When Invisalign’s first clear aligner hit the market in the late 1990s, people immediately took notice. Suddenly, there was an alternative to the wires and brackets of traditional braces, one that was discreet, removable, and just as effective. Since then, orthodontic treatment options have continued to become even more efficient and convenient. As the clear aligner industry evolved, companies like SnapCorrect developed treatment methods that allow customers to transform their smiles from the comfort of their own homes.
Although at first glance SnapCorrect might seem exactly like Invisalign, their treatment processes are actually quite different. In this review, we’ll dive into the details of how Invisalign and SnapCorrect actually compare — including several things your dentist might not have told you.
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Over two decades ago, a dental technology company called Align Technology developed the first clear aligner series, Invisalign, which commanded the clear aligner market for nearly ten years. They quickly implemented an ambitious marketing campaign, partnered with dentists and orthodontists across the country, and had transformed 175,000 smiles by 2004. Today, Invisalign maintains its position atop the clear aligner industry. They partner with 100,000 dentists in 90 countries and have treated over 8 million patients.
SnapCorrect was born out of a company called Beaming White, the largest supplier of whitening products in the beauty industry. Since its conception in 2017, SnapCorrect has aimed to provide quality home aligner treatment at affordable prices. Plus, they strive to stand out by offering a lifetime supply of their time-tested whitening products. A newer company, SnapCorrect doesn’t have a wealth of experience yet, but they are showing some promise for the future.
At-Home vs. In-Office Treatment: The Pros and Cons
Even though they both produce clear aligners, Invisalign and SnapCorrect provide fairly different treatments. Invisalign is administered in-office by a dentist, while SnapCorrect’s aligners are developed remotely by a licensed orthodontist and applied at home.
Which is better? The answer isn’t so straightforward. Each has its own unique advantages and drawbacks.
Pros of In-Office Treatment:
- In-office aligner treatments can incorporate appliances (like elastics and expanders) that allow them to treat more severe tooth and jaw misalignments.
- Regular office visits allow your dentist to carefully monitor your progress and adjust or supplement your treatment plan if necessary.
- In-office treatments provide more personalized customer service, as you can take any questions or concerns directly to your dentist.
Cons of In-Office Treatment:
- Because you’re also paying for your dentist’s time, in-office treatment is often more expensive than at-home treatments.
- Making regular office visits is more time-consuming and less convenient than at-home treatment.
Pros of At-Home Treatment:
- At-home aligners are, on average, much more affordable than in-office treatments.
- Because they don’t require office visits, home aligner treatments are often more convenient.
- At-home aligner treatments typically take around 6 months to achieve desired results, while in-office treatments often take around 12.
Cons of At-Home Treatment:
- At-home aligners are not able to treat more severe cases of crowding, spacing and bite misalignments like in-office aligners can.
- Depending on the company, customer support isn’t as personalized as what you’ll receive with in-office aligners.
At-home and in-office aligners are both quality options, but which one you choose largely depends on your unique condition and situation. For example, an in-office brand might be more effective for someone with a severe overbite. However, an at-home brand could be preferable for someone with a mild case of spacing and a tight budget.
Invisalign and SnapCorrect each present their own unique treatments with specific nuances and perks. Let’s dig into the details to find out where each company excels.
Straightening your teeth isn’t something you want to take lightly. Rather, you should be confident that the treatment provider you choose can deliver the results you want. Reading over each company’s homepage is a great start, but you should also evaluate their manufacturing processes, aligner design, dental networks, etc. In doing so, you’ll gain a better understanding of their product quality and effectiveness and whether or not they can successfully achieve your smile goals.
Invisalign’s face-to-face dentist interaction gives it a greater level of effectiveness for a larger scope of conditions. SnapCorrect also provides reliable results for a particular segment of cases, but it’s tough to compete with Invisalign’s power and versatility.
- Can treat almost any condition that braces can by employing orthodontic attachments
- Created by Align Technology, the #1 clear aligner producer
- Aligners are trimmed in a scalloped-fashion to fit the gum line
- Can treat mild-to-moderate cases of crowding and spacing, and some bite issues
- Aligners are produced by Essix, a reputable and long-standing producer of dental materials and products
- Aligners are trimmed in a scalloped-fashion to fit the gum line, which may be less powerful
What Can They Treat?
You might have a particular company in mind, or you might be juggling a few different options. But in reality, the severity of your condition might dictate your decision.
This is because at-home aligner companies like SnapCorrect are limited to treating mild-to-moderate cases of crowding and spacing, along with minor bite issues. After receiving impressions of your teeth, SnapCorrect will let you know if their aligners are capable of treating your condition or if you should consider a more intensive, in-office treatment like Invisalign instead.
Invisalign can handle a whole slew of dental misalignments, including severe bite issues like overbite, underbite, crossbite, etc. Because your dentist has regular opportunities to personally examine your teeth, they can enhance and modify your aligners to achieve larger or more intricate movements.
Invisalign’s process allows your dentist to incorporate other attachments like elastics or expanders to supplement your aligners. They also offer proprietary “Smartforce” attachments. These attachments are small, discreet shapes that are used to enhance treatment and move teeth more intricately and effectively.
Your clear aligners are designed to perfectly match the contours of your teeth. They have pinpoint specifications that, if relaxed, will cause the treatment to lose effectiveness. This is why product quality is so important. A broken or misshapen aligner does you no good. So, you want a company that uses high-quality materials and a trusted manufacturer.
Invisalign’s parent company, Align Technology, is the largest and most experienced clear aligner producer in the U.S. They’ve been creating high-quality aligners since the 90s, and they’re always finding ways to improve their products. Currently, Align Technology and Invisalign use a patented material called “SmartTrack,” which Invisalign claims “moves your teeth more precisely and comfortably.”
SnapCorrect aligners are produced by Essix, a reputable and long-standing producer of dental materials and products. Even though Essix is trustworthy, they aren’t quite as experienced or specialized as Align Technology.
All clear aligner companies cut their products one of two ways: straight across the top or scalloped to match the gum line. And, this cut can influence their effectiveness. Both Invisalign and SnapCorrect trim their aligners to match your gum line.
Scallop-cut aligners typically move teeth more slowly than a straight cut. This is because straight-cut aligners overlap the gums and can use them as leverage to put more force on the teeth. Invisalign makes up for this by providing a more detailed and thorough treatment. Their aligners incorporate attachments that anchor the scalloped aligners to your teeth. So, they can match (or exceed) a straight cut’s power and enhance the treatment’s effectiveness.
Each company uses software to scan your teeth, create 3D models of your dental arches, and simulate your treatment plan. Invisalign uses a proven 3D scanner system called iTero, paired with custom software called ClinCheck, which uses algorithms to model ideal movements for each tooth. iTero scanners and ClinCheck software both have long track records of success and can pair specifically with Invisalign’s treatment.
SnapCorrect’s FAQ page claims that they use a “unique molding process with the newest plastic technology” that creates better-fitting aligners than Invisalign’s 3D printing model. However, they do not provide specifics or explain how it works. It’s unclear whether SnapCorrect uses their own technology and modeling software, or if it’s from a third party.
There’s no getting around it: orthodontic treatment can be expensive. But don’t worry, there are affordable options out there. Because they don’t require office visits, at-home treatments are often more cost-effective than in-office ones.
In fact, companies like SnapCorrect have successfully cut Invisalign’s typical costs almost in half. And, you can make almost any treatment more affordable by applying for financing and spreading payments out over time. SnapCorrect’s upfront cost is the lowest among at-home and in-office treatments alike, so they’re a highly affordable option. If your condition is more severe, it might require the personal attention of a dentist. Otherwise, SnapCorrect could be better for anyone sticking to a tight budget.
- No set sticker price, the average cost is $3,000 – $8,000
- Aftercare retainers cost anywhere from $100 – $300, depending on the dentist
- Financing varies depending on the dentists, may require a credit check or down payment
- $1,749 sticker price
- Aftercare retainers are included in the cost of treatment
- Partners with a third-party called Affirm to provide financing, but a credit check is required to qualify
- Impression kit costs $95 ($49 on sale)
- Offers free whitening products for life
When considering clear aligners, your estimated cost of treatment is probably one of the first things you’ll seek out. Even among other home aligner companies, SnapCorrect’s $1,749 price tag is fairly affordable. And, the price also includes your post-treatment retainers. This is a nice touch considering other companies charge ~$100 for aftercare retainers.
Trying to pin down Invisalign’s price is a bit harder because it varies depending on your specific dentist and the severity of your condition. Generally, the more office visits you require, the more your aligner treatment will cost. But even at its most affordable, Invisalign is still pricier than home aligners. The average course of Invisalign treatment costs between $3,000 and $8,000. Unique circumstances might cause the price to fall outside this range, but in general, that’s what you can expect to pay. And after your treatment wraps up, you should budget for retainers, which can cost another $100 – $300 on average (unless your dentist includes them in the overall cost).
What About Insurance?
Since clear aligners are an orthodontic treatment, you’re probably wondering if they’re covered by insurance. The answer: sometimes. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for insurers to consider orthodontic treatment purely cosmetic, especially if it’s a minor correction. And, certain insurance companies will only cover in-office treatments like braces or Invisalign. Even if your insurer does provide coverage, it’s typically only for a portion of the cost.
If you choose Invisalign, your dentist’s office can handle insurance documents and payments. SnapCorrect, however, says on their FAQ page that they cannot directly contact your insurance company for privacy reasons. If your insurance provider does cover your SnapCorrect treatment, it will likely be in the form of a reimbursement check.
You might not have stacks of cash stashed under your mattress, but that’s no problem. Both Invisalign and SnapCorrect offer financing plans that allow you to spread out your payments over time. SnapCorrect partners with a third-party called Affirm to provide financing, but a credit check is required to qualify. So, customers without strong credit might need to find another way to pay. If you do qualify, your payments can run as low as $80.81 per month with 10-30% APR.
Invisalign doesn’t have company-wide financing policies. Instead, you’ll need to speak with your dentist about their payment plan options, which may or may not require a credit check and/or down payment.
The most unique perk that SnapCorrect offers is free whitening products for life. So, you can enjoy a sparkling smile for the rest of your life. They recommend finishing your aligner treatment before you begin using their whitening products. But after that, you can continue receiving their whitening gel as long as you need it.
There are no whitening products included with Invisalign’s treatment, but you can speak with your dentist about their specific whitening products and procedures.
Aligner companies know that adults are always on the go, running from one thing to the next. That’s why they’ve done everything in their power to make teeth straightening treatment accessible and convenient.
In terms of convenience, at-home treatment has been the industry’s most significant advancement. Treatment delivered right to your home without the need for regular office visits – it doesn’t get more convenient than that. But that’s not the only factor in play here. As you consider your options, don’t forget to evaluate the average treatment times, startup processes, and schedule flexibility. When you look at all the aspects involved with convenience, SnapCorrect has a leg up on Invisalign.
- An in-person consultation with a dentist is required to get started, including X-rays and photos
- Requires monthly office visits to monitor progress and receive new aligner sets
- Average treatment time is 12-18 months
- Ordering an impression kit online is the only way to get started
- Treatment is completed entirely at home– no office visits required
- Average treatment time is 6-9 months
You might be ready to start the process right away, but SnapCorrect needs to get a look at your teeth first to determine if you’re a good candidate for treatment.
This means you’ll need to create and submit molds of your dental arches using an impression kit. But like many adults, you might not have any experience taking dental impressions. So, this first step might prove difficult. Unfortunately, it’s the only option. SnapCorrect doesn’t currently offer any physical locations like Candid and SmileDirectClub do.
The first step in Invisalign treatment is scheduling a consultation with your dentist or provider of choice. During your appointment, you can learn more about your options, and a dental professional will take X-rays of your teeth. Often, this is much simpler than attempting to take impressions on your own.
The Office Visit Trade-Off
Invisalign’s office visits serve an important purpose. They allow your dentist to carefully oversee and modify your treatment, making it more effective in correcting a wide scope of conditions. But when you finally get some well-earned free time, spending it at the dentist’s office isn’t nearly as exciting or relaxing as the alternatives. That’s why many adults opt for at-home companies instead.
SnapCorrect does away with these office visits. Instead, they deliver aligners directly to your doorstep. The downside here is that you need to administer the treatment on your own, without in-person help from a dental professional. Even so, many customers think that this is well worth the time they save.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
This is also an important question to consider. Are you looking to transform your smile for a specific event? If so, you probably want your treatment to be completed by that specific date. In general, at-home aligners are more efficient than in-office ones, usually because they are used to treat milder cases.
SnapCorrect treatment typically takes around 6-9 months to complete, while treatment with Invisalign lasts about 12 months. Of course, these are averages and your treatment time will depend largely on the severity of your condition. Still, you can generally expect at-home aligners to be faster than in-office ones. If you’re looking for a more exact timeline, visit your dentist for an examination.
Clear aligners’ appearance was what first sparked their popularity in the late 90s. Customers were intrigued by a less-visible alternative to traditional braces. Any adult who didn’t want to go to work or social gatherings with a mouth full of wires had another option. Since then, each company has taken practical steps toward creating less noticeable aligners.
There are varying opinions on what makes an aligner look good, and each customer has their own tastes and preferences. That’s why it’s a good idea to take note of the small differences between the two companies’ aligner appearance and determine which fits your style better. If you want our recommendation, Invisalign makes a slightly more natural-looking aligner.
- Uses a frosted, textured plastic that better matches your tooth surfaces
- Scallops their aligners to match your gum line
- Reasonably stain resistant
- Supplemental appliances, such as attachments or elastics will make aligners more visible
- Aligners are smooth and translucent, may look artificially shiny
- Scallops their aligners to match your gum line
- Reasonably stain resistant
- Attachments are not offered, so aligners stay clear and less noticeable
On their website, SnapCorrect features a side-by-side comparison with Invisalign that includes photos of each company’s aligners. In it, they state that their smooth, translucent aligners are less visible than Invisalign’s frosted, textured ones. Some customers may agree with this, but we actually prefer frosted aligners because they better mimic the natural matte surface of your teeth.
Based on our research, smooth aligners can be reflective and make your teeth look artificially shiny. But again, this is subject to personal preferences. Some customers prefer SnapCorrect’s shiny aligners because they like how their teeth “gleam” when wearing them.
We mentioned aligner cut in the “Effectiveness” section, but it’s also worth discussing here. Both Invisalign and SnapCorrect scallop their aligners to match your gum line, so there’s no visible overlap. This might make SnapCorrect’s aligners work slower than straight-cut ones, but it also makes them less noticeable. Invisalign mitigates this issue by anchoring their aligners in place with special attachments, which helps them equal (and even exceed) the power of straight-cut aligners.
One of Invisalign’s main appeals is its ability to incorporate attachments to treat severe misalignments and bite issues. These attachments are essential for treating a wide scope of conditions, but they also make the aligners more visible. SnapCorrect doesn’t have this issue, as its aligners are unable to use similar attachments.
Customer Support Comparison
In choosing a clear aligner provider, you’re taking a big step. This company is going to be part of your life for the next several months, and like any healthy relationship, good communication and conflict resolution are essential. If you ever have an inquiry, whether it’s a minor question or a significant concern, a responsive and helpful customer support team will help you feel valued and keep your treatment stress-free.
SnapCorrect offers decent customer service, but it’s difficult for any home aligner company to match the personalized care that Invisalign provides.
Invisalign Customer Support
SnapCorrect Customer Support
- Your dentist’s office functions as your primary customer support contact
- Customer satisfaction varies depending on the dentist, but you have the option of speaking with your dentist in-person
- Refund policies are different for each dentist/orthodontist
- Customer service is available via phone, email, and webchat
- Limited reviews available, but their customer service team seems to be quite responsive and friendly
- Will work with you to modify your treatment plan if you’re not satisfied, does not offer refunds
It’s good to know how and when your treatment provider is available. Keep their hours and modes of communication on a post-it or in your planner. This way, you’re ready as soon as an issue arises. SnapCorrect is available by phone on weekdays from 8am-5pm Pacific time. They are also available via email and webchat.
During your Invisalign treatment, you can direct all your questions and concerns directly to your dentist’s office during their typical hours of operation. This is nice because it gives you direct contact with someone who knows you and your teeth personally.
Customer Support Responsiveness
We reached out personally to each of SnapCorrect’s communication channels and found them quite responsive and friendly. And, it seems like most customers agree, as we’ve discovered very few complaints in this area. Granted, SnapCorrect is still a fairly new company, so they haven’t built up a large base of reviews to evaluate.
Finding reviews for Invisalign’s customer support is a little more complicated since questions and concerns are handled by specific dentist offices. We assume, however, that the benefit of having a personal contact makes for a superior customer service experience. SnapCorrect appears to be doing a good job with their customer support so far, but Invisalign’s routine office visits provide a much more personal approach.
Refund & Warranty Policies
Let’s go over a couple of common scenarios. You find out that you’re not a candidate for SnapCorrect’s treatment. Now what? In this case, SnapCorrect would refund your impression kit payment ($49 – $95).
However, if their dental professionals create your treatment plan and then you decide not to go forward, they will not refund the $49. But what happens if you begin your treatment and then, several weeks in, you’re dissatisfied with your progress? In this situation, SnapCorrect would not offer a refund. However, their dental professionals will work with you to alter your treatment so it can deliver your desired results.
Invisalign doesn’t have a company-wide refund policy. Instead, they allow each provider (dentist/orthodontist office) to develop their own policies. However, because your dentist can make mid-treatment adjustments during your office visits, they can better ensure that you’re on track every step of the way. So, if you’re unhappy with your progress at any point, you can inform your dentist and discuss your options.
Which Should You Choose?
Once again, both Invisalign and SnapCorrect offer quality, effective clear aligner treatments. Neither one is clearly or inherently better than the other. Rather, each one has its own strengths, and each excels in different circumstances. So, your decision should be based on your unique condition, goals, and expectations.
Who Should Choose SnapCorrect?
If you’re sticking to a budget but still want quality, convenient treatment for your mild-to-moderate misalignment, you might want to consider SnapCorrect.
Who Should Choose Invisalign?
To correct a more severe condition, or if you’re more comfortable receiving one-on-one care from a dentist/orthodontist, Invisalign is an ideal choice.