2021 AlignerCo Review: Economical Choice or Plain Cheap?

2021 AlignerCo Review: Economical Choice or Plain Cheap?

Teeth straightening used to be a painful or even embarrassing process. Now, clear aligner treatment allows you to improve your smile discreetly and more comfortably.

AlignerCo claims to have the clearest of any in the clear aligner industry, as well as offering one of the least expensive aligners. But is it really economical, or just cheap? Read on to our AlignerCo review to find out.

AlignerCO First Look

😄Quick Reviews: What Does Aligner Co Offer?

Package

Price

Can You Pay in Installments? 

What’s Included?

Average Treatment Time

Smile Advantage

$1145

No

The initial Impression Kit

Smile Projection

A full set of aligners

A single set of retainers

Free shipping within the USA

4 to 6 months

SmileFlex

$972

Yes – $81/mo for 12 months w/ credit check

Same as SmileAdvantage, plus an extra set of retainers

4 to 6 months

SmileFlex Easy

$1320

Yes – $95/mo for 11 months w/ $275 down payment

Same as SmileAdvantage

4 to 6 months

NightOnly Clear Aligners

Varies

Yes – NightFlex and NightFlex Easy plans

varies

6 to 8 months

What We Like

  • Low cost
  • Choose from several payment plans
  • Clearest invisible braces
  • NightOnly option available
  • Short treatment time
  • Effective

What We Don't Like

  • NightOnly option costs more
  • Turnaround time adds up
  • Extra cost for replacement retainers

Deals Available

  • $250 off SmileAdvantage Plan
  • $250 off NightAdvantage Plan
  • $100 for referring a friend
  • $50 discount for teens
  • $50 discount for military
  • 9 backup retainers for $49 each

Popular Alternatives:

Bottom Line

AlignerCo could be a great, economical choice for clear aligners. You can choose a payment plan to fit your budget, as long as you don’t mind a slightly longer treatment time. Byte aligners give similar outcomes, but may be slightly faster.

Check out our AlignerCo for yourself here, to see if they’re the best choice for you.

Is AlignerCo Legit?

While not every customer has been happy—that’s true of every company—AlignerCo seems to be a straightforward business. It might help to compare it to two similar brands; Smile Direct Club (SDC) and Byte are both brands of at-home invisible aligners.

The Byte clear aligner is fully approved by the FDA, whereas AlignerCo can’t say the same, using material manufactured by another company.

On the other hand, AlignerCo is much more straightforward than SDC, which has had a few accusations leveled against it.

What crossbite correction option works fastest?

fastest crossbite correction option
Pick an answer to learn the surprising truth.
Show hint
fastest crossbite correction option
Clear aligners like Byteme aligners are not only cheaper than braces, but they also work significantly faster

nighttime clear aligners review A comparison of treatment effectiveness between clear aligners and fixed braces

How Long Has AlignerCo Been in Business?

AlignerCo is fairly coy about its business history on its website. However, it appears that AlignerCo aligners went on the market for the first time in 2019.

AlignerCo Reviews: What’s On Offer?

AlignerCo offers multiple payment options, all of which include the full treatment and all the aligners. However, the price and payments can vary a bit so make sure you choose the one that’s easiest on your wallet.

SmileAdvantage

This is the basic plan for AlignerCo invisible aligners. With this option, you make a single payment of the full amount of $1145 for their treatment plan, which includes:

  • The initial Impression Kit
  • Smile Projection
  • A full set of aligners
  • A single set of retainers
  • Free shipping within the USA

As with all of their offerings, a free tooth whitening kit is included with the order. 

However, the actual cost is going to be a bit lower. While the list price is over $1000, there is a more or less permanent AlignerCo coupon code that allows you to take $250 off at checkout when paying the whole amount upfront.

One thing to note is that this option comes with only a single set of retainers, which according to AlignerCo might last as long as a year with the right maintenance. You’ll need to wear retainers for at least 4 to 6 months, and perhaps longer. 

The upshot is that you may end up paying for an additional set of retainers, which can add as much as $200 to the cost. It may be offset by the coupon you can use, however.

SmileFlex

SmileFlex is a slightly different and more versatile way of paying for AlignerCo’s treatment. With the deal, you’ll receive:

  • Impression Kit
  • Smile Projection
  • Aligners
  • 2 sets of Retainers
  • Free Shipping in the USA
  • Teeth whitening kit

With this option, you’ll get everything in the basic SmileAdvantage plan, plus an additional set of retainers. 

The actual price of this plan will vary depending on a number of factors. SmileFlex allows you to finance payments through Affirm, which is a credit company that focuses on easy payments with no late fees. The cost is divided between 12 monthly payments.

Depending on the deal they offer and the amount you can pay upfront, payments may be as little as $81 a month. The total you end up paying, including interest, will also vary. Choosing SmileFlex means a soft credit check, which shouldn’t impact your score.

Otherwise, the major difference is that this plan provides a second set of retainers without paying more.

SmileFlex Easy

The Flex Easy also offers a way to finance clear aligners. It includes:

  • Impression Kit
  • Smile Projection
  • Full set of aligners
  • Single set of retainers
  • Teeth whitening kit.

SmileFlex Easy doesn’t include a credit check. Instead, it’s a set financing option. You pay $275 as a down payment, then pay $95 for 11 months. 

One feature that is on each list, Smile Projection, might need a little explanation. The impression kit you send back allows AlignerCo’s dental professionals to plan out the adjustments that will be required. Using that information, they put together a projection of what your teeth will look like at the end.

It may not be exactly correct, as it is a projection. However, you can get at least a general idea of the end result.

NightOnlyClearAligners

Invisible aligners are more difficult to see, so they can make you less self-conscious than traditional metal braces. When you have to wear them all day, though, you still have to deal with the other downside to traditional braces: they’re uncomfortable and inconvenient.

NightOnly aligners make things a little easier. Instead of wearing aligners all day, getting used to talking with them, taking them out to eat, and all the rest, you just pop them in before you go to bed. 

Perhaps due to the shorter wear time, NightOnly aligners cost a bit more. The options are:

  • NightAdvantage – $1345 flat payment (down to $1095 with coupon)
  • NightFlex – Financed at $99/month for $12 months
  • NightFlex Easy –  Financed with a $345 down payment and $105/month

AlignerCo Before and After

alignerco reviews

How to Order AlignerCo

Ordering AlignerCo’s products is straightforward and intuitive. Before you do anything else, there is a very simple questionnaire to fill out on their website. The questions are intended to make sure you’re not facing one of a few basic issues that would prevent you from using their product.

Getting Started

Before anything else, it’s important to note that both the American Dental Association and Association of Orthodontists mention that the sort of changes home aligners make require monitoring by a dental professional, the sort of monitoring AlignerCo doesn’t offer. 

On the other hand, there are a lot of success stories and the FDA has approved the use of some clear aligners as being safe. There’s risk involved in any medical procedure and it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it.

If you decide to continue, you can start the entire process by choosing which plan you want to follow. You can just jump into one of the programs outlined above like SmileAdvantage or SmileFlex. The home impression kit is included and if you find you’re not a good candidate, the cost will be refunded.

A more conservative option is to just buy the impression kit first. If you return the kit and would like to continue the treatment, everything gets rolled into one of their payment plans.

Taking an Impression at Home

Taking a good impression is critical to the whole process. It can also be somewhat involved and even a little intimidating. The kit comes with a few different pieces, but for taking your impressions, you’re going to be most concerned with the putty and the trays. You may also want a timer.

alignerco reviews

  1. First, make sure that your teeth fit in the trays without any putty. If your teeth don’t fit completely, get in touch with customer service before continuing.
  2. Mix the blue and white putty as thoroughly as possible in about 30 seconds. Roll it out and mush it down into the trays, covering the inside of the trays completely.
  3. Place the tray in your mouth and bite down for about 4 minutes. Repeat for both upper and lower teeth, two sets for each.
  4. Finally, take a number of photos of the impressions and send them to AlignerCo. Once you get the green light from them, you can send the impressions back to get started.

Important note: The putty will set fairly quickly, so make sure you have everything ready to go before starting. 

How Long Does It Take AlignerCo to Ship?

It may be a couple of months before you actually get your aligners. Before that, AlignerCo will send you a Smile Projection to give you an idea of the end result or your personalized treatment plan. Once you approve the projection, your aligners will arrive in 4 to 5 weeks.

So, Is AlignerCo Worth It?

There’s no question that clear aligners work for a lot of people. While AlignerCo’s setup hasn’t specifically been approved by the FDA, their approach is pretty close to other companies that have been approved, like Byte. 

The caveat is that they are only approved for mild to moderate adjustments. If you want to straighten and even out the most visible teeth at the front of the mouth, AlignerCo can be a good option. For more serious issues like misalignments or underbite, traditional braces are most likely required.

Does AlignerCo Get Results?

AlignerCo’s invisible aligners have a lot of satisfied customers [1]. Their average treatment time of 6 to 8 months is longer than some competitors, but it’s a less expensive treatment option.

AlignerCo claims to be the world’s clearest invisible aligners, so they should also be harder to spot.

Some reviews mention that their end result didn’t match up with the projections. However, the projection isn’t a guaranteed result and continuing treatment adds to the AlignerCo cost [2].

Is AlignerCo Affordable?

By most people’s standards, clear aligners are expensive. However, AlignerCo is a more affordable option, with a list price that’s almost half what some competitors charge. However, you may end up paying for additional aligners if the treatment takes longer, or paying other additional costs.

Is AlignerCo Convenient?

Convenience is one of the main selling points with any at-home aligner option. Technically, you could go through the whole treatment without ever leaving your home, though at least one trip to the dentist probably isn’t a bad idea.

Does Insurance Cover AlignerCo?

It’s possible that insurance covering orthodontic treatment may extend to AlignerCo, though you’d have to check with your insurance provider to be sure. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Spending Accounts (HSA) are accepted by AlignerCo.

What’s Customer Service like?

Most people who stopped to leave an AlignerCo review had a good experience with customer service. Even when they faced problems with their order, many AlignerCo consumers said customer service was able to address and sort out the problem. Some customers complained customer service was not US-based, which resulted in some communication difficulties.

AlignerCo Alternatives

While AlignerCo treatment is less expensive than some aligner companies, money isn’t always everything. It might be worth paying extra for some benefits, like Byte’s shorter treatment time.

AlignerCo vs Invisalign

Invisalign has been one of the leading invisible braces brands for decades. Unlike the Invisalign alternatives we’re discussing, Invisalign’s treatment plan has you visiting an orthodontist regularly. It’s similar to traditional braces with a price to match the personal service.

AlignerCo vs Byte Aligners

These two companies are both good examples of at-home clear aligners. You take an impression of your teeth, which is then evaluated by dental professionals. The delivery of aligners and other benefits are also similar. 

For example, AlignerCo and Byte have a treatment preview feature that allows you to get a glimpse of what your new smile will look like. There’s one big difference, however. Byte’s treatment time is shorter as a result of using their HyperByte mouthpiece.  

Does Byte Actually Work?

It does. The HyperByte mouthpiece is based on high-frequency vibration (HFV) treatments that have been in use for a few years. Using HFV has been shown to cut treatment times significantly. Take a look at our Byte Aligners review to get an in-depth look at their products.

AlignerCo vs Smile Direct Club

Smile Direct Club (SDC) offers pretty much the same services as AlignerCo. SDC has more physical locations, having hundreds around the country compared to the single AlignerCo Smile Studio. Find more details with our Smile Direct Club Review.

Unfortunately, some questions have been raised regarding SDC’s products and business practices. Among other things, nine congressional representatives sent a letter to the FTC asking that SDC be investigated.

Is Smile Direct Club Legit?

Strictly speaking, there isn’t an official word regarding their legitimacy. Does their product work? Yes, at least for the same sort of needs as any other at-home clear aligner brand. However, some of their claims are questionable and there have been accusations of shady business practices.

FAQ

Is AlignerCo worth a try? Let’s look at some of the most frequently asked questions.

How Long Does AlignerCo Take to Work?

The AlignerCo journey can take nearly a year, from ordering the impression kit to straighter teeth. The average treatment time takes between 6 and 8 months. Added to that is the 2 months needed to receive the impression kit, send it back, and create a treatment plan.

Additionally, it should be noted that 6 to 8 months is the average, which means some people may need longer to straighten their teeth. When that’s the case, you have to pay more for additional AlignerCo aligners.

Is AlignerCo Considered Cheap Invisible Braces?

It may be inexpensive, but there’s no indication that their product is substandard. The braces are made of a material approved by the FDA. However, they are made by another company, Raintree Essix [3].

Does AlignerCo Give Discounts?

AlignerCo offers two deals all the time, $250 off when you pay everything up front, and $50 off for military service people and a teen’s teeth impressions and aligners. There are also deals for additional retainers and for referring friends.

How Can I Get an AlignerCo Refund?

AlingerCo’s policy allows for a refund in only two situations. First, you can call and cancel 24 to 48 hours after placing the order for the impression kit.

Otherwise, if they determine you’re not a good candidate after you send in your impressions, you can get a refund. If you’re unhappy with your end result, the best they have to offer is more aligners.

Conclusion

AlignerCo offers a decent product at an affordable price. While competitors like Byte offer a shorter treatment time, AlignerCo will save you some money and help you straighten your smile. See how it stacks up against competitors with our list of the best invisible braces.

References:

  1. “Alignerco Is Rated ‘Excellent’ with 4.6 / 5 on Trustpilot.” Trustpilot, www.trustpilot.com/review/alignerco.com.
  2. “Alignerco Corp.: Better Business Bureau® Profile.” BBB, www.bbb.org/us/ny/w-hempstead/profile/dental/alignerco-corp-0121-87135698.
  3. “Raintree Essix Inc.” Raintree Essix Inc FDA Filings, fda.report/Company/Raintree-Essix-Inc.
2021 AlignerCo Review: Economical Choice or Plain Cheap?

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