Correcting your smile as an adult can get complicated. You need effective treatment, but visible braces are often not an option. Does this mean you are stuck with a crooked smile?
Not anymore. Now, home clear aligners make it possible to straighten your teeth from the convenience of your house. No braces, no wires, no office visits. And they’re more affordable than in-office treatments.
There are a few popular home clear aligner companies on the market today, including SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub. In this comparison review, we’ll help you decide which of these two services is the better option for your unique circumstances.
Spoiler | Smile Direct Club Wins
5 Things They Have in Common
For the bulk of this review, we’ll talk about the ways SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub are different. But they do have a fair bit in common. On the obvious side, both companies will help you perfect your grin without going to the dentist’s office. But the commonalities between SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub go much deeper than that:
1) Affordability: Money is always an issue, right? Thankfully, both SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub are relatively affordable. Sure, they have their own price points (more on this later), but they’re both thousands of dollars cheaper than braces or Invisalign. Those methods have an average cost of $5,000 (but it’s not uncommon for tough cases to be as high as $8,000). But thankfully, SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub are both less than $2,000.
2) Flexible Financing: Even though SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub are both affordable, it’s still a lot to pay up front. Thankfully, both companies offer financing options to make treatment more accessible.
3) Discreet: SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub both use slightly different aligners, but you’d hardly know by looking at them. In fact, when most people pop in their clear aligners, they’re practically invisible.
4) Safe: We get it. Home dentistry (also called teledentistry) sounds like something from the future. But the future is here. Both SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub use teams of qualified dental professionals to create a custom treatment plan just for you. They combine your dental impressions with advanced technology to craft your personalized series of aligners. Basically, they’ve taken the technology Invisalign perfected and brought it to the comfort of your home.
5) Insurance Coverage: SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub both accept FSA and HSA accounts, and your insurance may cover part of your treatment, too. SmileDirectClub works directly with most major insurance providers. Many dental insurance policies cover treatment by SnapCorrect, but it all depends on the specific plan.
That mostly covers the similarities. For the remainder of this review, we’ll dig into the differences so you can pick the home aligner that’s best for you.
Company Track Records
Home teeth alignment is a fairly new industry. Even so, it’s important to consider each company’s respective track record. Here’s how the two compare:
|Founded: 2017||Founded: 2014|
|Customers served: 50,000+||Customers served: 1 million+|
|Company focus: Creating beautiful smiles and maintaining them with free whitening treatment for life||Company focus: Make dental care more accessible to the estimated 80% of Americans who need it|
SmileDirectClub is the giant of the clear aligner industry; that’s undisputed. In terms of sheer volume, SnapCorrect can’t quite compete on that front. That said, SnapCorrect is growing pretty rapidly. They entered the home aligner scene from the whitening scene, so it’s not surprising that they can also offer free whitening for life. That’s an intriguing perk, but if you’re wanting to work with the most well-established brand, SmileDirectClub wins.
Home teeth aligner companies all use clear plastic aligners to help shift your teeth into the perfect position. But who creates the plans those aligners are based on and makes the aligners themselves is an important distinction.
SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub each have their own treatment methods:
|Treatment designers: A mixed team of orthodontists, dentists, and dental technicians||Treatment designers: A mixed team of orthodontists and dentists|
|Aligner manufacturer: Essix, a reputable plastics manufacturer in the dental industry||Aligner manufacturer: Currently done in-house, so unnamed. Formerly Align Technology.|
The manufacturer of your aligners is one thing, but the individual designing your treatment is even more important. Let’s be fair: general dentists have well-rounded professional training, including in teeth movements. However, they don’t have the same expertise as orthodontists. Orthodontists have to complete several more years of postgraduate education learning the science of the perfect smile.
By guaranteeing that only an orthodontist will oversee your case, other aligner companies ensure that your results are backed by the same expertise as traditional treatments. With SmileDirectClub and SnapCorrect, you lack that guarantee. A general dentist might oversee your case instead. While licensed dentists are highly qualified, they aren’t as specialized as orthodontists, and this could be a bit of a risk, especially if your case is more severe than others. With SnapCorrect, they also employ dental technicians, which is another step down in training.
No two smiles are exactly alike. So, regardless of what company you choose, your treatment could be longer or shorter than someone else’s. Your treatment speed largely depends on the severity of your crowding or spacing.
That said, each company’s product affects your treatment speed as well. Here are the average treatment times for SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub:
- SnapCorrect: 3-9 months for daytime treatment, but can be up to 18
- SmileDirectClub: 4-6 months for daytime treatment, 10 for nighttime-only treatment
SnapCorrect is just a touch slower than SmileDirectClub, but we know why: the shape of each company’s aligners. SmileDirectClub uses aligners that are cut straight across, while SnapCorrect’s are scalloped to match your gum line. Technically speaking, the scalloped aligners are a bit less visible, but SmileDirectClub aligners are a bit more powerful. They can use your gums as “anchors” to exert more force on your teeth, speeding up SmileDirectClub’s treatment.
Pricing & Features
Let’s talk about bang for your buck. In this section, we’ll dig into the pricing details for impression kits from SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub.
With any home aligner company, you’ll kick off your treatment by taking impressions of your teeth. Most companies require that you use an at-home impression kit. However, a few companies, including SmileDirectClub, maintain retail locations that make the impression kit more convenient.
Here’s how the kit prices stack up:
- SnapCorrect, $95: SnapCorrect’s kit includes everything you need to take your impressions at home, including trays, putty, and, of course, a prepaid shipping label. If $95 seems a bit high, keep in mind that SnapCorrect sometimes runs sales on the kit.
- SmileDirectClub, FREE or $59: One of SmileDirectClub’s biggest edges over the competition is their SmileShops; they have hundreds of locations across the country. You can visit one of these shops for a free, in-person teeth scan instead of taking impressions on your own. There’s no obligation to proceed with treatment, either. But if you don’t live near a SmileShop, you can still take your impressions at home.
SnapCorrect’s impression kit meets the industry standard, but SmileDirectClub’s SmileShops are incredibly convenient. If you don’t live near a SmileShop, however, you’ll still have to use an impression kit.
SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub both provide a guarantee on your impression kit. If you send in your impressions but it turns out that you’re not a good candidate for treatment, they’ll refund the kit price. But if you are a candidate, you will not be refunded for the cost of the kit, even if you decide not to pursue treatment.
Once you complete your impressions or get your digital scan, SnapCorrect or SmileDirectClub will create your treatment plan. The price will be the same, regardless of how many aligners you need. So, what are the base prices for each service?
- SnapCorrect, $1,749: SnapCorrect has one of the cheapest price points in the home aligner industry (only AlignerCo and NewSmile are more affordable). And they make a great value of it, too, including everything you’ll need to straighten and maintain your teeth, like your first set of post-treatment retainers.
- SmileDirectClub, $1,950: With SmileDirectClub, the price you see is usually the price you get. Like SnapCorrect, they include all the aligners you’ll need to treat your smile. However, you’ll need to pay an additional $99 for their post-treatment aligners.
SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub have pretty similar prices, but SnapCorrect’s value is a touch better.
Can’t pay all at once? Thankfully, both services offer financing:
- SnapCorrect, $1,799.96-$1,938.44: SnapCorrect partners with a third-party company called Affirm for their financing, which has its pros and cons. The bad news: you’ll have to pass the credit check. The good: there are very flexible payment options. You can choose between a 6-, 12-, or 24-month payment plan.
- SmileDirectClub, $2,386: SmileDirectClub has a 100% approval rate on their financing plans, so your credit score doesn’t matter. To kick off your payment plan, they require a fairly standard $250 down payment. After that, you’ll pay $89 per month for 24 months.
Both SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub offer whitening treatments. So you’ll not only straighten your smile but also brighten it, too:
- SnapCorrect, Free for Life: SnapCorrect’s most intriguing advantage is their promise of free whitening for life. Basically, once you’re a customer, you can get their whitening gel refills whenever you want and enjoy pearly whites for life.
- SmileDirectClub, $40-45: SmileDirectClub includes one free whitening kit with your treatment. After that, the price for extra whitening depends on the size of the supply. Each kit includes teeth whitening pens. The more expensive ones also include an LED light to speed things up. You can purchase a 6- or 12-month supply.
All told, SmileDirectClub has fair prices that match the industry standards, but SnapCorrect’s prices are just a little bit better, especially when you consider the free set of post-treatment retainers and whitening treatment. That said, if you have a poor credit score and need financing, then SmileDirectClub might work better for you.
Life happens, and sometimes, things go wrong with treatment. Typically, these issues are pretty minor. When you hit a roadblock, you’ll need to talk with customer support. We’ve tested them ourselves, and here’s how the two compare:
|Contact methods: Phone, email, & web chat||Contact methods: Phone, email, social media|
|Hours: 8 a.m to 5 p.m. PST||Hours: “Customer Care Available 24/7” (per their website)|
|Speed: Chat & phone get near-instant responses; email queries can take 24 hours (though COVID seems to have slowed this some)||Speed: Hit-or-miss; phone gets a same-day response (occasional hold times); email delay up to 24 hours|
|Friendliness: Kind, prompt, & helpful||Friendliness: Professional & upbeat|
|Takeaway: SnapCorrect excels on the customer support front. We saw no red flags; we’re confident you’ll get good service.||Takeaway: SmileDirectClub’s customer support is adequate, but there’s some room for improvement. And they’re working on it.|
When we tested SnapCorrect, we didn’t experience any substantial delays. But a few customers have noted slow response times in online reviews. We suspect that’s due to COVID delays, but it’s tough to know for sure. In general, we think their support is pretty good, but we’ll keep an eye on it.
SmileDirectClub definitely could improve their customer service department, but they’ve been doing a lot better in recent years. SmileDirectClub experienced rapid growth in 2017, and their service department couldn’t keep up. But now they seem to be out of that rut.
Ease of Getting Started
Ease is the name of the game when it comes to at-home clear aligner treatment. But not all aligner companies use the same process. Some are a bit easier than others.
This is true for SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub, and SmileDirectClub takes the win here. Thanks to their SmileShops, it’s fairly easy to get your treatment started. Customers love how friendly the staff is at these shops, and the care professionals there handle all the difficult parts of taking impressions.
SnapCorrect doesn’t have retail locations. If you’d rather use SnapCorrect (or you don’t live near a SmileShop), you’ll need to order an impression kit and DIY your impressions.
What If I Get It Wrong?
Impression kits are a tad tricky, so don’t panic if you mess them up. If the impressions are iffy — they could work, but you’re not sure — send them in. The orthodontists will let you know if you need to try again.
If you’re sure you’ve botched the impressions, contact customer support at SnapCorrect or SmileDirectClub. They’ll send another kit your way. SmileDirectClub promises that they’ll refund the cost of the replacement kit when you purchase your aligners.
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 SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub.
|Top loves: Affordable yet effective treatment; minimal discomfort; friendly and quick support||Top loves: Friendly customer support; very affordable; convenient to treat at home|
|Top complaints: Requesting refinements is tedious; COVID-era customer support is slower; some retainers break||Top complaints: Billing mix-ups; sometimes aligners break; requesting re-evaluations is tedious|
|Average score: 4/5||Average score: 4/5|
In the past, we looked at SnapCorrect reviews and they were overwhelmingly positive. And they still are mostly positive, but we’ve encountered some more negative ones. Many of them cite slow customer support or difficulty requesting refinements. The refinements aren’t uncommon issues across the industry, either. We suspect most of their negative support experiences stem from COVID delays, but we don’t know for sure. We’ll keep an eye on their reviews and update them accordingly if and when that changes!
SmileDirectClub’s reputation is mostly positive, but they do have a bit of a mixed bag. Like SnapCorrect, they seem to struggle a bit when it comes to making treatment refinements. Plus, the rough patch they went through in 2017 has lowered their overall reputation a bit, even if things are going better now.
Refund Policies & Satisfaction Guarantees
As with any purchase, there’s always the nagging question: what if it doesn’t work out? SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub both have very individualized approaches for refunds and satisfaction guarantees.
SnapCorrect’s Satisfaction Guarantee: SnapCorrect’s only guaranteed refund is for their impression kit if you’re not a candidate for treatment. Other than that, SnapCorrect works hard to ensure your complete satisfaction, but there are no refunds. If you reach the end of your treatment and you don’t like the results, you should contact support. They’ll work on sending new aligners your way to make your treatment perfect.
SmileDirectClub’s Smile Guarantee and Club Warranty: With SmileDirectClub, you’re given 30 days to change your mind about treatment. If you try them out and decide they aren’t right for you within that first month, you can return them for a full refund.
Then there’s their Club Warranty. SmileDirectClub promises its club members that if they’re not totally satisfied with their results at the end of the treatment, they can request a re-evaluation and get new aligners to achieve perfection. To be eligible for this warranty, you must check in with your assigned doctor every 90 days, follow your prescribed treatment to a T, and submit any request for re-evaluation within 30 days of finishing treatment.
Best Alternatives to SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub
SmileDirectClub and SnapCorrect are just two of the aligner companies on the market, but there are other options to consider. Our two favorites are Byte and AlignerCo.
Byte has staked its claim as the fastest treatment option. Unlike SnapCorrect, which can take 8-9 months for treatment, Byte takes 3 months using daytime treatment and 4-6 with nighttime. AlignerCo is our second pick, but for a different reason. AlignerCo has the most affordable treatment price in the entire industry: $1,145. Even their nighttime treatment is pretty cheap ($1,345).
Which Is the Best Clear Aligner for You?
When it all comes down to it, SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub are both good options. But at the end of the day, you can only pick one.
If you want our honest opinion, we prefer SmileDirectClub. SnapCorrect is not a bad service in any sense; they’re just untested since they’re so young. SmileDirectClub is a little more established, and they have the added convenience of SmileShops and nighttime-only treatment.
Choose SnapCorrect if:
You’re intrigued by whitening for life, need an affordable treatment option, and are willing to work with a new company, then SnapCorrect may be the better choice.
Choose SmileDirectClub if:
You want the confidence that comes from working with a well-established brand. SmileDirectClub has served more than 1 million customers, so they’ve probably already seen a case just like yours.
Smile Direct Club wins! We recommend Smile Direct Club over SnapCorrect. They are a well-established brand and has served over a million customers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does either company offer discounts?
You can enjoy discounts with either service. SmileDirectClub offers year-round discounts for students, and occasionally, they’ll discount their impression kits or aligner bundles. SnapCorrect’s most common discount is for their impression kit, but on occasion, you’ll score a deal on the aligners. With either company, you’ll have to watch for and jump on deals whenever you find them.
Are SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub legit?
Your mom warned you about things that sound too good to be true, right? Thankfully home aligner companies like SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub 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, so they can invest those savings in measures that ensure treatment quality.
Which home aligner is more customer focused?
SnapCorrect is a bit more customer centric than SmileDirectClub. That’s largely because SnapCorrect is much smaller, so they can give more individualized attention to each customer.
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; based on those impressions, a dental professional designs sets of clear trays that gently move your teeth to their final destination.
How do SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub compare to Invisalign?
They’re distant cousins, really. Invisalign pioneered the clear aligner alternative to traditional braces. However, Invisalign adds one aspect: 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 AlignerCo, Candid, and Byte?
SmileDirectClub and Byte are pretty similar to other aligner companies. AlignerCo is the most affordable option on the market; they’re hundreds cheaper than their competitors. Byte is the fastest with their 3-month average treatment time.
Is there an age requirement for using either SnapCorrect or SmileDirectClub?
Both SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub require you to have all permanent teeth present to begin treatment (you don’t want to dump thousands into teeth that will just fall out, anyway). With SmileDirectClub, patients must be at least 12 years old. SnapCorrect doesn’t have a specific age requirement, but minors must have parental consent to receive treatment. It’s also a good idea to account for your wisdom teeth. If you need to have them removed (your dentist can tell you for sure), you should do so before getting clear aligner treatment.
Does either service give free whitening treatment?
SnapCorrect gives free whitening treatment for life once you’re a customer. That’s unprecedented. SmileDirectClub also includes free whitening with their aligner treatments, but you’ll need to pay $40-45 for more after the first round runs out.
Do SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub have aggressive upsells?
Thankfully, no. These two companies stick with selling their treatment, and there’s really no pressure to buy a bunch of extras. Sure, they’ll mention them to you, such as whitening treatment with SmileDirectClub, but it’s not as aggressive as some things we’ve seen.
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.
Can I drink coffee when using SnapCorrect or SmileDirectClub?
You can, but you shouldn’t. Aligners from SnapCorrect and SmileDirectClub 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?
SnapCorrect doesn’t really have any hidden costs. What you see is what you get. SmileDirectClub does have one unadvertised cost, but it isn’t exactly hidden. You’ll need to pay $99 for post-treatment retainers; SnapCorrect includes the first set for free. With either company, however, you’ll need to purchase new post-treatment retainers occasionally. They do wear out over time.