into your treatment plan. This makes Invisalign a great treatment option for more severe cases of dental misalignment.
Q: How does home teeth alignment actually work?
A: By magic! Okay, not really. It only seems that home teeth aligners use magic to shift your teeth as discreetly as possible. But home teeth aligners use the same science as braces to straighten your smile. The key difference is that clear aligners don’t use wires and brackets.
Instead, plastic aligners, when used as a full, step-by-step set, gradually shift your teeth into place. Each aligner moves your teeth a tiny bit closer to your perfect smile.
At-home teeth aligners are much cheaper than traditional braces and Invisalign because there are no office visits involved. Basically, you don’t get charged for the overhead costs involved with a traditional dentist or orthodontist. That said, home teeth aligners are still reliable because they’re tailored specifically to your smile.
Q: If I use an at-home teeth alignment service, should I get a scan or use an impression kit?
A: Ultimately, it’s up to you. We’ve read a lot of reviews from individuals that loved the customer service at the retail locations, so if you live near one, go for it. It’s free, and there’s no requirement to buy aligners. But if you’re too far away, stick with the impression kit.
Q: Do any of these services offer discounts?
A: All five offer discounts. The real question is how much and how often. Many companies offer special promotions around major holidays. There are also referral discounts, too.
Q: What if I’m not happy with the outcome?
A: Most of these companies do not offer refunds if you’re not satisfied with the outcome once you’ve finished treatment. However, you can appeal for a correction provided you’ve followed your treatment plan.
EZ Smile is the most forgiving with these issues, though. You have 90 days to change your mind about treatment, and they’ll offer a free refinement (provided you wore your aligners as prescribed).
Q: I’ve heard the most about SmileDirectClub. How do other providers compare?
A: SmileDirectClub is definitely the biggest name in the industry. Their brand power is a big advantage. And they do have a lot going for them: they’re experienced, they offer nighttime-only treatment, and they’re a reputable brand. However, other companies are a bit cheaper (SmilePath) or faster (Byte).
Q: How do at-home teeth aligners compare to Invisalign/braces?
A: At-home teeth aligners are much cheaper than Invisalign and braces. They’re usually faster, too. The biggest drawback is that online teeth aligners cannot correct bite issues or misshapen jaws. Extreme cases should be handled in person, making Invisalign or braces a better option. The required office visits would ensure detailed care.
Q: Do the results from at-home teeth alignment last forever?
A: It’s possible that your teeth will shift, regardless of whether you use traditional braces or an at-home aligner system. To reduce the risk of shifting, you should wear (and regularly replace) the post-treatment retainers provided by your aligner company. In some cases, your first set is free. Other companies charge a modest fee for these retainers.
Q: Do any of these services include whitening kits?
A: Some will. For now, Byte and SmileDirectClub do. Theirs can be used mid-treatment, since the formula is safe to use with aligners. If you’re using one of the other companies, you can purchase whitening formula on your own. Just be sure to pick a formula that’s safe for aligners; certain types can damage them.
Q: I’m in a rush! Which is the fastest home clear aligner?
A: Byte, hands-down. Thanks to the HyperByte system, the typical treatment (using daytime, 22-hour wear) lasts 3 months with Byte. Other companies average 6 months.
Q: Do any online teeth alignment services have refund policies?
A: Strictly speaking, most don’t. They’ll help correct your smile if your treatment doesn’t go as planned, but you won’t get your money back. Smile Direct Club has a 30-day refund policy, but that’s not much help because you won’t really see tangible results within thirty days. EZ Smile, however, has a 90-day refund policy.
Q: What happens if I mess up the impression kit?
A: If you’re not sure if your kit will work, go ahead and send it in. If your provider can’t use the mold you’ve made, they’ll let you know. But if you totally botched the impressions and you know they’re unusable, then contact their customer support. They’ll get the process rolling to send you a new kit.
Q: Do these services have aggressive upsells?
A: Thankfully, no. Byte and SmileDirectClub have a soft upsell by including a free whitening kit with your treatment. But since there’s no commitment to buy replacement whitening kits once you run out, it’s not a true upsell.
Q: Is there an age requirement for using at-home clear aligners?
A: It depends on the aligner company. Some companies will treat people as young as 12, provided all the adult teeth are in. Others start at age 16. Regardless of the company you choose, minors must receive parental consent before treatment.
Q: Will home clear aligners make me talk funny?
A: Home clear aligners are minimally invasive. To most people, they’re imperceptible. But let’s be real: there’s a foreign object in your mouth. It might feel weird at first. Most people usually adjust after a few days and don’t have any weird speech quirks during treatment.
Q: What happens if I lose my aligners?
A: Contact customer support right away, and they’ll tell you what to do. Some companies will send a replacement aligner. But in general, you should wear your previous aligner in the meantime. That will keep your teeth from shifting back to their original position.
Q: Is it worth paying extra for a teeth whitening kit?
A: Your first kit might be included. But after that, you’ll need to purchase a kit if you want further whitening treatment. Even without whitening, your teeth will look better than when you started.
That said, if you want to brighten your smile during treatment, you should stick with the whitening agents your company provides, even if it’s more expensive than another option. It’s safe to use with your aligners.
Q: Do these services have good customer support?
A: In general, all of these companies provide good customer support. But they vary in responsiveness and efficiency. Byte, SmilePath, and EZ Smile all have prompt, friendly service teams. SmileDirectClub will get you the help you need, but we’ve found that they’re a touch slower to respond.