A million dollar smile is great and all, but what about getting one as an adult?
No one past their teen years wants to deal with the “brace face” life (or relive it if the effects of their braces have worn off).
Thankfully, home teeth aligners make it possible to straighten your teeth from the convenience of your house. No braces, no wires, no office visits.
These clear aligners have become a popular alternative to braces. Why? They’re much cheaper than braces and Invisalign. They’re also much more convenient.
There are a few popular home teeth aligner companies on the market today, including SmilePath and EZ Smile. In this comparison review, we’ll help you decide which of these two services is the better option for your unique circumstances.
The Rundown: How SmilePath and EZ Smile Stack Up
SmilePath and EZ Smile are pretty new companies in the grand scheme of things, but to be honest, so is the entire clear aligner industry. But for as new as they are, SmilePath and EZ Smile have both established a pretty good reputation.
It’s important to note that SmilePath might not have a massive online presence, but they operate in the U.S. as AlignerCo, and in the U.K. as Straight My Teeth. If you take the reviews for all three companies into account, you’ll find that SmilePath has a pretty solid reputation.
|Customers served||Thousands||No published number, but enough customers to have a decent number of reviews|
|Claim to fame||Most affordable treatment in the industry||Making treatment accessible thanks to scan locations and flexible financing|
|No food restrictions?||✓||✓|
|No office visits?||✓||✓|
|Personalized customer service?|
|Price Tag?||All-day treatment: $1,899 |
|Financing Available?||Both treatment plans have two financing options; one that requires a credit check; and one that requires a downpayment||A huge variety of options, starting at weekly payments of $38|
|Treatment Length?||All-day treatment: 4-6 months |
NightOnly treatment: 6-8 months
|Start-Up Process?||At-home impression kit||Impression kit or Smile Scan at a retail location|
Intrigued? That’s just the flyby! Let’s dig into the differences between EZ Smile and SmilePath in more detail.
When you first begin your clear aligner research, the clear aligners themselves probably all seem identical. Which makes sense—after all, every provider we review uses medical grade, BPA free plastic to craft their aligners. But aside from their core similarities, there are some differences in clear aligner design from company to company.
There are two main ways to trim an aligner: straight across, or scalloped to match the gumline. There are advantages to each design. The straight cut overlaps with the gums, which helps it exert more force. However, the overlap does make the straight cut a little more noticeable. The scalloped cut is a little more discreet, just a bit less powerful. It’s a tradeoff either way, but we prefer the straight cut due to its effectiveness.
Some providers make their aligners from highly transparent plastic, while others use plastic with a slightly frosted appearance. You’d think that the clearer the aligner, the more invisible—but that’s not actually the case. Our teeth have a porous surface, so a frosted, matte aligner actually better mimics our natural smiles. Clear, shiny plastic tends to catch the light and be a bit more noticeable.
Let’s explore what design choices SmilePath and EZ Smile have made for their aligners:
|Materials||Medical grade, BPA free plastic||Medical grade, BPA free plastic|
|Aligner Transparency||Clear, shiny plastic||Clear, shiny plastic|
SmilePath has their aligners manufactured by RaintreeEssix, a respected dental supplier that’s been making clear aligners since 2005. SmilePath uses the same aligners for their all-day treatment as they do their nighttime only treatment option. Some companies make their nighttime only aligners from thicker, more durable plastic, but SmilePath uses the same aligners across the board.
EZ Smile doesn’t disclose who makes their aligners, so it’s difficult for us to speak to the quality in that regard. However, we do know that their treatment is safe and effective, and that their aligners are made from medical grade, BPA free plastic.
Looks-wise, these providers make the same choices across the board. They both use scalloped aligners, so your trays will be discreet; albeit less powerful. Both SmilePath and EZ Smile use clear, shiny plastic for their aligners. Even though this is the more noticeable option, bear in mind that appearance is subjective. Some customers genuinely like having an added shine to their smiles! All that matters is you find the clear aligners that work for you.
Just because these treatments occur remotely doesn’t mean you’ll be left high and dry. Remote providers keep an eye on your progress through photos you submit during your treatment. However, the frequency and level of sophistication of remote oversight varies across companies. Let’s take a look at what you can expect when you choose SmilePath and EZ Smile for treatment.
|Frequency of check-ins||Every 10-14 days||Once, midway through treatment|
|Photos sent via||EZ Smile account|
|Treatment Length||All-day treatment: 4-6 months |
NightOnly treatment: 6-8 months
|Customer Support||Available phone, email, and webchat; 7 days a week||Available via phone, email, webchat, and social media|
If you’re not sure how to approach capturing clear images of your treatment progress, don’t worry—both providers include a cheek retractor in your treatment bundle. This tool helps scoot your cheeks out of the way so you can capture quality photos of your smile.
With photo updates every 10-14 days (whenever you switch to a new set of aligners), SmilePath gets eyes on your treatment much more frequently than EZ Smile. EZ Smile only requires one photo update during your treatment (at the midway point). Depending on your priorities, less oversight could be a positive or a negative trait. Some people feel peace of mind that their provider has eyes on their treatment every 2 weeks. For others; the fewer obligations, the better. It all comes down to your personal priorities.
If you need anything outside of these check-ins, you can contact customer support.
Thanks to their small customer base, SmilePath can offer excellent support to each customer. Customers frequently thank their support reps by name. In our experience, webchat is the quickest way to get a response.
EZ Smile also does a great job with customer service. You’ll get prompt support most days. But if you’re in a rush for answers, phone is the quickest route.
SmilePath says that their all-day treatment wraps up in 4-6 months, and that their NightOnly treatment takes between 6-8 months. However, judging by their reviews and the reviews of their sister companies (which use the exact same alignment system), treatment can take much longer than these projected timelines.
EZ Smile’s treatments can take anywhere from 4-8 months. For reference, the industry average treatment length is 6 months for all-day wear, and 9 months for nighttime only treatment.
All in all, SmilePath offers more frequent treatment oversight; but both companies excel in their customer support teams.
Bang For Your Buck
One of the main draws to at-home clear aligners are their comparative affordability to traditional options like braces and Invisalign. But when it’s all said and done, what do these remote treatments actually set you back? In this section, we’ll dig into the pricing details for impression kits, treatment, and whitening from SmilePath and EZ Smile.
|Startup Costs||$75 impression kit||$99 impression kit or scan|
|Aligner Kit||All-day treatment: $1,899 |
|Add-Ons||Whitening: $59.99||Shine foam: $29.95 |
Whitening pens: $39.95
|Financing||Both treatment plans have two financing options; one that requires a credit check; and one that requires a downpayment||Wide variety of financing options, both with and without credit checks. Their plans start as low as $38/week|
|Post-Treatment||First set of aftercare retainers are free; then you can purchase them in bulk ($512 for 8 sets)||First set of retainers are free, then $99/set|
With any home aligner company, you’ll kick off your treatment by taking impressions of your teeth. Most companies require you to use an at-home impression kit. However, a few companies, including EZ Smile, maintain retail locations that make the startup process more convenient.
SmilePath’s $75 impression kit includes everything you’ll need to kick off your treatment: putty, trays, a prepaid shipping label, and of course, detailed instructions. The $75 price tag isn’t too bad, but if you decide to pay for all of your treatment up front, SmilePath will throw in the kit at no extra charge.
One of the biggest perks to EZ Smile is that they maintain retail locations where you can get a scan taken or you can order an impression kit. It’s your choice, either way it costs $99. A lot of customers find it’s much easier to get a scan, though. And with EZ Smile, if you buy aligners, you’ll get $100 off your treatment bundle. So in a way, this step is free.
Once you complete your impressions or scans, SmilePath or EZ Smile will create your personalized treatment plan. This includes all of the aligners you’ll need to shift your smile from meh to wow.
SmilePath has the most affordable treatments in the industry. And as a nice plus, nighttime treatment only costs $100 more. Despite their low prices, SmilePath still manages to include your first set of aftercare retainers for free. After that you can purchase them in bulk through SmilePath.
EZ Smile has the second most affordable kit on the clear aligner scene, and they give you a great value. For that price, you’ll get all the aligners you need to treat your smile and one set of free post-treatment retainers. These will cost you $99 after the first set.
Can’t pay all at once? Thankfully, both services offer financing.
With SmilePath, each treatment option has two different financing plans: one that requires a credit check, and one that requires a downpayment.
Pending a credit check, for all-day treatment you’ll make 18 monthly payments of $117. Alternatively, you can make a $499 downpayment followed by 6 monthly payments of $300. NightOnly pricing is similar, the payments are just a bit higher. For NightOnly (pending a credit check), you can make 18 monthly payments of $122. Or you can make a downpayment of $555, followed by 6 monthly payments of $316.
EZ Smile has so many financing options that it would get tedious for us to list them all here. They have financing plans with and without credit checks, and there are payment plans to fit any timetable and budget. Their plans start as low as $38 per week.
All told, SmilePath and EZ Smile are pretty comparable in value. And both give financing plans that are friendly for those with glowing and lackluster credit scores alike. But if you’re looking for a downright budget-friendly option, you’ll spend less with SmilePath.
Most people are accustomed to looking for a low price on a high quality item, but when we’re shopping for clear aligner treatment it’s also important to consider how the company treats their customers. After all, you’ll be working with your provider for a few months, you want to make sure they have a good track record with the customers they’ve already served.
Let’s take a peek at what you can expect from the customer experience when you choose SmilePath and EZ Smile for your treatment.
For many shoppers, customer reviews can make or break purchase decisions. If you’re one of those shoppers, we’ve got you covered. We’ve done the legwork for you to see what customers across the web are saying about SmilePath and EZ Smile.
|Top loves:||Small company feel; friendly support; extremely affordable; easy to complete the process||Discreet; minimal discomfort; retail experience is excellent; cost-effective|
|Top complaints:||Frequent emails; sometimes photos get lost; written impression instructions can be tricky||Teeth feel odd during treatment; sometimes one arch doesn’t respond as well|
Both SmilePath and EZ Smile have pretty good online reputations, including on third-party review sites. And at first glance, it might look like EZ Smile has a few more. But one thing to note: SmilePath operates as AlignerCo in the U.S., and Straight My Teeth in the U.K. Between the reviews of their sister companies and for SmilePath itself, they have a very firmly established reputation for excellence.
As with any purchase, there’s always the nagging question: what if it doesn’t work out? SmilePath and EZ Smile both have very individualized approaches to guaranteeing your treatment.
SmilePath falls a little short in this department. They really only offer the industry standard refund on your impression kit. If SmilePath determines you aren’t a candidate for treatment, then they’ll refund you the cost of your impression kit (or anything you already paid for your clear aligners).
EZ Smile has a pretty generous satisfaction guarantee. Here’s how it works: if at any time during your first 90 days of treatment you decide that EZ Smile isn’t for you, they’ll refund your money. They’ll keep $300 to cover their costs, but the rest will be refunded to you once you send in your aligners (both used and unused).
What if I break an aligner?
Accidents happen—if you lose or break an aligner be sure to reach out to your provider right away.
SmilePath doesn’t replace aligners, so they typically advise their customers to move on to the next aligner in their set.
EZ Smile can assess where you’re at in your treatment, and if they determine you need a replacement, they’ll send one your way for $99. While you wait for the replacement be sure to wear your most recent aligner so your teeth don’t shift out of position.
If you reach the end of your treatment and your teeth still need a bit more movement, you’ll need refinements (extra aligners). Each company takes a different approach to handle refinements.
If you reach the end of your SmilePath treatment and you’re not pleased with your smile, SmilePath will give you an adjustment and send new aligners your way—but you’ll need to pay $270 for them.
Alternatively, if you reach the end of your treatment and your smile doesn’t look like what you were promised, EZ Smile will send you new aligners for free. That way, you’ll get back on track before you know it!
A generous refinements plan can give you some peace of mind during treatment, since your results are essentially guaranteed. If you end up needing refinements, SmilePath’s $270 fee brings their cost to $2,169 for all-day and $2,269 for NightOnly treatment. This means that if you do end up needing refinements, EZ Smile ends up being the cheaper option, since they include your refinements for free.
Which Is the Best Home Aligner for You?
When it all comes down to it, SmilePath and EZ Smile are both good options. But at the end of the day, you can only pick one.
If you want our honest opinion, we prefer SmilePath—we rate them #2 across all Australian providers. It’s not a huge difference, though, because EZ Smile gets our #3 spot. We just love SmilePath’s affordable treatment prices. But if you want an easier start-up process or the assurance of a fantastic satisfaction guarantee, then EZ Smile is a great choice for only a few hundred dollars more.
Choose SmilePath if:
You want the most budget-friendly (but still effective and safe) treatment on the market without lots of extra bells and whistles.
Choose EZ Smile if:
You want the easiest start-up process in Australia, or you want the practicality of choosing a company that will give you the most flexible financing options possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does either home aligner kit offer discounts?
Technically, both services offer discounts. For example, while we’re writing this guide, SmilePath is running a sale for more than $400 off their aligners. Meanwhile, EZ Smile is running a discount on their impression kit. But keep in mind that none of these sales last forever; if you find a good one, you’ll want to jump on it.
Are SmilePath and EZ Smile legit?
Your mom warned you about things that sound too good to be true, right? Thankfully home aligner companies like SmilePath and EZ Smile aren’t. These companies leverage a competitive product with competitive prices. But they don’t sacrifice quality to do it. How? They don’t have the overhead costs of a physical office like a traditional orthodontist’s office, so they can invest those savings in measures that ensure treatment quality.
Which home aligner is more customer-focused?
Honestly, both companies do a good job taking care of their customers. That said, we do like the fact that SmilePath customers frequently thank their customer service representatives by name. That tells us a lot about the individualized support that SmilePath offers.
How exactly do at-home clear aligners work?
They’re nearly invisible, but they’re not magical. Technically speaking, at-home clear aligners use roughly the same technology that Invisalign uses. This starts with your impressions or scans; a dental professional analyzes those impressions to design a series of clear trays that gently and gradually move your teeth to their final destination.
How do SmilePath and EZ Smile compare to Invisalign?
They’re distant cousins, really. Invisalign pioneered the clear aligner alternative to traditional braces. However, Invisalign adds one aspect to the aligners: devices affixed to your teeth to secure the aligners. Those devices have to be attached in-office by a qualified orthodontist. Home aligners don’t use those, allowing you to complete your entire treatment at home.
How do these home aligners compare to Smile Direct, WonderSmile and Byte?
EZ Smile and SmilePath are both pretty similar to other clear aligner companies on the market, but each competitor has its own perks. WonderSmile offers the flexibility of both nighttime treatment and single-arch treatment. Smile Direct has the biggest brand power. And last but certainly not least, Byte has the shortest treatment lengths and a fantastic lifetime guarantee.
Is there an age requirement for using either SmilePath or EZ Smile?
With both SmilePath and EZ Smile, you must have all permanent teeth present to begin treatment (you don’t want to dump thousands into teeth that will just fall out, anyway). SmilePath will treat ages 14 and up; EZ Smile bumps that number up to 16. That said, minors should get parental consent prior to getting treatment.
Does either service give free whitening treatment?
Neither service offers free whitening, but you can always purchase their whitening kits separately. SmilePath’s whitening kit is $59.99, and EZ Smile’s whitening pens are $39.95.
Do SmilePath and EZ Smile have aggressive upsells?
Thankfully, no. Since they don’t include many extras, they can’t be classified as “upselling.” Both providers include a free set of aftercare retainers, but these are a necessary part of treatment.
How do I know if at-home aligners are right for me?
Many people are good candidates for at-home treatment. In general, the only people who should automatically steer clear of at-home aligners are people with significant bite issues. If a condition like overbite or underbite is the cause of your teeth’s misalignment, then clear aligners likely won’t be able to permanently correct your issue.
Individuals with implants may still be able to get treatment. To know for sure, you’ll need to take an impression kit with either service. They’ll let you know for sure if you are a candidate or not. If you are not a candidate, you’ll get a refund for the price of the impression kit.
Will either of these home aligners make me talk funny?
Most people take a few days to adjust to the feeling of aligners—after all, there’s a foreign object in your mouth—but very few experience long-lasting issues. The average observer can’t detect that you’re wearing aligners, even while talking.
If I lose my aligners during or after treatment, do I have to pay for new ones?
It depends on your treatment provider. EZ Smile will provide a replacement for a $99 fee, so get in contact with them right away. You should wear your previous aligner until a replacement arrives. That will keep your teeth from shifting too far back. SmilePath customers should reach out too. However, SmilePath doesn’t replace aligners; so they usually recommend moving onto the next aligner in your treatment plan.
Can I drink coffee when using SmilePath or EZ Smile?
You can, but you shouldn’t. Aligners from SmilePath and EZ Smile are fairly stain-resistant, but you should generally avoid eating or drinking colored liquids and foods while wearing your aligners. Water is a safe bet, though.
Are there any hidden costs?
Not exactly. With both EZ Smile and SmilePath, the price you see is the price you pay. But one additional expense you might not expect will be post-treatment retainers. Both companies are pretty clear that these retainers are a necessity, but they don’t list them in the initial treatment price. Both providers give you the first set of retainers for free, but you’ll need to pay for replacements yourself. SmilePath sells them in bulk ($512 for 8 sets), and EZ Smile sells them for $99/set.