Have you thought about straightening your smile, but been put off by the cost, inconvenience of office appointments, or both? We’ve got great news: at-home clear aligners make straighter smiles more affordable and less time-consuming.
Smileie is one company offering this modern form of orthodontic treatment. They’re a newcomer to the scene, but their pricing, dedication to quality, and customer feedback certainly make them seem promising. To help you decide if they’re right for you, here’s a quick primer on Smileie clear aligners.
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Pros and Cons of Smileie
Smileie is a solid treatment with plenty to offer, but it’s not the perfect option for everyone. To help orient your perspective, here are their biggest pros and cons.
- US-Based: While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with aligner companies that manufacture outside the U.S., they often take longer to ship your kit. Knowing Smileie is a US-based company gives you confidence in faster turnaround times.
- Single-Arch Treatment: The vast majority of at-home clear aligner companies (and dentists as well) decline to straighten just one arch, no matter how happy you are with the alignment of the other. Smileie will create aligners for just one row of teeth, making them one of the most unique providers on the clear aligner scene.
- Daytime and Nighttime: Not everyone likes to wear their aligners all day. Smileie offers the option to just wear them for 8–10 hours at night. Other companies have nighttime aligners as well, but it’s always nice to have choices.
- Customer Reviews: There aren’t a lot of customer reviews available just yet. We found some impressive before-and-after photos, but they’re all hosted on Smileie’s website.
- Fairly Young: Smileie was founded more recently than other at-home clear aligner services like Byte and SmileDirectClub, so they don’t have as long of a track record.
- Must Be 18+: Most clear aligner companies have a lower age limit, usually falling in the 14–16 range. Smileie takes it further than most of their competitors, restricting treatment to those 18 or older.
- Cost: Compare the cost of Smileie to in-office treatments like Invisalign and it offers significant savings. Stack it up against other at-home clear aligners and its price is pretty middle of the road.
What Is Smileie?
Smileie is an at-home clear aligner company. If you’ve seen or read about Invisalign, you likely have an idea of how it works. Basically, the shape of each clear aligner places force on the teeth, slowly shifting them. Each aligner set has a slightly different shape, ensuring your realignment steadily progresses. But unlike in-office treatments like Invisalign, Smileie is fully remote — from the impressions to your retainers, you’ll complete every step at home.
While Smileie is much younger than other brands, they have already successfully treated roughly 1,000 patients. The company is based in the U.S. and serves customers in the United States and Canada. Overall, they are pretty similar to their fellow at-home aligner companies, treating the same range of cases at roughly the same price point. Their most standout feature is that they allow single-arch treatment; most other companies require you to use aligners on both arches. This can make treatment more affordable and comfortable.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
Like all orthodontic treatments, Smileie can’t treat everyone. And like all fully remote aligner companies, it only corrects mild-to-moderate misalignments in the front six teeth of either arch. If your misalignment is severe or involves the jawbone, you’ll need either in-person or hybrid treatment (check out Candid to learn more about the latter).
Within this mild-to-moderate range, Smileie can address many different misalignments, including:
- Open bite
The company only treats those 18 and older. If you are missing more than three teeth per arch, you might not be suitable for treatment. Additionally, you must resolve active tooth decay and gum disease before you begin any aligner treatment. Smileie evaluates each candidate on a case-by-case basis, using your impressions and photos to determine if you are suited to their treatment. If you aren’t, they will refund you the full amount of your purchase.
Getting Started With Smileie
Beginning Smileie treatment is pretty simple. Your first step is taking their smile quiz, which includes a few basic questions about things like your type of misalignment, previous orthodontic treatment, and overall oral health. Assuming your answers don’t disqualify you for treatment, you’ll be invited to place your order.
When ordering, you’ll have a few decisions to make — primarily whether you want to treat one or both arches and if you want to wear your aligners all day or just at night. You’ll also need to decide if you want to pay in full or enroll in their financing plan.
A few days after you pay, your impression kit will arrive. You’ll need to make molds of your teeth and take some diagnostic photos. Then, email the photos to the company and ship off the impressions.
Smileie’s lab will review your impressions and photos, then decide whether to greenlight your treatment. If they determine their aligners won’t work for you, they’ll let you know and refund you the full cost of treatment. Otherwise, Smileie will generate a 3D treatment preview and email it to you. If you’re not happy with the smile projection, Smileie will give you a full refund. But if you are, they’ll manufacture your aligners and ship them to you within a few weeks.
What Happens During Treatment?
What your treatment looks like depends on if you choose all-day or nighttime treatment. With all-day wear, you’ll wear your aligners for 20–22 hours per day, removing them when you eat, drink, brush, or floss. You’ll use each set for 7–14 days, depending on your specific treatment plan. Smileie’s nighttime-only plan requires 8–10 continuous hours of daily wear instead, mostly while sleeping. Usually, you’ll wear these aligners for 14 days to give them enough time to work.
Throughout treatment, you’ll check in with your assigned expert, getting feedback on how things are going and, if needed, receiving refinement aligners to correct anything going wrong with treatment.
Most people complete treatment within 4–6 months with the all-day system and 8–10 months with nighttime aligners. Once you wrap up active treatment, you move into the retention phase, where you switch to retainers instead of aligners. You’ll need to use retainers for life, replacing them about every six months.
Paying for Smileie
A major part of Smileie’s appeal is its price — significantly less than in-office treatments like Invisalign and competitive with direct-to-consumer aligners like Byte and SmileDirectClub. Still, while it is relatively affordable, it represents a significant investment.
Smileie charges a flat rate for treatment; no matter how complex your case is or how many aligners you need, if you are approved for treatment, you pay the same price as everyone else. At the moment, Smileie charges $1,599 for all-day dual arch treatment and $1,799 for nighttime dual arch treatment.
This is thousands less than Invisalign, which costs $3,000–$8,000. However, it is mid-range for other at-home aligner companies. It’s cheaper than Byte ($1,895) and SmileDirectClub ($2,050) but more than both NewSmile ($1,495) and AlignerCo ($1,145). So, if price is your primary motivation and you want dual arch treatment, you might be better off checking out the competition.
In general, dental insurance is less likely to cover at-home aligner treatment than in-office or hybrid ones. But that doesn’t mean Smileie is ineligible for coverage. Check with your insurance provider to see if they will reimburse you for part or all of the cost of treatment.
If not, this doesn’t mean you lack options. HSA and FSA funds might be another way to help pay for treatment. While some plans won’t cover at-home aligners, others will. Contact your account administrator to find out if you can use your funds to cover the cost of Smileie.
Smileie understands that not everyone can afford the cost of treatment outright. That’s why they offer financing. For all-day dual-arch treatment, you need to make a $398 down payment plus seven monthly installments of $160. Their website does not list the details for their nighttime plan but since this treatment costs more, expect the financing terms to be slightly higher as well.
What Are Customers Saying?
Right now? Not much. Smileie doesn’t have many customer reviews yet, so it’s hard to get a full view of the true customer experience. They have some before-and-after photos on their website, and the results look impressive, but there’s no real customer feedback yet.
Smileie aligners give adults another way to straighten their smiles while keeping treatment affordable and convenient. Their wealth of options, combined with speedy results, simplifies things and makes it easier to make treatment work for you. While they aren’t the perfect option for everyone, they do have plenty to offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do in-office aligners have a wider scope of treatment than at-home ones?
Because they come with in-person oversight and the ability to use attachments. Essentially, these two combine to allow for greater force and a more fine-tuned application of that force, making more complex movements.
Why is Smileie treatment faster than in-office options?
The primary reason why Smileie and other at-home aligner companies are faster than in-office ones is that they have a smaller scope of treatment. Basically, they only treat mild-to-moderate misalignments, which naturally resolve faster than complex ones.
Do I really need retainers after treatment?
Yes! Ligaments hold our teeth in place, and these ligaments like to pull the teeth back into their old positions. They will become less insistent over time, but this tension never fully goes away. This is why retainers are vital.
Why does nighttime treatment take longer than if I wear aligners all day?
Every moment you’re not wearing your aligners is a moment the ligaments can pull your teeth back into their old positions. Since you spend more time with your aligners out if you get nighttime treatment, it takes longer to reach your goal.
How come dental insurance is less likely to cover remote treatment?
Remote dentistry is still pretty new and insurance companies are often skeptical about newer approaches and treatments. Their stance on at-home aligners has been steadily changing over the years, but they are still less likely to extend coverage.
Which clear aligner company is the most affordable?
AlignerCo is the most affordable option. It’s just $1,145 for dual-arch treatment.
What is remote monitoring like?
It all depends on the company you choose. For some, it means using a special dental scope once a week so your treatment supervisor can be sure you are progressing well. Others request that you check-in by email halfway through treatment. This can make a big difference in how you feel about your aligner company, so be sure to verify each company’s monitoring procedures and choose one with an approach that works for you.
Can at-home clear aligners correct snaggletooth?
Yes, but it depends on the severity of the rotation. Even most in-office treatments can only handle rotations of 30 degrees or less. If you are uncertain, you can complete an impression kit and the company will let you know if they can correct your snaggletooth.
How do I make sure my clear aligner treatment goes well?
Follow the company’s directions to a T and be careful with your aligners. It is easy to lose them, leave them near a heat source, or otherwise damage them, setting back your treatment.
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