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Byte vs. SmileDirect

Compare costs, results and reviews

Profile picture of Kathryn Parkman
by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team
SmileDirectClub and Byte
woman holding invisible braces

Invisible braces are clear plastic trays that fit tightly around your teeth to shift them gradually into a straight position. Unlike traditional braces, clear aligners are removable, so you can take them out while you’re eating or drinking, and they're less noticeable. Below, we compare two popular options, SmileDirectClub and Byte.

smile direct club logobyte logo
Remote impression kit cost*$29$29.95
Single-payment cost*$1,950$1,895 to $2,295
Financing available
Average treatment length (all-day wear)Four to six monthsTwo to four months
Impression type3D image or puttyPutty
Free teeth whitening
Lifetime guarantee
Customer satisfactionRead reviewsRead reviews

*At time of publishing

Remote impression kit cost*Single-payment cost*Financing availableAverage treatment length (all-day wear)Impression typeFree teeth whiteningLifetime guaranteeCustomer satisfaction
smile direct club logo$29$1,950Four to six months3D image or puttyRead reviews
byte logo$29.95$1,895 - $2,295Two to four months3D image or puttyRead reviews

Byte

Byte offers two treatment plans, All-Day and At-Night. All-Day aligners require 22 hours of daily wear, typically over two to four months. At-Night aligners are designed to be worn while you sleep; they need at least 10 hours of daily wear over a treatment period of five to six months.

The Byte process starts with ordering an at-home impression kit. A licensed orthodontist reviews the impressions and develops your treatment plan, and you can see a 3D preview of your new smile online. Aligners arrive in four to six weeks. A doctor tracks your progress through remote monitoring.

Treatments include the HyperByte device, which uses high-frequency vibration to accelerate teeth movement and shortens treatment time. Orders also come with BrightByte teeth whitener and one set of retainers. The Byte for Life guarantee promises additional treatment at no further cost if your teeth move out of alignment at any point during your lifetime.

Pros

  • Highly recommended
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Military and student discounts

Cons

  • Not everyone is a candidate
  • Must purchase retainers to qualify for lifetime guarantee

Costs

The Byte impression kit is $29.95 at the time of publishing. The cost is refundable if the doctor determines you are not a good candidate for aligners. All-Day aligners cost $1,895 with a one-time upfront payment. The Bytepay payment plan starts at $83 per month for 29 months, with a $349 down payment ($2,756 total).

Results

At the time of publishing, Byte is the highest-rated invisible braces company on our site. Positive reviews indicate that wearers were impressed with the speed of treatment and felt comfortable when changing aligners. They also say that impression kits are easy to use. Some people start to see results after about a month.

SmileDirectClub and Byte are both more affordable than traditional braces.”

SmileDirectClub

SmileDirectClub offers clear aligners you wear 22 hours a day and nighttime aligners that you can wear for 10 hours each day. The regular treatment takes four to six months, while the night-only treatment takes an average of 10 months.

To get started, visit a SmileDirectClub SmileShop for a free 3D scan or order an at-home impression kit, which includes free overnight shipping and a prepaid return label. A licensed dentist or orthodontist will review your smile to determine if aligners are right for you. Customers get a preview of how teeth will move during treatment. SmileDirectClub then ships the full set of aligners to you to begin a custom treatment plan. Your dentist or orthodontist monitors your treatment remotely with regular, virtual check-ins.

Pros

  • Nighttime-only option
  • Lifetime guarantee, with additional aligners at no cost
  • Payment plan with no credit check

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than Byte
  • Does not work for major corrections

Costs

SmileDirectClub offers a free 3D scan at a SmileShop at the time of publishing. If you order an impression kit for at-home use, it costs $29. If you are not a good candidate, that cost is refundable. Customers have a few options to pay for treatment, which includes aligners and whitening: a one-time upfront payment of $1,950 or enrollment in a SmilePay payment plan. SmilePay financing requires $250 down and $89 payments over 24 months ($2,386 total). SmileDirectClub works with most dental insurers, which cover an average of 50% of costs, according to the company. Smile Direct accepts HSA, FSA and CareCredit. Retainers cost $99 per set.

Results

Not everyone achieves their desired results with SmileDirectClub. However, most reviewers appreciate that it’s a cost-effective way to fix teeth. They state that customer service representatives seem knowledgeable and friendly throughout the entire treatment process. Visit the company’s website to view before and after photos.

Byte vs. SmileDirect FAQ

How are Byte and SmileDirectClub similar?
Byte and SmileDirectClub both offer all-day and nighttime-only treatment options for teeth straightening with clear, plastic aligners. Both allow you to complete treatment 100% at home, with no physical visits to a dentist or orthodontist.
How are Byte and SmileDirectClub different?
SmileDirectClub has in-person locations throughout the country — called SmileShops — where customers can go for an initial 3D scan. SmileDirectClub also charges the same price whether you choose all-day or nighttime-only treatment. Byte does not provide in-person services and charges more for the nighttime-only treatment. However, Byte offers the potential for faster straightening with daily use of its HyperByte high-frequency vibration device, which is included with both plans. Byte also provides one free set of retainers.
Which is cheaper, Byte or Smile Direct?
It depends on the plan. At the time of publishing, Byte’s all-day aligners are cheaper than SmileDirectClub’s, but SmileDirectClub has the less expensive night-only aligners. SmileDirectClub charges the same price for both plans. Byte’s night-only treatment is the most expensive option. Both companies charge similar prices for impression kits. Byte does include a free set of retainers, while SmileDirectClub charges $99.
How do Byte and SmileDirect compare to Invisalign?
Invisalign requires an in-person office visit. You can begin Byte and SmileDirectClub treatments without leaving your home. Invisalign costs vary by provider but are comparable to traditional braces. Byte and SmileDirectClub are cheaper and have shorter treatment times. However, Invisalign might still be worth it for more complex corrections. For more information, read Invisalign reviews.

Bottom line: Which is better: Byte or SmileDirect?

SmileDirectClub and Byte are both more affordable than traditional braces for straightening teeth and correcting minor to moderate orthodontic issues. Byte provides quicker average treatment plans, while SmileDirectClub offers in-person locations for initial visits.

  • Byte offers faster treatment plans: For those in a hurry to fix their smiles for an upcoming special occasion, such as a wedding or senior pictures, Byte offers accelerated treatment with its HyperByte technology. Byte offers a 100% virtual experience; it has no locations for office visits.
  • SmileDirectClub offers in-office consultations: SmileDirectClub could be the right choice for those who would rather meet with a real person and get a 3D scan than order a kit online and take impressions at home. As of publishing, you can find SmileShops in 33 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. At-home impression kits are also available.

Next, compare SmileDirectClub vs. Candid.

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Profile picture of Kathryn Parkman
by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team

As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Kathryn Parkman believes everyone deserves easy access to accurate and comprehensive information on products and businesses before they make a purchase, which is why she spends hours researching companies and industries for ConsumerAffairs. She believes conscious consumption is everyone's responsibility and that all content deserves integrity.