Teledentistry, much like its counterpart telemedicine, is on the upswing. Its popularity has created the opportunity for many to get accessible care with convenient consultations and easy-to-order products. Of course, many aspects of standard dentistry aren’t possible to do remotely (hello, remote tooth cleaning). However, orthodontic care is still possible to do at home with the guidance of a remote dentist. And when you’re feeling self-conscious about your smile, being able to adjust it from the comforts of your own home is hard to turn down.
Byte is a teledental company that offers invisible aligner treatments and boasts over 200 licensed dental professionals nationwide. With Byte’s HyperByte technology providing a massage to your gums and seating the aligner closer to your teeth, Byte aims to complete your treatment considerably faster than other invisible aligners.
Our testers looked into Byte’s service, delving into their claims of technical innovation and affordability. We’ve shared the details here so that you can decide if Byte is right for you and your smile.
- Everyone is approved for the BytePay payment plan, making aligners more accessible
- Advanced technology (HyperByte and Smile Science) enables results faster than the competition
- Teeth whitening products included for free
- Over 200 licensed dental professionals on Byte’s team in all 50 states
- Lifetime guarantee completely covers you for additional Byte treatment if needed
- Take $100 off aligners and 70% off your impression kit
- Byte may not be suitable for those with more severe orthodontic needs
- Not available outside the U.S.
- Not the least expensive option for at-home aligners
Byte’s at-home invisible aligner treatments can work faster than the competition, but the company keeps prices competitive.
With technological additions that other companies don’t offer, Byte can complete your treatment in less time. A lifetime guarantee means you can get free follow-up treatment if needed. Byte is a tremendous value for convenient aligners.
Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers like you make more informed decisions to live healthier lives. We extensively test each health service we review.
Our team has spent hundreds of hours testing and researching Byte and its close competitors in the tooth aligner market to give you an unbiased exploration of your teledentistry options, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks.
Through a thorough and deliberate approach to every product we encounter, we evaluate services based on adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?
Additionally, this review of Byte, like all health-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by a member of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.
In order to give you the best sense of Byte’s strengths and weaknesses, we focused on the aspects most important to you as a customer: whether or not Byte will get you the results you want for the price you pay. This means we considered the quality of the product and services you’ll receive along the way, your overall cost, how quickly you’ll see results, and, since Byte is a telemedical service, the level of security and privacy you’ll receive.
8.8 / 10
For mild alignment concerns, Byte provides an excellent treatment. Their HyperByte, specifically, is unique to teledentistry (though it has been used with great success in other treatments) and provides just the right boost for your teeth to move faster and with less discomfort. Their products are all high-quality, with hours of research and FDA clearance behind them. However, since Byte is fully remote, if you have more serious crowding, bite alignment, or gaps, they might not be able to help.
8.8 / 10
No orthodontic device is cheap, and Byte is no exception to this. However, they offer robust payment plans for everyone, offer assistance for filing a reimbursement with your dental insurance, and accept HSA and FSA payments. If you try your impression kit and their dental team decides you aren’t a great fit for Byte’s program, you’ll get your money back. Even their retainers, which you’re supposed to replace every six to twelve months, are less expensive than the ones you’d find in your typical dentist’s office. If you’re a good fit for their devices, they’ll help you find a way to pay for it, even if it’s over the course of 30 months.
9.2 / 10
Compared to the twelve to eighteen months it takes a traditional aligner or braces to adjust your teeth, Byte changes your smile in a flash. Even if you use their longest-running plan that lets you bypass wearing aligners during the day, you’ll still see full results in less than half that time. Combine that with fast shipping times and you’ve got a match made faster than a flame.
The only exception to this speed is their four-to-six week wait for your aligners after your evaluation appointment. However, most competitors take about that long as well.
7.8 / 10
For non-customers, Byte offers customer support through a hotline (no hours are listed) and an in-browser chat window. The in-browser chat begins with you walking through the FAQ (which is relatively comprehensive), but is easy enough to connect with a real person to get the answers you need. If you are currently using their aligners, you’ll have access to their 24-hour dental network through your online portal for help and support. A lifetime satisfaction guarantee is also laudable, providing customers with a very important layer of protection over the long haul.
But despite this long-term care and consideration, there are short-term hassles and inconveniences that affect satisfaction. Byte brags about their 4.5+ stars on every review platform, and Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports an A+ rating for Byte. However, 550 BBB complaints were closed in the last year. Almost 85% of those were complaints about the product and service surrounding it. Many of those were issues people had with their aligners that customer service couldn’t – or didn’t – help with. While you will eventually get support – and we didn’t encounter negative experiences during our testing – you’ll be in the best shape if you anticipate some customer service hiccups, particularly during the pandemic.
8.3 / 10
Since teledentistry is still a form of telemedicine, Byte complies with all HIPAA and HITECH requirements to protect your personal health information and electronic health records. However, Byte also collects a non-insignificant amount of your non-medical data. While they don’t sell it to third parties and a vast majority of that information is de-identified and goes to their marketing efforts, they still retain more of your information than some of their competitors.
Founded in 2017 by Scott Cohen and Blake Johnson, Byte is an innovative digital dentistry platform offering remote orthodontic treatment using invisible alignment products. They provide high-quality custom aligners to straighten your teeth and redesign your smile, adjusting your appearance and boosting your confidence.
The remote care service’s team of nationally licensed dentists and orthodontists will analyze selfies you’ve sent and measure your current teeth alignment from an impression you take at home using a kit they deliver to your door. By combining the two, they’ll be able to ensure your teeth’s new alignment is proportionate to your facial features. You’ll receive your sets of invisible aligners and can begin the process ASAP.
The remote care that teledentistry offers can save you thousands compared to the cost of going to an orthodontist’s office. Unlike other teledentistry services, Byte only offers invisible aligners and one type of tooth whitener. This helps keep their costs low and ensures they’re providing you with the best possible care.
Who Byte might not be good for
Currently, Byte is only available in the United States due to the nature of dental licensure laws. However, they appointed a new president in early 2020, who has repeatedly stated plans to expand Byte internationally. If you’re not in the United States but interested in their products, keep a close eye on their site for more information when it arrives.
Because Byte is hands-off and only provides remote care, if you have certain dental conditions or teeth that need serious attention, Byte will not be able to help. Their team of dentists and orthodontists will make this judgment when you send in your impressions. If they decide Byte isn’t a good fit for you at this time, you’ll get your money back.
Byte is currently only available for patients over the age of 12 who have all of their adult teeth. If you are under 18, Byte will need parental consent to create aligners for you.
If you aren’t sure whether or not your teeth qualify for Byte’s invisible aligners, they offer a handy quiz that will help you determine if you’re a candidate. This quiz asks about:
- Your motivation to improve your smile
- Previous braces or invisible aligners
- Tooth crowding
- Tooth gaps
- Tooth spacing
- Remaining baby teeth
- Existing dental work
- Any dental insurance you have
Based on your answers to this multiple-choice quiz, Byte’s algorithm will determine whether or not you’re likely to find success with their invisible aligners.
Byte believes that there is more to a perfect smile than just straight teeth. Their Smile Science technology allows Byte to design your aligners with the proportion of your facial features in mind, including your lip shape and gum size. But in order to get your aligners, you’ll need to take impressions of your teeth.
To begin your transformation, you’ll need to order an Impression Kit. Here, you’ll select which plan you’d like (All Day or At-Night). The Impression Kit is the same for both plans, but solidifying this choice early on makes it easier to create your aligners down the road. Each Impression Kit contains everything you’ll need for two impressions of your teeth in case anything goes wrong with the first set. It also includes a prepaid return envelope. Mix the solution, fill the tray, take a bite, and ship it back to Byte.
After you put your envelope in the mail, be sure to snap a few selfies and upload them to your account. This is required to ensure accurate Smile Science.
Once the lab gets your impressions, they’ll analyze your teeth and facial features to develop your treatment plan. You’ll receive a call, at which point they’ll go over your treatment plan with you and show you 3D visualizations of what your results will look like. If you won’t be able to use Byte, they’ll let you know at this point and you’ll receive a refund for the impression kit.
Byte delivers up to fifteen sets of aligners four to six weeks after your treatment plan call. You’ll wear these aligners as your treatment progresses. Each set is worn for a week at a time as your teeth gradually move and change. If your treatment plan requires you to use aligners for longer than fifteen weeks, Byte will call you to check in on your progress at week 13 before sending the rest of your aligners to you.
Be sure not to throw away any aligners or retainers while you’re still treating your teeth. Keeping every aligner is a requirement of your treatment, and Byte’s dental staff may recommend you go back a week if there are any concerns over fit or if you lose or break an aligner.
Once your treatment is complete, Byte provides retainers to keep your teeth from shifting. For the first two weeks, you should wear the retainers all the time (except when eating and drinking). After that, you only wear them when you sleep at night. Byte recommends you replace your retainer every six months to a year and includes your first set of retainers free.
If you purchase a Byte Protection Plan as insurance to keep your smile looking fresh, you’ll get up to ten additional retainers (every six months on demand for five years).
Byte accelerates your orthodontic journey through a proprietary technology called HyperByte. HyperByte is a device that provides high-frequency vibration therapy. These vibrations reduce discomfort and ensure the aligners fit better around your teeth, resulting in more accurate teeth movement and cutting down on your treatment time. You only need to use HyperByte for five or ten minutes per day depending on your plan. If your teeth get sore, Byte recommends using your HyperByte for a few extra minutes to soothe the ache.
HyperByte and all accompanying Byte products are FDA cleared. This is similar to, but not the same as, FDA approval. An FDA clearance is a good thing – it means that the company has proven that it is virtually identical to a product that has already been approved by the FDA and therefore bypasses the lengthy approval process. Byte isn’t the first nor only aligner on the market, but they’ve got the seal of approval from the FDA.
There’s very little shipping involved in your Byte order. Impression Kits are always sent with free two-day shipping and a pre-paid return envelope so that you can get your impressions back hassle-free.
Your aligners will take four to six weeks to arrive after your evaluation call with one of Byte’s doctors. It takes a little while for the aligners to be custom-made, but this wait time is typical of invisible aligner companies and is to be expected. However, once they ship, they should get to you within two business days.
Byte’s product catalog is streamlined with minimal add-ons and accessories so that you can focus on what’s most important.
Byte’s Impression Kit is the first thing you’ll purchase along your orthodontic journey. One Impression Kit usually costs $95 with free two-day shipping and a pre-paid return envelope to get your impressions to the dental staff. The kit includes two sets of everything you need to make molds of your teeth in case you make a mistake on your first try.
If your Byte orthodontist determines that their treatment isn’t suitable for you at this time based on your Impression Kit, you’ll receive a full refund.
There are two different options for your Byte’s style: an all-day version and an only-at-night counterpart.
The All-Day Aligner plan is exactly what it sounds like: aligners that you wear all day, every day. This is a slightly less expensive option that takes slightly less time to complete, but it comes at the price of having to wear the aligners for 22+ hours a day every day throughout your treatment. It’s a more traditional model of aligner styling supplemented with five minutes of HyperByte used every day.
In total, the All-Day Aligner plan costs $1,895. If you’d prefer to use BytePay, expect a $249 deposit up front and $82/month for 32 months with interest up to 9.99% (totaling $2,869 at the end of 32 months).
The At-Night Aligner plan, on the other hand, provides an interesting mix: wear your aligners while you sleep and you won’t have to wear them during the day. Even though this means you won’t have to wear them during the day (as long as you wear them for 10+ hours at night), it takes about a month longer for the average treatment plan to run to completion and requires 10 minutes per day of HyperByte use. It’s also substantially more expensive than the All-Day plan. However, if an inability to wear aligners during the day has held you back from seeking care, this is a great option.
In total, the At-Night Aligner plan costs $2,295. If you’d prefer to use BytePay, expect a $299 deposit up front and payment of $99/month for 32 months with interest up to 9.99% (totaling $3,467 at the end of 32 months).
We’ve compared the highlights of both plans below:
|Cost (BytePay)||How long you’ll wear them per day||Average treatment plan length|
|All-Day Aligners||$1,895 ($249 deposit + $89/month)||22+ hours||4 months|
|At-Night Aligners||$2,295 ($299 deposit + $99/month)||10+ hours||5 months|
BrightByte is a three-in-one foam whitener, breath freshener, and cleanser. All you need to do is apply some of the foam directly from the bottle into your aligner before putting it on, and it will automatically keep your mouth and aligner clean.
One bottle of BrightByte comes free with every aligner pack, but if you want more, you can purchase it in a few ways for bulk discounts:
- Individually ($30)
- Pack of 3 ($25/bottle)
- Pack of 6 ($20/bottle)
Byte previously partnered with Snow and sold their At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit alongside BrightByte and the rest of the Byte family of products to provide an even deeper level of tooth whitening. However, Bryte has ended this partnership and no longer lists or sells Snow products on their website.
Byte Protection Plan
Described as a warranty for your plan and smile, the Byte Protection Plan offers a few bonuses for a steep price tag. For a few hundred dollars, Byte will provide you with five years’ worth of retainers (up to 10 total) as long as you manually request them. This ensures that your teeth stay exactly where they need to be after your alignment.
The Byte Protection Plan also covers theft and loss of aligners; if you lose one or it’s stolen from you, Byte will replace it free of charge (up to $2,000 of coverage).
The Byte Protection Plan comes at two different price points depending on your overall plan:
- All Day ($649)
- At-Night ($779)
If you decide to use BytePay, you will have to purchase the Byte Protection Plan.
If you decide you don’t need a protection plan, Byte provides you with one retainer to get you started. Since they recommend changing them out every six months to a year, you’ll need to purchase your other Byte retainers separately. Each set of retainers costs $129.
Like retainers with a standard orthodontic work-up, Byte’s retainers keep your teeth in place after you’ve successfully completed your course of treatment. You’ll need to wear them for two weeks continuously after finishing your main Byte treatment, and then every night while you sleep.
Byte sells four different accessories in their store alongside their orthodontic products:
- Aligner case as a replacement or spare ($20)
- HyperByte Replacement Mouthpiece ($20)
- Extraction tool to remove your aligner ($10)
- Byte Logo Tee ($29.95)
BytePay is a unique payment plan that allows users to spread out their treatment costs, making them more accessible. Rather than relying on your credit score to determine if you’ll be able to spread out your payments, everyone is fully approved for this payment plan. There are no hoops to jump through – just pay a deposit and monthly payments for 32 months. However, you will need to purchase the Byte Protection Plan if you use BytePay, which is a sizable fee if you were planning to skip it.
If you are on the All-Day plan, you will pay:
- $249 up front
- $82/month for 32 months with 9.99% APR (or lower)
If you are on the At-Night plan, you will pay:
- $299 up front
- $99/month for 32 months with 9.99% APR (or lower)
Both of these deposit amounts have decreased in the last year for your benefit.
Insider Tip: It might look like you pay more for Byte Pay because of interest, but the Byte Protection Plan also contains up to ten replacement retainers – a value of $1,290. Take advantage of those as much as you can, and that few hundred in interest will quickly make up for itself.
If those deposits are too big for your budget, Byte will also accept CareCredit and Affirm payment plans.
If your dental insurance plan covers orthodontic care, you may be able to get reimbursed for Byte. If you are currently using dental insurance, let Byte know while you’re checking out and after your evaluation call, they’ll send you the forms to give to your insurance for reimbursement.
On its website, Byte makes it easy to check if your insurance will cover these services. Simply click the “Insurance” link at the top of the homepage and enter your information.
You can also use your FSA and HSA to pay for your treatment at checkout.
As a telemedical company, Byte is fully compliant with HIPAA and the HITECH Act. Your personal and medical information is secure and protected. Byte will not share any information or pictures without your explicit consent except for medical purposes.
Byte does collect non-medical data you provide when you sign up for services, such as your:
- Email address
- Mailing address
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Insurance provider information
- Payment card numbers
- Bank account number
- Bank routing number
- Device information
- Location information
However, none of this personal information is ever shared with others unless all identifying information is stripped. (Your name and address are safe within the service.) The de-identified information may be used for online behavioral advertising, to track trends and usage of their services, or to administer and troubleshoot services.
Byte also uses web beacons in their website and partner advertisements to see what customers are interacting with for marketing purposes.
For a comparably high-quality product, ALIGNERCO is significantly less expensive than Byte. Their aligners cost up to $1,145, a steal compared to Byte’s $2,295. Even their payment plan is completed in 12 months, almost two years shorter than BytePay’s options. However, Byte is still the fastest option, as ALIGNERCO’s average treatment time is two to four months longer. ALIGNERCO also doesn’t take any insurance, so if you’re planning on taking advantage of your dental benefits, ALIGNERCO might not have what you’re looking for.
Not sure if you trust yourself to make the best impressions of your teeth, even with two tries? If you live near one of Candid’s 30 office locations, you can drop in to get your initial scans done by a dental professional. They’ve added over 200 doctors to their service in the last year, so no matter where you live you can take advantage of Candid’s professional tooth straightening services. You won’t lose out on any of Candid’s quality even if you can’t make it to one of their office locations. While it’s slightly pricier than Byte, if you aren’t happy with your treatment results, they offer complimentary touch-ups.
To read more on Candid, check out our full review.
Smile Direct Club
Smile Direct Club is in line with what we’d expect out of an online invisible alignment service: clear results, fast timing, comparable prices to Byte, and low-cost consultations. However, Smile Direct Club has a wider age range than Byte, with special bonuses for teenagers including one free aligner replacement if anything happens to it. They also charge the same amount for the nighttime-only and full-day aligners unlike a vast majority of the field, making them one of the least expensive options for nighttime-only invisible aligners.
With sustainable plastic that is BPA and phthalate free, Uniform Teeth offers 3D printed aligners that go above and beyond the alternatives. The only downside? Uniform Teeth requires you to visit one of their locations in San Francisco, Seattle, or Chicago to get a 3D scan and 360-degree X-ray of your head instead of traditional impressions. They are partnering with other orthodontists across the country to expand this range, but it is still limited for now. Of course, this technology comes at a high cost depending on how much change needs to be done, but your consultation is always free. If your teeth need more care than Byte can provide, Uniform Teeth may be able to support you.
Invisalign is the gold standard of invisible aligners for a reason. You can get in-person consultations from many traditional dentists’ offices nationwide using 3D scanners instead of traditional impressions. They offer small dental details that you can’t get from teledental aligners, such as SmartForce Attachments, which are small shapes attached to your teeth to give the aligners something to hold onto and provide gentle pressure to coax movement. However, Invisalign’s benefits come at a steep cost. While your total cost will vary dramatically depending on how long you’ll need Invisalign and the severity of your case, it is typically between $3,000 and $7,000 out of pocket.