If you want to align your teeth, you have more choices than people did just a few years ago. For decades, traditional orthodontics was the only option. However, in recent years, the at-home teeth alignment industry exploded in popularity as companies like Byte and SmileDirectClub provided people with convenient ways to straighten their smiles.
SmileDirectClub and Byte are two of Australia’s best and most popular at-home clear aligner companies. While they share many aspects, they also have some key differences. In this article, we’ll walk you through a detailed step-by-step comparison to determine which one is your best option.
Table of Contents
Overview and Recommendation: Byte Wins
These companies are both capable of aligning your teeth efficiently and affordably. They’re respected companies and easy to recommend. However, we think Byte is the better choice for most of our readers. Before we get too deep into this comparison, let’s take a look at a few of the main characteristics that make Byte such a great option.
- Faster Alignments: Byte not only beats SmileDirectClub’s treatment times, but they actually deliver the fastest results of any system on the market! Byte can align your smile in just three months, while no other company offers results any faster than four months.
- Lifetime Guarantee: The Byte for Life Guarantee backs your smile for a lifetime. If your teeth shift after your alignment process — even decades down the road — Byte will work with you to correct these issues for free!
- Great Customer Feedback: Both of these companies have thousands of customer reviews available online. While SmileDirectClub’s feedback is a mixed bag of positive and negative reviews, nearly all of Byte’s feedback is positive.
Is Byte Right for You?
In our opinion, Byte is the best option available in Australia for at-home teeth straightening services. SmileDirectClub also made our list of the top companies, in fifth place. Byte earned the #1 spot in our rankings, meaning we would happily recommend their services not just to our readers, but to our family and friends as well.
Byte and SmileDirectClub sell clear aligners that are safe as they’re manufactured without BPA or phthalates. Both companies have plenty of experience too, as Byte has aligned thousands of smiles and SmileDirectClub is now past the 1 million customer mark. But which of these companies has the most effective alignment process?
- Uses a mixed team of dentists and orthodontists
- Average treatment time is 3-4 months
- Exclusive HyperByte device speeds up tooth movement
- Cuts aligners straight across the gums, increasing their power
- Uses a mixed team of dentists and orthodontists
- Produces aligners in-house
- Average treatment time is 4-6 months
- Cuts aligners in a scalloped shape, matching the gum line, making them less visible
Both Byte and SmileDirectClub use mixed dental teams consisting of general dentists and orthodontists. We appreciate this because while dentists are qualified to design and apply clear aligner treatment, orthodontists have more specialized training. Orthodontists attend thousands of hours of additional schooling to learn everything there is to know about the science of teeth alignment.
To be clear, it’s extremely unlikely that you would ever know the difference between clear aligners designed by a dentist or an orthodontist, but we figured this was still worth mentioning because of orthodontists’ increased specialization.
Byte does not disclose who makes their aligners, which is pretty common in this industry. As for SmileDirectClub, they create their own aligners in-house. Both companies produce aligners of excellent quality, and neither of them uses BPA or phthalates.
These are both tech-savvy companies, as they use the best software solutions and 3D printing tech to produce their aligners. We’re impressed by the fact that SmileDirectClub manufactures its own aligners, but Byte still has the advantage in this area due to their exclusive HyperByte device, which sends micropulses into the gums and jawbone to facilitate tooth movement. No other at-home aligner company has a similar device, and it’s a big part of Byte’s industry-best alignment times.
For anyone on a budget, pricing is one of the most important factors to consider for cosmetic teeth straightening. Both Byte and SmileDirectClub can save you quite a bit of money compared to braces and Invisalign, but their prices are generally higher than their direct competitors in the at-home alignment industry.
Byte Pricing Information
SmileDirectClub Pricing Information
- $2,749 sticker price ($3,399 for night-only aligners)
- First set of retainers included for free
- Whitening kit included for free
- Impression kit for $95
- Financing requires a down payment but not a credit check
- $2,825 sticker price for all-day or night-only aligners
- No retainers included ($165 extra per set)
- Free whitening included
- Impression kit for $79 or in-office scanning for free
- Financing requires a down payment but not a credit check
These companies are both on the higher end of pricing for at-home clear aligners in Australia. At $2,749, Byte has a lower price point for all-day aligners, compared to the $2,825 charged by SmileDirectClub. However, SmileDirectClub charges that same $2,825 for their nighttime alignment plan, whereas Byte has a $3,399 sticker price for their night-only alignment, Byte At-Night.
Beyond that, Byte chips in some additional value by providing your first set of retainers at no extra charge, while SmileDirectClub charges $165 for each set. However, Byte charges $95 for impression kits; SmileDirectClub charges $79 but also offers in-office 3D scans for free.
Payment Plan Options
If you don’t have roughly three thousand bucks lying around in your sock drawer, don’t worry! These companies both have payment plans to help make their services accessible to a wide variety of people. Take a look at what each of them has to offer in this regard.
- Byte’s BytePay plan requires 30 monthly payments of $118. This payment plan does not require a credit check, but it does have a $40 account setup fee and an $8 monthly “account keeping fee.” In total, treatment withBytePay should cost you $3,828.
- SmileDirectClub’s one payment plan option requires a deposit of $299, followed by 24 monthly payments of $119. This plan includes your full alignment process and your first two sets of retainers (which are not included if you pay the full cost up front) for a total of $3,155, which is the same as the up-front price for this combination. There is no credit check required.
We appreciate how both of these companies provide payment plans that don’t require credit checks, although it would be nice if they offered options that didn’t require down payments. It’s also worth noting that SmileDirectClub’s financing plan requires you to buy two sets of retainers — you’ll probably end up buying these anyway, but it’s still an important distinction.
Byte and SmileDirectClub both offer some free bonuses to give you more bang for your buck. They both throw in free whitening products that you can use to brighten your smile as you align it. Byte also includes your first set of aftercare retainers. However, SmileDirectClub evens the score a bit by offering free in-office scans, a feature Byte doesn’t offer at all.
SmileDirectClub and Byte are both much less of a hassle than braces or Invisalign. This is because traditional orthodontics requires frequent in-office appointments, while at-home alignment doesn’t require you to ever set foot in a dentist or orthodontist’s office. But how do these companies compare to each other?
- No office locations in Australia — must use an at-home impression kit
- Byte At-Night allows you to wear aligners for just 10 hours per day
- Provides free whitening products
- 7 office locations in Australia providing free 3D scans; at-home kits also available
- NightTime Clear Aligners allow you to wear aligners for just 10 hours per day
- Includes free whitening products
The initial step on your smile straightening journey is to provide your chosen alignment company with high-quality impressions or images of your teeth. This enables them to figure out if you’re a good candidate for their alignment services and also produce a preview image so you can see what your corrected teeth will look like.
With SmileDirectClub, you have the choice of taking molds of your teeth at home using an impression kit or visiting one of their seven retail locations across Australia to have them professionally scan your teeth for free. As for Byte, they only offer impression kits, as they do not have any retail locations or dental partnerships in Australia.
Both Byte and SmileDirectClub include free teeth whitening solutions with your alignment purchase. If you want to buy more whitening products after using your free bottle, Byte charges $49 and SmileDirectClub charges between $40 and $67, depending on which of their whitening products you purchase.
If you have lots of important business meetings or social engagements, you might not be comfortable with the idea of wearing clear aligners for 22 hours per day. That’s why Byte and SmileDirectClub both offer alignment plans that only require ten hours of daily wear.
Byte At-Night takes roughly 5-6 months to align your teeth and costs $3,399. Meanwhile, SmileDirectClub NightTime Clear Aligners are $2,825, but they take around ten months to straighten your smile.
Every clear aligner looks much more natural than wearing braces. However, we find that people are often surprised by how different clear aligners can look from each other. Let’s dig into the appearance of Byte and SmileDirectClub’s aligners and see who comes out on top.
- Uses smooth, transparent, shiny plastic
- Reasonably stain-resistant
- Cut straight across the gums
- Uses frosted, translucent plastic
- Reasonably stain-resistant
- Cut straight across the gums
This is actually a significant difference between Byte and SmileDirectClub. While Byte uses entirely clear, transparent plastic for its aligners, SmileDirectClub uses a frosted, translucent material. It might sound like 100% clear aligners are the better choice, but we don’t think that’s the case.
Your teeth are porous, which gives them a matte appearance. Frosted plastic aligners do a much better job of replicating the look of your real teeth because the translucent material doesn’t reflect light nearly as much as transparent aligners. Byte’s aligners make your teeth look like they’re glistening or gleaming, which means they’re considerably more noticeable than SmileDirectClub’s aligners, in our opinion.
Straight Cut vs. Scalloped
Straight cut aligners are more powerful than scalloped ones since they can generate more force. However, they look a bit less natural than scalloped aligners because straight-cut aligners have a small amount of plastic covering your gum line.
SmileDirectClub and Byte produce aligners that are somewhat resistant to stains, but we would still never eat or drink anything other than plain water while wearing them. You might stain an aligner and have to keep wearing it until your teeth are ready for the next set.
Customer Service Comparison
Especially when using at-home aligners, you need to know that your chosen company offers top-notch customer support to make up for the lack of in-person visits with your dental care team. We think Byte has a significant advantage in this category. Let’s find out why!
Byte Customer Service
SmileDirectClub Customer Service
- Offers support via phone, email, or Facebook Messenger
- Receives excellent customer reviews
- byte-for-Life program guarantees your smile for a lifetime
- Offers support via phone and online contact form; will also respond to messages on social media
- Receives mixed customer feedback
- Better-than-average refund policy
Byte and SmileDirectClub have similar support options, as they both can be contacted by phone. Byte has email support availability, while SmileDirectClub has an online contact form, and they’re both responsive on social media as well. Byte also appoints each customer their own advisor, whom they can contact directly. Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll get to discuss your questions or concerns with qualified representatives.
Responsiveness and Helpfulness
In our personal experience, both of these companies have responded quickly with helpful information. However, it’s important to make sure our experiences line up with those of most customers, which is why we took a deep dive into each company’s customer feedback reputation.
Both Byte and SmileDirectClub have thousands of customer reviews available online, but there’s a major difference in the quality of feedback. Byte’s reviews are nearly all positive, as their customers seem to enjoy their fast results and outstanding customer support. However, SmileDirectClub has a mixed bag of reviews as plenty of their customers mention problems with inconsistent support.
These companies will both refund your initial impression kit if they determine you’re not a suitable candidate for treatment. Beyond that, SmileDirectClub offers prorated refunds that pay you back for any unused aligners. Obviously, this policy provides less money the longer you wait to request your refund.
The byte-for-Life guarantee ensures that you’ll love your smile for decades to come. Should your teeth shift despite you following your aftercare instructions, Byte will provide you with new aligners to get them back into place.
In the area of experience, no company in the at-home alignment industry can compete with SmileDirectClub. That’s because they were the first company to start selling clear aligners for home use back in 2014. Since then, they’ve aligned more than 1 million smiles, giving them more experience than most competitors combined.
Byte has become the second-largest clear aligner service since arriving on the scene in 2018. There are some differences when it comes to these companies’ backgrounds, but they both offer high-quality alignment services at reasonable rates.
Which Home Teeth Aligner Should You Use?
Considering there are so many similarities between Byte and SmileDirectClub, it’s understandable if you haven’t yet made up your mind. Ultimately, neither will be the best for every person. So, which is right for you?
Choose Byte if You Are:
Seeking the fastest alignment times, looking for outstanding customer support, or interested in a company that receives great customer feedback.
Choose SmileDirectClub if You Are:
Seeking the most experienced at-home aligner company in the industry, or wanting to save some money on nighttime-only treatment.
We Recommend Byte for Most Readers
We think both of these companies are excellent options for teeth alignment and that you’ll be a satisfied customer regardless of which one you choose. That said, in our opinion, Byte is the best overall at-home clear aligner company in Australia.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I choose Byte or SmileDirectClub?
Both of these companies are easy to recommend, but we prefer Byte. They have the fastest alignment times in the industry, receive outstanding customer feedback, and have the best customer support available for at-home teeth alignment.
How do I get started with Byte or SmileDirectClub?
To get started with any teeth alignment company, you need to provide them with high-quality images of your teeth. With Byte, you’ll need to use an at-home impression kit to make molds of your own teeth. SmileDirectClub offers customers a choice of either using an impression kit or visiting one of their retail locations to have their teeth professionally scanned for free.
What are customers saying about Byte and SmileDirectClub?
Both companies have thousands of customer reviews available, but Byte has a much better ratio of positive reviews to negative ones than SmileDirectClub. Customers of both companies love how convenient they make the teeth alignment process, but SmileDirectClub customers have plenty of complaints about inconsistent customer support responsiveness.
What is the fastest home aligner company?
Byte has the most efficient alignments available in the industry today, as they can align your smile in as little as three months. No competitor offers alignments faster than four months.
What is the most effective home aligner company?
In our opinion, Byte is also the most effective at-home teeth alignment company available in Australia. This is due in large part to their exclusive HyperByte device.
How do I know which option is right for me?
We recommend carefully examining each company’s effectiveness, affordability, convenience, appearance, and customer support. By doing so, you can find the option that best suits your needs and budget.
What is the cheapest home aligner company?
SmilePath charges just $1,899 to align your smile, making them the most affordable home aligner company in Australia today.
Will home aligners work for me?
It’s hard for us to answer this question in an across-the-board manner because everyone’s smile is unique. However, we can say that home aligners are a great option for minor issues like crowding and spacing. On the other hand, if you have a more severe condition, like an overbite, crossbite, or underbite, you may need to pursue traditional orthodontics.
How do Byte and SmileDirectClub compare to Invisalign?
With any of these three companies, you’ll receive teeth alignment treatment using clear aligners. However, Invisalign is a much more expensive option because it involves frequent in-office visits with your dental professional to evaluate your progress and add attachments to encourage more significant shifts.
How long does home aligner treatment take?
Your alignment times can vary depending on your specific alignment issues, as well as which company you choose. Most home aligner companies take around six months, but Byte can straighten your smile in as little as three months.
What other companies should I consider?
SmilePath is always worth a look due to its low rates. We also think EZ Smile is a solid option due to its well-rounded service, reasonable prices, and money-back guarantee.
How much do home aligners cost?
This varies depending on which company you choose, whether you want all-day or night-only alignment, whether you use a payment plan, and more. In general though, you can get home aligners from SmilePath for just $1,899, while SmileDirectClub charges $2,825, the highest rate for this service in Australia that we’re aware of.
Does insurance cover home aligners?
Insurance typically does not cover home alignment because it’s considered to be an optional cosmetic treatment. However, it still doesn’t hurt to ask your insurance company.
Are home aligners safe?
They certainly are. We understand if you have some reservations about aligning your teeth at home, but the aligners you’ll use are still professionally designed and implemented. Millions of people have already successfully aligned their teeth using home aligners.
Do home aligners hurt?
It’s possible that you will experience some mild discomfort when you switch to a new set of aligners because they might be a tighter fit than you’re used to. However, it’s likely that this discomfort will fade quickly, and you’ll barely even notice your aligners within a day or two.