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Teeth aligners are an amazing way to straighten your teeth and make you more confident in your own smile. More than 70 percent of adults have what is called maloclusion – or crooked teeth, to you and me. This can be crowded teeth, an over bite or an under bite and can cause a number of dental issues. Your dentist may have recommended looking into get your teeth straightened, but what does this involve?
There are countless aligner brands on the market, all with fairly similar names.
If you’re after the teeth of your dreams and don’t want to get braces or veneers, aligners could be your best bet.
One scroll down the ‘Results’ page of any aligner brand’s website will flood your screen with jaw-dropping before and after photos, with customers in shock at how their wonky or crowded teeth had been transformed into Hollywood smiles in a matter of months.
Express.co.uk tried Straight Teeth Direct’s SmileBox and revealed whether or not it lived up to the hype.
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The brand’s Co-Founder & Managing Director, Lucie Marchelot Shukla, said: “Lots of teeth straightening services look the same at a first glance and at Straight Teeth Direct we have come up with a totally unique solution which is the closest alternative to in-clinic treatment.
“When most brands are focused on transactions we focus on building relationships and delivering the best outcome possible safely.
“It is important to note there are DIY solutions which send you all aligners in one go with no supervision, but our high tech data-driven solution includes precise dentist monitoring and guaranteed results.”
Straight Teeth Direct is the only remote aligner company in the world with an integrated system, in house production and dynamic monitoring that can guarantee your results.
In other words, this is the best and safest option for people who can’t make it to a clinic – handy during the current coronavirus pandemic – or would prefer to go through the process without having to see a dentist for regular checkups.
It’s the lazy person’s dream, but that doesn’t mean the results and customer service from Straight Teeth Direct are anything less than perfect.
A huge 90 percent of the 409 Trustpilot reviews said their results were ‘excellent’, another 8 percent said they were ‘great’, and one percent said they were ‘average’.
I’ve always been insecure about my teeth, especially after my wisdom teeth grew in and crowded my formerly straight grin.
A crooked smile isn’t anything to be ashamed of, but I’m a strong believer that straightening up those gnashers makes you feel more confident.
My teeth were a little more complicated to straighten up than we first thought, but the average treatment period is about five to nine months.
For me the process took about 12 months from start to finish, but the time flew by.
I decided to try the Smile Box, since it seemed to be the cheapest and lowest maintenance option.
It all starts with a consultation which involves uploading five pictures of your teeth and answering some simple questions.
These go to a dentist who will determine whether you’re suitable for the process or not, and 80 percent of users who submit a free e-consultation are suitable for the process.
Lucie said: “The ideal candidate is dentally healthy and has had a checkup with their local dentist to confirm that in the last six months, and they want to improve the alignment of their teeth or close gaps.”
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The purpose of the initial consultation is to check if you are suitable based on your dental health, tooth alignment and goals, amongst other parameters.
If their expert thinks the process could be for you, you can order an impression kit for £42 to kick it all off – this is the only additional cost on top of the Smile Box.
All you need to do is make some impressions in the dental mould and return them to the lab. Admittedly, this isn’t the most pleasant experience but it is quick and relatively easy.
The most exciting part comes next, with the orthodontist putting together a report for your teeth straightening journey.
They’ll give you a diagnosis and reveal the expected movement and results you’ll see over the coming months as your teeth start to change.
The dentists also send over a projection in the form of a diagram of what your teeth will look like after the treatment.
The diagnosis is extremely detailed and is in place to “allow patient consent and informed decision following the assessment of 3D tooth models, dental records provided by the patient through x-rays or BPE gum scores and various photographs including bite photos,” Lucie said.
Every single set of aligners is delivered to your door, so you don’t have to lift a finger. You’ll receive about four deliveries in total making the process as sustainable and thorough as possible.
Not only does less packages mean less rubbish to throw away, sending the aligners in stages allows for any adjustments and mid-course corrections when necessary.
The dentists will remind you via the app when it’s time for a monthly virtual review, and this is really the only time you need to check in with the team.
They’ll direct you on how to take photographs of your teeth for the review, which are taken at different angles, with and without the aligners on, to see your progress.
This helps the dentists to evaluate your aligner fit and tooth movement progress, and they’ll update your progress report on the app. You can then view how far along in the process you are in percentage.
Hygiene isn’t a concern either, since you’re sent a handy case for the aligners. It looks more like a stylish compact with a mirror on the inside and a little hook, which are really helpful while you’re still getting used to the aligners and struggle taking them in and out.
All you need to do is rinse the aligners with clean water every time you take them out.
Every two weeks you change to a new set of aligners and wear them for 22 hours a day. If you’re forgetful like me, you may need to set a timer at meal time to remind you to put them back in after eating.
One big concern that I had was the pain – I had heard rumours that aligners are painful and I’d be lying if I didn’t say they don’t tug on your teeth for the first hour of wearing a new set.
But Straight Teeth Direct assured me that is totally normal. Any pain is just your teeth moving into the new position, and in the entire year I didn’t experience any dental problems or pain as a result of the aligners.
Is it safe?
The Straight Teeth Direct process may raise concerns about whether it’s really safe for you to have aligners without seeing a dentist, but you don’t need to worry.
Lucie said: “We do often hear that our proposition sounds too good to be true and some are sceptical about this revolutionary new way of straightening teeth.
“Through technology we have managed to reduce the cost but we’re not cutting corners when it comes to safe clinical protocols and the reason why the price is so much lower is due to removing the clinic markup.
“Our dentists work remotely and are experts in their field: teledentistry and aligner therapy.
“By adopting a data driven approach they actually manage to provide more insights and objective feedback to patients and come up with breakthroughs they would not be able to uncover if they were working individually in a clinic set up with limited access to patients, data, technology and a dental board.”
Straight Teeth Direct is backed by years of clinical research and was designed by dentists who put their patient’s safety and satisfaction at the heart of their clinical work, so you can be certain that you aren’t putting your health at risk.
How much is it?
Possibly the biggest selling point for Straight Teeth Direct is the brand’s pricing.
Aligner treatment for both the upper and lower teeth can cost anything from £5,000 upwards, but Straight Teeth Direct will save you up to 70 percent compared to the clinic prince at £1,350.
If £1,350 is still a little out of reach, there are finance options available from £40 per month.
The price is all-inclusive so if you need extra aligners or the process takes longer than first thought, you don’t have to pay extra.
But for an extra £269 you can upgrade your plan and whiten your smile at home with the Kor whitening kit.
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