Learn more about the best at-home aligner treatment options
If you want a straighter smile, you might think that you need appointments with a local orthodontist. You might think that you can only shift your crooked teeth with hours in a dentist’s chair. In fact, with clear aligners, there are other options available.
Many providers of clear aligners can send you a home impression kit. It has everything you need to make your own dental moulds so they can check that you’re a candidate for treatment. From your dental moulds, these providers can create your unique clear aligners. Once again, they can send these to your home, so you don’t need to venture to a clinic. With your aligners in hand, you can manage your own treatment without any extra dental appointments.
With clear aligners at home, you can get straighter teeth in a convenient, hassle-free way. This could be your best option for all sorts of reasons. Aligners at home are quick and easy for those with a busy schedule. They make teeth straightening treatments accessible for people that don’t live near large cities, and for people that are anxious and struggle with booking or attending appointments. Of course, it’s just as valid if your reason for remote dental care is that you like relaxing on your sofa!
You can go through your whole teeth straightening treatment without the need for in-person checkups. Most treatment plans last for about six months, without the need for in-person meetings.
Interested? Here are our Top 5 At Home Clear Aligners in the UK:
Straight My Teeth
If you’re on a tight budget, Straight My Teeth could be your most suitable provider. With treatment for less than £1,000, this is your most affordable option. Payment plans are available, though these will add to the overall cost of your treatment.
Straight My Teeth sends a home impression kit with everything you need to get started. You’ll get your trays and putty for making your moulds, plus a cheek retractor to help with easy access to your teeth. You’ll also get a set of disposable gloves to use when you’re making your impressions.
You’ll wear your aligners for 22 hours every day, according to your treatment plan. This means that you only remove them when you’re eating, drinking or brushing. You must have all your adult teeth before your eligible for treatment, though some people might be suitable candidates from 14 years old.
Straight My Teeth offers a hands-off at-home treatment. You don’t need to check in and you’ll get everything you need to switch aligner trays every two weeks. At the end of your treatment, you’re likely to have the straighter smile that you’ve always wanted. Bear in mind that if you’re not happy with your treatment results, Straight My Teeth will charge for additional refinements when some other providers might not. Once you get started, you’re on your own as far as Straight My Teeth is concerned. You’ll need to decide if this lack of support is worth the financial saving. Most other providers charge at least £300 more for clear aligners.
With Straight My Teeth, you’re in control of everything. You make your dental impressions at home, then go through your treatment on your own. You don’t need to spend time checking in, and you’ll even receive a free set of retainers to use once your treatment is complete. If it’s freedom you want, with very little intervention, then this could be the provider for you.
Straight My Teeth is a basic option for people that like to save money. It’s a solid service but without the bells and whistles, so it’s great if your money is tight, though don’t ignore the potential extra costs if your teeth still need adjustments at the end.
Straight Teeth Direct
Straight Teeth Direct can keep their prices low by avoiding the need for city clinics. You’ll go through your treatment from the comfort of your home without 3D scans or appointments. When you want to get started, order a home impression kit. Straight My Teeth cover most of Europe, so you don’t need to be based in the UK for this at-home clear aligner treatment. Aligners can be shipped to most European countries, as well as some outside Europe’s borders.
Straight Teeth Direct make everything in-house, with their own manufacturing facility. This means that they’re flexible, with no replacement fees for lost or broken aligner trays. This provider has existed since 2009, so you know you’re getting tried-and-tested treatment.
You’ll be assigned an individual dentist that will help you stay on track with your treatment. They’ll monitor your progress from the start of your treatment until you stop using your aligners. It’s extra reassurance for those that need it, for the duration of treatment that usually takes somewhere between 5 and 9 months.
Clear aligner treatment with Straight Teeth Direct costs £1,350. Compared to other providers, this is a very fair price.
After treatment ends, you also have the option of joining the Maintainer Plan. At £139, this is a low-cost way to keep getting regular retainers. To avoid your smile moving back after treatment, retainers are very important. The Maintainer Plan will also extend your guarantee against tooth movement, so you can get your smile adjusted if any teeth start to move back.
SmileDirectClub isn’t just a well-known UK name. SmileDirectClub clear aligners are also available elsewhere. In fact, this is one of the most well-known names in the world for teeth straightening treatment.
SmileDirectClub launched in 2014, originally based in the US. Over there, this provider has a brand that includes a whole range of dental products. If you choose SmileDirectClub, you know that you’re working with a reputable, well-established company.
Younger patients are encouraged to consider choosing SmileDirectClub for treatment. In fact, unlike other providers they’ll treat you from 12 years old. In order to be eligible for treatment, you will need all your adult teeth in place. You don’t need to have your wisdom teeth, though all other teeth should be permanent and fully erupted. Patients under 16 must get written consent from a parent or guardian.
With this provider you’ll have the option of daytime and nighttime aligners. Daytime aligners should be worn all the time, whilst nighttime-only must be worn as you sleep. The second option will slow your treatment down, but some people prefer to go aligner-free through the day.
All cases are reviewed by qualified dentists that monitor progression of treatment. Everything can start with a home impression kit so you can make your moulds on your own. There’s a small extra cost for buying home impression kits, so take your time and make sure your impressions are suitable as moulds for your aligners.
Most SmileDirectClub treatment plans run for six months, though some cases might take a bit longer. Every 90 days, you’ll check in through the app to record how your treatment is progressing. Checking in is as simple as taking some photos and sending them in for review. It’s reassuring to have a qualified dentist making sure that things are going as planned.
SmileDirectClub treatment costs £1,499 – even for nighttime-only aligners, which usually come at a premium. Payment plans are available and won’t dramatically increase the overall cost.
If you’re unhappy at the end of your treatment, you’ll be offered a free reassessment to see if more aligners will be helpful. As long as you’ve followed your personal treatment plan, checking in every 90 days, SmileDirectClub should support you with additional aligners until you’ve got the smile you expected.
Alignerly offers clear aligner treatment that’s supervised by qualified dentists. Everything starts with a home impression kit that you’ll use to make dental moulds. If you’re suited to treatment, you’ll pay €1,799 for your clear aligners. That’s about £1,600, which makes Alignerly slightly more expensive than some other clear aligner providers.
Most people complete their treatment within 6 months of starting. You’ll also get a free teeth whitening kit, so you can end your treatment with a dazzling smile that you’re completely happy to show off. Once your treatment is complete, your first set of retainers is also included free of charge.
Your home impression kit comes with trays and putty to make your own dental moulds. Once you’ve made your moulds, you’ll send them to Alignerly so they can be used for your aligners. Most people won’t have any problems with the standard kit, but a great Alignerly feature is the option to switch your tray size. If you have an unusually large or small jaw, the standard trays might not be suitable. Alignerly’s trays, in different sizes, ensure everyone gets to make their moulds.
Some aligner providers send every set of aligner trays at once. It’s up to you to keep track of your aligners and switch at the appropriate times. Alignerly’s different, because your trays are sent one by one through your treatment. Whenever your next set of aligners arrives, you know you can safely switch over. Some people will prefer this option for their at-home treatment, without the need to keep several trays safe or remember when to switch without reminders.
Based in Ireland, SmileLife offers treatment for £1,567 plus the cost of your home impression kit. You can go through your treatment without visiting a clinic or booking a face-to-face appointment.
SmileLife treatment takes, on average, 6 months. Some customers will wear aligners for longer, whilst others will finish a bit sooner. It all depends on your current teeth alignment, and how much movement is required.
SmileLife offers many little savings along the way. These all add up, which is why SmileLife has earned its place in our Top 5. If you lose or break an aligner, your first replacement doesn’t cost a thing. Even if you need to pay, replacements are just £25. That’s significantly cheaper than replacement aligners from many other clear aligner companies. The same applies to the home impression kit which is, again, just £25. Just watch out for the post-treatment costs, as SmileLife’s retainers are a lot more expensive than retainers from some other providers. There’s the option to join the SmileCare Plan, which covers you for future with replacement retainers, teeth whitening kits and insurance.
Other interesting features of SmileLife treatment that some other providers don’t offer are the option to have just one row of teeth straightened instead of both at once, and the option to start paying before you start treatment so you can fast-track your aligner delivery.
DestinationSmile does have numerous clinics around the UK, but they’re also perfect if you want a completely at-home service. You can order your impression kit online and it’ll be sent right to your door, letting you complete your molds in the comfort of your home, with video calls available if you need a little extra help or support with any part of the process.
DestinationSmile works with UK dentists, registered on the General Dental Council, so you know you’re getting advice from an expert you can trust.
Your treatment will be monitored throughout the process, and you’ll be using DestinationSmile’s highly corrective aligners. The result is a treatment plan that is expected to last a much shorter amount of time than with other providers – expect to be complete within 4-6 months, unless yours is a particularly difficult case.
As well as being monitored, you’ll also have optional support on hand whenever you need it. Just call or email and you’ll be able to speak to knowledgeable staff who can address any queries you might have.
DestinationSmile’s full treatment cost is £1,499 with an extra £29 for an impression kit. You can choose to spread the cost of your plan over 12 or 36 months, to help make it more affordable over a longer period of time. Once your treatment is complete you’ll need to wear retainers, with new sets lasting between 6 and 12 months and costing £99. Your first set is included free.
Choosing at-home treatment
There’s no reason to be concerned about teeth straightening treatment at home. Just make sure that you use a reputable provider and follow your unique treatment plan.
Some providers will ask you to check-in, by uploading a few photographs online or through their own smartphone app. If you’re asked to check-in, make sure you do this. Checking in helps to keep you safe and make sure that your treatment’s on track. If something’s not quite right, you’ll only find out if your photographs are being reviewed. Checking in when asked is also the best way to secure any guarantee or warranty. Most guarantees will be void if you’ve not bothered to check-in.
Remember that at-home clear aligner treatment won’t remove the need to visit your dentist. Before, during and after treatment you must stick to your usual appointments. Checkups with your dentist are very important and are separate to your clear aligner treatment. Keep booking and attending, as you usually would, to identify any dental problems. Your dentist is your best chance of spotting and resolving any issues like cavities and gum disease.
You’re on your way to straighter teeth and a smile that you can be proud of. The first step is finding a provider. Why not get started today?