Are there barriers standing between you and the smile you want? Whether it’s price, convenience, or appearance, traditional orthodontics isn’t an option for everyone. Luckily, there are plenty of innovative treatments to choose from, like companies who deliver clear aligner treatment directly to your door.
NewSmile and SmileDirectClub are two of these at-home aligner companies, and they let you straighten your teeth fully from the comfort of home — no office visits required. This cuts down on costs and time, making them more accessible than in-office treatments like Invisalign. But between NewSmile and SmileDirectClub, which is best for you? This comparison guide covers all the details, positioning you to make the best decision for your smile.
Table of Contents
The battle between NewSmile and SmileDirectClub is of the newcomer vs. the veteran. Founded in Vancouver in 2020 and launched in the U.S. soon after, NewSmile is one of the youngest aligner companies on the market. It is a fully remote treatment — so you can complete the entire process from home.
Like all at-home aligners, NewSmile is a strictly cosmetic treatment. It can close small gaps, add a little space where things get crowded, and in rare cases, correct bite issues (but only if they don’t involve the jawbone). And it only moves the front six teeth. The NewSmile team monitors your treatment via remote check-ins and you’ll have a straighter grin within 4–6 months — (or 8–10 months with nighttime treatment.
By contrast, SmileDirectClub is the oldest and most experienced at-home aligner company on the market. Launched in 2014, they have straightened over 1.5 million smiles and operate in multiple countries. You’ll complete your treatment primarily from home, but you do have the option of getting an in-person scan to kick things off. As with NewSmile, it only makes cosmetic corrections, and their treatment takes 4–6 months on average.
You likely have a lot of questions about these two companies, and one in particular probably tops the list: “How well do they work?” The answer: fantastic, but only for mild and moderate misalignments.
Without hands-on care and attachments, NewSmile and SmileDirectClub can’t tackle complex cases and bite issues like Invisalign and braces. But if you’re just looking for cosmetic corrections, they can both help you achieve your dream smile — and SmileDirectClub goes just a touch further to help you get there.
- Works with a mixed team of dentists and orthodontists.
- Does not disclose who manufactures their aligners.
- Incorporates virtual check-ins through their mobile app every two weeks.
- Scallops aligners to match your gum line, decreasing their power.
- Uses a mixed team of dentists and orthodontists.
- Produces aligners in-house using proprietary “Comfort Sense” technology.
- Requires photos of your teeth for review every 90 days.
- Cuts aligners straight across the gums, increasing their power.
What Can They Treat?
Like all at-home aligner companies, NewSmile and SmileDirectClub can only treat mild-to-moderate misalignments. By design, they lack robust in-person supervision and therefore cannot use attachments — a big reason why in-office treatments like Clarity Aligners and SureSmile have such a wide treatment scope.
If you are looking to make small cosmetic corrections to your alignment — adding space or closing gaps in the front six teeth — both companies can deliver great results. If you have large gaps, significant crowding, or need to move the molars, you’ll probably need in-office treatment.
It’s always good to know who manufacturers your products, especially if you’ll be putting them on your teeth! NewSmile isn’t transparent about this, so they might make their own aligners in-house or outsource the task to a third party. They also don’t disclose the type of plastic they use aside from it being BPA-free and phthalate-free.
SmileDirectClub is more open on this front. They used to partner with Align Technologies, the makers of Invisalign, then moved to in-house production in recent years, implementing Comfort Sense technology, which they describe as a “proprietary soft, medium, and firm aligner plastic progression to ease teeth more comfortably into place.” Their aligners use a durable thermoplastic PET-G that’s BPA-free.
When it comes to aligner cut, there are two choices: straight or scalloped. Straight cuts overlap the gums and leverage them to generate extra force. Scalloped cuts follow the gum line and can only generate force through their shape. NewSmile opts for the less-effective scalloped cut while SmileDirectClub chooses the straight cut for more power.
Dental Network and Oversight
Dentists and orthodontists can both design and administer aligner treatment. However, orthodontists have an extra two or more years of training in moving the teeth and jaw. NewSmile and SmileDirectClub employ mixed teams of general dentists and orthodontists to plan their treatments. This blend of perspectives ensures you get the best of both worlds.
Every two weeks, NewSmile requires that you upload photos and videos of your teeth via their mobile app so their team can review your progress and address any concerns. You have to submit photos of your teeth through an app for SmileDirectClub too, but only every 90 days. This helps the companies’ dental teams ensure that you’re progressing as expected and identify any potential issues.
You need clear aligners that work, but that won’t get you far if you can’t afford them! NewSmile and SmileDirectClub can save you thousands of dollars compared to most in-office treatments, but while they’re both relatively affordable, NewSmile is one of the most budget-friendly options in the home aligner industry.
- $1,395 sticker price ($1,495 for their Night Aligners).
- They include one set of aftercare retainers for free.
- The sticker price also includes whitening products.
- Their impression kits cost $49 (but they’re included when you choose the Fast Track plan).
- One financing plan available, and it requires a credit check.
- $2,050 sticker price for all-day or nighttime-only aligners.
- Doesn’t include free retainers ($99 extra per set).
- Includes free whitening.
- Their impression kit costs $59, but in-office scans are free.
- Financing requires a down payment but not a credit check.
Let’s start with the most important detail: sticker price. NewSmile beats SmileDirectClub by $555–$655, depending on if you choose all-day or nighttime-only treatment. Their all-day aligners are just $1,395 while their nighttime-only plan costs $1,495. SmileDirectClub charges $2,050 for both all-day and nighttime-only treatment.
That sticker price includes all your aligners (and the transformed smile they’ll deliver), but getting a few smaller bonus items makes the deal even sweeter. NewSmile includes a whitening kit and your first set of aftercare retainers in their treatment price — that’s a solid deal. SmileDirectClub includes free whitening products, but you’ll need to pay $99 for your retainers.
Both companies offer financing options for anyone who can’t pay for treatment outright. NewSmile’s doesn’t require a down payment and has plans with 0% interest. You just pay $83 per month for 18 months (or $88 per month for nighttime aligners).
SmileDirectClub also has financing but with less favorable terms. You need to make a down payment of $250 and pay $89 a month for 26 months. Plus, they charge interest, so you’ll spend more than if you paid up front.
Remote aligner companies’ relatively low prices are one of their biggest draws. But many adults choose them for their convenience too. You get to skip the regular trips to your dentist, so you can take care of other responsibilities and (hopefully) enjoy more free time. That makes all at-home treatments easier than traditional orthodontics, and even though SmileDirectClub and NewSmile are both convenient options, SmileDirectClub takes extra measures to ensure a smooth, streamlined process for each customer.
- They don’t have any in-person locations in the U.S. at the moment.
- Treatment usually takes 4–6 months (or 8–10 months for Night Aligners).
- Takes 7–8 weeks to design, produce, and ship your aligners.
- Night Aligners only require ten consecutive hours of daily wear.
- They have 300 retail locations, plus over 1,000 dental office partners, where you can get teeth scans.
- Treatment usually takes 4–6 months (or 8–10 months for Nighttime Clear Aligners).
- Typically takes 4–5 weeks to create and ship your aligners.
- Nighttime Clear Aligners only require ten consecutive hours of daily wear.
No matter which company you choose, the first step in planning aligner treatment is the same: submitting molds or scans of your teeth. Your provider will use them to determine if you are a candidate for treatment, and if so, start designing your aligners.
Both companies sell impression kits that you can use to create molds of your teeth at home. But because precision is key for clear aligners, your impressions need to be perfect, and some people have trouble getting them right.
To remedy that problem, SmileDirectClub introduced SmileShops, brick-and-mortar locations where professionals will scan your teeth for free instead. They have around 300 locations across the U.S., plus a network of over 1,000 partnering dental offices that also provide scans. And if you can’t find a location nearby, you can also purchase an impression kit for $59.
NewSmile doesn’t have any retail locations right now, so you’ll need to use an impression kit, which costs $49 — but they’ll include one for free if you pay for your entire treatment or enroll in a payment plan upfront.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
NewSmile and SmileDirectClub have the same average treatment timelines: 4–6 months with all-day aligners and 8–10 months with nighttime-only. This is pretty standard for at-home aligners, if on the slightly faster end of the spectrum.
Those timelines are much shorter than in-office treatments like Invisalign, which often take 12–18 months. However, they also usually handle more severe cases, which take longer to correct.
Once the company has approved you for treatment, you’ll probably be itching to start wearing your aligners. But they won’t show up in your mailbox the next day. Because they’re custom-designed products, they can take a few weeks to create.
NewSmile takes about 7–8 weeks to produce and ship your aligners, which is slightly longer than many other companies, including in-office options like Invisalign. SmileDirectClub moves faster — after you approve your treatment preview, they say they’ll manufacture and ship your aligners in 4–5 weeks.
What About Nighttime-Only Treatment?
One of the only inconveniences that comes with wearing clear aligners is that you have to take them out, clean your teeth, and put them back in for every meal, snack, and drink that isn’t plain water — plus whenever you would usually brush and floss your teeth.
Nighttime-only aligners let you circumvent this issue. You’ll just put them in after dinner and keep them in until morning, wearing them for a minimum of ten consecutive hours each night. Both NewSmile and SmileDirectClub offer nighttime-only plans, but they come with a trade-off: your treatment timeline will increase by 2–4 months.
Appearance is what originally skyrocketed clear aligners to fame. Adults jumped at the chance to straighten their teeth with a virtually invisible alternative to metal braces. Although all aligners look the same with a quick glance, there are enough visual differences that one company might appeal to your unique tastes more than another. Here’s what you need to consider with NewSmile and SmileDirectClub.
- Uses smooth, transparent, shiny plastic.
- Reasonably stain-resistant.
- Scallops aligners to match the gum line.
- They cannot incorporate attachments, preserving their low profile.
- Uses frosted, translucent, matte plastic.
- Reasonably stain-resistant.
- Cut straight across the gums.
- They can’t incorporate attachments, so aligners stay clear and less noticeable.
There are a lot of different clear, dental-grade plastics, which means aligner providers have multiple options to choose from. As a result, aligner surfaces can vary between companies. Textured, translucent, matte materials look the most natural because they mimic the porous, slightly translucent, matte look of the enamel. By comparison, smooth, transparent aligners can reflect light and look unnaturally shiny.
SmileDirectClub uses textured, translucent, matte plastic for an all-natural look, while NewSmile opts for smooth, shiny aligners. We should note, however, that some customers like the shiny look because they think it adds some gleam to their smile. It all depends on your preferences.
By trimming their aligners to match the gum line, NewSmile made them less effective, but also less visible. Their scalloped aligners hide the upper edge in the gum line, making it difficult to see. SmileDirectClub aligners overlap the gums, which can make the edge visible, depending on your smile.
In-office aligners can incorporate supplemental attachments to increase their strength and expand their scope of treatment. They’re often clear or tooth-colored, but they can still make your aligners more visible. Attachments require direct supervision, so at-home aligners can’t use them, helping them stay less detectable.
Both companies’ aligners are somewhat stain resistant. However, you should avoid eating or drinking colored beverages while wearing them. If you don’t, they could stain, and you’ll be stuck wearing discolored aligners until it’s time to change to the next in your series.
Customer Experience Comparison
Remote treatments don’t give you direct one-on-one interaction with a doctor. This means your experience and satisfaction rest on the customer support team and the company’s policies. Neither company can match the personalization and hands-on care of an in-office treatment, but both are dedicated to their customers. And even though most customers express satisfaction with their SmileDirectClub and NewSmile experiences, compared to some of their at-home peers, both have a little room for improvement.
NewSmile Customer Experience
SmileDirectClub Customer Experience
- Offers support via phone and email. They will also respond to messages on social media.
- Receives great customer feedback.
- Requires photos/videos of your teeth for check-ins every two weeks.
- Will provide refinement aligners if your end results don’t match your treatment preview.
- Doesn’t have a lifetime warranty.
- Offers support via phone, email, webchat, and mobile app. They will also respond to messages on social media.
- Has received mixed customer feedback.
- Will create refinement aligners if your results don’t match your treatment preview.
- Offers a full refund within 30 days of starting treatment and prorated refunds after that.
- Their Lifetime Smile Guarantee protects your smile forever.
You can call, send an email, or reach out on social media to contact either company, but SmileDirectClub provides a wider range of options and availability.
You can reach SmileDirectClub’s support team by phone 24 hours a day. They also have a webchat feature, plus a mobile app where you can track your progress, upload photos, and chat with their representatives. NewSmile is only available Monday–Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm PST and Sunday from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm PST.
You’ll also submit photos of your teeth every two weeks for NewSmile and every 90 days with SmileDirectClub. Their dental teams might provide feedback based on what they see, but this isn’t a dialogue with them. If you have further questions, you’ll need to contact their support teams.
Responsiveness and Helpfulness
Full disclosure: we haven’t tried NewSmile or SmileDirectClub treatment personally. But we examine a lot of reviews from actual customers, and they’re overall happy with their experiences.
NewSmile reviews are still pretty sparse, given how recently they launched. Still, the available reviews show customers are happy with the support they’ve received. SmileDirectClub’s reviews are more of a mixed bag, but that’s expected, given they’ve worked with millions of customers. Plus, during their rapid expansion in 2017, they struggled to expand their customer support to match their growth. Now, it looks like they’ve turned things around.
Refund & Warranty Policies
The industry standard for refund policies is if you complete the impressions or scans and the company decides you aren’t a good candidate for treatment, they’ll refund whatever you’ve paid. Both NewSmile and SmileDirectClub offer this refund.
However, SmileDirectClub goes further. If you change your mind within the first 30 days of treatment, they’ll issue a full refund. Beyond that, you can get a prorated refund based on how many aligners you have left — a policy that most companies don’t offer.
If you reach the end of your aligner plan, but your teeth don’t match the one the company promised, both will create refinement aligners to put the finishing touches on your smile.To maintain eligibility for this guarantee, you need to wear your aligners as directed and complete all your virtual check-ins. Otherwise, you might need to pay extra.
Once you’ve achieved that perfect smile, SmileDirectClub puts a lifetime warranty on it. If your teeth shift down the road, they’ll create new aligners to straighten them again, as long as you purchase two sets of retainers every year and wear them diligently.
Which Should You Choose?
Both NewSmile and SmileDirectClub are great companies that offer high-quality, effective clear aligners. Neither will be better than the other in every case because they have unique strengths and weaknesses. You have to determine which best aligns with your goals and expectations.
Who Should Choose SmileDirectClub?
SmileDirectClub is great for people who:
- Want a more comprehensive refund policy.
- Prefer to work with a highly experienced provider.
- Want to get your teeth scanned in person.
Who Should Choose NewSmile?
NewSmile is good for those who:
- Aren’t afraid to embrace a newcomer.
- Need a low price.
- Want more regular remote check-ins.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I choose NewSmile or SmileDirectClub?
It depends on your goals and priorities. Most people will gravitate towards NewSmile because of their low price, but some prefer SmileDirectClub for their long track record of success.
How do I get started with NewSmile or SmileDirectClub?
Get started with either company by going to their website and ordering an impression kit. SmileDirectClub also lets you schedule an in-person scan at one of their SmileShops or partnering dental offices instead.
How much do NewSmile and SmileDirectClub cost?
NewSmile’s all-day aligners are just $1,395 while their nighttime-only plan is $1,495. SmileDirectClub charges $2,050 for both all-day and nighttime-only treatment.
What are NewSmile and SmileDirectClub customers saying?
On the whole, customers are happy with both companies, but SmileDirectClub has more negative reviews. This is mostly because they experienced rapid growth back in 2017 and struggled to adjust. Plus, larger companies will have more mixed reviews simply because they have more reviews overall.
How long do NewSmile and SmileDirectClub take?
Both companies take 4–6 months on average, or 8–10 months for nighttime-only treatment.
Can I wear my aligners only at night?
Yes, both NewSmile and SmileDirectClub offer nighttime-only options. This extends treatment by 2–4 months and NewSmile charges extra for these aligners.
What conditions can NewSmile and SmileDirectClub treat?
They treat cosmetic levels of crowding and spacing in the front six teeth. In limited cases, they can address slightly more significant issues in the front teeth.
What is the most effective clear aligner company?
It’s a four-way tie between Clarity Aligners, ClearCorrect, SureSmile, and Invisalign. Each can treat all three classes of malocclusions.
Does insurance cover clear aligners?
It depends on the brand of aligners, the specifics of your case, and the terms of your policy. Your best bet is to contact your insurance provider to check your coverage limits.
Are home aligners safe?
Yes! They have been used for nearly a decade and have an excellent track record. As you would with any large purchase, do some in-depth research before selecting your provider.
Do clear aligners hurt?
They can cause tooth soreness when you first wear them and with each aligner change. However, this shouldn’t be intense and goes away quickly.