Straightening teeth since 1997, Invisalign is the #1 clear aligner brand in the world. However, popularity doesn’t make the treatment perfect – there are plenty of things that nobody told me when I first started.
From misaligned bites to the infamous Invisalign “black triangles” between teeth, this company has its fair share of horror stories as well as successes.
Unlike most clear aligner companies, Invisalign is organized through your dentist or orthodontist, so you visit them regularly for checkups throughout the treatment time.
Costing between $3,000 to $8,000 on average, it’s easy to see why many people choose “at home” teeth straightening companies like Byte, which costs only $1,895.
So, how was my Invisalign treatment? Would I recommend it? Is Invisalign worth it? Let’s dive in!
Pros & Cons of Invisalign
Before getting into the weeds, let’s jump straight in with the advantages and disadvantages of Invisalign.
Sadly, there are a lot of disadvantages to Invisalign, especially when it comes to the price and the treatment time.
For example, “at home” clear aligner services like Byte take as little as 2-4 months to complete treatment, while Invisalign is anywhere from 9-18 months!
Though Invisalign is certainly better than traditional orthodontic treatment like metal braces, you could be wearing these aligners for nearly two years for 22 hours every day, so make sure you’re committed!
Things to Consider Before Buying Teeth Aligners
Can you afford them?
“At home” teeth aligners like those from Aligner Co and Byte cost between $1,000 and $2,000, usually coming with flexible payments and financing options to help spread the cost.
On the other hand, Invisalign costs $5,500 on average (it was around $6,000 for me!) which is a much steeper price tag.
Obviously you don’t want to cheap out on getting nicer teeth, but make sure you can afford the one-time payment or financing deal before you go splashing out on a new smile.
Do you want all-day aligners?
Invisalign and many other companies use “all day” aligner trays that need to be worn 22 hours per day as a minimum. This can make your everyday life rather inconvenient, as you need to remove your aligners any time you want to eat or drink something that isn’t water.
All-day aligners means that you need to carry around a toothbrush and a storage pouch everywhere you go AT ALL TIMES!
Yes, literally everywhere.
I remember a couple of times I went to Burger King and forgot my storage pouch… I had to take my aligners out and put them in a paper napkin while I ate my Whopper. Once I tried to put the trays back in my mouth, they had bits of paper all over them.
Some companies offer night-only treatment plans that are much more convenient for most users – you only need to wear the clear aligners for 10 hours per day, mostly while asleep!
How invisible do you want them?
Yes, Invisalign is nearly invisible, especially when compared to regular braces. They also come with a unique frosted look to match the natural matte look of your teeth, in addition to a carefully cut gum-line that further masks their appearance.
They’re very hard to see.
However, in more complex cases where your teeth are VERY crooked, you may need to get attachments. These attachments will be visible if you laugh, smile, or open your mouth too wide.
It’s still better than wearing metal braces, but wearing “invisible braces” doesn’t always mean you’re unclockable.
Do you want people to know?
Whether it’s your front teeth, lower teeth, or that gap in your smile, we’re all a little self conscious about our teeth. While you may be self conscious about getting your treatment, it will be very hard to hide from people completely.
Well, you need to take your aligners out before eating or drinking anything other than plain water. In other words, you need to take them out when you go for lunch, grab a latte, eat a sandwich at your desk, whatever.
People will find out you’re using these things eventually – they certainly found me out!
They’re a pretty comfortable fit
Most people will tell you that Invisalign aligner trays are a comfortable fit.
This is kind of half-true.
Once you get used to wearing the aligner trays, they’re pretty comfortable. However, every time you change to a new tray (once every two weeks, usually) then you certainly FEEL THEM WORKING.
For me personally, I felt some mild pain and discomfort for about 2-3 days after changing trays. After that, it was fine.
So essentially, Invisalign is comfortable 80% of the week and horrible 20% of the week… at least for me.
They can be taken out (for 2 hours)
Yes, you can take your aligners out for 2 hours a day, but that’s it.
This gives you enough time to eat, drink, and be merry for a couple of hours each day. I guess it’s better than nothing.
Just bear in mind that you will probably have to take them out if you have hobbies or interests that involve your mouth such as singing or playing a brass instrument.
Kissing is real awkward too, so watch out for that one!
You get some dental assistance
Okay, so one good thing about Invisalign is that it’s essentially a professional orthodontic treatment. Your personal dentist or orthodontist will be there to guide you through the process, making it much easier to feel confident that you’re getting results and seeing how Invisalign works.
It’s nice to know a professional is checking you over.
Nonetheless, there’s a reason that the treatment is so expensive – you’re partially paying the commission fees for your dentist or orthodontist.
Spoiler alert: they’re not cheap.
On that note, it’s a MUCH BETTER idea to see an orthodontist than a dentist when it comes to clear aligners treatment – orthodontists have years of extra training in straightening teeth and bite correction that dentists just don’t get taught.
There’s fewer checkups than with traditional braces
You may or may not care about this, but you tend to get fewer checkups with Invisalign than you would get with metal braces.
This is largely because old-school braces are more intricate and invasive, so a lot can go wrong compared to clear aligners (which can easily be taken out).
If you’d prefer to go back and get checked up regularly, metal braces might actually be best for you.
You can still brush your teeth & floss
Unlike braces, Invisalign allows you to take the aligners out of your mouth so you can brush and floss your teeth to keep them clean between meals.
You should also clean your aligner trays regularly, otherwise they can get stained and smelly toward the end of the two week window.
Eating & drinking is somewhat limited
Your eating and drinking is somewhat limited with Invisalign, simply because you have to take the aligners out to eat or drink anything that isn’t water.
And you know, water is kinda boring.
I would often walk by Starbucks and consider a tasty blueberry muffin, only to think “I can’t be bothered taking these aligners out and brushing my teeth after this muffin.”
While this is inconvenient, a lot of users (myself included!) lose weight during the treatment because they are forced to snack less often.
Silver linings, I guess.
Invisalign aligners are made in Mexico & Costa Rica
This isn’t important to everyone, but Invisalign aligner trays are made in Mexico and Costa Rica, so you’re not supporting local US jobs when it comes to the manufacturing process.
Considering that the company is using cheaper overseas labor, the steep price tag seems a little out of line.
Other People’s Invisalign Reviews
Although I’ve now had my first experience with Invisalign, I know that different people have different experiences with the treatment plan, so I’ve taken some quotes from Invisalign reviews across the internet to give you a sense of the broad opinion on these teeth aligners.
“I wore my Invisalign for 1 1/2 years. They were very easy to use with a minimum of discomfort. Did the job. The results were very good.”
“The treatment was for 8 months but I had to go longer & my teeth still aren’t 100% straight. The aligners didn’t fit properly so I had to trim the gum lines and the area for the roof of the mouth to keep them from scratching or causing discomfort.”
“Prob by far the best part is really a lot of people outside 4-5 feet from me can’t even tell I have Invisalign. I mean it’s not invisible but it sure beats having a mouth full of metal.”
Short5202, Reddit User
“Went through first treatment to longer than initially thought. Had to go through a second treatment as some of teeth went back to original form. Told have to wear retainer 16 hours a day. Bottom teeth still not correct.”
“Aligner-based treatment f*cks up your bite. It drives your molars into your jaw, and at the end, only your front teeth touch. I’ve now spent more time trying to fix the resulting bite problems than I did in invisalign in the first place.”
Spookydookydookydoo, Reddit User
Hopefully that gives you a taste of the different Invisalign reviews out there!
Is Invisalign worth getting?
In my opinion, no… Invisalign is not worth getting.
It’s incredibly expensive, it can be up to 12-18 months for the treatment to work, and you must commit to wearing the trays for 22 hours per day, which is near-impossible.
Other services like Byte offer teeth aligners for $1,895 and have financing options to help spread the cost.
Byte in particular can also work as quickly as 3 months and there are nighttime-only trays that you just wear for 10 hours at night while sleeping.
You do the math!
Can Invisalign damage teeth?
It is possible for Invisalign to damage your teeth, so any candidate for Invisalign should be cautious before jumping into treatment.
Because the plastic trays block your saliva from reaching your teeth and gums properly, you do have increased risk for cavities and gum disease during treatment.
Regular cleaning can help prevent that.
I’ve also found some Reddit users who said that using Invisalign aligners drove their molars into their jaw and permanently messed up their bite, resulting in an uncomfortable eating experience despite better-looking teeth.
I didn’t experience teeth damage personally, but it can happen.
Why is Invisalign so expensive?
Invisalign is so expensive primarily because they’re the world’s #1 teeth aligners brand with huge popularity and brand recognition.
On top of that, treatment is often organized through your personal dentist or orthodontist, so part of the steep cost is going toward giving your dental specialist a nice chunky commission.
Some people say that Invisalign is so pricey due to the cost of making the aligners, but there are enough competitors to Invisalign who have basically the same clear teeth aligners for a fraction of the price.
Cheaper clear aligners companies, like Byte, are cheaper because they don’t go through dentists or orthodontists. They also don’t jack the prices up because people have heard of them before.
What can Invisalign not fix?
Although Invisalign can fix problems such as an underbite or open bite, the treatment cannot fix everything.
If you have more complex dental problems, wearing the aligners might not be enough.
For example, Invisalign treatment often won’t help with:
Even though Invisalign is suitable for most people, you might require traditional braces if you have one of these issues.
Does Invisalign make you talk funny?
Invisalign can make you talk funny, yes.
I personally noticed that I had a slight lisp every time I changed to a new set of aligners. This was irritating, but you got used to it after a few days and adjusted your speech.
I’d suggest taking them out before a big speech or something.
Can I drink coffee with Invisalign?
You cannot drink coffee while wearing your Invisalign trays.
Drinks like tea and coffee can stain your teeth aligners, so you must remove them when drinking coffee, tea, and basically any beverage that isn’t plain old water.
Invisalign vs Byte Clear Aligners
In general, I would say that Byte is Invisalign’s biggest competitor.
Fundamentally different from Invisalign, Byte is an “at home” teeth aligners service, which basically means that you make a mold of your teeth at home, send it away, a qualified orthodontist looks at them and then designs you a treatment plan with your sets of aligners.
It’s very similar, just done remotely.
It’s worth noting that Byte ONLY works with orthodontists, who go through more training than dentists when it comes to straightening teeth. The orthodontists check up on your results regularly through scans and video calls over Zoom, Skype, etc.
Here are some key differences between the two companies:
As you can see, there are many good reasons to recommend Byte to someone over Invisalign. It’s cheaper, it takes less time, it’s more convenient, and they don’t charge you a fortune at every opportunity!
Read more about Byte in Byte teeth aligners review.
Conclusion – Should I Get Invisalign?
Although it’s super popular, the sad truth is that Invisalign is expensive, long-lasting, inconvenient, and quite frankly a bit of a rip-off, charging you extra fees for aftercare retainers despite the steep $5,000+ cost already.
I would definitely recommend Byte as a brilliant, cheaper alternative to Invisalign.
Byte is MUCH cheaper ($1,895) with flexible financing options and credit approvals. It also lasts just 2-6 months depending on your treatment plan, and there are 10-hours-a-day aligner options too.
Extras like teeth whitening and retainers are also 100% free!
So if you’ve been scorned by Invisalign and you’d like to give Byte a try, click here to try it out and get your brand new smile today!