Money matters. That’s why, from a relatively young age, we’re taught to create a budget and stick to it. For a lot of people, that budget doesn’t include dream purchases, like a new car, the latest gadget, a new designer jacket, a trip to the spa, or even orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic treatment is a pipe dream for many because it doesn’t fit in the budget. Or, at least, that’s how it used to work. Traditional orthodontic methods, like braces and Invisalign, can be too pricey for some budgets. On average, they’ll set you back $5,000 or more.
But today, those aren’t the only options. At-home clear aligners leverage technology similar to Invisalign to bring you orthodontic treatment from the comfort of your own home. Since there are hardly any overhead costs for at-home aligners, the price point hovers around $1,800 to $2,200.
At-home aligner companies also offer financing options to split that cost into manageable monthly payments. Between affordability and the sheer convenience of home-based treatment, at-home aligners are shaking up the orthodontia industry.
About Smile Direct
Smile Direct was the first company to introduce at-home clear aligners in 2014.
Even though plenty of alternatives have popped up since then, Smile Direct still holds the largest market share. In fact, they’ve served more than 750,000 customers.
Part of why Smile Direct grew so big (other than being the first home aligner company) is that they used to get their clear aligners from Invisalign. That ensured their products were consistently top quality. However, Invisalign and Smile Direct went their separate ways last year, and now Smile Direct manufactures their aligners in-house. So, it’s hard to speak to their current quality.
Smile Direct still stands out as the top name in the industry, though. Their key distinguishing feature is their SmileShops. There are hundreds of SmileShops across the country (plus their pop-up Smile Buses). If you visit a shop, you’ll be able to skip the impression kit process. The staff will take a digital scan of your teeth for free. They’re also one of two companies (along with Byte) to offer an alternative, nighttime-only treatment for even more convenience.
Smile Direct Discount – What it Covers
Who doesn’t love to score a deal? You do, and we’ve got you covered. Let’s talk about Smile Direct’s discounts.
Currently, the best discount for Smile Direct is on their impression kit. With this coupon, instead of paying $128 for the kit, you’ll pay just $29. If you live near a SmileShop, this is a moot point. But if you don’t live near one, then this is the discount for you!
If you’re on Smile Direct’s email list, they will send out intermittent special offers for $100 – $200 off your aligners. Other than that, they have year-round discounts for students, teachers, and military members. Or, as part of their referral program, you can refer a friend to Smile Direct and your pal will get $100 off their aligners. And if they purchase the full treatment, Smile Direct will send you a $200 Amazon gift card as a thank-you.
Smile Direct Pricing
Smile Direct’s treatment kit costs $1,895. If that seems high to you, it’s actually fairly standard fare for the cost of aligners. For example, one of Smile Direct’s top competitors, Byte, has the exact same sticker price.
Thankfully, Smile Direct also offers financing with a 100% approval rate. As long as you can make the $250 down payment, you’ll be able to enroll in their payment plan.
What’s more important than the price tag itself is what that price tag gets you. Here’s what Smile Direct includes in their kit:
- All aligners in your treatment plan
- A complimentary bottle of Smile Direct’s whitening treatment, Bright On
This is a fairly standard kit, and it will successfully straighten and whiten your teeth simultaneously. The only real downside is that they don’t include a set of post-treatment retainers. Instead, you’ll need to purchase these for an extra $99 after you’ve finished your aligner plan.
And we don’t recommend skipping them to save a few pennies—you’ll protect your investment with post-treatment retainers. They’ll keep your teeth from shifting back to their old positions.
Learn More About Smile Direct
Curious about Smile Direct? You can check out our full review here. In the review, we cover important factors such as company track record, treatment speed, customer reviews, treatment designers, and much more. It’s worth a look if you’re leaning towards Smile Direct.
All told, Smile Direct is a great option for those who want to work with an experienced, well-established brand. They’re not our top pick, though. Byte, Candid, and AlignerCo are three of the most popular alternatives to Smile Direct. Here’s a flyby of how they compare:
- Smile Direct vs Byte: Smile Direct and Byte are the only two companies to offer nighttime treatment options. But Byte is different from Smile Direct in one key way: they’re twice as fast. Pair that with their fair value and their Byte-For-Life guarantee, and it’s no surprise that Byte wins our #1 pick.
- Smile Direct vs Candid: Candid costs more than Smile Direct; their sticker price is $2,400. However, that price is higher for a very good reason: Candid offers Remote Monitoring. Essentially, you get extensive orthodontist oversight with Candid. You’ll use your phone to take periodic scans of your teeth, and your orthodontist will modify your treatment as needed. Not only will this keep your aligner plan on track, but it could also speed up your treatment. Because of that, Candid wins our #2 spot.
- Smile Direct vs AlignerCo: Smile Direct has a pretty average price point, but they almost seem pricey when compared to AlignerCo. AlignerCo’s price point is just $1,145—hundreds cheaper than their competitors.
Smile Direct’s $1,895 sticker price may seem like a lot. But it’s thousands cheaper than both braces and Invisalign. And thanks to this discount, you’ll be able to get your treatment started at an affordable rate.
Not sold on Smile Direct? You can explore your other options on our website. From the best home teeth aligners to in-depth comparisons, we’ve got answers to all your at-home teeth aligner questions.