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 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. This review will dig 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 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, but cannot incorporate attachments
- 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 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 accommodates 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.
SnapCorrect aligners can’t incorporate attachments, so their scalloped cut might cost you some 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 lower than most at-home and in-office treatments, 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. You will, however, need to purchase an impression kit, which costs $95 (though you can often find them on sale for $49).
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 $80.84 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 of 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. 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 match (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.
Patient Experience 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. How does the company answer your questions? Do they check in on your treatment? What if you’re not happy with your progress? All of these are valid questions, and the answers will define your patient experience.
SnapCorrect offers decent customer service and satisfaction guarantees for a remote company, but it’s hard to compete with the hands-on care, professional oversight, and personalized support you’ll get from an in-person treatment like Invisalign.
Invisalign Patient Experience
SnapCorrect Patient Experience
- Your dentist’s office functions as your primary customer support contact
- You have the option of speaking with your dentist in-person
- Office visits allow your dentist to better keep track of your progress
- Refinements don’t typically cost extra with Invisalign’s full treatment. Refunds depend on the office.
- Customer service is available via phone, email, and webchat
- Limited reviews available, but their customer service team seems to be quite responsive and friendly
- Little to no oversight during treatment
- 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
As a completely at-home treatment, SnapCorrect has to rely on remote customer service representatives, which aren’t always ideal. 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. Our opinion, however, is that the benefit of having a personal contact makes for a superior customer service experience. You can call the office anytime during business hours and speak with someone who knows you and your case. Plus, you have direct access to your dentist or orthodontist if anything seems off.
During your SnapCorrect treatment, you’re more or less on your own. The company’s customer service representatives are available, but you don’t have any check-ins with your assigned dentist. So, you don’t have a professional on hand to keep your progress on track and head off any potential problems. The lack of office visits makes SnapCorrect convenient, but the lack of oversight means you won’t have anyone to address issues with an in-person examination and solution.
Invisalign doesn’t just give you access to dentist check-ins, it requires them. You’ll need to make an office visit every 4-6 weeks so that they can see your progress and make adjustments, if necessary. Scheduling these office visits is less convenient and more time-consuming, but it also gives you reassurance and an in-person resource if you’re concerned about your teeth.
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. After re-evaluating your teeth, they may provide refinements, but you may need to pay extra for them.
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. And if you reach the end of your treatment and haven’t achieved the desired results, you can get a refinement at no additional cost (as long as you have the standard Invisalign Full plan).
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I choose Invisalign or SnapCorrect?
It depends. If you have a severe dental or jaw misalignment, or if you just prefer in-person care, Invisalign is probably better. But if you’re looking for a faster, less expensive treatment, SnapCorrect might be an ideal fit.
How do I get started with Invisalign or SnapCorrect?
You can’t begin Invisalign treatment without first visiting your dentist or orthodontist. They will assess your smile, take impressions or scans of your teeth, and get the ball rolling. But because SnapCorrect treatment doesn’t involve office visits, you’ll need to make teeth impressions on your own.
Start your SnapCorrect treatment by purchasing an impression kit from their website, make molds of your top and bottom teeth, and mail them back.
How much do Invisalign and SnapCorrect cost?
Invisalign’s prices can vary based on numerous factors, like your condition, your location, and your dentist’s rates. But most people end up paying somewhere between $3,000 and $8,000. SnapCorrect has a flat rate of $1,749, which includes your impression kit, your aligner treatment, one set of aftercare retainers, and free whitening products for life.
How long do Invisalign and SnapCorrect take?
Your Invisalign or SnapCorrect timeline depends on the severity of your condition. But on average, Invisalign takes 12 months and SnapCorrect takes around 9 months. The difference stems from the fact that Invisalign typically treats more severe, time-consuming cases. But SnapCorrect also saves time by cutting office visits out of the equation.
Can I wear my aligners only at night?
Not if you choose Invisalign or SnapCorrect. Each of these companies maintains that effective teeth movements require 22+ hours of everyday wear. SmileDirectClub, byte, and AlignerCo each offer a nighttime-only treatment plan that only requires 10 hours of overnight wear.
So, if you don’t want to wear your aligners to work, school, or social engagements, you might check out one of those companies instead.
What are Invisalign and SnapCorrect customers saying?
Since Invisalign treatment can vary based on the dentist or orthodontist who provides it, it’s hard to define an “average” customer experience, although a vast majority of customers are pleased with their results (but not, necessarily, the price). SnapCorrect’s customers, on the other hand, have posted very few online reviews, but customers appear to love their prices and support.
What conditions can Invisalign and SnapCorrect treat?
Invisalign can treat almost any dental or jaw misalignment because it can incorporate supplemental attachments for more power and intricacy. Because SnapCorrect doesn’t have the same in-person oversight and available attachments, it’s restricted to treating mild and moderate cases of crowding and spacing.
What is the most effective clear aligner company?
Overall, Invisalign is capable of handling the widest range of conditions, making it the most effective treatment. But if you prefer at-home care, byte and Candid are the most effective home aligner companies. They can’t correct the same scope of conditions as Invisalign, but their orthodontist-directed care and fast treatment times make them an effective option.
What is the fastest clear aligner company?
byte. Their average treatment takes just 3 months, while most other home aligner companies take around 6. Even byte At-Night takes 4-6 months, right around the industry average.
What is the cheapest clear aligner company?
AlignerCo. At just $1,145, their price beats every competitor by a few hundred dollars, and sometimes they run promotions that drop it even lower. And if you can’t pay that up front, you can jump on a financing plan, regardless of your credit score. Check out our complete AlignerCo review for more info, or find other great-value options in our guide to the most affordable home aligners.
What other companies should I consider?
If you like the idea of home aligners, take a look at byte, SmileDirectClub, and AlignerCo. byte (our #1 pick) has the fastest treatment times (3 months on average), SmileDirectClub is the largest and most experienced home aligner company, and AlignerCo has the Industry’s lowest prices ($1,145). But if you prefer in-office treatment, you might also like ClearCorrect, who offers similar benefits to Invisalign and often has lower prices.
Does insurance cover clear aligners?
Sometimes. Most insurance providers don’t cover home aligner treatment, although some might if you have orthodontic benefits. They’re more likely to cover an in-office treatment like Invisalign. The only way to find out for sure is to contact your provider and ask.
Are home aligners safe?
Yes! While administering treatment from home might seem daunting, the process is very safe. Home aligner companies use state-licensed dentists and orthodontists to create your treatment plan and design your aligners. Even though you won’t meet with them in-person, each company offers robust customer support services if something doesn’t feel quite right.
Do home aligners hurt?
When you switch to a new aligner set every two weeks, you might experience some discomfort for the first day or two, but after that, you’ll hardly notice them.