For years, if you wanted to align your teeth, you had two options: braces or Invisalign. But today, companies that deliver clear aligners to your home provide a vastly more convenient option.
EZ Smile and SmileDirectClub are two of the leading home teeth alignment companies in Australia. They both provide safe, affordable teeth-straightening services, and neither requires any trips to the dentist, but they’re far from identical. In this comparison guide, we’ll dig into the details to figure out which one is better for your smile and priorities.
Table of Contents
Overview and Recommendation: EZ Smile Wins
These are both widely respected companies with strong reputations for customer satisfaction. That said, EZ Smile has some concrete advantages that we think make them the better option; specifically:
- Extensive Satisfaction Guarantee: Most at-home aligner companies don’t issue refunds after you begin treatment. However, EZ Smile gives you 90 days to decide whether you’re happy with your progress. If not, you can request a refund and they’ll grant it, minus a $300 treatment planning fee.
- Lower Prices: SmileDirectClub charges $2,965 for their home alignment service, while EZ Smile costs just $2,499.
- Great Customer Feedback: EZ Smile receives nearly universal acclaim from its customers, and SmileDirectClub has historically had a mixed bag of customer feedback.
Is EZ Smile Right for You?
EZ Smile claims the number-two spot on our list of the best at-home teeth alignment companies in Australia. The best treatment for you depends on your unique goals and budget, but EZ Smile’s low prices, flexible financing plans, and solid refund policy make them a solid choice.
We gave EZ Smile a score of 4.3 out of 5 stars in our comprehensive rating system, and we think they’re an excellent option for most people with minor misalignments.
EZ Smile and SmileDirectClub both use high-quality plastic aligners to shift and straighten your teeth. Neither includes any harmful chemicals (like BPA or phthalates), and they both have thousands of satisfied customers. Without hands-on care, they can’t match the power and versatility that allows Invisalign to correct severe misalignments, but both can reliably make cosmetic teeth shifts — and SmileDirectClub goes slightly further in their commitment to effectiveness.
EZ Smile Effectiveness
- Partners with an experienced dental lab in China to manufacture their aligners.
- Only requires one photo check-in, halfway through treatment.
- Trims their aligners to match your gum line, making them slightly less powerful.
- Produces their aligners in-house.
- Their dental team reviews photos of your teeth every 90 days to keep you on track.
- Aligners overlap the gums, increasing their power.
Clinical Expertise and Oversight
It’s important to know who, exactly, will design and oversee your treatment. And it’s reassuring that SmileDirectClub uses Australian-licensed dentists and orthodontists to review and approve their aligner plans. EZ Smile says their plans and aligners come from a “team of orthodontic practitioners” at a dental lab in China. While they’re still qualified professionals, they’re not based in Australia.
In-person clear aligner treatments like Invisalign typically involve office visits every 4–6 weeks, and certain at-home aligner services have attempted to replicate this oversight with remote monitoring. SmileDirectClub, for example, has every customer upload photos of their teeth through a mobile app every 90 days, so their dental team can make sure things are progressing as planned.
EZ Smile requires one check-in at the midway point in your treatment. Neither plan is as robust as hands-on treatment, but they both provide some peace of mind. But thanks to their app, SmileDirectClub has a slightly more streamlined approach to oversight.
Both companies have sterling reputations for manufacturing quality, and neither of them uses BPA or phthalates in their aligners.
EZ Smile doesn’t disclose exactly who manufactures their aligners, but they say they’re produced in China by “one of the leading clear aligner manufacturers in the world.” This producer has already aligned over 200,000 smiles, so their products should be fairly high quality.
SmileDirectClub once had a manufacturing partnership with Invisalign’s parent company, but now they produce their own aligners in-house. Their lab has developed a proprietary technology called “Comfort Sense,” which they describe as a “proprietary soft, medium, and firm aligner plastic progression to ease teeth more comfortably into place.”
SmileDirectClub’s aligners are a bit more effective because they slightly overlap your gums, allowing them to exert more force on your teeth. EZ Smile trims their aligners to match each customer’s unique gum line instead. This might make them less noticeable, but it also decreases their effectiveness, since they can’t use the gums as a point of leverage.
It’s probably no surprise that pricing is the top priority for many people when considering teeth alignment. After all, orthodontic treatment is a significant investment of both time and money. Both companies can save you thousands of dollars compared to Invisalign or braces, but EZ Smile can save you hundreds more than SmileDirectClub.
EZ Smile Affordability
- $2,499 sticker price.
- Offers frequent discounts on their website.
- Includes one set of retainers and whitening products for free.
- An impression kit or in-office scans costs $99 (refunded if you purchase aligners).
- Multiple financing options, including ones without credit checks and down payments.
- $2,965 sticker price for all-day or night-only aligners.
- Doesn’t include free retainers ($167 extra per set).
- Includes free whitening.
- Impression kits are built into the cost of treatment, and in-office scans are free.
- Financing requires a down payment but not a credit check.
EZ Smile’s $2,499 sticker price is significantly lower than SmileDirectClub’s $2,965 price, but that’s not always the exact amount you’ll pay.
EZ Smile often offers discounts on their website that knock off up to $200, and they also include your first set of aftercare retainers for free — SmileDirectClub does not include any retainers, so you’ll need to pay $167 for each set. However, SmileDirectClub offers in-office scanning for free and impression kits are built into the cost of treatment, while EZ Smile charges $99 for each.
Payment Plan Options
Most people don’t have thousands of dollars sitting around in a sock drawer, so you might be interested in how these companies set up their payment plans. Both EZ Smile and SmileDirectClub offer financing options that make their alignment services available to a wide variety of income levels.
EZ Smile has three different financing options if you don’t want to pay the full price upfront.
- Zip Money: You’ll need to pass a credit check to qualify for this interest-free plan, but if you do, you’ll pay $48.06 per week for 52 weeks.
- EZ Installments: You’ll pay a $499 deposit, followed by 52 weekly payments of $45. This plan does not require a credit check and costs a total of $2,839.
- Humm: This interest-free plan doesn’t require a deposit, but it does have a credit check. If you qualify, you can either pay $208.25/month for 12 months or $104.13/month for 24 months.
SmileDirectClub’s one payment plan doesn’t require a credit check, but you’ll need to pay a $299 deposit, followed by 24 monthly payments of $125. This plan includes all your aligners and your first two retainer sets for $3,299, which is the same price you’d pay if you purchased the aligners and retainers separately.
We love the way both companies provide payment plans that don’t require credit checks. We also appreciate how SmileDirectClub’s payment option doesn’t end up costing you any more money than an up-front payment, except for purchasing two sets of retainers, which you would need to buy eventually anyway.
Many teeth alignment services like to add some more bang for your buck by including free bonus products, and these two are no exception. EZ Smile includes a free set of retainers for every customer, while SmileDirectClub provides teeth scans at a SmileShop (if you go this route). Plus, both companies include free whitening products with their aligners, so you can straighten and brighten your teeth simultaneously.
At-home aligners took Invisalign’s in-office model and cut out the office visits, saving not just money, but time as well. All at-home services enhance their convenience by letting you complete your entire treatment from home, but some go the extra mile to provide an easy, streamlined experience. So even though both companies are convenient, SmileDirectClub’s multiple startup options and flexible wear schedules make them one of the most user-friendly home aligner options available.
EZ Smile Convenience
- Sells impression kits, plus has 13 partner dentists across Australia who provide teeth scans.
- Average treatment time is 4–8 months.
- Does not offer a nighttime-only option.
- Sells impression kits, but also provides free teeth scans at six SmileShop locations.
- Treatment typically takes 4–6 months (or around ten months for Nighttime Aligners).
- Nighttime Clear Aligners only require ten consecutive hours of daily wear.
The first step is the same for any teeth alignment service: provide your dental care team with high-quality images of your teeth. EZ Smile and SmileDirectClub both offer either at-home impression kits or professional teeth scans at in-office locations.
Ordering an impression kit lets you create molds of your teeth at home, then mail them to the company. But it’s difficult to create a perfect mold, so some customers end up needing multiple kits to get it right. In-office teeth scans ensure that you get perfect images on the first try. If you want to go this route, EZ Smile has nearly twice as many locations across Australia as SmileDirectClub does, so you’re more likely to find one near you.
Most EZ Smile customers complete their treatment in 4–8 months, while SmileDirectClub says their average timeline is 4–6 months (or ten for their nighttime plan). This is pretty standard for at-home aligners, but your treatment might take longer or shorter depending on the severity of your misalignment. The more complex the case, the longer it takes to correct.
These timelines are much shorter than in-office options, which often take 12–18 months. Just remember that Invisalign and braces take longer because they take on more severe misalignments, while at-home aligners stick to milder cases.
You need to wear EZ Smile’s aligners for 22 hours per day, as they do not offer nighttime-only alignment plans. SmileDirectClub’s Nighttime Aligners only require ten consecutive hours of daily wear and cost the same amount as their all-day option.
However, SmileDirectClub’s nighttime-only plan takes around ten months, compared to the 4–6 month alignment time for all-day wear. Still, if you have a busy social calendar or lots of in-person work meetings, not having to wear aligners during the day could make this a worthwhile tradeoff.
Every clear aligner is pretty discreet, at least compared to metal brackets and wires. That said, every company’s materials and design vary, so you’ll notice subtle differences between their aligners. While EZ Smile and SmileDirectClub both make barely noticeable products, everyone has different aesthetic preferences, so which looks best depends on your particular tastes and style.
EZ Smile Appearance
- Uses smooth, transparent, shiny plastic.
- Trims their aligners to match your gum line.
- Cannot incorporate attachments.
- The material is reasonably stain-resistant.
- Uses frosted, translucent plastic.
- Cuts their aligners straight across, so they overlap your gums.
- Cannot incorporate attachments.
- The material is reasonably stain-resistant.
EZ Smile’s aligners are completely clear, made of transparent plastic that gleams or glistens when light hits it. On the other hand, SmileDirectClub creates aligners using frosted, translucent plastic with a matte finish.
It might sound like clear plastic is the way to go, but not everyone agrees. SmileDirectClub’s frosted aligners do a much better job of mimicking natural teeth surfaces, because real teeth aren’t unnaturally shiny. EZ Smile’s aligners may be transparent, but this doesn’t mean they blend in perfectly. Even so, some people like how shiny aligners make their teeth gleam.
SmileDirectClub’s aligners slightly overlap your gums, which makes them more noticeable. EZ Smile cuts each aligner to match your gum line, and even though this “scalloped” style is less visible, it’s also less effective because it can’t leverage the gums for extra power.
In-person treatments like Invisalign can correct severe misalignments in part because they let dentists place attachments on your teeth. These give the aligners more leverage and power, but also make them more visible. Since dentists affix attachments during office visits, SmileDirectClub and EZ Smile can’t use them. That might decrease their effectiveness, but it also means you won’t have any extra hardware in your mouth.
While SmileDirectClub and EZ Smile both sell aligners that are somewhat stain-resistant, we would still never recommend eating or drinking while wearing them. Plain water is fine, but anything else can stain your aligners, and you don’t want to wear discolored aligners until your teeth are ready for the next set.
Customer Experience Comparison
Teeth alignment is a significant investment of both time and money. Therefore, it’s important that you choose a company that will have your back if anything goes wrong. In addition, you deserve to receive timely and accurate answers to any questions that might arise throughout the process.
At-home treatments can’t quite measure up to the individualized, hands-on care you get from in-office ones like Invisalign, and even though EZ Smile and SmileDirectClub are relatively reliable and supportive, each has a little room for improvement.
EZ Smile Customer Experience
SmileDirectClub Customer Experience
- Offers support via phone, email, and webchat. Will also respond to messages on social media.
- Has a very strong reputation for customer satisfaction.
- Will issue a refinement if your results don’t match your initial smile projection.
- Has a 90-day satisfaction guarantee.
- Offers support via phone, email, web chat, and mobile app. Will also respond to messages on social media.
- Has received mixed customer reviews.
- Will create refinement aligners if your results don’t match your treatment preview, plus they offer a full refund within 30 days of starting treatment.
- Their Lifetime Smile Guarantee protects your smile forever.
Both companies provide customer service by phone, email, webchat, and social media. In our experience, it doesn’t matter which way you choose to contact them, as EZ Smile and SmileDirectClub both usually provide high-quality support through any of these channels — although sometimes you have to wait for SmileDirectClub’s webchat.
SmileDirectClub allows you to track your progress on a mobile app and have regular virtual “Smile Check-ins” with their dental team every 90 days. According to the SmileDirectClub website, their support team is available via app-based chat and text 24/7. EZ Smile doesn’t require any virtual check-ins during treatment beyond sending photos in halfway through treatment. While this sounds like SmileDirectClub offers more robust supervision, the truth is that their average treatment times are short enough that 90-day check-ins average out to just one for the entire length of treatment.
Responsiveness and Helpfulness
When it comes to analyzing the effectiveness of each company’s support team, we need to provide more than just our own opinions. That’s why we tracked down as many genuine customer reviews as we could find to see if our experiences match up with those of most customers.
EZ Smile has hundreds of reviews available online and many of them are positive, often highlighting the ease of getting started — although many of these reviews are from early in the treatment process. SmileDirectClub has a ton more reviews, and plenty are positive, but they’ve also received some negative feedback. Most of these complaints are from around 2017, and SmileDirectClub has taken steps to improve their customer support since then, but they still receive some negative feedback about their products and support.
Like most competitors, EZ Smile and SmileDirectClub will both refund the cost of your impression kit or teeth scan if they determine that you’re not a suitable candidate for their treatment. Both of them also have refund policies that exceed most competitors’ guarantees.
EZ Smile’s 90-day satisfaction guarantee ensures that you can receive a refund for any reason within your first three months as a customer, minus a $300 treatment planning fee. It’s an excellent policy that ranks among the most extensive in the industry.
SmileDirectClub offers a 30-day full refund window from the start of treatment. So if you change your mind right away, you can get your money back. They also offer prorated refunds if you determine your teeth aren’t moving as planned, although this policy obviously provides less money the further you are into your treatment.
Plus, SmileDirectClub’s Lifetime Smile Guarantee will provide new aligners if your teeth shift again down the road. However, to qualify, you must order two sets of retainers per year and wear them as prescribed.
SmileDirectClub was the first company to offer at-home clear aligners in 2014. They started in the U.S., but expanded rapidly, and now they serve customers in nine different countries. To date, they’ve aligned more than 1.5 million smiles, giving them more experience than most of the other companies in this industry combined.
EZ Smile sprouted up in 2017, along with multiple other home aligner companies, looking to improve upon SmileDirectClub’s successful model. Based in Sydney, they began as “a partnership between highly experienced dental industry professionals and marketing experts.”
Both companies have built out retail networks where Australians can get their teeth professionally scanned in person, and they both use mixed teams of dental professionals to design and implement their aligners. One interesting note is that EZ Smile is an Australian-owned company, while SmileDirectClub remains based in the United States.
At the end of the day, these are both reputable companies that provide high-quality alignment services to people all across Australia. We think they’re both reliable and great options for anyone with a mild-to-moderate misalignment.
Which Home Teeth Aligner Should You Use?
EZ Smile and SmileDirectClub offer similar at-home alignment services, so we wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t decided yet. To help out, we’ll run through some situations where you might prefer one company over the other.
Choose EZ Smile if You Are:
Looking for affordable treatment from an Australian company with solid customer support and refund policies.
Choose SmileDirectClub if You Are:
Seeking the most experienced at-home aligner company in the industry with a nighttime-only treatment option and a lifetime guarantee.
We Recommend EZ Smile for Most Readers
Both companies can align your smile with minimal hassle, and we think they’re both good choices. Still, EZ Smile’s lower prices and great customer feedback make them a solid option for most readers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I choose SmileDirectClub or EZ Smile?
While either of these companies can conveniently and efficiently align your teeth, we prefer EZ Smile. They have much more affordable rates than SmileDirectClub, and their customer reviews are extremely positive.
How do I get started with SmileDirectClub or EZ Smile?
With any home aligner service, the first step is providing your dental care team with high-quality images of your teeth so they can determine whether you’re a suitable candidate for treatment. Both companies sell impression kits that let you make molds of your teeth at home, but also have clinics where you can get professional teeth scans.
What are customers saying about SmileDirectClub and EZ Smile?
EZ Smile has hundreds of reviews, and many are positive. Their customers seem to appreciate EZ Smile’s affordability and general convenience. SmileDirectClub has a ton more reviews, but they’re more of a mixed bag. They received some negative feedback in the past, and although they’ve made some customer support improvements, they still receive some complaints.
What is the most effective clear aligner company?
Invisalign and ClearCorrect can handle a wide range of conditions, including severe tooth and jaw misalignments, making them the most effective treatments.
How do I know which option is right for me?
You should evaluate each company on its customer support, appearance, convenience, affordability, and effectiveness, which will help you determine which one is best for your smile, goals, and budget.
Will home aligners work for me?
It’s hard for us to say whether home aligners can fix your unique alignment issues. But in general, home aligners can only correct minor spacing and crowding issues. If you have a more significant alignment problem like an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, traditional orthodontics might be your best option.
How do SmileDirectClub and EZ Smile compare to Invisalign?
SmileDirectClub and EZ Smile are both far more convenient than Invisalign because they don’t require any visits to the dentist or orthodontist’s office throughout your entire alignment process. This also means these companies have much lower prices, undercutting Invisalign’s sticker price by thousands.
However, Invisalign can treat a wider variety of alignment issues because your dentist can add attachments to encourage larger shifts.
How long does home aligner treatment take?
This all depends on the severity of your misalignment and whether you opt for all-day or nighttime-only alignment. Most companies take roughly 4–6 months to straighten your smile with their standard treatment, while nighttime treatment usually takes a few months longer.
Does insurance cover home aligners?
Insurance rarely covers home alignment because it’s considered 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 fit tightly over your teeth. However, this discomfort usually fades quickly, and you’ll barely even notice your aligners within a day or two.