is the cheaper price tag worth the risk?

If you have been anywhere in Toronto lately, you’ve most likely seen some kind of Smile Direct Club advertising. Smile Direct Club promises a straighter smile at a price 60% cheaper than braces.

Smile Direct has been delivering clear braces in the US since 2014. But is this DIY invisible braces solution safe? And is it worth the claimed 60% savings compared to Invisalign (currently the leading provider of clear aligners)?

We looked at the stats between Invisalign and Smile Direct Club and here is what we found.

Smile Direct Invisalign
Impressions $65 DIY home impression Free iTero Digital Scan
Supervision None Unlimited Dental visits
Aligners Thicker, uncomfortable Vivera Custom Scalloped
Attachments None All attachments included
Retainers $99 each every 6 months 4 Lifetime retainers included
Guarantee Not guaranteed 100% satisfaction rate
Cost Approx. $3,000 Approx. $6,000
Payment Plans Plans available Plans available


Smile Direct Club

Smile Direct does not provide any dental supervision. Often there are dental issues that need treatment before you can begin aligner treatment. You’ll need to visit a dentist beforehand to sort these out. Your personal dentist will also have to help with issues that may arise during treatment.

In light of the above, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist before beginning Smile Direct (or any type of aligner treatment).


Invisalign is administered and supervised by a qualified Invisalign Provider. Your Invisalign dentist will determine if you are a good candidate, and whether there are issues to fix before treatment begins.


Pre Treatment - Impressions

Smile Direct Club

With any orthodontic treatment you will first need to take an impression. The impression is a custom mold of your teeth. It is used to make your aligners. With Smile Direct Club you receive a DIY impression kit that you use at home. You then ship your impression kit to Smile Direct head office where they make your aligners.

It’s important to be careful when making your impressions. It’s uncommon, but bad molds do happen. An improper mold of your teeth can lead to ineffective and unpredictable results.


Invisalign uses iTero Digital Scan technology to take a precise and detailed digital scan of your mouth. The scan is taken by a certified Invisalign dentist, so “bad impressions” are very rare. You and your dentist work together to create your treatment plan based on your needs and timeline. The aligners are made at Invisalign’s head office based on your plan and digital scan.


Starting your clear braces / aligners 

SMile Direct Club

Smile Direct Club will send all of your aligners at once.  If you lose an aligner or need customer support you will need to contact the call center or email Smile Direct and they will eventually ship a new aligner to you. New aligners are not included in the base cost, so be careful not to lose them!


Invisalign uses clear aligners alongside little tooth-colored attachments to move your teeth. Included in your Invisalign start day, City Dental Toronto includes a free aligner demo showing you how to properly clean, insert, and remove your clear aligners to ensure your Invisalign success.  Your Invisalign Treatment Coordinator is available 7 days a week for any questions or concerns that can arise, especially over the first few days.

Invisalign clear aligners are made of Vivera Custom scalloped aligners that hug your tooth better and are significantly thinner than any other aligners.


Finishing Clear Braces

Smile Direct Club

Smile Direct Club provides retainers for $99 and it is recommended that you purchase new retainers every 6 months.


At City Dental Toronto four sets of Invisalign Retainers are included in your comprehensive package and should last you a lifetime. Any follow up appointments during or after your treatment are always included in your initial fee as well.

Learn More

City Dental is one of Toronto’s largest Invisalign providers. We’ve helped thousands of Torontonians acheive the smile of their dreams. Click the link below to learn how Invisalign works at City Dental.

If you’re more serious, we offer free Smile Consults. At your Smile Consult, you get:

  • An in-person visit with dental professional. You’ll create a concrete, actionable plan to achieve your smile goals.

  • A complementary whitening pen.