Smile Direct Club Vs Byte
Everyone wants a gorgeous smile and the confidence that follows. With so many options like braces, Invisalign, and other orthodontic companies, it can be difficult to make a decision that will not only be good for your mouth but your wallet.
Braces are an option if you don't mind accidental cavities, glue in your mouth, or having your teeth shaved, also paying $4,000 or more. Invisalign would be an excellent option if they didn't cost the same as braces and were fast working. Luckily there are more cost-effective orthodontic options that can be shipped to your door.
Two of the best options are Smile Direct Club and Byte. Both manufacture clear aligners and retainers and offer financing options. The small differences between them can make choosing between the two a bit easier.
How Does It Work
Both Smile Direct Club and Byte require you to take an impression kit so that your custom aligners can be perfectly shaped to your teeth for the best results. Bytes aligners are cut straight across so they do not adhere to your gum shape. Smile Direct Club forms to your full impression.
Smile Direct Club offers both in-home impression kits that can be done yourself and locations in every state where you can get 3D impressions taken for free. Byte offers only in-home impression kits. These kits include gloves, putty, mouth pieces, and everything needed to be safe when forming the impression. When completed you ship it back.
Once returned, both companies employ over 200+ dentists and orthodontists to review your impressions in order to determine if you are a candidate for aligners. If not, you are refunded the initial cost of the impressions.
Having been determined a candidate, your aligners will be shipped to you. There will be four to six months' worth of aligners depending on the plan you choose you will be given instructions on when to switch them for your specific case. There are usually between 22 and 26 aligners in the kits.
For either company, you have two choices in wear. You have the option to wear the aligners 22 hours per day, or for 10 consecutive hours at night. Either of these options will yield rapid results, however, daytime wear is recommended.
Lastly, after your teeth are straightened you will receive a retainer made for six-month wear. This is only to wear at night and will keep your teeth in alignment. Both companies offer subscription services that will allow a new retainer to be shipped to you every six months.
Smile Direct Club and Byte offer single payments as well as financing options. Smile Direct Club takes insurance directly, whereas Byte can take HSA, FSA, and partners with few insurance companies, but you will have to fill out forms of reimbursement. This would put much more work on you between Byte and your insurance companies, and you would still have to pay them out-of-pocket.
First things first, you buy your impression kit. Smile Direct Club charges $59 for an at-home kit, whereas Bytes impression kit costs $95.
Smile Direct Club single pay costs $1,950 before in-network insurance. With Smilepay, their financing system, you pay a $250 deposit and $89 a month for 24 months. The total cost of this financing option is $2,386.
Bytes single pay option is $1,895. With Bytepay, you would pay a $349 deposit with a financing payment of $83 a month at a 7.76% APR for 29 months. If you choose to finance, your total comes to $2,763.
Both include subscription options for six-month use retainers. Smile Direct Club offers a $99 option and Byte offers a $129 option.
Byte is around $100 cheaper than smile direct club if you are participating in single pay. If you are financing, however, that cost jumps to almost $600 more than Smile Direct Clubs financing option with a 7.76% APR to Smile Direct Clubs approximate 6-6.5% APR.
Byte offers lesser orthodontic alignment. Many of their results are small gaps and misalignments in the teeth. It is unlikely that you will be deemed eligible if your smile requires more work. Smile Direct Club uploads much larger results to their webpage, with many candidates having a wide range of dental issues.
However, Byte does offer many resources on their page. They provide information on not only the prevention of certain dental conditions but treatment and aftercare. It would seem that Byte is a company less about the cosmetics of oral alignment, and more about treatment and prevention of certain issues pertaining to oral alignment. Smile Direct Club does not offer this type of information.
A larger difference is that while both claim their products are made of plastic, Smile Direct Club provides BPA-free plastic aligners. BPA is a chemical commonly used in American-made plastics that has been proven to cause impaired brain function if over-exposed to humans.
Both companies make their aligners in the U.S. and ship nationally. Both offer 100% approval for their financing options and offer virtual dental support. While Smile Direct Club offers 24/7/365 virtual doctor support, Byte claims to offer support 7 days a week with little information otherwise.
Extras and Accessories
Smile Direct Club and Byte both offer whitening services. There are packages where these services come included in your plan and also plans where you can buy these separately. Neither of the whitening options is expensive by itself.
Smile Direct Club offers a UV whitening option that comes with a safe oral whitening gel for quick whitening. You sit it in your mouth for 5 minutes a day to maintain those pearly whites. Byte has a non-UV light option which is just a tooth whitening cleanser.
They also offer an electric flosser that uses water to remove 99% of plaque that regular flossing doesn't reach. It comes with two tips and is water-resistant. It is rechargeable, so forget about all of those loose cords in your bathroom.
What I think is cool about Byte is that they offer what they call a Hyperbyte. This is a tool you can use on your teeth that will speed the process of shifting and alignment by up to half the time. This comes included in several of their packages.
Hyperbyte uses high-frequency vibrations to ease the pain of shifting and help your teeth shift faster altogether. You only have to use it for five minutes a day and it makes your aligners fit better.
Byte claims to take re-impressions if adjustments need to be made to the aligners in the middle or end of your treatment. Smile Direct Club did not provide information about this circumstance on their page.
Smile Direct Club offers a complete money-back promise if you are unhappy with your treatment. While Byte offers some refund options, they are not money-back guaranteed if you are not content with their services. You should prefer a money-back guarantee because if you are discontent with their services you should be entitled to a full refund.
Smile Direct Club takes oral hygiene very seriously. Smile Direct Club offers everything hygienic from electric toothbrushes and flossers to tooth sensitive toothpaste and UV whiteners. Byte does not offer any of this. They only offer tooth whitening serum, the Hyperbyte, retainers, and aligners.
The Better Option
With all that Smile Direct Club offers at the prices and guarantees they provide, it would be difficult to argue against it. Byte does not offer extensive oral hygiene products as well as the most affordable aligners on the market.
That being said, both are similar in pricing for just aligners although Smile Direct Club is a bit more affordable. It would be more work to buy aligners through Byte with insurance because of the reimbursement forms you would have to fill out. Both have the option to take HSA and FSA but not in-network orthodontic insurance. Smile Direct Club partners with specific insurance companies for easy coverage.
The money-back guarantees are not created equally. Smile Direct Club offers you a full money-back guarantee whereas Byte does not. Both impression kits can be refunded if you are non-eligible.
If you are wanting rapid but more expensive results, Byte with Hyperbyte is the way to go. This would be the fastest way to achieve the smile of your dreams, whereas Smile Direct Club would be cost-effective and safer, with more hygienic options. The safe whitening option is excellent for anyone wanting to add confidence to their smile. Either of these options would be best for someone trying to save money while perfecting their smile quickly.
Personally, I would prefer Smile Direct Club. I love that they are BPA-free and offer so many add-ons that can really give you that confident smile and glow. Their financing option is more affordable and they offer a full range of promises and guarantees. The alignment may take a little longer, but the money saved would be worth it. I could subscribe to hygiene products and keep my teeth aligned, white and clean.