“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” ― Phyllis Diller.
Clear aligners like Invisalign for teeth straightening have become extremely popular in Singapore today. It’s no wonder: we all want a perfectly straight set of ivory teeth, but the thought of being metal-mouthed for a whole two to three years screams pain and inconvenience.
Enter invisible braces, or clear aligners. Thanks to these teeth aligners, we can now escape Ugly Betty metal braces and all the pain that comes along with it — while still achieving the perfect smile of our dreams.
Invisalign, Zenyum and Wonder Smile are just a few brands of clear aligners which have become popular in Singapore. In fact, there are many brands in the market available today. Doing a quick research online can give rise to questions such as: Which clear aligner is best? Do aligners really work? How much do aligners cost?
In this guide, we cover all the essentials you need to know about straightening your teeth with clear aligners in Singapore.
What are clear aligners?
Clear aligners are a set of transparent, removable braces made of fairly durable medical grade plastic. These clear aligners are custom-made for your teeth and created using 3D mapping, printing and thermoforming technology. The aligners are 3D printed according to a digital scan of your teeth.
Do clear aligners really work?
In short, clear aligners like Invisalign, Zenyum and Wonder Smile are effective in treating malocclusion. In fact, clear aligners work really well for segmented movement of teeth, but are not as effective as metal braces to correct overtly severe tooth rotations. 
Clear aligners can treat common cases like: overcrowding of teeth, crooked or protruding teeth, over bites, crossbites, off-centrelines, misalignment of the teeth and jaw, irregularities in the jaw structure and dental hygiene issues. 
Dental terms in plain speak
- Overcrowding of teeth: when your teeth overlap
- Crooked, protruding teeth: teeth growing out at an angle—sideways, inwards or outwards
- Overbite: when your upper front teeth overlap with the lower front teeth to give a buck-toothed appearance
One caveat though: it requires a bit more work on your part to be a dutiful and obedient patient. Because unlike metal braces that are wired in by your dentist which you can’t remove yourself, clear aligners are removable. You actually need to remove them when you’re eating or drinking, since certain foods like fizzy beverages can damage your clear aligners. It’s so easy to then forget to put them back on, or the temptation to just remove them for hours on end is definitely there, especially if the aligners are feeling a bit tight. A rule of thumb is to wear your aligners for 22 hours a day, which basically means as much as you can! 
TDLR; only consider clear aligners if you’re the diligent and responsible sort who will take the time to upkeep them.
How does the clear aligner treatment straighten teeth exactly?
The clear aligners treatment comprises a series of aligners that you’ll have to wear sequentially — over 10 to 26 months — to eventually bring about a straight set of teeth. Thus, the more crooked your teeth are, the more aligners you will be prescribed to wear. Every few weeks, the prescribed aligner will slowly correct your teeth misalignments. Each set of clear aligners is typically worn for 1 to 3 weeks, and then a new set will be given.
How do clear aligners compare to traditional metal braces?
The biggest benefits of clear aligners such as Zenyum and Invisalign over its metal braces counterpart are its comfort and aesthetic appearance. Almost “invisible” and super comfortable to wear, you (and other people) would hardly even notice it’s there! You won’t have to suffer from any cuts or ulcers which are common when you wear metal braces. You don’t have to look like a geeky student or smile awkwardly because the braces is cutting weirdly into your gum. Just ask any of your friends who have had braces done and they will agree vehemently. #truestory
Another advantage of clear aligners is that you can easily remove them to brush and floss your teeth, allowing you to have better oral hygiene. That means no more annoying food bits stuck in the crevices of metal wires and braces that you can’t reach, even with an interdental floss!
With all these clear advantages, it comes as no surprise that many of us are opting for clear aligners over metal braces in this day and age. Both clear aligners and metal braces are effective treatment options that will help you achieve a beautiful smile, so your job is to pick one!
Of course, also listen to your dentist’s advice. Clear aligners are great for moving segments of teeth at one go at a faster rate and braces are more effective for specific malocclusions like teeth torque and rotation. Clear aligners may also not be as effective for major teeth straightening works or if you have large teeth gaps, so do understand from your dentist the major teeth problems you face and his or her recommendations accordingly.
The advantages and disadvantages of clear aligners
In summary, here are the pros and cons of clear aligners to consider: [4, 5]
- Aesthetic appearance
- Superior comfort due to the smoothness of the aligners
- Ulcer-free & pain-free
- Detachable — easier to clean teeth
- No hassle of brackets or wires breaking
- May require less frequent visits to the dentist as you can replace your aligners on your own every two weeks
- May not be able to correct severe malocclusion cases
- May not be very suitable for those who require teeth extraction, with large teeth gaps
- Requires more maintenance and upkeep — you will need to brush and clean your aligners every night to keep it hygienic
- Possible to misplace aligners
- Possible to forget to wear or remove aligners for hours — have to remember to diligently wear aligners for 22 hours a day
- Possible to stain or spoil aligners
- Poor patient compliance, have to remove at mealtimes and worn back right after — may not be so suitable for younger age groups
Invisalign vs Zenyum vs Wonder Smile
There are many clear aligner brands that are available in Singapore today, although some brands have come and gone. We cover Invisalign — the longest standing maker of clear aligners — and two other newer brands, Zenyum and Wonder Smile to uncover what’s the difference.
Invisalign is an established brand that’s been around for such a long time with great marketing that many people think it is the only brand of clear aligners. It’s common to hear your friends ask, should I do braces or Invisalign?
With over 8 million Invisalign cases done worldwide, Invisalign claims to also be “most advanced clear aligner system in the world”, backed with 20 years of extensive product research and development.  Armed with their leading 3D image scanning technology paired with their proprietary ClinCheck software for dentists to finetune the shift in every tooth, Invisalign is obviously serious about being the best. They boast better results and also a faster treatment — they estimate the Invisalign treatment to be up to 50% faster with their weekly aligner changes and there are also fewer visits to the dentist. You will need to see your dentist every 6 to 8 weeks until the end of your Invisalign treatment. 
Being a market leader also comes at a price — you will have to pay a premium if you want to opt for Invisalign aligners. Expect to shell out about $8,000 for your Invisalign treatment.
However, Invisalign is usually used for no-extraction treatment as clear aligners in general cannot keep the teeth upright during space closure.  For cases which are very severe and requires extraction, your dentist may advise you on other metal-strung braces options (e.g. metal braces, lingual braces or ceramic braces) instead.
One of the secrets to Invisalign’s success is also its marketing. As part of their marketing strategy, Invisalign groups dentists into ten tiers, according to how many Invisalign cases the dentist performs a year, from low to high volume:
- Gold I
- Gold II
- Platinum Elite
- Black Diamond
- Blue Diamond
- Red Diamond
Dentists who successfully make it into the higher Diamond tiers get more discounts on lab fees paid to Invisalign, so this encourages doctors to do a higher volume of Invisalign cases. The cost savings will then be earned by the dental clinic.
A homegrown start up in Singapore, Zenyum is a relatively new clear aligners brand. Zenyum prides itself on being an affordable and no-frills clear aligner treatment alternative — and that means cutting back on dreaded dental visits! You will only need to visit your dentist 2 to 3 times throughout your smile journey with Zenyum as most of the dentist supervision and treatment monitoring takes place on their app. 
A caveat: Zenyum specializes in the aesthetic corrections to your front set of teeth (upper and lower) only. In other words, Zenyum aligners treatments will probably not be a good option for you if you have severe overcrowding etc. It’s an affordable fix for those with minor misalignment issues with their front set of teeth.
How it works: Zenyum partners up with selected dental clinics in Singapore to help you with your teeth straightening journey. You will first need to fill out a survey on their website to indicate your interest and submit a photo for a complimentary assessment by their board-certified orthodontists. Once it is approved, you will then go down to a partner dental clinic for a physical assessment, 3D scan and X-ray of your teeth. Once you’re satisfied and decide to proceed, your dentist will then send in your order to Zenyum to custom-make your invisible aligners.
You will also have to go down for your Zenyum aligner fitting session and your dentist will give you the information on proper care and wear techniques, how to track your smile progress via the Zenyum app. Afterwhich, you’ll pretty much be on your own.
You do need to upload a photo of your teeth every five days on the app though and you can also reach out to your dentist to chat on the app virtually without actually going back to see him or her regularly, unlike traditional braces and Invisalign treatments. This way, you’ll save a bunch on dental consultations (and time!) while still being able to reach out virtually to an expert for help if you need it.
The cost of the Zenyum aligners treatment is $2,400 — less than one third the price of a typical Invisalign treatment! An additional $300 is needed to purchase retainers. All in all, Zenyum is a very wallet-friendly clear aligners treatment option, especially if budget is a main concern. The treatment period with Zenyum takes about 3 to 9 months in general, depending on complexity of the case. 
WonderSmile is an Australian company which declares itself the easiest way to straighten teeth in about 6 months on average. It has arrived on Singapore shores and now has two WonderSmile branches in Orchard and Raffles Place.
How it works: You will first need to book a 3D scan session at one of the WonderSmile clinics in Singapore. At the session, you would begin your journey with a 3D scan of your teeth and a quick consult with their orthodontist. This initial assessment costs $80. Once you decide to proceed, your WonderSmile aligners will be delivered straight to your doorstep and from there on, you’re really on your own. Unlike Zenyum where they have an app for the dentist to monitor your progress, the WonderSmile treatment works more like a DIY aligners treatment that you will need to do independently on your own, e.g. ensure you wear it for 22 hours. 
The cost of the WonderSmile treatment will set you back by $2,390, pretty much on par with Zenyum’s treatment cost, + just $99 for a set of retainers.
How much do Invisalign cost, compared to the cost of alternatives like Zenyum and WonderSmile in Singapore?
In Singapore, the Invisalign treatment costs about $8,000 on average, with an orthodontist (braces specialist). This cost factors in mainly two things: the premium you pay for your orthodontist’s consult fees (since you will be seeing him/her for consultations very regularly) and the higher cost of the Invisalign aligners as compared to other brands of clear aligners in the market.
For example, Invisalign has different packages such as the i7 (only 7 sets of aligners are included in this treatment, thus suitable only for mild misalignment), Invisalign Lite (only 14 sets of aligners are included in this treatment option, lasting about 6 months only) and Invisalign Full (for complex cases).
Pro tip: If you have a mild teeth misalignment issue, perhaps it is more financially savvy to do your aligners treatment with other lower cost brands like Zenyum or WonderSmile, instead of opting for the costlier yet watered down versions of the i7 or Invisalign Lite.
Comparatively, the Zenyum aligners costs $2,400 while the WonderSmile aligner treatment costs $2,390 in Singapore. Remember to also consider other fringe costs such as the initial dental assessment and the cost of your retainers with each clear aligner treatment provider.
Here is the cost of Invisalign vs Zenyum vs WonderSmile in Singapore captured in a quick table summary:
|Clear Aligners Brand||Initial Assessment||Aligner Treatment Cost||Retainers
|Invisalign||$150 to $400|
(depends on your orthodontist consult fees)
|$8,000 to $9,000|
|$300 to $600 (depends on your dental clinic)|
|Zenyum||$120 to $180||$2,400|
Cost of Invisalign vs Zenyum vs WonderSmile aligners treatment in Singapore (2020)
Ok, so should I opt for Invisalign, Zenyum or Wonder Smile?
To decide which clear aligner brand is best for you, first consider the complexity of your teeth situation. Do you have extremely overcrowded teeth, a very pronounced overbite or lots of gaps in your teeth? If this is you, Invisalign is still the best clear aligners treatment that is able to treat complex malocclusions. The brand is backed by many years of product knowledge and expertise, and is considered the best in the clear aligners industry. So if you’re the type who wants the best and is willing fork out a premium for it or if yours is a complex case, go for Invisalign.
If you only have mild teeth misalignment, consider these newer brands like Zenyum and WonderSmile to enjoy the cost benefits and also the convenience that come along with it. Do note that Zenyum, in particular, specialises in providing aesthetic corrections for the front teeth only. So if your smile issues lie in your front teeth only, Zenyum may be a perfect fit for you.
If you’re the sort who hates going to the dentist, opting for Zenyum and WonderSmile may be great options for you. Bear in mind that these options have little to no dental supervision — Zenyum uses an app to virtually post photos of your progress to update your dentist, while the WonderSmile treatment does not provide dental supervision so there isn’t anyone checking on your smile progress.
A comparative table on Invisalign vs Zenyum vs WonderSmile aligner treatments in Singapore:
|Initial Consultation||$150 to $400||$120 to $180||$80|
|Follow-up or dentist monitoring||Visit to your dentist’ office every 6 – 8 weeks||Remotely through Zenyum mobile app||NA|
|Estimated consultation cost||$200||$150||$80|
|Estimated clear aligners treatment||$8,000||$2,400||$2,390|
|Estimated Retainers Cost||$400||$300||$99|
|Estimated total bill||$8,600||$2,850||$2,569|
|Treatment Length||10 to 26 months|
*Invisalign usually treats more complex cases.
|3 to 9 months||6 months|
|Suitable for||All types of malocclusion, even complex ones.||Only for front teeth alignment (upper & lower).||For mild misalignment requiring no dental supervision.|
Invisalign vs Zenyum vs WonderSmile aligners treatment in Singapore: Factors to consider
Am I a suitable candidate for clear aligners?
Most people are suitable for clear aligners in general. However, it also differs on a case-by-case basis. Your suitability to get clear aligners treatment can depend on how complex your case is, i.e. whether your malocclusion is severe. If it involves pulling out many teeth (excessive overcrowding), or it involves tooth rotation or torque, you may be better off with traditional metal braces instead. That said, Invisalign also has the capability to treat a huge range of malocclusions. Your dentist will advise you accordingly during your initial consultation and assessment.
Another essential factor is your degree of compliance and diligence as a patient. If you want to opt for clear aligners treatment, you will need to dutifully commit to wearing them for at least 22 hours a day for the treatment to be effective. If you are the lazy sort who can’t be bothered, perhaps wiring in metal braces will be more suitable for you.
What happens after my clear aligner treatment ends?
The transformation is real — be prepared to say hello to your newfound megawatt smile! That is, if you wore your clear aligners religiously for 22 hours daily as prescribed. Go on, flash a smile into the mirror and you’ll feel all those months of strict diligence melt away and it’s all worth it.
But this is not the end — wearing retainers is a must to keep your perfect straight teeth in place. Otherwise, you may run the risk of having your teeth shift back to its original positions over time. Thankfully, you only have to wear your retainers at night when you sleep. So during the day when you’re out and about, you don’t have to stress about removing and putting back on your clear aligners, cleaning them and storing them hygienically any longer!
 Ke, Y., Zhu, Y., & Zhu, M. (2019). A comparison of treatment effectiveness between clear aligner and fixed appliance therapies. BMC oral health, 19(1), 24. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-018-0695-z
 Papadimitriou A., Mousoulea S., Gkantidis N., Kloukos D. (2018). Clinical effectiveness of Invisalign® orthodontic treatment: a systematic review. Prog Orthod. 2018; 19: 37. Published online 2018 Sep 28. doi: 10.1186/s40510-018-0235-z
 iDental. Invisalign: Achieve your ideal smile while living the life you love, from https://idental.com.sg/invisalign/
 Three Creek Dentistry (2018). Do Clear Aligners Work Better Than Traditional Braces?, from https://threecreekdentistry.com/clear-aligners-vs-braces
 Kumar K., Bhardwaj S., Garg V. (2018). Invisalign: A Transparent Braces. Journal of Advanced Medical and Dental Sciences Research Volume 6(7):141-143 · July 2018. doi: 10.21276/jamdsr
 Invisalign Website — Treatment Process, from https://www.invisalign.com.sg/treatment-process.
 Invisalign Website — Cost, from https://www.invisalign.com.sg/cost
 Zenyum Website — Why Zenyum; from https://www.zenyum.com/sg-en/product/
 Zenyum Website — FAQs, from https://www.zenyum.com/sg-en/faqs/
 WonderSmile Website — How it works; from https://www.wondersmile.com/sg/how-it-works
Jolene lives for avo toasts, yoga and is a little more OCD than she cares to admit. She never fails to start her day with morning coffee and is very partial to flat whites. She is obsessed with interiors and homeware, and is currently taking her RYT 200h yoga teacher training course as an aspiring ashtangi.