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, at-home clear aligner brands like AlignerCo make achieving your ideal smile both affordable and convenient.
AlignerCo stands out from the other clear aligner brands for one main reason: they have the lowest price-point in the industry, by far. But when it comes to dental treatment, price isn’t the only factor to consider. In this AlignerCo review, we’ll walk you through everything you should know before deciding whether or not they’re the right fit for you.
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Is AlignerCo Legit? Why They Score 4.2/5 Overall
AlignerCo scores 4.2/5 overall based on our 5 review criteria (effectiveness, affordability, convenience, appearance, and customer support). This makes Candid our third-highest rated home teeth alignment service.
If you’re looking for the most affordable clear aligner on the market, AlignerCo is impossible to beat. At $1,145, their price point is the lowest on the market (by a landslide).
AlignerCo vs. byte (Our #1 Recommendation)
AlignerCo is the best option for your budget, no doubt. But if you’re looking to get the best overall value, we recommend byte.
byte is the #1 option we recommend not only to our readers, but to our family and friends. Their HyperByte vibration technology makes treatment much faster (and more comfortable) than any other brand.
For a closer look at how byte and AlignerCo stack up, check out our comparison of the best at-home clear aligners below.
What is AlignerCo?
AlignerCo is part of a recent crop of companies that deliver clear aligner treatment straight to your home, and they’re one of the newest ones. They opened their doors in May 2019, birthed out of Straight My Teeth, an established aligner company in the U.K. So, although AlignerCo is brand new to the U.S., they’re backed by experienced industry professionals.
Look up home aligners and you’ll find that AlignerCo is just one of many options, including byte, Candid, SmileDirectClub, and more. Like these other companies, AlignerCo develops a personalized aligner treatment, then handcrafts the aligners and sends them directly to you.
What really sets AlignerCo apart is their incredibly affordable prices, which are much lower than the industry average. But their cheap prices don’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.
Like other home aligner treatments, AlignerCo is mainly 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 this 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 (only removing them to eat, drink, brush, and floss) and, over the course of 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 making the jump into treatment. AlignerCo takes the #3 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.
- They don’t require a credit check for their SmileFlex Easy financing plan, so everyone qualifies (their standard SmileFlex plan requires a soft credit check).
- In their aligners, AlignerCo uses plastic from Essix, an experienced and well-respected dental products company.
- They’ve received consistent praise for their attentive, helpful customer service.
- Unlike Candid and SmileDirectClub, AlignerCo doesn’t have any physical locations that offer free teeth scans.
- Their website boasts orthodontist-designed treatment plans, but AlignerCo actually uses both orthodontists and general dentists. Both are perfectly qualified to create and oversee your treatment plan, but if you're dead-set on working with an orthodontist, AlignerCo might not be the right choice for you.
- AlignerCo could be slightly slower to prepare your plan and ship out your aligners than some of their competitors.
So, Do the Pros Outweigh the Cons?
In many cases, yes. AlignerCo offers a quality product at a super low price-point. If cost is at the top of your priority list, AlignerCo is probably your best bet.
Still, orthodontic care is serious business, and there are other affordable home teeth straightening systems out there. We encourage you to compare all your options before choosing a provider!
Orthodontic treatment is an investment of your money and time, so you don’t want to dive in headfirst with confirming that it can deliver the results you want. AlignerCo doesn’t have a huge customer base yet, but they’ve delivered some quality results already.
Like we mentioned above, AlignerCo is primarily intended for mild and moderate cases of crowding and spacing. Bite issues like overbite and underbite don’t necessarily preclude you from treatment, but their dentists and orthodontists will need to evaluate your smile to see if you’re a good candidate first.
You’ll have the option to review a digital preview of your treatment before moving forward, and there’s no obligation to do so. But if it looks good, go for it!
AlignerCo uses a mixed team of orthodontists and general dentists to create and oversee treatment plans, so you might not have the most specialized professional working on your case.
Why does it matter? In short, orthodontists receive extensive training specifically on how to move teeth and craft smiles. General dentists are qualified and highly-trained professionals, but they don’t have the same level of experience when it comes to teeth movements. You won’t know for sure if a dentist or orthodontist is designing your AlignerCo treatment, and this may have an affect on the overall quality.
The person developing and monitoring your treatment plan can make all the difference, for better or worse. In a worst-case scenario, treatment at the hands of an inexperienced professional could even leave you with an annoying bite issue that requires more work down the road.
AlignerCo uses plastics from RaintreeEssix to manufacture their aligners. Essix is an established, reputable dental supply company and several other aligner companies use their products.
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.
You’ll submit regular photo progress reports to your assigned dentist/orthodontist to ensure that your treatment stays on track.
Every two weeks throughout your AlignerCo treatment, the customer support team will reach out to request photos of your teeth. They will forward these photos to your dedicated dentist or orthodontist, who can then provide feedback on your progress. This might not be as robust as Candid’s Remote Monitoring service, but it still helps to keep your treatment on track and ensure its effectiveness.
Historically, the high price tag for braces and Invisalign has made getting straighter teeth a substantial financial burden. Making matters worse, health insurers seldom cover this type of treatment, and dental insurance will typically reimburse just a small fraction of the cost.
A major benefit of home teeth aligner companies like AlignerCo is the price point, which is much more affordable than alternative treatment options. At-home teeth straightening services have made orthodontic treatment much more accessible by bringing effective clear aligners right to your doorstep with a much lighter impact on your wallet. Home aligners easily beat Invisalign’s $3,000 – $8,000, and AlignerCo takes affordability a step further.
AlignerCo’s $1,145 sticker price beats the industry average by several hundred dollars, making them by far the most affordable option.
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 ($29 sold separately) and your first set of aftercare retainers, which other companies sell for $99.
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 SmileFlexEasy.
AlignerCo partners with Splitit to provide their standard SmileFlex plan, which is 12 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 11 monthly payments of $95, but requires a $275 downpayment.
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.
Aside from the cost, one of the biggest barriers to pursuing a more comfortable smile is traditional orthodontics’ heavy time commitment. Between work, family, friends, and hopefully some time for fun, we all lead busy lives. Your schedule might be packed full and monthly office visits aren’t likely how you would choose to spend your precious free time. Nevermind taking time off work every month for these trips to the dentist. 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 the aligners directly to your home, companies like AlignerCo do away with the monthly office visits. This means 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. Most home aligner companies guarantee treatment completion in half a year or less, compared to the typical 18 months for braces and 12 months for Invisalign.
This streamlined treatment time 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.
Taking that first step can be the most difficult part of the process for AlignerCo customers. 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 that great smile. 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 that it’s tricky to capture perfect impressions and sometimes need to try it multiple times before getting approved for treatment.
SmileDirectClub and Candid have addressed this problem by opening 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 kind of service.
From impressions to full aligner kit, you can expect to wait 4-5 weeks.
You nailed the impression kit, packed it up, and sent everything back. Once they receive your impressions, AlignerCo will return a treatment preview in 12-14 days. If the plan 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 2-3 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 4-5 weeks after returning your impressions. That might seem like a while, but it’s actually quicker than most home aligner companies.
Start to finish, your treatment will take 6-11 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 the treatment will likely last between 6 and 11 months, depending on your condition. Most home aligner treatments last around 6 months (and byte is the fastest with a blazing 3-month treatment time), so AlignerCo falls right in line with the industry average, potentially slightly slower.
This is assuming, of course, that you follow your prescribed treatment guidelines and consistently wear your aligners for 20-22 hours per day. Fail to stick to AlignerCo’s wear instructions and your treatment will likely take longer.
AlignerCo doesn’t include whitening in their full aligner package.
Most aligner companies throw in free whitening products when you purchase their treatment, but AlignerCo doesn’t. This is an even trade-off, though, because cutting out whitening is one of the ways that they can offer such a low sticker price.
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 home 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, not all clear aligners are created equal in terms of appearance. They are all made from transparent, BPA-free plastic, but each brand looks a bit 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 they’re not lying. Their aligners certainly are transparent, but does this mean they’re the best looking? It all depends on your personal preference. Smooth, translucent aligners can be somewhat reflective, making your teeth look artificially shiny. Other companies use a 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 dislikes. Some people prefer textured aligners, while others like the way translucent ones make their teeth gleam.
Aligners from AlignerCo are handcrafted and trimmed to match your gumline.
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.
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. As clear aligners go, our current understanding is that 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.
When it comes to customer care, here’s what we discovered about AlignerCo:
As a smaller company, AlignerCo’s customer support appears attentive and responsive.
One of the advantages of being a newer, growing company is the ability to give each customer personal attention. In their reviews, customers constantly praise AlignerCo’s service team, noting quick response times and helpful representatives.
They’re available by phone from 9am – 9pm, seven days a week, and by email or web chat anytime. We tested out their web chat 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.
AlignerCo maintains fairly standard return and refund policies.
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.
However, they still want to make sure that you’re 100% satisfied with your results, so if your smile doesn’t turn out as you expected, you can request a re-evaluation, which (if approved) would make you eligible for additional aligners. A refinement to your original treatment plan costs an extra $200.
As long as you’re disciplined in following your aligner wear guidelines (20-22 hours per day), you should see the desired results.
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.
As we mentioned earlier, AlignerCo is a fairly new company. They don’t yet have a ton of legitimate customer reviews and testimonials, so it’s tough to develop a fully-formed view. But by diligently searching the net, we were able to find a handful of reviews that feel honest and authentic, not sponsored by the company.
Based on these reviews, AlignerCo customers generally feel positive about their experience. Many customers initially considered AlignerCo for the price, but ended up loving their results and customer service experience. They often praise company representatives by name, showing AlignerCo’s personalized care.
But again, this is based on a small sample size of reviews. As they continue to grow, they’ll accumulate more and we’ll get a more complete picture of their customer experience.
AlignerCo vs. Invisalign
The main difference between at-home clear aligners like AlignerCo and in-office ones like Invisalign is cost. Invisalign is, on average, about 4 times as expensive as AlignerCo. That said, there’s another important difference to keep in mind: Invisalign is able to 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 other 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 can’t be beat. 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 home teeth straightening companies worth considering before settling on a provider. Let’s see how AlignerCo stacks up compared to some other top-ranked home teeth aligners:
AlignerCo vs. byte (Our #1-Ranked Provider)
Like AlignerCo, byte is a newcomer to the home aligner game, but their innovation in that short time is undeniable. Their HyperByte system allows for a three-month treatment time on average, half that of AlignerCo and other competitors. But they haven’t chosen speed over quality – byte promises both.
Their orthodontist-only network ensures that your treatment is designed and monitored by the most specialized professionals. And their byte-for-life warranty guarantees your smile forever. These perks are a large part of why byte is our top-ranked home aligner company. byte costs more than AlignerCo, but if speed is your priority, don’t pass them up.
AlignerCo vs. Candid
Candid works exclusively with orthodontists to prepare their treatment plans (unlike AlignerCo), which helps ensure treatment quality and safety. They’re the only company that provides Remote Monitoring, so you can digitally check in with your orthodontist every step of the way.
That extra service will cost you though – at $2,400, Candid is significantly more expensive than AlignerCo. If that doesn’t deter you, and if you’re looking for an all-around solid option with superior effectiveness and convenience, Candid might be for you.
AlignerCo vs. SmileDirectClub
SmileDirectClub stands out as the largest and most popular at-home clear aligner brand. They also offer retail locations, which makes it easier to get the ball rolling, depending on where you live. They’ve also transformed over 700,000 smiles so far, making them the most experienced home aligner company on the market.
AlignerCo isn’t quite as experienced or convenient, but we think that their significantly lower prices make them a slightly better option, but if your priority is proven results and a long track record of good reviews, check out SmileDirectClub.
Summary - Is AlignerCo Right for You?
Out of the top five home-based clear aligner products we’ve reviewed, AlignerCo ranks #3 overall. If you’re looking for the lowest prices possible and are willing to take a risk on a less-established brand, AlignerCo could be your perfect match.
Our #1-ranked provider, byte, also rings up at well under $2,000 and boasts a shorter average treatment time than AlignerCo. Both are great options, but only you can decide on the best fit for your smile, your timeline, and your budget!