Virtually everyone is familiar with Invisalign, but fewer people have heard of ClearCorrect, a clear aligner brand offered by many dentists across the country. ClearCorrect’s aligners hit the market in 2006, and have since stood out by being (slightly) more affordable than Invisalign.
However, ClearCorrect isn’t the only Invisalign alternative, and it’s definitely not the most cost-effective clear aligner system available. In this review, we’ll dive into the pros and cons of ClearCorrect, compare it to other clear aligners on the market, and help you decide whether or not it’s the right fit for your smile goals.
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How Does ClearCorrect Work?
The treatment process for ClearCorrect is very similar to Invisalign. Before getting started, your dentist will evaluate your teeth and take a 3D scan to confirm that you’re a suitable candidate. If you’re considered a good fit, they will take impressions of your teeth before sending everything off to ClearCorrect’s dental lab.
ClearCorrect has multiple treatment options – Limited 6, Limited 12, and Unlimited. Limited 6 treatment is for very mild misalignments and is the cheapest option. Limited 12 allows up to 12 aligners during treatment, so it’s slightly more expensive. Unlimited treatment is the most versatile of the three options and is the most expensive. It covers any aligners you need for five years.
Alternatively, they offer a “Flex” option that lets you pay per aligner. If you have a minor condition that only requires a few aligners, this could save you some money.
Your dentist will collaborate with ClearCorrect to create your customized clear aligners and treatment plan. You’ll even be able to see before and after models of your smile during the process. So, your dentist can make any necessary changes before ClearCorrect manufactures your aligners. Once the treatment plan is confirmed, ClearCorrect will mail your custom aligners to your dentist. Then, you can make an appointment to pick the aligners up and try them on before starting treatment.
During your pick-up appointment, your dentist will also review essential instructions for wearing clear aligners. Most importantly, you should wear the aligners for 22 hours per day and only remove them to eat, drink, or brush your teeth. Your teeth will shift gradually over the next 12-18 months until they’ve reached the desired position.
Is ClearCorrect a Good Option? Our Perspective.
ClearCorrect has become a popular alternative to Invisalign due to price. However, with the introduction of Invisalign Express, the cost of the two treatments is more compatible. Sometimes affectionately referred to as the “knock-off Invisalign,” reviews for ClearCorrect are generally positive, but mixed.
ClearCorrect’s aligners are made of the same material that Invisalign used for their aligners about 10 years ago. So, they’re still effective and are thinner than other options on the market. However, ClearCorrect aligners are less advanced, and patients report that the newer Invisalign aligners are more comfortable.
In this guide, we’ll evaluate ClearCorrect based on five elements: effectiveness, affordability, convenience, appearance, and customer support. We’ve provided a lot more detail on how ClearCorrect stacks up category by category, but here’s a quick summary of the biggest pros and cons:
- ClearCorrect is usually cheaper than Invisalign, even though they both offer face-to-face dentist interaction.
- ClearCorrect offers different treatment options and prices, depending on the severity of your case. So, your treatment plan is more customized.
- Unlike home aligners, you won’t be assigned a dentist at random. You’ll choose the dentist who will manage and oversee your treatment.
- ClearCorrect can treat a wide variety of issues and more complex misalignments than home aligners.
- The material used for ClearCorrect aligners is not the best on the market. So, Invisalign aligners will likely be more comfortable.
- ClearCorrect is a younger in-office clear aligner company. Invisalign was founded about 10 years before ClearCorrect and has a longer history of success.
Who is a good match for ClearCorrect?
If you’re looking for a clear aligner that’s just as versatile as Invisalign but slightly more affordable, ClearCorrect could be a good fit for you.
Although it is more affordable than other in-office options, ClearCorrect is still a big investment. So, you want to make sure it will give you the results you’re looking for. In this section, we’ll go over what type of results you can expect from treatment with ClearCorrect.
ClearCorrect is best for mild-to-moderate cases of crowding and spacing and some bite issues. Treatment is typically very effective and provides results similar to Invisalign. However, as we previously discussed, the material used for Invisalign aligners are newer and more effective.
Similar to Invisalign, ClearCorrect uses attachments which they call “engagers” that are placed on individual teeth to enhance treatment.
These supplemental attachments are small, tooth-colored “buttons” that make it possible for ClearCorrect to treat more complex issues. The engagers allow for more detailed movements and can only be attached by a dentist. So, they aren’t offered with home aligners.
But while they’re effective for a majority of conditions, there are some that are simply too severe. If your case is too complex, a more thorough treatment option like braces may be a better fit. Like Invisalign, one of the most significant advantages to ClearCorrect is being able to meet with your dentist in person. Unlike home aligners, you’ll choose the dentist that will deliver your treatment. You won’t be given a dentist at random.
Regular appointments with your dentist will ensure that your smile transformation is safe and monitored continuously.
ClearCorrect is a very hands-on treatment for your dentist. They will evaluate your progress at monthly appointments and make changes if necessary. During these office visits, your dentist can also place, repair, or replace Engagers. Your dentist can even contact ClearCorrect to modify your treatment plan and send out new aligners if you don’t see good results.
Reviews for ClearCorrect are mainly positive, with patients reporting that their treatment was thorough and successful. And, with aftercare retainers, most people have been able to maintain their new smile. Some negative reviews are based on the dentist providing treatment, and not the effectiveness of ClearCorrect aligners. So, it’s essential to choose a dentist you’ll feel comfortable with.
Although they are effective at treating most cases of misalignments, ClearCorrect aligners are made of less innovative material than other clear aligner brands.
Some cosmetic dental treatments can be a significant financial burden. And although ClearCorrect is cheaper than other in-office aligners, home aligners offer a much more affordable option. ClearCorrect is also rarely covered under most dental insurance plans. So, some people resort to purchasing supplemental dental insurance to help cover the cost of treatment.
The average ClearCorrect treatment costs about $4,000. However, the price can be as much as $6,000, depending on the severity of your case.
The higher cost of in-office clear aligner treatments accounts for your monthly dental visits. Home aligners save you this added cost by offering treatment entirely from home — no office visits required. So, if you don’t mind working with a dentist remotely, home aligners are a much cheaper alternative. However, if your top priorities are choosing your own dentist and having the option of in-person appointments, ClearCorrect is worth the price.
Some home aligner companies offer free aftercare retainers to keep your teeth in place after treatment. Unfortunately, ClearCorrect treatment does not include aftercare retainers. You’d need to purchase them from your dentist separately. The retainers usually cost about $100, and are crucial to prevent your teeth from shifting after treatment is complete.
Most dentists offer payment plans or financing for ClearCorrect, but they often require a credit check, and your approval isn’t guaranteed.
Like Invisalign, your dentist will likely offer a financing or payment plan for ClearCorrect. These plans allow you to stretch out the cost of treatment over time. But, they do typically require a down payment. Most financing plans also require a credit check and come with high interest rates. So, if you have below-average credit, you might not be approved.
ClearCorrect offers a more affordable option than Invisalign, but the cost of treatment is still high. And, you aren’t guaranteed approval for a financing program.
Aside from the cost, one of the biggest barriers to pursuing cosmetic dentistry is the long time commitment of traditional orthodontics. Treatment with braces can take over 2 years to complete, and they require monthly tightening appointments.
ClearCorrect does require regular dental visits, which can be inconvenient for people with a busy schedule. However, ClearCorrect also provides a shorter treatment time than more traditional options. So, you won’t have to wait as long to see results.
The average ClearCorrect treatment takes about 12-18 months to complete.
With a treatment time very similar to Invisalign, ClearCorrect is a great option if you’d prefer to see a dentist in person during treatment. However, there are quicker treatments on the market. Home aligners only take about 6 months to correct most misalignments. So, if you’re looking for the fastest treatment available, home aligners may be a better choice.
That said, ClearCorrect is more convenient than home teeth alignment in other ways. We determine our convenience rating by considering not just overall treatment time, but also startup difficulty and how long it takes to ship your aligners.
Getting started with ClearCorrect may be easier than getting started with home aligners.
Your first step will be to schedule an appointment with a dentist to begin treatment. However, unlike home aligners, you won’t need to take any impressions or photos of your teeth yourself. Your dentist and their team of technicians will take your x-rays and impressions in office, ensuring that they are accurate and precise. So, all the hard work is done for you.
Your dentist will send the impressions off to ClearCorrect’s lab to create your custom treatment plan. It typically takes a few weeks to produce the aligners and ship them to your dentist. Then, you can schedule an appointment to pick them up and begin treatment. You’ll have a chance to try on your aligners before leaving the office, and your dentist can make any necessary changes or request a new set if you aren’t happy with the fit.
ClearCorrect makes it very simple to get started since your doctor will be doing most of the work. However, the lengthy treatment time and required monthly dental visits can be significant drawbacks.
Most adults agree that the best looking orthodontic option is the least visible one. Since they’re completely translucent, all clear aligners are much less noticeable than braces. And, they tend to score well in terms of Appearance. ClearCorrect is no exception. ClearCorrect aligners are very inconspicuous, so most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them.
However, not all clear aligners are exactly the same. All clear aligners are made from transparent, BPA-free plastic. But, variations in manufacturing processes cause each brand to look slightly different.
ClearCorrect aligners are frosted and trimmed around the gumline. So, they are less noticeable and blend in with your naturally-matte teeth.
Our teeth are porous, which makes their surfaces appear matte. Some home aligner brands use a shiny plastic material, which can look unnatural. So, frosted aligners might be more discreet. Still, some customers actually like the shininess of other brands, as they feel it gives their smile a gleam. So, it’s an entirely personal preference.
Clear aligners can be cut two different ways: straight across or scalloped to match your gumline. Most home aligners are cut straight across, which allows them to apply up to 4x the amount of force. ClearCorrect’s aligners are trimmed around the gumline are also thinner than Invisalign and most home aligners. So, they may be more comfortable to wear, but ClearCorrect aligners might also be less effective than other in-office brands.
As we mentioned earlier, your dentist may need to supplement your ClearCorrect treatment with engagers. Engagers are tooth-colored buttons that blend in with your teeth fairly well. They can make your aligners more noticeable, but it’s important to keep in mind that no brand of clear aligners is entirely invisible.
Like other clear aligner brands, ClearCorrect aligners should be removed before eating & drinking to avoid staining.
ClearCorrect aligners are known to be reasonably stain-resistant, although we certainly wouldn’t recommend drinking coffee, red wine, or other dark liquids while wearing them. To be safe, you should only drink water while wearing your aligners.
Their frosted appearance and scalloped cut make ClearCorrect aligners look more natural and less noticeable than other clear aligner brands.
Like most dental treatments, ClearCorrect is expensive, and you only have one set of teeth. You should feel completely confident that your dentist will treat you right. And, have your back if anything goes wrong. You’ll choose your own dentist before getting started with ClearCorrect. So, it’s important to make that they’re qualified and committed to providing reliable customer service.
As an in-office clear aligner brand, ClearCorrect shines in the customer friendliness category.
Although home aligner companies allow you to contact your dentist virtually to ask questions, there is no substitute for seeing a dentist face-to-face. With ClearCorrect, you’ll visit your dentist regularly, so they can provide hands-on assistance if you have any concerns. Of course, the quality of customer service does vary depending on the dentist you choose.
With home aligners, you can submit a request to speak with your dentist online, but you have to wait for their response. And, some providers have long wait times for support. During office visits, however, your dentist can make changes to your ClearCorrect aligners on the spot. So, you won’t need to wait if your treatment is not going according to plan.
You can also contact your dentist for an emergency appointment if you have a more urgent issue. At the very least, they can contact ClearCorrect to revise your treatment plan and request new aligners, if necessary. Home aligner companies don’t offer in-person appointments with their dentists. Your only option is to communicate with the company virtually or over the phone.
Hands-on customer support and monthly in-person appointments make ClearCorrect an excellent choice for customer friendliness.
Alternatives to ClearCorrect
ClearCorrect is a great choice if you’re looking for an effective clear aligner treatment that’s very similar to Invisalign, but not as expensive. However, if the price and convenience of treatment are most important to you, home aligners may be more suitable. Home aligners only require an average of 6 months treatment time, and the price is about half what you’d pay for ClearCorrect.
Home aligner companies mail you your custom aligners directly and make it possible for you to complete treatment from the comfort of your own home. So, it’s easier to find an option that will suit your budget and lifestyle. There are several home aligner companies on the market that each has its own advantages. Below is a list of our choices for the top 3 providers:
#1: byte ($1,895)
Although you won’t get the same hands-on time with a dentist through byte, they are one of the only providers that work exclusively with orthodontists. So, your treatment will be handled by a specialist as opposed to a general dentist. Unfortunately, though, byte does not currently have any retail locations like Candid or SmileDirectClub. Ordering an impression kit is your only option if you want to start treatment.
Perhaps byte’s biggest advantage is their lightning-fast treatment times. Most customers see a transformed smile in just 3 months, compared to the 6-month average for most other home aligner companies.
byte’s sticker price is $1,895, and this includes whitenings and aftercare retainers. byte also offers flexible payment options, including financing without a required credit check. Still, byte has only been available to the public since 2018, so they don’t have nearly as long of a track record or history of success as ClearCorrect.
Because byte does not disclose the name of their manufacturer, there is no way to verify how reputable it is or if it is the same quality as ClearCorrect or other home aligner competitors. However, considering their consistent product quality and customer satisfaction, we assume they partner with a reliable producer.
Want a closer look? Read our comparative review of Invisalign vs. byte.
#2: Candid ($2,400)
Like byte, Candid only works with orthodontists to design their treatment plans. So, your treatment will be handled by someone who specializes in moving teeth, even if they won’t be managing your treatment in person. Most other home aligner brands work with general dentists or just “dental technicians,” who are likely not as qualified. Not only that, but Candid also provides regular check-ins with your assigned orthodontist through their unique Remote Monitoring service.
This consistent orthodontist interaction, however, bumps up Candid’s price. At $2,400, Candid is slightly more expensive than most other home aligner brands. However, the cost of treatment includes the Remote Monitoring equipment (a $699 value), whitening, and aftercare retainers. Plus, this price is still significantly less than ClearCorrect’s average cost.
Candid also provides the option of free 3D scans at their retail locations. Most home aligner providers don’t have any brick-and-mortar locations. So, you’d need to order an impression kit before starting treatment. Although Candid currently only has about 30 retail locations in the US, they are quickly expanding. And, they have plans to open 50 more locations by the end of 2019.
Want a closer look? Read our comparative review of Invisalign vs. Candid.
#3: AlignerCo ($1,145)
If you’re looking for the industry’s most affordable brand, look no further. AlignerCo’s treatment is several hundred dollars less than other home aligner companies and thousands less than ClearCorrect. Plus, they offer multiple financing options that make this treatment even more accessible.
And this low cost doesn’t mean inferior product quality either. AlignerCo partners with Raintree Essix, a long-standing, reputable dental supplies manufacturer. So, you can be confident that you’re getting reliable treatment at a great price.
Where AlignerCo falls short of byte and Candid is their dental network. They don’t guarantee that an orthodontist will oversee every case. Instead, their team consists of orthodontists and general dentists, which could potentially affect your treatment quality. On top of that, AlignerCo is young. They just started in 2019, so they don’t have extensive experience or a large customer base yet. But we’re excited to see how much they grow in the coming years.
Want a closer look? Read our comparative review of Invisalign vs. AlignerCo.
ClearCorrect is best if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to Invisalign, which is also an in-office treatment. However, if you don’t mind not seeing a dentist one-on-one, home aligners are more affordable and much more convenient. Home aligners also offer the shortest treatment time currently available. So, you won’t have to wait as long to straighten your teeth.
To get a better idea of which option might be the best fit for you, we encourage you to check out the resources below.