20 years ago, clear aligners became the superhero of modern orthodontics.
They rescued adults everywhere from the unsightly wires & brackets of traditional braces, replacing them with smooth, clear plastic aligners.
The oldest and most well-known option is Invisalign, but they don’t have a monopoly on the market. One of their earliest competitors was ClearCorrect, and in recent years, at-home treatments have become equally attractive options.
Home aligner brands like Byte offer a faster and more affordable treatment alternative for busy adults on a budget.
But how do these competitors—ClearCorrect and Byte—compare? That’s the question we’re here to answer.
In this review, we’ll put Byte and ClearCorrect side by side to see how they stack up in terms of cost, treatment oversight, customer experience, and more. By the time we’re finished, you’ll have a much clearer image of which company better lines up with your needs!
Spoiler | Byte Wins
In our opinion, Byte’s short treatment lengths, lifetime guarantee, and superior convenience are just too good to pass up.
And even though they’re our #1-rated home aligner company, they’re not the only one out there. If you like the idea of straightening your teeth from home, we encourage you to compare your options before making a final decision.
4 Things They Have in Common
ClearCorrect and Byte are two very different companies, but they do have similar products. It comes as no surprise, then, that they have a few things in common:
1) Discreet: Both ClearCorrect and Byte are far less noticeable than braces. Trade wires and brackets for clear aligners and that’s bound to happen. Some people find that they ‘lisp’ a little bit when they first start wearing the aligners, but most people adjust pretty quickly. Most users find that other people rarely (if ever) spot their aligners.
2) Safe: We’re talking about the future of your smile here, so safety is crucial. But rest assured, both ClearCorrect and Byte are safe ways to straighten your teeth. Both companies use similar technologies and although ClearCorrect has a few add-ons that Byte doesn’t, the basic principle of both is the same. Both companies use safe, BPA-free plastic in their aligners and dental professionals to design your treatment.
3) Convenient: If you ever talk to a friend who had braces back in the day, you’ll probably hear horror stories about avoiding popcorn or gum, the pains of dislodging food from the wires, and other hassles. Clear aligners take these hassles down several notches. You’ll have to remove your aligners every time you eat or drink (excluding water), but you’ll get to eat all of your favorite foods. And cleaning your teeth is just as simple as ever, too. Just pop out your aligners to brush and floss, then reinsert them.
4) Insurance Coverage: Both ClearCorrect and Byte may be covered by your insurance. If your plan includes orthodontic benefits, there’s a good chance you can receive partial coverage. Some general dental policies may cover your treatment, too. However, insurance providers are more likely to cover in-office treatments like ClearCorrect than at-home ones like Byte.
5 Ways They Differ
This wouldn’t be a comparison review if these two companies didn’t have a few differences, now, would it? Here are a few key differences between Byte and ClearCorrect:
1) Who can get treatment: One of the biggest differences between ClearCorrect and Byte is who can receive treatment. Byte can treat only mild to moderate cases of crowding and spacing. More extensive cases—like those caused by an overbite, underbite, or misshapen jaw—need to be monitored in-person by an orthodontist. ClearCorrect, however, can handle the full gamut of cases, from mild to severe.
2) Cost: There is no one-size-fits-all price tag for ClearCorrect. That’s because your price depends on your orthodontist’s personal fees and the severity of your case. The more severe your case, the more it will cost. They also have an option called Flex for mild cosmetic cases that is often significantly cheaper. On average, most people will spend between $2,500 and $5,000. With Byte, though, there are very few overhead costs, so your treatment will be much more affordable: $1,895 (or $2,295 for nighttime treatment).
3) Treatment Time: The average treatment time with ClearCorrect ranges between 12 to 18 months, although Flex may take as little as a few months. Byte’s treatments are much shorter, with their fastest times clocking in at 4 months for daytime treatment. They also have nighttime treatment, which usually lasts 5 months. Byte has the industry’s shortest treatment lengths.
4) One-on-one care: The biggest disadvantage of at-home aligner companies like Byte is that you don’t actually meet in-person with an orthodontist. That can make it tough to individualize your treatment. But with ClearCorrect, you’ll have direct, in-person care from your orthodontist each time you visit the office.
5) Financing: Both Byte and ClearCorrect offer financing. Every Byte customer is eligible for a payment plan (regardless of credit score). After a down payment of $249, you’ll pay $82 per month for 32 months (financing for nighttime treatment is a bit pricier). ClearCorrect’s financing is a bit different. You may be able to get a customized plan directly from your dental provider. There’s also beWell, ClearCorrect’s financing partner, although this option may require a credit check.
The Rundown: How ClearCorrect and Byte Stack Up
Invisalign was the first clear aligner option, but ClearCorrect followed closely on their heels. In 2006, founder Dr. William Pumphrey realized that over 400 patients needed clear aligners, but there wasn’t a good manufacturer in line to fill that need. So Dr. Pumphrey made a critical decision: he was going to produce his own. The rest is pretty much history. Now ClearCorrect is the second-largest clear aligner producer in the industry.
What really stands out about ClearCorrect treatment is the wide variety of conditions they can correct. That’s largely due to the attachments and extra plastics that your dentist or orthodontist can use. These ‘extras’ are attached to your teeth and work in conjunction with your clear aligners to create powerful, nuanced movements. Your dentist or orthodontist can also add any spacers, elastics, or other attachments you may need. That flexibility and technology allow ClearCorrect to treat more extreme cases.
Compared to ClearCorrect, Byte is relatively new. They got started in 2018 as the brainchild of Dr. Marashi, who has perfected smiles for several of Hollywood’s brightest stars. He wanted to bring his celebrity-level treatment to the masses, so he partnered with some fellow smile pros and got to work.
Byte wants to make you feel like an A-lister with their Smile Science. Instead of giving you a cookie-cutter smile, Byte develops a treatment plan that will straighten your smile in the way that best compliments your unique facial features.
They also have the fastest treatment time of any at-home aligner company and an excellent lifetime guarantee on your treatment. So while they may be the “new kid on the block,” Byte is set to make some big waves in the orthodontics industry.
|Customers served||No published number||200,000+|
|Claim to fame||Second largest clear aligner manufacturer||Shortest treatment lengths in the industry|
|No food restrictions?||✓||✓|
|No office visits?||✓|
|Covered by insurance (with orthodontic benefits)?||✓||✓|
|Personalized customer service?||✓||✓|
|Price Tag?||Ranges from $2,500-$5,000||Daytime treatment: $1,895 |
Byte At-Night: $2,295
|Financing Available?||Varies office to office, may require credit check||Daytime treatment: $249 downpayment & 32 monthly payments of $82 |
Byte At-Night: $299 downpayment & 32 monthly payments of $99
|Treatment Length?||12-18 months; though Flex program can wrap up in just a few months||Daytime treatment: Average 4 months |
Byte At-Night: Average 5 months
|Start-Up Process?||In-person appointment with a ClearCorrect dentist or orthodontist||At-home impression kit; simply make your molds and mail them back to Byte with a prepaid shipping label|
All clear aligners are made from safe, BPA free plastics. But each company makes their clear aligners slightly differently.
There are two main ways to cut the top of your aligners: straight across, or scalloped to match the gumline. Since they overlap with your gums, straight cut aligners can exert more force. Scalloped aligners are a little less noticeable, but they aren’t as powerful; so it’s a bit of a tradeoff either way.
The transparency of your aligners also varies from provider to provider. Some companies make their aligners as clear as possible. Others opt to make their aligners from plastic with a slightly frosted appearance. It may seem counter intuitive, but the frosted aligners typically have a lower profile, since they better mimic the matte surface of your teeth.
Let’s take a look at the aligners you’ll be wearing when you choose ClearCorrect and Byte:
|Materials||BPA free Zendura plastic||BPA free, PETG plastic (basically a modified, more affordable polyurethane) |
At-Night aligners are made for a thicker, more durable plastic than their all-day aligners
|Aligner Cut||Straight cut||Straight cut|
|Aligner Transparency||Slightly frosted plastic||Clear, shiny plastic|
We love that Byte’s nighttime only aligners are more durable than their all-day wear option. So if you grind your teeth overnight, it’s not likely to be an issue with Byte.
ClearCorrect is the second largest clear aligner manufacturer in the world. With the frosted plastic, your ClearCorrect aligners are likely to look slightly less noticeable than Byte’s shiny aligners.
That being said, appearance is subjective! Some people like having a little extra gleam in their smiles. All that’s important is that you choose the aligner that works for you.
ClearCorrect and Byte take different approaches to overseeing your treatment. During ClearCorrect treatment, you’ll need to attend frequent in-person appointments; whereas with Byte, you’ll be able to complete all of your treatment from the comfort of your own home. Let’s see the breakdown of what treatment oversight looks like with ClearCorrect and Byte:
|Frequency of check-ins||Every 4-8 weeks||Every 3-4 weeks|
|Check-ins via||In-person appointments||Photos sent via a patient portal|
|Treatment Length||12-18 months on average; Flex program can be just a few months||Daytime treatment: 4 months |
Byte At-Night: 5 months
|Customer Support||Varies from office to office||Available via phone, email and social media—7am-5pm PST|
You can contact your chosen dentist or orthodontist whenever you have questions about your ClearCorrect treatment, payment, lost aligners, and so on. They’ll know the ins and outs of your case, so if you need to get a repair, replacement, or treatment modification, your local provider is the best way to get it.
Byte, on the other hand, is completely remote. If anything goes wrong, you can contact them via email, phone, text, webchat, or even social media. Their customer support hours are from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm PST. If you contact them through social media, you should get a response within 24 hours. The more ‘traditional’ channels are usually a touch faster; a phone call, for example, will get you an almost immediate response.
One thing we really like about Byte is the fact that they assign a ‘Byte advisor’ to each customer. This advisor becomes your personal customer service rep, so any time you have a question or concern, you’ll talk directly with a person who’s already intimately familiar with your case.
If you contact ClearCorrect’s customer support directly, we think that the one-on-one care you’d get from your personal dentist or orthodontist provides better support than remote treatment. That said, Byte replicates this personal touch with their individually-assigned Byte advisors; without the hassle of attending frequent in-person appointments.
Why the discrepancy in treatment lengths? It’s partly due to the fact that ClearCorrect usually handles tougher cases (which naturally take longer). That said, with Flex (a ClearCorrect option for mild cosmetic cases), treatment lasts a few months.
Byte handles only mild to moderate cases, which take less time. And thanks to their HyperByte system, Byte has the shortest treatment lengths on the market regardless of whether you choose the daytime or nighttime option. Normally, nighttime treatment takes twice as long as daytime treatment; that makes sense, since you wear your aligners for 10 hours per night as opposed to the usual 22+. But with Byte, nighttime treatment is still speedy.
Bang For Your Buck
A million-dollar smile is exciting, but it shouldn’t cost you a million bucks. The overall price tag of each service matters, and it’s also important to consider what your money gets you. Every treatment option comes with a few basic costs: the cost of treatment itself, and the cost for post-treatment retainers. We’ll cover those here.
|Startup Costs||Varies||$95 impression kit|
|Aligner Kit||$2,500-$5,000 on average||Daytime treatment: $1,895 |
Byte At-Night: $2,295
|Add-Ons||Varies||Byte Protection Plan: $649 for daytime treatment; $779 for Byte At-Night|
|Financing||Payment plans are likely to be available, but the details will vary from office to office and may require a credit check||Daytime treatment: $249 downpayment & 32 monthly payments of $82 |
Byte At-Night: $299 downpayment & 32 monthly payments of $99
|Insurance||If your plan includes orthodontic benefits, there’s a good chance you can receive partial coverage||Byte works hand in hand with several insurance companies. Byte can run a free coverage check for you, you’ll just need to send them your insurance card.|
|Post-Treatment||Varies||$129 per retainer set (but they give you the first set for free!)|
The actual cost of ClearCorrect largely depends on your dentist’s or orthodontist’s fees and how much treatment you need to perfect your smile. Your orthodontist or dentist will give you a full quote before you start treatment. But if you use Flex, you’ll pay per aligner, which means your treatment could cost significantly less.
Aftercare retainers are strong, but they don’t last forever. One thing we like about Byte is their commitment to making aftercare as affordable as possible. Since retainers are an ongoing expense, we love that they offer up your first set for free. Plus, if you enroll in the Byte Protection Plan (either by purchasing it outright or becoming automatically enrolled by paying for treatment with BytePay) you’ll receive free retainers for 5 years after your treatment.
ClearCorrect treatment isn’t an all-out price gouge, but it isn’t the most budget-friendly option either. Byte costs roughly $2,000 start to finish, making it a great option for penny-pinchers and smart shoppers alike.
Office Visits—Are They Worth The Extra Cost?
Regular office visits are the biggest difference between in-office treatments like ClearCorrect and at-home ones like Byte. As part of your ClearCorrect treatment, you’ll need to visit your dentistor orthodontist every few weeks so they can evaluate your progress, add attachments, and make timeline adjustments if necessary.
And while this helps ensure effective, safe treatment, it also makes ClearCorrect less affordable and convenient. Office visits are the primary reason in-office treatments are more expensive. Your dentist’s time, equipment and resources aren’t free, after all. Plus, fitting regular appointments into your busy schedule (and potentially taking time off work) isn’t ideal. The fully-remote service you’ll get from at-home treatments is much more convenient, and without office visit costs, much cheaper too.
It’s a given that quality and price are important factors to consider when choosing a clear aligner provider. We think that the way these companies treat their customers should also be taken into consideration. Let’s take a look at what you can expect when you choose ClearCorrect and Byte for your clear aligner treatment.
In the age of Amazon and other Internet retailers, online shopping is pretty common. But savvy shoppers are careful to read online reviews before clicking “Buy.” This is especially important for Byte, which you can only purchase online. Your orthodontist can give a professional opinion on ClearCorrect, but it is still nice to hear the opinions of others who’ve used the system.
Here’s a quick glimpse into the online reviews for Byte:
- Top loves: Excellent customer service (even mentioning representatives by name); visible results within a couple weeks; easy to use
- Top complaints: Guarantee on impression kit does not apply to bite issues
Customers are generally positive about their Byte’s products, treatment, and results. We tallied up Byte’s total average score for a total of 4.7/5 stars.
It’s a bit harder to tally up a score for ClearCorrect. There are precious few customer reviews online because treatment is provided through independent dental offices. It’s easiest to get a full review (beyond what we’ve included here) directly from your dentist or orthodontist. That said, their long-term reputation speaks pretty well to their quality and service.
With ClearCorrect, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be too dissatisfied with your treatment. That’s because your orthodontist or dentist will be able to make small adjustments throughout your treatment. If there are any issues, your dentist will spot them before they become major problems, keeping your treatment on track and ensuring your satisfaction.
That said, the exact warranty you’ll get will depend on your individual provider. You’ll have to ask your orthodontist or dentist to know for sure.
Byte doesn’t technically have a refund policy for their aligners. You can get your money back for the impression kit, but only if it turns out that you’re not a candidate for treatment. Once you purchase the aligner kit, there’s no refund. However, Byte stands by their product with their “Byte-for-Life” guarantee.
This guarantee is essentially a lifetime warranty. If your teeth ever shift after treatment, Byte will send you new aligners to correct it.
What If I Break an Aligner?
Accidents happen—if you break an aligner during your treatment, reach out to your provider right away.
If you’re enrolled in the Byte Protection Plan (by purchasing it outright or paying for treatment with BytePay) then this replacement will be covered for free! If you aren’t in that program, your replacement set will cost $129 for all-day aligners and $149 for At-Night aligners. With ClearCorrect, the cost of your replacements will vary from office to office.
While you’re waiting for your replacement aligner to arrive, wear your most recent set of aligners to keep your teeth from moving out of alignment.
Sometimes teeth can be a bit more stubborn than your treatment plan accounted for, and you may need a few more aligners than expected. These extra aligners are called refinements, and some providers charge extra for them—but not Byte. If you’ve followed their treatment guidelines, you’ll receive all of the aligners required to deliver a great new smile.
With ClearCorrect, your refinements policy is likely to vary from doctor to doctor. However, with regular in-person appointments, it’s likely you’ll get the results you’re after.
Trade uncomfortable wires and brackets for smooth plastic, and clear aligner treatment is bound to be more comfortable than traditional metal braces. That being said, with any teeth alignment there’s going to be some discomfort—that just comes with the territory. As your teeth shift, you’ll experience some soreness; particularly when you switch to a new set of aligners, since they’ll have a snugger fit than the last.
Luckily, with Byte you have the HyperByte on your side; which can decrease soreness and offer a better aligner fit. Here’s how it works: the HyperByte releases tiny pulses that help loosen your tooth’s ligaments. This process helps your aligners fit better; faster.
Which is the Best Clear Aligner for You?
Let’s be clear: ClearCorrect and Byte are both good options. However, what works for someone else may not be what’s best for you. Here are some general guidelines for who should choose ClearCorrect and who should opt for Byte:
- Choose Byte If: You’re eager to see your perfect smile, but you don’t want to sacrifice quality. They’re also one of the few companies to offer nighttime treatment, so give them a look if you want to skip the 22-hour daytime wear schedule.
- Choose ClearCorrect If: You need more extensive adjustments, bite corrections, or you just want the security of having a professional handle your treatment in person.
If you discover that your condition is too severe for home aligner treatment, or if you’re simply more comfortable with in-person care, ClearCorrect is a great option. But we think that Byte, our top-rated home aligner service, is a better overall value. If you’re still on the fence, check out Candid. They provide robust oversight throughout your treatment via their CandidMonitoring system. Plus they’re an all-around quality treatment from start to finish, which is why they’ve secured our #2 spot in the at-home aligner rankings (second only to Byte).
Frequently Asked Questions
Does either provider offer discounts?
ClearCorrect doesn’t really offer discounts in the traditional sense. However, your individual provider may give you benefits or perks as part of your treatment. Byte occasionally offers discounts on their impression kits and their aligners, but they don’t often exceed $150. They also have year-round discount programs for students, military, and first responders.
Which provider is more customer-focused?
Technically speaking, ClearCorrect is more customer-focused. After all, you’ll work directly with an orthodontist or dentist, getting individualized attention along the way. However, Byte assigns an individual care assistant to each customer, so they do a good job of providing personalized care—even remotely.
How exactly does at-home teeth alignment work?
At-home aligner kits like the one from Byte borrow the technology Invisalign pioneered. When you send in your impressions, Byte uses those molds and advanced software to create an individualized treatment plan. That technology can predict exactly how your teeth will move when you switch to the next aligner in your kit. Using each new aligner as a step in the process, Byte gradually moves your teeth from their initial positions to their final destination.
Is there an age requirement for using either ClearCorrect or Byte?
ClearCorrect does not post an explicit age requirement for their treatment; your dentist or orthodontist will consider age on a case-by-case basis. Byte, on the other hand, only offers treatment for ages 12 and up. With either service, minors must have parental consent to receive treatment.
Can I use ClearCorrect or Byte if I live outside the USA?
ClearCorrect is currently available in the US as well as the UK. Byte has recently expanded to offer treatment in Australia.
How do I know whether at-home or in-office treatment is right for me?
Unless your case is very severe, you’re probably a good candidate for at-home aligner treatment through Byte. You can also take a preliminary assessment on Byte’s website. If you purchase an impression kit and it turns out that you’re not a good candidate for treatment, Byte will refund you the cost of the kit.
Will either of these clear aligners make me talk funny?
Most clear aligner users find that their aligners are practically imperceptible to others, even during conversation. That said, some people find that they may speak with a slight lisp when they’re first adjusting to their aligners. After a couple of days, this feeling usually goes away.
If I lose my aligners during or after treatment, do I have to pay for new ones?
Byte will send you a replacement aligner set for $129 (all-day treatment) or $149 (At-Night treatment), and you’ll have to wear your most recent aligner to keep your teeth from shifting too far back until it arrives. ClearCorrect, however, depends on your individual provider. Your dentist or orthodontist should be your go-to if you lose an aligner. You’ll likely need to pay for a new one, but how much depends on your provider’s policies.
Can I drink coffee when using ClearCorrect or Byte?
You can, but you shouldn’t. Aligners from Byte and ClearCorrect are fairly resilient, but coffee is good at creating stains. Drinking coffee with your aligners in—or any beverage besides water, for that matter—puts you at the risk of staining them.
Are there any hidden costs?
Neither Byte nor ClearCorrect has a whole lot of hidden costs. There will be costs if you lose an aligner, but that’s an added expense that you can prevent. One cost you might not be expecting is post-treatment retainers. Byte includes your first set for free, but with ClearCorrect you’ll have to purchase each set.
Are at-home aligners as effective as in-office treatments?
In most mild and moderate cases, yes. Thanks to the tested technologies used by remote treatment companies like Byte, your aligners will fit your teeth as snugly as they would with ClearCorrect. That said, there are exceptions. Some people’s teeth may not shift as quickly as predicted. Other people might not follow the prescribed treatment perfectly. These cases tend not to be as effective.
If you do choose an at-home aligner company, make sure you follow your treatment plan extra carefully. And on the off chance that something seems “off,” you should contact customer support right away. The sooner you correct a minor issue, the more effective your whole treatment process will be.
Which is easier: at-home or in-office aligner treatment?
Once you get past the impression kits, we think it’s a little easier to use at-home aligner treatments. That’s simply because you never have to schedule, remember, or travel to appointments; you’ll get an email or text notification that it’s time to move on to your next aligner instead. For many busy adults, it’s easier to complete all of the steps at home.
Can I still use ClearCorrect if I’m not a candidate for Byte?
In most cases, yes. Byte cannot treat some cases remotely because they require extensive orthodontic oversight. So if Byte’s orthodontists determine that they cannot correct your issue—for example, you need an added appliance to help shift your jaw—then you’ll be declined. Since ClearCorrect has orthodontist oversight, it’s usually a good option for people with tougher cases.
Why is ClearCorrect so much more expensive than Byte?
On the surface, the two companies seem pretty similar. After all, both help you straighten your teeth and get the smile of your dreams. But on average, ClearCorrect costs $2,000-2,500 more than Byte. That cost discrepancy comes from a variety of factors.
Byte has a one-size-fits-all pricing model. Mild to moderate cases pay the same amount. With ClearCorrect, it’s the opposite. The more severe your case, the more you’ll spend. The only exception is their Flex line, which lets you pay for each aligner separately. Flex is dedicated to minor cases, so it’s not as expensive.
In addition, ClearCorrect is administered in-person by a dental provider. With that comes a host of overhead costs, from the orthodontist’s salary and their support staff’s pay to the electricity and rental fees for the office itself. The price tag you pay on your ClearCorrect treatment contributes to those overhead costs. Since Byte doesn’t have those costs, it’s considerably cheaper.