At-home teeth straightening is changing the way people transform their smiles. Historically, the only way to improve your smile was to see a dentist or orthodontist for braces or Invisalign®. At-home kits like byte make getting the smile you want affordable and convenient. Byte is among the newest clear aligner companies, and also one of the most promising. They have made the customer experience a top priority. Read on to find out if Byte is the best option for you based on your smile goals.
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What is Byte?
Byte is a company that creates custom teeth straightening plans, makes the clear teeth aligning trays that are used to straighten the teeth, and delivers them to customers by mail. Their teeth aligners are made of BPA-free plastic and treatment plans are created by licensed orthodontists.
Byte hit the market in Fall 2018. While they are among the newest companies to offer this kind of service, there are key things that make them a compelling option, most notably their customer-first approach, focus on creating a smile just for you and your facial features, use of additional technologies to make treatment go faster, and partnership with orthodontists with advanced training instead of general dentists.
Byte vs Invisalign
Byte is a clear aligner system, just like the more commonly known and trusted Invisalign®. Like Invisalign®, Byte sells clear aligners that are used to move the teeth and create a more aesthetic smile. While these two options are similar in many ways, there are also distinct differences that need to be considered:
Byte is much more cost-effective because it does not require in-person visits with a dental professional. The total cost of byte is $1,900 (before insurance). In comparison, Invisalign® costs between $4,000 and $8,000 (before insurance).
Since byte is sent to you in the mail and does not require in-person visits, it fits a busy lifestyle more easily than Invisalign®.
For smiles that only need minor to moderate adjustments, byte is just as effective as Invisalign®. Invisalign® shines in cases where the patient is trying to correct a complicated dental problem like a cross-bite, under-bite, over-bite, or diastema (substantial gap between teeth). Invisalign® is a better option for complex cases because the in-person treatment allows a dentist or orthodontist to apply advanced techniques as part of your treatment plan. An Invisalign® treatment plan may include the use of attachments, buttons, and bands – things which cannot be applied without seeing a dental professional in person, but may be required to create the best result for some patients.
When a patient signs up to receive Invisalign® treatment from a dentist or orthodontist, the patient’s dentist or orthodontist can either be very involved with the treatment plan, or not involved at all. What does this mean? Let’s say you go in to see your dentist and you opt to begin Invisalign® treatment. After getting images of your teeth (either by scanning them with a laser or making a 3D impression of them using a foam material), those images of your smile are sent to Invisalign®, where a technician (not an orthodontist or dentist) creates a treatment plan for your smile. Your personal, home-town dentist or orthodontist can either make changes to your technician-created plan or make no changes at all.
With byte, you are assigned a personal orthodontist who will create your treatment plan and check in with you throughout the treatment process. There are no middle-men technicians who create treatment plans. Byte’s process ensures that your smile treatment plan is made just for you, by someone who you interact with directly.
Byte vs Other Home Aligner Services
The at-home teeth straightening business is booming. This is great for customers because there are many options to choose from! Based on our research, the top five at-home clear aligner companies are: byte, Candid Co, Smile Direct Club, Smilelove, and SnapCorrect.
We rank byte as the #3 company out of the top 5. Here’s why:
- Byte works exclusively with orthodontists (dentists with advanced training), which means that your treatment plan will always be created by someone who has advanced training in crafting beautiful smiles.
- Byte offers faster results than competing companies. They claim that, using their special HyperByte device (more on this in our Detailed Review), you can finish treatment in just 3 months. That’s half the time competitors claim.
- If your teeth shift after you complete your treatment, they will give you new aligners to re-align your smile for free, even if your teeth shift years after your original treatment!
- They focus on not just making your teeth straighter, but creating a smile that suits your unique features. To accomplish this, they take into account your facial structure using Smile Science (more on this in our Detailed Review).
- Byte’s financing plans do not include a down payment, whereas all other companies require a substantial down payment when you sign up for financing.
- Your first set of retainers are included in your purchase.
- Since it is still a new company, it will take time for their service quality to be determined.
Who is Byte right for?
Byte is a great option for anyone looking to improve their smile, especially those who prefer to work with an orthodontist and who want a custom-tailored smile.
Byte will cost $1,900. This makes it a much more wallet-friendly option than Invisalign®, which costs around $4,000 at a minimum. Compared to other at-home options like Smile Direct Club and Candid Co, byte is competitively priced.
Since only orthodontists create treatment plans for byte, you will get more gang for your buck in terms of provider quality when purchasing from byte, especially compared to companies that don’t work exclusively with orthodontists.
The orthodontists at byte use something called SmileScience to create a smile that fits your unique facial features like your symmetry and head size. They are focused on creating the perfect smile for you, which is something no other company makes a top priority.
In addition to the aligner system, customers also receive HyperByte (a device that vibrates your teeth to encourage them to shift more quickly) teeth whitening (which they call BrightByte), and one set of retainers. No other companies include a vibrating device, but all include teeth whitening. Only some companies include your first set of retainers.
Because byte works with highly qualified professionals and provides customers advanced technology to create a truly custom smile, at a fraction of the cost of in-office straightening treatments, byte is an excellent value.
Service Quality –
Aspects of byte’s service quality are excellent, while others are a bit unclear.
As mentioned above, byte works only with orthodontists and they focus on making custom smiles. These features are indicative of a great service.
On the down-side, little is known about the quality of the clear aligners they produce. While they are known to be made from BPA-free plastic, it is not clear who manufactures their aligners and where they are produced.
It appears they manufacture aligners using their own proprietary system, as no partnership with established clear aligner manufacturers like AlignTech are noted.
While there are clear strong-suits to byte, the lack of information about their manufacturing process reduces their Service Quality ranking.
By comparison, CandidCo, one of Smile Direct Club’s competitors, works with orthodontists to create your treatment plan from start to finish. This difference may affect the final result of your smile transformation.
Dental care at home is way more convenient than frequent dentist visits, but compared to other at-home services, byte is not the most convenient option available.
When getting started with byte, the company send you a refundable impression kit to make 3D molds of your teeth. This process is offered by all other at-home aligner companies and is the industry standard. However, Smile Direct Club and Candid Co, two of the more established companies that compete with byte, offer additional ways to get started with treatment. Both of those companies have physical locations where you can make an appointment and scan your teeth instead of waiting for an impression kit to come in the mail. This expedites the treatment process. Because byte does not offer this service, it is not the most convenient option.
That said, byte’s accelerated 3-month treatment plan could make their service more convenient to someone who is in a hurry to improve their smile. Something to consider!
Customer Support –
Byte makes it a point to focus on their customers. They offer many avenues to get support and are available to answer any questions before or during treatment. Their Byte for Life warranty is clearly customer-oriented, and really sets them apart from other companies. As mentioned above, this warranty ensures that, should your smile ever shift after completing treatment, they will help you fix your smile again for free.
When getting started with byte, you need to purchase an impression kit. The impression kits is $95, but they sometimes have promotions for 50% off the cost of your impression kit.
After you are approved for treatment, you can either pay the $1,900 for treatment upfront, or you can finance your care for as little as $69/month, with no down payment.
If you have a dental plan that reimburses a portion of orthodontic care, or if you have a FSA (Flexible Savings Account) or HSA (Health Saving Account), you may be able to reduce your out-of-pocket costs of getting treatment with byte. Byte’s customer representatives are available to help you determine your potential savings.
Byte is an exciting new company that is helping people get the smile of their dreams. As a company, they focus on creating custom smiles and a great customer experience. They also promise faster results and they guarantee your smile for life.
These customer-centric offerings make byte a great choice for at-home teeth straightening.