Smile Direct Club vs Braces – Traditional Orthodontics or New-Age Aligners?

Smile Direct Club vs Braces: Teeth Straightening Options Compared

Are you tired of staring at those crooked teeth in the mirror? If you have minor problems with gapping or overcrowding, it can ruin your smile. Fortunately, there are solutions to straighten your crooked teeth.

This post looks at the difference between Smile Direct Club, a leading at-home aligner brand, and braces – the conventional orthodontic choice.

Our review of Smile Direct Club vs braces unpacks everything you need to know about these orthodontic systems. We'll discuss pricing, performance, aesthetics and to process involved with straightening your teeth.

What are the Pros and Cons of Braces


  • Orthodontist-approved treatment.

  • Proven results.


  • Expensive compared to SDC.

  • No teeth whitening included.

  • Financing depends on your orthodontist.

Smile Direct Club: What are the Pros and Cons?


  • At-home orthodontic treatment for fixing your teeth.

  • No visits to the orthodontist are required.

  • More affordable than braces.

  • In-house financing available.

  • Retainers and teeth whitening included.

  • You get the same results as braces.


  • More expensive than other aligner brands.

  • Other aligner brands have better technology.

  • No managed orthodontic care.

Smile Direct Club vs Braces: Key Differences

Comparing Smile Direct Club vs braces, we find the most significant differences in the following categories.


Braces are the traditional go-to for orthodontists when fixing your teeth. The system gives them better control over the process compared to Invisalign. The doctor attaches steel or ceramic tracks to your teeth, running a wire between the tracks.

They add tension to the wire to manipulate the teeth into a new position. You'll get an adjustment every two weeks to 90-days, depending on your progress.

While braces work well, clear aligners offer you the same performance at a fraction of the price. You get the same treatment times as braces, with your new smile taking 4-months to 18-months to appear.


The braces look terrible. Even ceramic models are visible at a distance. As a result, teens and people that talk for a living resist the idea of getting braces.

With Smile Direct Club, you have the option of ordering a nighttime aligner system. You only need to wear these aligners at night, leaving your teeth free during the day.


Braces require assessment for fitment and all maintenance on the system completed in your orthodontist's chair. You'll need to visit them frequently so they can adjust the wires on your braces and keep your progress moving forward.

With SDC, you get access to a remote teledentistry platform and a customized treatment plan included with your package. However, aftercare and support are limited compared to braces. You'll only have the chance to reach out to someone on the SDC dental team every 30 to 90-days, depending on your progress.

Smile Direct Club vs Braces: How Does Pricing Compare?

If you decide to go with braces for your treatment, you're going to end up spending a small fortune. Braces require you to spend plenty of time in your orthodontist's office. Every time you visit the doctor, they charge you a consulting fee. Considering you're seeing them every two to six weeks over two years, that amounts to some serious consulting fees.

As a result, the bulk of your treatment costs with braces comes from the orthodontists consulting fees and lab work. With braces, you can expect to pay anything from $6,500 to $10,000. It depends on the extent of the work required to fix your teeth.

In contrast, Smile Direct Club is much more affordable. You'll get a free assessment or pay $29 for your impression kit (currently discounted from $59). The SDC treatment costs $1,950 upfront, or you can finance it with the in-house financing department, Smile Pay.

With Smile Pay, you make a $250 down payment and 24-monthly payments of $89. There are no forms to fill out and no credit check – SDC guarantees approval. Therefore, you're getting your treatment for around 60% less than braces, adding up to a massive saving.

SDC includes free teeth whitening with your purchase, and your first set of retainers are free. However, subsequent retainer sets cost $99.

Smile Direct Club vs Braces – The Verdict

Smile Direct Club offers you a viable alternative to conventional orthodontic braces. You get all the benefits of braces in a removable system. SDC provides the same results as braces, with faster treatment times in some cases.

However, the gamechanger with SDC vs braces is the price. You can't beat the low cost of SDC compared to braces, saving you thousands of dollars on your treatment. The addition of free retainers and teeth whitening is a fantastic bonus and something other companies don't include in your treatment.

Overall, SDC is a solid choice for anyone looking to straighten their teeth at home. If you don't require an orthodontist overseeing you, then SDC is a great way to get an affordable smile.

Smile Direct Club vs Braces FAQ


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