Invisible Braces - Smile Direct, Byte, etc.

Anyone here tried any of the direct to consumer invisible braces/aligner companies before?

My dentist recommend I try invisible braces/aligners, but quoted around $6000.

Had a look at a few of the online ones and they're just under $3000.

They seem like good value but I'm wondering about any issues with not seeing a dentist/orthodontist regularly to check progress and other potential issues.

There are a few warnings for dental associations, but I'm wondering if they focus on unlikely worst case scenarios.

Curious to see if anyone has any firsthand experience with it.

Comments

  • Maybe shop around at different dentists. I was quoted $7000 at one dentist and found another for the same Invisilign treatment for $5000. I’d be wary of ones where you don’t get regular progress checkups.

    • How did you go about getting different quotes?

      Did you have to pay for an appointment just to get a quote?

      • Did you have to pay for an appointment just to get a quote?

        Of course. They need to assess your teeth before they give you a quote.

      • I actually just called around different dentists in my area and some out of area to compare. Probably 10 all up. Told them what I wanted fixed and some even quoted up to $10,000.
        You also don’t pay upfront. You pay a deposit, mine was $2000. Then with each appointment to get the next tray you pay a certain amount. I’m pretty sure most dentist don’t charge a fee to get a quote if you do it in person. Ask them when you call.

        • Thanks mate, I think I'll take the approach of calling around and asking for a rough estimate and go from there.

          I don't have an issue with a deposit/paying all at once, I just don't want to pay for a consultation fee for every quote I get.

  • +1 vote

    DIY dental… I won't risk it, it is not home improvement DIY, where you goto bunnings to get tools. If you mess up… I would imagine you'll be paying a lot more and the pain of fixing it.

  • Terrible idea to use those especially as they were put on notice after using social media influencers to spruik it.

    Even with Invisalign where it's created centrally, your dentist will still be review your individual case and note any small movements, potential adjustments to the timeline and long term results.

    $6k is quite reasonable, my ceramic braces back in the days cost about $7k with a no interest payment plan and I could get any fixes waived.

  • My misso is currently going through the invisible aligners. They are through her dentist who use a company in Melbourne called Smile Styler.
    Made in Victoria.

    Smile Styler don't make the entire pack unlike the other companies. It will depend on your treatment, they make about 6 at a time and allow for adjustments at the dentist if needed then send that information back to SS if anything needed to change.

    Cost her $5,500 and the results are impeccable.

    Everyone is different. So it won't really be a one size fits all. I would avoid Smile Direct. Class action at the moment with them: https://www.classaction.org/smile-direct-club-lawsuit
    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/smiledirectclub-sues-nbc-...

  • Yeah avoid smile direct. I did the in person scan which was fine but didn't go through with purchase cos it felt too suss.

    If you look at all the online reviews they are really positive for the shop front part (staff there are just sales people with no actual power to influence corporate system) but then fairly terrible for those that actually bought the braces.

    Everything is handled offshore and I read plenty of horror stories about people paying upfront and receiving minimal support after the dollars were paid.

  • where is your dentist located ? the cost varys depending on area tends to be CBD's are more expensive.
    have you gone to another orthodontist to get some quotes ? you dont need to use your dentist for this.

    • The dentist I've been seeing is in a flashy area near the CBD (Newstead in Brisbane).

      My concern with getting other quotes was that I'd have to pay for the initial consultation, and I don't want to do that just to get a quote, but this doesn't seem to be true.

      • Most place will offer free consultation. Had one a few weeks ago, quoted $7500, quite expensive so I'm probably gonna shop around.

  • There is a difference between cheap and good value. Online or DIY orthodontics or clear aligners are cheap for a reason. They have take no responsibility to what happens to your mouth if something goes wrong.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcMI3aT8jLs

  • You really get what you pay for when it comes to orthodontics, but the general rule with Invisalign and the like is that you'll pay around 50% more and it'll take twice as long. Wouldn't even consider a DIY place.

    Invisalign checkups are also far more frequent, usually once a fortnight

    • I heard the opposite.. All my mates that had braces growing up had it for 1.5year minimum.. and usually cost 8k+ where as the ones that had invisalign usually take a year and around 5k.

    • my experience was also very different to what you state, was about 30-40% cheaper than traditional braces , checkups were not that frequent no where near once a fortnight i just cant remember if it was quarterly or not… time wise both treatments advised about same, again different situation for each person.

  • I was looking into this a while back but more so the PHI rebate route. I couldn't really find any with a decent lifetime limit on orthodontics. Most would be in the range of $1500-$2000 with a few reaching $2300 for lifetime limits. Does anyone know of a PHI that provides something more substantial?

    • Depends what you mean by substantial. I’m currently with qch - their top extras cover offers $3000 once you stay for 3 years or more. Depending on when you start you may be able to claim all $3000 as braces take a while anyway - by the time you finish you may already be in year 3 of your policy.

  • I have had aligners through SmileDirect. My experience was mostly positive but they are a company that has quite a few issues that should be corrected, mainly customer service and aligners shipped in incorrect order inside the bags (I didn't have this but plenty of people did).
    I would only recommend SDC to people who have had braces before and teeth have gone back or very simple alignments. SDC do refuse some patients but I think it depends on the dentist that is assigned to you. In Australia there seems to be one particular dentist that is assigned to 75% of people (me included) and he seems reputable. I was asked to send my dental records before they approved me (I had several teeth removed for previous braces).
    If you are in any doubt, then don't. If you do make it to the SDC clinic to have a scan be prepared for an onslaught of texts and emails, they are relentless, it's annoying. Hold out though as they offer more discounts the longer you hold off (wish I had known this in advance).

    • I did the scan, but so far the emails haven't been too bad.

      It sounds like it the greatest choice for me, so I'll be holding out indefinitely hahah

      Thanks for letting me know your experience with them

  • What is your purpose for orthodontics? To just straighten teeth or to fix a bite/jaw issue? You will not be able to fix any bite issues with Smile Direct, Byte etc. Period. So don't do it.

    Like a previous poster, I had braces previously, but slacked off and did not wear my retainer. SDC worked great in my scenario for 2k vs Invisalign for 5k.

    • Ideally to fix crowding, alignment and straightening issues. Smile Direct have said that they are able to fix them, whether that is true or not is a different story

      Sounds like I'm better off shopping around for a better option in person.

      Thanks for letting me know your experience

      • seems like a big job - I would pay the cash to a trusted ortho

        if it's minor work, and you're ok with the mixed lolly bag of reviews to save a few $, that choice is yours.

        even i'm thinking of going the reputable way even for minor alignment - you only have 1 set of teeth lol

  • dental plan?

  • My daughter did it. What a waste of money. Do not do! Read the feedback on the Web first.

  • I'm currently having clear aligner treatment through WeSmile and I'm 3/4 of the way done. They do scans etc and the clear aligners are produced in the US and sent here in a pack. There are regular check ups with the associated dental practice (Sydney CBD) as well as online check ups via an app and photos etc. Great service and I can claim a portion from my health fund. You can pay upfront or use a payment plan.