Historically, the only way to transform your smile was to get braces or Invisalign from your dentist, but that’s no longer the case. Today, clear aligner brands like AlignerCo deliver treatment directly to your home, which makes achieving your ideal smile both affordable and convenient.
AlignerCo has built their name on incredibly budget-friendly treatment — one that’s cheaper than their at-home aligner competitors and far more affordable than in-office options like Invisalign. But when it comes to dental treatment, price isn’t the only factor to consider. In this review, we’ll provide the essential info you need to decide whether they’re the right fit for you.
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The Best Clear Aligners For Your Budget?
As the most affordable clear aligner option available, AlignerCo is an excellent choice for bargain hunters and budget keepers alike. They may not offer all the bells & whistles that some other providers do, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deliver quality results.
Bottom line, if you’re looking for an affordable and reliable clear aligner service, AlignerCo is tough to beat. At $1,145, their price point rings in at around 40% lower than the industry average.
If you decide AlignerCo is right for you, you can get $250 off your SmileAdvantage package for a limited time. Typically, AlignerCo treatment costs $1,145, but this discount takes that price down to $895.
What is AlignerCo?
If you’ve done some research on clear aligner treatment, you already know that AlignerCo is just one of many options — including brands that require in-person care like Invisalign, as well as at-home services like Byte and SmileDirectClub. As a fully remote option, AlignerCo’s dental team uses molds of your teeth to develop a personalized aligner treatment, then crafts the aligners and mails them to you.
What really sets AlignerCo apart are their incredibly affordable prices, which are much lower than the industry average. But that doesn’t mean you’ll get a cheap product. AlignerCo doesn’t sacrifice safe and high-quality treatment in the name of lower prices, so you can be confident in the care you’ll receive.
AlignerCo not only has the most affordable price tag on the market at $1,145, but they also provide convenient financing plans for their treatment.
Like other home aligner treatments, AlignerCo is designed for mild and moderate cases of crowding and spacing. They can also treat certain cases of overjet, overbite, crossbite, and reverse bite, but this depends on the specific condition. If your condition is severe or involves complex tooth and jaw movements, you might look at in-office treatments like Invisalign instead.
How Does AlignerCo Work?
Your first move will be to submit molds of your teeth using an impression kit. AlignerCo’s dental team will use them to determine if you’re a good candidate for treatment and, if so, create a treatment plan. They’ll send you a treatment preview that shows how your teeth will move every step of the way. If it looks good, you can sign off and they’ll get to work producing your aligners.
Once your aligners arrive, it’s showtime. You’ll wear them for 20-22 hours per day (or ten hours if you choose their NightOnly plan) and, over several months, your teeth will gradually migrate to their new positions.
Pros & Cons of AlignerCo
AlignerCo’s prices are attractive — there’s no doubt about that. But we always recommend examining both sides of the coin before jumping into treatment. AlignerCo takes the #5 spot on our home aligner rankings, but that’s not an arbitrary placement.
We’ve been across the Internet and back researching AlignerCo, and we’ve distilled our findings into a simple pros and cons list:
- AlignerCo is easily the most affordable option among the aligner companies we reviewed, and they occasionally run sales, dropping their price even lower.
- Their aligners are made of Essix plastic, an experienced and well-respected provider of dental materials.
- AlignerCo now offers NightOnly treatment as a more convenient & flexible treatment option.
- AlignerCo’s dental team reviews photos of your teeth every two weeks to help keep your treatment on track.
- Their prices for aftercare retainers are the lowest in the industry.
- Unlike SmileDirectClub, AlignerCo doesn’t have any physical locations that offer free teeth scans.
- They don’t have as many customer reviews as larger, more established at-home aligner brands like Byte and SmileDirectClub.
- While AlignerCo provides remote oversight, it’s not as robust as the regular hands-on care you’ll receive from in-office treatments.
So, Do the Pros Outweigh the Cons?
In many cases, yes. AlignerCo offers a quality product at a super-low price point. So if cost is at the top of your priority list, AlignerCo might be your perfect match.
Orthodontic treatment is an investment of your money and time, so you don’t want to dive in headfirst without confirming that it can deliver the results you want.
Like we mentioned above, AlignerCo’s aligners can’t correct a huge scope of dental misalignments, but they still get the job done for many customers. That said, they can’t match the power and comprehensiveness of in-office treatments, and even certain at-home options are slightly more effective.
AlignerCo is only suitable for mild and moderate misalignments.
Because of its shorter timeframe and the absence of in-person care, AlignerCo treatment is best suited for mild and moderate cases of crowding and spacing. That’s pretty standard for at-home clear aligner treatments, but it still might not be able to handle severe cases and bite issues (overbite, underbite, etc.) like in-office options can.
You’ll submit regular photo progress reports to your assigned dentist/orthodontist to ensure that your treatment stays on track.
When you order AlignerCo treatment, their clinical team will design your aligners using 3D teeth modeling software. Then, a licensed dentist (though not necessarily an orthodontist) will review your case, approve you for treatment, and develop your aligner plan.
During your treatment, you’ll submit photos of your teeth via email every 14 days so that their team can monitor your progress and make adjustments to your wear schedule (if necessary). That oversight is more frequent than some other at-home aligner services. SmileDirectClub, for instance, only requires virtual check-ins every 90 days, while Byte doesn’t require them at all, unless you have certain conditions.
However, it’s not as intensive as the in-person oversight you’ll receive during Invisalign or ClearCorrect treatment. During office visits every 4–6 weeks, your dentist or orthodontist will have a chance to examine your teeth, change up your wear schedule, or make adjustments to your aligners, keeping you on track.
AlignerCo uses plastics from RaintreeEssix to manufacture their aligners.
Quality materials mean quality products. AlignerCo creates durable and effective aligners by partnering with RaintreeEssix, whose premium plastics have been a staple in the clear aligner industry since 2005. This ensures that your aligners will be sturdy and long-lasting, able to convey the results you were promised.
They aren’t quite as experienced in the home aligner game as other manufacturers like Align Technology, but you can still trust Essix products.
AlignerCo guarantees care from specialized professionals and products made from quality materials, so they’re a solid option for anyone with a more minor misalignment. However, they don’t quite measure up to the effectiveness of in-office options.
Historically, the high price tag for braces and Invisalign has made in-person treatment a significant investment.
Companies like AlignerCo, which cut out the expense of office visits, somewhat remedy that concern by providing much more affordable treatment options. All at-home aligners easily beat Invisalign’s $3,000–$8,000, and AlignerCo takes affordability a step further.
AlignerCo’s $1,145 sticker price beats most other at-home services by several hundred dollars, and Invisalign by a few thousand.
On average, home aligner treatment is $1,500–$2,000, which is already more affordable than traditional orthodontics. But AlignerCo doesn’t stop there. They offer full aligner treatment for just $1,145, making them the most affordable option you’ll find. And they’ll occasionally run promotions and sales that drop that price even lower.
The $1,145 aligner package includes the cost of your impression kit ($75 sold separately, but often on sale for $40!) and your first set of aftercare retainers, which other companies sell for $99.
That’s a whole lot more manageable than clear aligners that require in-person care like Invisalign and ClearCorrect. A dentist’s time costs money, and office visits every 4–6 weeks can add up to thousands more in the long run.
To make aligner costs more manageable, AlignerCo offers two different financing options.
Can’t pay all at once? No worries. AlignerCo gives you two ways to break that lump sum into bite-sized chunks: SmileFlex and SmileFlex Easy.
AlignerCo partners with Splitit to provide their standard SmileFlex plan, which is twelve monthly payments of $110. However, it requires a soft credit check, so not everyone qualifies. If your credit score isn’t ideal, no worries! Their second plan, SmileFlex Easy, doesn’t require a check, so it’s open to every customer. This plan includes six monthly payments of $175, but requires a $275 down payment.
If you do the math, you’ll notice that both of these options are slightly more expensive than $1,145 in the end, so you’ll pay less overall if you can swing a one-time payment.
Once you’ve achieved your dream smile, you’ll want to do whatever you can to maintain it. Industry-wide wisdom recommends wearing a nightly retainer indefinitely after treatment so that your pearly whites stay in position.
AlignerCo generously includes your first set of retainers (upper and lower) in your aligner package. You’ll need to replace them about every six months, so an aligner company’s cost of aftercare retainers is something to seriously consider before getting started, since this will be an ongoing expense.
That’s why AlignerCo started their Smile Protection plan. For $460, (though sometimes on sale for $360) you’ll receive eight retainers total, making them $57.50 each — much lower than SmileDirectClub, who charges $99 for their aftercare retainers.
But it isn’t just that you’ll receive discounted retainers, you will also get some peace of mind.
You won’t need to worry about keeping track of the retainers for the four years it will take to go through all eight. Instead, AlignerCo will mail you all of them at once, so you will always have your next set ready to go. This way, if you lose one, you won’t have to wait for them to manufacture a new one, which can take some time, potentially allowing your teeth to start shifting back.
SmileDirectClub does not currently offer any package deals for their retainers, so you would need to spend about $200 per year on retainers indefinitely. And Byte’s retainer plan costs $649–$779 for just five years. If you choose an in-office option, your dentist might offer Hawley or fixed retainers, which cost more up front, but are permanent.
Aside from the cost, one of the biggest barriers to pursuing a more comfortable smile is traditional orthodontics’ heavy time commitment. We all lead busy lives, and when your schedule is packed full, monthly office visits aren’t likely how you’d choose to spend your precious free time. On top of that, you might not have an important event this year (not two or three years down the road) and want to finish treatment ASAP.
By shipping aligners directly to your home, companies like AlignerCo do away with the monthly office visits, so you can use that time you would have spent in the patient chair to see a friend, wrap up a big work project, go on a date, take a nap, or anything else. Plus, the typical timeline for at-home treatment is half a year or less, compared to the typical 18 months for braces and 12 months for Invisalign.
This streamlined treatment means that AlignerCo is unquestionably more convenient than Invisalign or traditional braces. When compared to other top-rated home aligner products, however, AlignerCo is just average.
AlignerCo offers fewer startup options than other leading brands.
The first step can be the most difficult part of at-home clear aligner treatment, and with AlignerCo, there’s only one way to go about it.
We mentioned the impression kit earlier, but how does it work? AlignerCo will send you a special putty in the mail and it’s your job to mix it, bite down, and create a mold of your teeth. Sounds simple enough.
But, as many customers find out, it’s easier said than done. AlignerCo anticipated this stumbling block and offers video chat support where a customer support rep will walk you through the entire process. They’ve seen a high level of success with these video walkthroughs. But despite the company’s forethought, customers across the industry still find it tricky to capture perfect impressions and sometimes need to try it multiple times.
Go with an in-office option and your dentist or orthodontist will take care of this entire process for you, ensuring you get perfect impressions or dental scans on the first try. SmileDirectClub offers similar convenience at their 300+ retail locations throughout the U.S. where you can schedule an appointment to get your teeth scanned. This is a quicker, easier option for anyone who lives near one of these brick-and-mortar locations, and many customers prefer it. As a smaller company, however, AlignerCo isn’t able to offer this convenience.
From impressions to full aligner kit, you can expect to wait 7–8 weeks.
You nailed the impression kit, packed it up, and sent everything back. Once they receive your impressions, AlignerCo will take around three weeks to create and send a smile projection — a 3D rendering of your post-treatment smile. If it looks good, let them know that you’d like to continue with treatment (although there’s no obligation at this point). After you approve the plan and pay for your aligners, they will arrive on your doorstep in 4–5 more weeks. So, if there are no hitches in the process, and you respond to your treatment plan right away, you’ll kick off your aligner treatment 7–8 weeks after returning your impressions. That’s slightly slower than other clear aligner options, both at-home and in-office.
Start to finish, treatment takes an average of 4–6 months.
The most significant factor in determining your overall treatment length is your condition severity. More complicated cases simply take longer to correct. Go with AlignerCo and treatment will likely last between four and six months, depending on your condition.
This is assuming, of course, that you follow your prescribed treatment guidelines and consistently wear your aligners for 20-22 hours per day (or ten hours for the NightOnly plan). Fail to stick to AlignerCo’s wear instructions and your treatment will likely take longer.
Most at-home aligner brands’ treatment plans last around six months, so AlignerCo falls right around the industry average. Since in-office aligners like Invisalign typically correct more severe misalignments, they often take 12–18 months to achieve final results.
AlignerCo includes whitening in their full aligner package.
Most aligner companies throw in free whitening products when you purchase their treatment, and AlignerCo is no different. They include a free whitening kit with your aligner purchase, and you can buy additional kits on their website for $49 each.
If you cringe at the thought of sporting highly visible brackets and wires to a special occasion or just in everyday life, you’re not alone. Most adults opt for more discreet options when choosing a teeth alignment treatment, and this is where clear aligners excel. A key selling point of all clear aligner products is that they are much less noticeable than braces. For this reason, all clear aligners products score well on appearance in our rankings, and AlignerCo is no exception.
That said, clear aligners aren’t all identical. They’re all made from transparent, BPA-free plastic, but each brand looks slightly different due to variations in materials and manufacturing processes.
AlignerCo claims to have the “world’s clearest invisible aligners.”
AlignerCo advertises their aligners as the clearest in the industry, and aligners certainly are transparent, but does this mean they’re the best looking? It all depends on your personal preferences. Smooth, translucent aligners can be somewhat reflective, making your teeth look artificially shiny. Other companies use textured, “frosted” plastic in their aligners. This might seem counterintuitive, but your teeth naturally have matte surfaces, so this texture better mimics their appearance.
That said, appearance is a subjective category because it relies on your unique likes and tastes. Some people prefer textured aligners, while others like the way translucent ones make their teeth gleam.
AlignerCo trims their aligners to match your gum line.
There are two ways to cut an aligner: scalloped to the gumline or straight across the top. Straight-cut aligners slightly cover your gums and this overlap can be visible in close quarters. Aligners that are trimmed to your gums won’t have this overlap, so they’re a little more discreet.
AlignerCo doesn’t add any attachments to your aligners.
Invisalign and ClearCorrect can add elastics and affix small attachments to your teeth surfaces to help their aligners make more complex dental shifts. While incredibly useful, these attachments also make your aligners more noticeable.
AlignerCo doesn’t use any supplementary attachments, so their aligners are slightly less powerful than in-office brands, but they’re also more discreet.
With AlignerCo’s NightOnly plan, you won’t even need to wear your aligners in public.
Remember the nighttime treatment option? Go that route and no one will ever notice your aligners because you’ll never wear them out during the day. Just pop them in after dinner, then remove them as part of your morning routine.
You should take out your aligners before eating and drinking to avoid stains.
All clear aligners are susceptible to stains from food and beverages — that’s why it’s important to remove them before eating or drinking anything other than plain water. AlignerCo’s aligners are reasonably resistant to staining, although we certainly wouldn’t recommend drinking coffee or red wine with your aligners in.
Dental treatment is expensive, and you only have one set of teeth. So it’s important to feel confident and secure in your treatment provider. You want to be sure that they will care for you and have your back if anything goes wrong. AlignerCo provides somewhat helpful and accessible support, although some of their at-home competitors offer more comprehensive warranties, and it’s tough to replicate the personalized hands-on care of in-office options.
AlignerCo’s customer support appears attentive and responsive most of the time, but can be hit-or-miss.
AlignerCo’s support representatives are available by phone from 9am–9pm, seven days a week, and by email or webchat anytime. We tested out their webchat and received answers to our questions immediately. And AlignerCo says that they’ll respond to email inquiries within 24 hours. Having trouble with your impression kit? They also offer video chat support to guide you through the process.
Many customers have nothing but praise for AlignerCo’s support team. However, some have expressed frustrations with delayed response times from customer service representatives, saying it took a lot of back and forth with service representatives to get a straight answer.
AlignerCo doesn’t offer refunds once you’ve started treatment.
If you submit your teeth impressions and AlignerCo determines that you’re not a good candidate for treatment, they’ll refund the kit’s cost and any money you pre-paid for your aligners. But after you’ve been approved and begin treatment, they don’t provide refunds.
Based on customer feedback we’ve gathered, those who follow their aligner wear guidelines typically see the desired results. However, if your smile doesn’t turn out as you expected, your only recourse is to request a re-evaluation for additional refinement aligners. A refinement to your original treatment plan costs an extra $200.
AlignerCo doesn’t offer a lifetime guarantee on their results.
Byte and SmileDirectClub both put lifetime warranties on your new smile, so they’ll send you new aligners if your teeth ever shift out of place — as long as you replace your retainers every six months and wear them as directed. AlignerCo doesn’t have a similar guarantee, so if your teeth move in the future, you’ll need to begin a new treatment.
What are AlignerCo Customers Saying?
When we review a company like AlignerCo, our first move is to dig through customer reviews to understand common customer issues and desires.
It can be a little tricky to get a fully formed view of the customer experience from AlignerCo. This is in part because, like many of their competitors, AlignerCo requests their customers leave reviews for their services at the very beginning of their treatment. This means that many of the reviews posted online are from people who are just starting their treatment, or maybe haven’t even received their aligners yet.
However, it is possible to find reviews from customers who are further along in the treatment process. Many of these customers are thrilled with their end results and the affordable treatment made possible by AlignerCo. This is still a relatively new company, so they are growing and at times, it seems, experiencing some growing pains.
Though many AlignerCo reviews are glowing, there are occasional reviews of difficulties with the quality of the aligners and retainers. Other customers were upset with a lack of clarity from the company, and some say they were eligible for refunds, but AlignerCo attempted to withhold their refund until they took down their negative reviews.
Though the positive reviews outweigh the negative ones, it does still seem like there is still some work AlignerCo can do to provide a quality experience for all.
AlignerCo vs. Invisalign
One of the biggest differences between at-home clear aligners like AlignerCo and in-office ones like Invisalign is cost. Invisalign is, on average, about four times as expensive as AlignerCo. That said, there’s another important difference to keep in mind: Invisalign can correct much more severe cases of misalignment than AlignerCo.
With Invisalign, you’ll receive hands-on care. This means your dentist can incorporate elastics and attachments into your treatment plan to achieve more advanced and intricate teeth movements. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible with AlignerCo.
All in all, for severe cases of crowding, spacing, or bite issues, in-person care is unmatched. But if you’re simply looking to correct a mild-to-moderate dental misalignment, an affordable at-home provider like AlignerCo will be able to produce the results you’re after.
AlignerCo vs. Other At-Home Clear Aligners
While AlignerCo is a reputable and affordable brand, there are a few other clear aligner options worth considering before settling on a provider. Let’s see how AlignerCo stacks up compared to some other top-ranked aligner treatments:
AlignerCo vs. Byte (Our #1-Ranked Provider)
Byte’s claim to fame is their “HyperByte” device, which they include in the cost of their aligner package. This high-frequency vibration device uses gentle micropulses to help provide a more comfortable aligner fit and encourage faster dental shifts. For this reason, Byte claims an average treatment plan length of just 4-5 months.
Byte also offers a “Byte-for-Life” warranty, which protects your smile forever. If your teeth ever shift out of place, Byte will send you new aligners for free to realign them — as long as you’ve been getting new retainers every six months as advised.
Byte may cost a bit more than AlignerCo, but we think they make up for it with a better overall value.
AlignerCo vs. Candid
Candid differs from AlignerCo (and every other at-home aligner service) in that they use a hybrid at-home and in-person treatment model. After an initial in-person consultation and examination with a local dentist, you’ll check in virtually via their CandidMonitoring service every 14 days for the rest of your treatment. By keeping a local dentist involved for the entire treatment process, Candid offers a level of quality care that sets them apart.
However, this level of involvement comes with a major trade-off: Candid treatment costs $3,500+, which is 3x more expensive than AlignerCo.
AlignerCo vs. SmileDirectClub
SmileDirectClub stands out as the largest and most established at-home clear aligner brand, having straightened over 1.5 million smiles so far. They also offer convenient retail locations called “SmileShops” where you can kick off treatment with a free teeth scan (instead of completing a DIY impression kit from home). SmileDirectClub is the only service that offers this perk.
AlignerCo isn’t quite as experienced or convenient as SmileDirectClub, but we still think that their significantly lower prices make them a slightly better option. However, if you like the idea of working with the most established brand in the industry, SmileDirectClub is worth considering.
Summary - Is AlignerCo Right for You?
If you want to straighten your teeth without making a significant dent in your budget, we highly recommend AlignerCo. At $1,145, they’re the most affordable service in the clear aligner space, yet they still deliver quality products and efficient treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does AlignerCo offer discounts?
Yes! AlignerCo’s starting price is already lower than other companies’ discounted prices, but they still run regular sales. They also offer discounts for veterans and teens that can be used on top of sale prices. They also have a referral program.
If you refer a friend, they’ll receive $100 off their AlignerCo treatment and you’ll get $100 cash (if they purchase aligners). Check out our AlignerCo discount guide for all the ways you can potentially decrease your costs.
Can AlignerCo correct my condition?
It depends. AlignerCo is extremely effective in treating mild and moderate cases of crowding and spacing, but it might not be able to correct jaw misalignments like overbite, underbite, crossbite, etc. The only way to know for sure is to complete an impression kit. After evaluating your teeth, AlignerCo’s dental team will let you know if their aligners can make the shifts you’re after.
How much will I end up paying?
If you purchase the SmileAdvantage package, you’ll receive an impression kit and your first set of aftercare retainers included in the $1,145 price. That price, however, is only if you pay upfront. If you choose the SmileFlex or SmileFlex Easy payment plan, you’ll pay $1,320 over twelve months.
How do I get started?
To determine your treatment candidacy and develop your aligner plan, AlignerCo’s dental team will need to analyze your teeth. Order, complete, and submit an impression kit and they’ll respond with a treatment plan that shows every step in the process.
How long will it take?
In most cases, AlignerCo treatment takes 4–6 months to deliver the desired results. This depends primarily on the severity of your condition and how diligently you follow the prescribed wear schedule.
Does insurance cover AlignerCo treatment?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Certain providers label at-home aligners a “cosmetic” treatment and refuse to cover it. But if your plan includes orthodontic benefits, you might receive partial coverage. Check with your insurance provider to see if you can get partial reimbursement for your treatment.
What is the cheapest home aligner service?
AlignerCo, and it’s not even close. Their $1,145 price tag is hundreds less than other home aligner companies and thousands less than traditional, in-office treatments. Plus, they offer flexible payment plans to make their aligners even more accessible. You can find other budget-friendly options in our guide on the 3 most affordable home aligner companies.
What about Invisalign?
The clear aligner innovator has its own set of unique benefits, most notably in-person care. During regular face-to-face checkups, your dentist or orthodontist can make adjustments to your treatment and add attachments that allow Invisalign to treat a wider scope of cases. Our Invisalign review contains a ton more information if you’re interested.
Do clear aligners hurt?
When you switch to a new aligner set every two weeks, you might experience some discomfort for the first day or two, but after that, you’ll hardly notice them.
Is home aligner treatment safe?
Yes! While administering treatment from home might seem daunting, the process is very safe. Home aligner companies use state-licensed dentists and orthodontists to create your treatment plan and design your aligners. Even though you won’t meet with them in person, each company offers robust customer support services if something doesn’t feel quite right.