Invisalign vs. Smile Direct: The Clear Choice in Teeth Straightening


Sixth Street Dental


May 1, 2019

We all want a beautiful, straight smile that makes a statement as we enter a room. Previously, the only option for straightening your smile was traditional metal braces, but various advancements in orthodontic practices - including clear brackets, nano braces, and clear aligners - have created a variety of new options for people looking to straighten your smile. Clear aligners like Invisalign are becoming more and more popular, but as a result, competitors are arising. If you’re choosing between Invisalign vs. Smile Direct Club, the experts of Invisalign in Pittsburgh at Sixth Street Dental Aesthetics warn you to know about the differences between these two popular options -- differences that matter in giving you the smile of your dreams.

Scanning Accuracy in Invisalign vs. Smile Direct

teeth scanning accuracy
Image source: ancasterortho

As we talked about in our most recent article showcasing the incredible features of Invisalign that make it super user-friendly, part of Invisalign’s process involves 3D digital scans with and iTero scanner. This scanner creates accurate, fully-digitalized images of your teeth which are then used to create your aligners and give you a pre-treatment look at your teeth upon completion. Not only are these digital scans for Invisalign more accurate than tradition molds and trays, but they are significantly more comfortable.

With Smile Direct Club, you complete your molds at home using that same uncomfortable process that often leads to gagging and - when completing them yourself - inaccurate molds. Because these initial molds and scans are at the heart of your treatment and lead to properly-fitting aligners, it’s important to make sure the iTero scanner is used. Smile Direct Club is now creating SmileShops that allow for these 3D scans, but if you do not have one in your city, you are forced to stick with the old-fashioned molds.

Choosing a Comfortable Option

invisilign molds
Image source: snapcorrect

Many people choose clear aligners over traditional braces because these treatments are significantly more comfortable than metal braces. As shown on the left in the picture above, Smile Direct Club’s aligners include a raised gum edge rather than a cut that fits directly against the teeth. For many Smile Direct users, this raised edge leads to discomfort and more visible wear, which frankly defeats the purpose of choosing a clear aligner teeth straightening system.

Invisalign is not only made for comfort by cutting the shape of the aligner to fit snuggly to your teeth, but uses Smart Track technology for smooth, comfortable aligners. Smart Track helps to increase the precision of the movement of your teeth and move your teeth up to 50% faster. Additionally, Smart Track is durable and comfortable, decreasing discomfort between trays for a more comfortable experience.

The Professional Oversight You Need in Treatment

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One of the biggest flaws in Smile Direct Treatment is the lack of professional oversight from a dentist or orthodontist during the course of your treatment. While your aligners for Smile Direct Club are designed with the help of an orthodontist, your treatment - one began - is blind to a medical professional. This means that if your teeth aren’t moving properly or are moving too slow, you do not have contact with a medical professional to help you get the results you want.

Invisalign, however, involves attention from a medical professional. Not only will your dentist or orthodontist make sure your teeth are moving correctly, but they can check to make sure your aligners fit properly and you will receive the intended result. If you need to be rescanned for proper fit, your dentist can easily do so in the office and provide you with new aligners to reach an awesome end result. Additionally, Invisalign providers take a holistic look at your treatment, keeping in mind a full dental history when planning your treatment -- something that simply can’t be done over mail.

Invisalign vs. Smile Direct Price Point

Image Source: studentloanhero

When considering Invisalign vs. Smile Direct Club, the price point is a huge determinant. While  Smile Direct Club was designed to be a more affordable alternative to Invisalign, it comes at the expense of several important features that lead to a high-quality end result. While a portion of Smile Direct may be covered by your insurance, there are portions - like the molds and impressions - that are not covered by insurance.

Invisalign, however, is covered by many insurance plans and in some cases is eligible for Care Credit at a 0% interest rate over 24 months. Invisalign is comparable in price to traditional braces and, while more expensive that Smile Direct Club, is the better choice for your oral health and a better overall investment due to the care and quality of outcomes that treatment with Invisalign guarantees. Curious about pricing for your Invisalign treatment? Get in touch with Sixth Street Dental - the experts of Invisalign in Pittsburgh - to get a quote.

Consider the Severity of Your Smile Issues

Depending on how serious your misaligned smile is, you may not be a good candidate for Smile Direct Club. Smile Direct has the ability to fix mild to moderate misalignment, while Invisalign can fix even severe cases. Invisalign - since it is under the supervision of a medical professional, has more options for treatment that can reposition or change your bite structure as a whole, resulting in higher quality results. Invisalign has the ability to use rubber bands and power ridges - which are invisible plastic bumps to properly push your teeth - to fix more smile issues than Smile Direct. Even if you only have cosmetic misalignment, Invisalign can ensure faster, higher-quality results due to these available features.

Patient-First Mindsets Matter

Dentist with Patient
Image Source: dentalvibe

When it comes to treatment, patient-first mindsets matter. Choosing Invisalign vs. Smile Direct is much like choosing a doctor. Do you want a doctor that asks you questions about your smiles, gets to know your medical history, and continues to check up on you to ensure you are staying healthy? Or do you want a doctor who reads a form you fill out at home and mail to the office, writes you a prescription, and never again checks to see how you’re doing? Helpful hint: the doctor in the second scenario would likely have their medical license revoked quickly.

Because Smile Direct is growing quickly, it is now harder than ever for you to be sure you are receiving the quality care you deserve. This high demand means this previously impersonal process becomes increasingly about profit. A dentist supplying you with Invisalign not only works closely with you to ensure great results, but there is not a single dentist you’ll meet that does not want the absolute best for his or her patients.

When comparing Invisalign vs. Smile Direct Club, Invisalign is the clear choice for great results when straightening your teeth. Get started with the experts of Invisalign in Pittsburgh, Sixth Street Dental, by contacting our office today!


Get in Touch with Sixth Street today!

125 Sixth Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
400 Baldwin Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15205

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