SmileLife Review

An in-depth review of SmileLife - a clear aligner provider that cares?

SmileLife
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With aligners produced in Ireland, SmileLife (formerly SmileKit) is one of several companies that offer dental alignment from home. Clear aligners are delivered to your door, with a treatment process that lasts 5 months for the average SmileLife customer.

Is dental realignment from SmileLife the best choice for your in-home treatment?

First Glance

Have you considered your options? There are less expensive and better available alternatives to SmileLife. See them here

With SmileLife, customers receive a ‘straighter and whiter smile’. Premium teeth whitening is included in every treatment package.

There are two ways to get started with an initial assessment, and results are guaranteed at the end.

Pros

  • Aligners delivered to your door
  • Teeth whitening included
  • Founded and overseen by a qualified professional orthodontist
  • Option to straighten only one row of teeth

Cons

  • Clinic locations are limited, but home treatment is available

Who is behind SmileLife?

Proudly Irish, SmileLife was founded by Dr Ada Murphy as SmileKit. Dr Murphy is herself an experienced dentist who has been running her own Dublin dental clinic since 1993, has advanced orthodontic qualifications and more than 30 years of relevant experience. Today, Dr Murphy continues to oversee the process of SmileLife treatment.

SmileLife has clinics for 3D scans and consultations. The original SmileLife clinics are located in Dublin (one on Baggot Street Lower, the other Malahide), and a visit is completely free of charge. If a visit to Dublin doesn’t sound ideal, then you can visit the UK-based clinics in London, Manchester, Leeds or Birmingham.

However, SmileLife is also great if you’d prefer to order an impression kit from home. With the impression kit, you’ll make your own moulds without a visit to meet the team in person. Instead, you’ll check-in using SmileLife’s own iOS/Android app, and get remote support from a dental professional.

SmileLife provides a service that includes free premium teeth whitening. This is something that often costs more, but is included in the SmileLife package.

Who can use aligners from SmileLife?

Clear dental aligners are typically suitable for those with mild to moderate dental issues. Problems with your teeth can include gaps between teeth, protruding teeth and cases of overcrowding. In the most severe cases, aligners may not be enough to give you the smile you really want.

If you need to have teeth removed, or are waiting for dental treatment, then it is best to get everything done at least a few months before SmileLife treatment. Clear aligners are unlikely to be suitable if you have significant gum disease, unfilled cavities or other significant issues. Other issues that might stop you from using aligners are missing teeth, impacted wisdom teeth and implants. Cases will be reviewed on an individual basis, to see if you’re a suitable candidate.

If you visit a SmileLife clinic, you’ll receive a full assessment as part of your initial appointment. A visit to the clinic is free of charge, which means that you don’t lose out if you’re not suitable to be a SmileLife customer. If you purchase a home impression kit, a refund is available if you aren’t suitable for treatment.

How are the dental aligners made?

SmileLife aligners are produced in Ireland, using transparent BPA-free plastic. It takes around 2-3 weeks for the aligners to be made, which isn’t too long at all.

There are two ways to begin your SmileLife clear aligner treatment:

Clinic visit

There are various SmileLife clinics throughout Ireland and the UK. Two are located in Dublin, while there are locations in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds. A 3D scan and assessment are available free of charge.

During your visit, you’ll get dental advice provided by qualified professionals. You’ll be able to see if you’re a suitable candidate for clear aligner treatment, and will soon receive a treatment plan that shows your expected results.

Your 3D scan takes up to 30 minutes and will be used to create your SmileLife aligners if you decide to go ahead. You’ll then receive aligners at regular intervals, to continue your treatment to completion.

Home

An impression kit costs £25. If you can’t get to the clinics, this will be your only option for treatment. Some people prefer the impression kit even though they could attend a 3D scan.

To use the impression kit, follow the instructions to make moulds of both rows of teeth. You’ll also need to take photographs, used to decide if you’re suited to treatment.

Impressions are alternatives to 3D scans, with the moulds used to make your aligners. The cost of your impression kit will be refunded, if you’re not a suitable candidate.

Human error is a possibility, and one to watch out for with a home kit. If you make a mistake, you’ll need to buy another which will raise the cost of treatment. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow though.

What treatment options are available?

SmileLife provides clear aligners that should be worn almost full time. Aligners should be worn for 22 hours a day, removed only for eating, drinking, brushing and flossing to keep your teeth in good condition. Your aligners should be cleaned with toothbrush and toothpaste, whilst your teeth should be cleaned and flossed after every meal to avoid food being trapped in your aligners.

You’ll get new sets of aligners at regular intervals, to keep your treatment moving forward. Each set of aligners will be slightly different from the last, moving your teeth a bit further.

Following successful treatment, a plastic retainer will help to keep your teeth in place.

Two options are available, though most people will need standard treatment.

Standard (dual arch) treatment

You’ll receive a set of aligners for your top and bottom teeth, completely reshaping your smile.

Single arch treatment

If you’re eligible, you might decide to straighten just one row of teeth. You can get aligners for just your top teeth, or just your bottom teeth, rather than buying full sets. This is a cheaper way to go through your treatment – you’ll save £200 on the total price – and is an option that’s rarely available with other providers. You might choose this option if you’re already happy with a majority of your smile, but need just a few teeth moved.

Night-time aligners

Would you rather avoid wearing aligners all day? You can choose a nighttime alignment option. Instead of wearing them for 22 hours a day, you will only need to wear your aligners for around 10 hours a day. The treatment does take longer – between 6 and 10 months – and it’s a little more expensive too. However, if you hate the idea of wearing aligners constantly then this could be the ideal option.

How long does SmileLife treatment take?

For most people, the SmileLife journey includes around 5 months of treatment. You may need longer than average if your teeth require more movement. If you choose nighttime aligners it’ll take longer.

Are there any other steps to take?

You’ll be required to send regular updates so that SmileLife can follow your treatment. Updates should include photographs of your progress, taken with your mobile phone. You’ll need to check in every 60 days. You do this all through SmileLife’s own smartphone app.

Your kit includes a special light that you can clip onto your phone, illuminating your mouth for clear photographs of all your teeth.

How much does SmileLife treatment cost?

The price of treatment will depend on the choices you make at each stage. There are a few different ways to get the complete SmileLife treatment.

Impression kit

Take impressions at home with a kit that costs £25. If you make a mistake, you will need to buy a second kit.

The price of one kit will be refunded if you’re found to be unsuitable for treatment.

Scan

It’s free to visit the clinics for a scan and professional consultation. This is an alternative to buying an impression kit.

Treatment

Treatment costs £1,497 if you choose to pay upfront for daytime aligners. If you’d rather choose nighttime aligners, that cost is £1,797.

The price of your treatment includes a teeth whitening kit.

Replacements

A replacement aligner tray costs approximately £30. This is cheaper than replacement trays from many of SmileLife’s competitors.

Your first replacement can be provided free of charge, in exchange for a review of the company. You can also choose to allow SmileLife to use your before and after photos, to get your replacement free of charge.

Retainers

Retainers are an ongoing cost, as you’ll need to wear these for 24 hours for the first two months after treatment, and then you’ll need to wear them every night. Replace them roughly every 6 months. Buying retainers on their own brings the annual price of ongoing treatment to more than £400 per year.

However, you can save a lot of money by signing up to the SmileCare subscription service. This costs just £197 per year, and gets you a lot of benefits. You’ll get an electric toothbrush when you sign up, and then every six months you’ll receive:

  • Two retainers, to protect your new smile
  • Teeth whitening top-ups
  • New toothbrush heads

It absolutely makes sense to sign up to SmileCare, since you get the retainers that you need for less than half the price of buying them separately, and you get toothbrush heads included too, which normally you’d pay for elsewhere. The teeth whitening top-ups are a nice bonus too.

Fast Lane

Being in the Fast Lane doesn’t increase the overall price of your treatment. But, you’ll start paying for treatment before even seeing your expected results. By paying before you receive your treatment plan, you’ll receive your first aligners more quickly. Usually, aligners are delivered within 25 days, but with Fast Lane, this reduces to 16 days.

Are payment options available?

A payment plan is available with Klarna, the well-known financing company. Customers who want the daytime aligner treatment can choose to pay from £70 per month for 24 months, a total of £1,680 – around £180 more than paying in full.

If you want to go down the nighttime aligners route, it’ll be £87 per month for 24 months, which works out at a total of £2,088 – around £280 more than paying in full.

What discounts are available?

SmileLife regularly offers reduced prices for impression kits, treatments and retainers. Before committing, it’s worth checking their website for currently available offers.

Is a warranty or guarantee available?

If you’re not eligible for treatment, you’ll receive a refund to cover the cost of your impression kit.

If you reach the end of your treatment and haven’t achieved the expected results, you can request a case review that may result in ongoing treatment. If you’re approved, you’ll get extra aligners included in the price of your treatment.

How old do you have to be?

You must have all of your adult teeth, and be at least 18 years old, to be eligible for SmileLife treatment.

Where is SmileLife treatment available?

Currently, SmileLife aligners are only available in the UK and Ireland.

What about customer service?

You can visit the clinics for a consultation and 3D scan. If you need support during your treatment, remote video calls with a dental professional are available.

You can also contact SmileLife by phone on +353 1513 3347. Or, email support@smilelife.com.

SmileLife: The Verdict

Availability

Unless you can get to a clinic, you’ll need to rely on a home impression kit to check if you’re eligible for treatment. However SmileLife specialises in home treatment and can support you via remote video calls if needed.

If you can visit a clinic, your 3D scan and consultation are provided completely free of charge.

Using a home impression kit makes SmileLife treatment an option throughout the UK and Ireland. But, home impression kits cost £25 and come with a risk of human error.

Price

SmileLife is not the cheapest option for clear dental aligners but they are far from the most expensive. It will be up to you to decide whether the prices are justified, perhaps by the fact that SmileLife was founded by a qualified and experienced orthodontist, or by the inclusion of premium teeth whitening.

Before choosing SmileLife, consider both the immediate and ongoing costs. Impression kits are reasonably priced, whilst a visit to one of the clinics will bypass these costs with free 3D scans of your teeth.

The SmileCare plan represents excellent value for aftercare. For around the same cost as you’d pay for retainers with another provider, you’ll get the retainers you need along with toothbrush heads and whitening kits.

If you choose to pay for your treatment with monthly instalments, then you’ll want to watch out for the resulting increase in price. However now that SmileLife have partnered with Klarna the increase is around the same as it would be with other providers, and the monthly costs are more affordable.

With SmileLife, it’s important to weigh up not just the immediate costs. Some of the bigger expenses may be ones that you notice as your treatment comes to an end.

Ease of use

With clinics only in select cities, a majority of customers won’t be able to choose a 3D scan. Instead, most will have to use an impression kit at home. Impression kits cost money, and any mistakes may mean that you spend extra before starting treatment. But, the instructions provided should be easy to follow.

Your aligners are provided along with a light that fits onto the end of your phone. This makes it easier to submit your progress, which you’ll have to do every 60 days.

Options

For most people, treatment options are simple, and you have one choice – whether you pay for treatment in one go, or sign up for monthly instalments. However, if you don’t want to wear aligners during the day you can now choose nighttime aligners, but your treatment will last longer and be more expensive.

In rare cases, you may be approved for single-arch treatment instead. This straightens one row of teeth, either top or bottom, rather than adjusting your whole smile. If you choose this option, you will receive a discount for your dental realignment.

Reassurance

If you buy a home impression kit but aren’t suitable for treatment, then you’ll receive a refund. SmileLife also offers reassurance in the form of guaranteed results.

As long as you’ve provided updates every 60 days, and used your aligners as required, then you will be eligible for further treatment if your smile doesn’t change as it should. At the start of your treatment, you’ll be shown an image of expected results. If you’re not happy at the end, contact SmileLife within 30 days of treatment completion. Your case will be reviewed, and you’ll be sent some additional aligners.

If you have any comments from first-hand experience with SmileLife, please leave them below.

SmileLife FAQs

How much does SmileLife clear aligner treatment cost?

SmileLife’s treatment costs around £1,500. This cost doesn’t include your impression kit but will include every set of aligner trays you’ll need until the end of your treatment. If the cost is too high for you to pay outright, you can choose to take advantage of their payment plan, starting at £70 per month.

Paying in monthly instalments makes your treatment slightly more expensive, but is a great way to spread the cost of getting a straighter smile.

How long does SmileLife treatment take?

You should expect to wear your clear aligners for approximately 5 months in total. If your teeth don’t need much movement, your treatment could be finished even sooner. Patients that require a bigger adjustment might find that their treatment takes longer.

Each set of aligners should be worn for 14 days. You’ll regularly switch to a new set of aligners to help your teeth shift more over time. You should wear your aligners day and night, except when you’re eating and drinking. You’ll be expected to keep your aligners in place for at least 22 hours a day.

Are SmileLife results guaranteed?

SmileLife will guarantee the results of your treatment. Before you start, you’ll be shown images that predict how your final smile will look. As long as you’ve followed the treatment plan properly, you should like the results at the end.

If you’re not happy with your final smile, once your treatment is complete, you can ask for a re-evaluation to see whether something’s gone wrong. You will need to prove that you wore your aligners as you were asked to by SmileLife, providing monthly photo updates throughout the course of your treatment. Additional treatment will be provided at no extra cost if you’re unhappy, as long as you can show that you followed the treatment plan and your final look isn’t as was promised.

Do you need regular checkups with SmileLife?

Once your SmileLIfe treatment begins, there are no further checkups to attend. You’ll carry out your own treatment from home. You will only need to upload a few photographs to show how your smile is progressing, which you'll do on SmileLife's own smartphone app.

To maintain good dental health, you should continue to have regular checkups with your usual dentist. This will help to identify problems and check that your mouth’s in great condition.

Do SmileLife results last forever?

You might find that your teeth start moving back if you don’t wear a retainer. A retainer is essential for maintaining the results of any dental realignment treatment. Each set of retainers will last about six months, and you’ll want to wear these for the rest of your life to keep your smile looking its best.

Immediately after your treatment is complete, you should wear your retainers through the day and night. This will give your teeth the time they need to settle into a final position. After a few months, you’ll only need to wear your retainers whilst you’re sleeping.

SmileLife offers Recovery Retainers in case things don’t go to plan. If you’re out of the habit of wearing retainers, your teeth might start to shift back to their original positions. Recovery retainers can be used to move your teeth back into place, though this treatment costs €350. It’s cheaper and easier to keep wearing your retainers so your teeth don’t start moving back at all.

What’s the minimum age for SmileLife treatment?

You’ll need to have all of your adult teeth before you’ll be eligible for treatment. SmileLife sets the minimum age at 18 for all of its patients. Some patients may have all of their adult teeth earlier, though SmileLife won’t lower their limit. If you’d like straighter teeth at a younger age, consider some of SmileLife’s competitors.

To be eligible for SmileLife’s clear aligners, you should have all of your permanent teeth including your wisdom teeth. If these need to be removed for any reason, this should be done before you start your treatment. Typically, people get their wisdom teeth between 17 and 25 years old.

How should SmileLife aligners be cleaned?

You can use denture, aligner or retainer cleaning products to keep your SmileLife aligners looking great. Mild cleaning products can remove bacteria whilst keeping your aligners crystal clear. Many good products, like denture cleaners, can be purchased from your local supermarket.

Whether or not you use aligner cleaning products, you should also take time to clean your aligners with a toothbrush. You should scrub quite hard but won’t need to use soap or toothpaste.

What does a SmileLife aligner kit include?

As well as your aligners, you’ll receive a selection of other useful tools. The SmileLife aligner kit will also include an aligner removal tool. You can use the removal tool to easily take out your aligners, helping to break the tight seal without putting your fingers in your mouth. You’ll also get some aligner chewies that will help you to position your aligners. You can bite down on chewies to place pressure on your clear SmileLife aligners.

To help you take good progress photographs, you’ll get a small selfie light and a smile stretcher. You’ll also receive some aligner wax that acts as a lubricant product.

Can I speed up my SmileLife treatment?

You shouldn’t try to go through treatment any quicker than SmileLife recommends. Your teeth should move slowly, and clear aligner treatment is still faster than other types of braces. Progressing at the recommended speed will keep your teeth in their best condition, so you shouldn’t try to speed up your treatment by moving through aligner sets too quickly.

Moving too quickly can cause problems with your gums and might make your teeth slightly loose. It’ll also increase the risk of your teeth moving back from their final positions.

Is SmileLife a home teeth straightening treatment?

You don’t need to visit a SmileLife clinic at all. Impression kits can be delivered to any UK address, so you can make your own dental impressions that are used to create your clear aligners. Your aligners are delivered to your door so you can manage your own treatment at home.

If you’d prefer not to make your own impressions, you can visit SmileLife’s Dublin, London or Manchester clinics. At the clinics you'll get a 3D scan that can be used instead of dental impressions.

Got more questions about aligners? Check out our FAQ section

SmileLife
SmileLife Review
Summary
SmileLife is a provider of clear teeth aligners that you can order and wear at home.
Pros
Aligners delivered to your door
Teeth whitening included
Founded and overseen by a qualified professional orthodontist
Option to straighten only one row of teeth
Excellent aftercare package available
Cons
Clinic locations are limited, but home treatment is available
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