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.
- U.S. 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 U.S.-based company gives you confidence in faster turnaround times.
- Single-Arch Treatment: Most 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, however, will create aligners for just one row of teeth at a discounted rate.
- Nighttime Treatment: Not everyone likes to wear their aligners all day. Smileie offers the option to just wear them for around ten hours at night. Other companies have nighttime aligners as well, but it’s always nice to have choices.
- Enticing Sales: Smileie’s $1,399 sticker price is pretty average for an at-home aligner company, but we’ve seen sales take it as low as $849.
- 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 people 18 or older.
- Few Customer Reviews: There aren’t a lot of customer reviews available yet. The few that we found are positive, but they aren’t enough to get a sense of the start-to-finish customer experience.
What Is Smileie?
Smileie is an at-home clear aligner company. If you’ve seen or read about Invisalign, you likely know how it works. Basically, the shape of each tray 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 doesn’t require any trips to the dentist.
While Smileie is much younger than other brands, they have already successfully treated thousands of patients. The company is based in the U.S. but also serves customers in Australia, Canada, and Europe. 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, while most other companies require you to use aligners on both arches.
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 an in-person treatment like Invisalign or a hybrid treatment like Candid.
Within this mild-to-moderate range, Smileie can address many different misalignments, including:
- Open bite
The company only treats people 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 their aligners will work for you. If not, 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 your misalignment, previous orthodontic treatment, and overall oral health. Assuming your answers don’t disqualify you for treatment, they’ll invite you 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 green-light 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 email you a 3D treatment preview. If you don’t like it, Smileie will issue a full refund. But if you do, they’ll manufacture your aligners and ship them in as little as 2–3 weeks.
What Happens During Treatment?
Your treatment details depend on whether you choose all-day or nighttime treatment. With all-day wear, you’ll wear your aligners for 20+ 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 at least ten unbroken hours of daily wear, 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 of Smileie’s all-day treatment plans are 4–6 months long, and the nighttime aligners extend that average timeline to 6–8 months. Once you wrap up active treatment, you move into the retention phase, where you’ll wear 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, which is 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 $1,399 for all-day dual arch treatment and $1,599 for nighttime dual arch treatment.
But Smilelie also has some incredible sales that knock those prices as low as $849 for all-day treatment or $1,049 for a nighttime-only plan. And if you only need aligners for one arch, you’ll pay even less.
This is thousands less than Invisalign, which costs $3,000–$8,000. And even among other at-home aligner companies, it’s still a pretty good deal. It’s cheaper than Byte ($1,999), SmileDirectClub ($2,250), and NewSmile ($1,495), but more than AlignerCo ($995) — unless you catch a sale.
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’ll provide a partial reimbursement.
If not, you still have options. HSAs and FSAs can also help pay for treatment. While some plans won’t let you use their funds for at-home aligners, others will. Contact your account administrator to find out for sure.
Smileie understands that not everyone can afford the cost of treatment outright. That’s why they offer financing through Affirm. It may require a credit check, and the terms will vary depending on the payment plan you choose, but some plans are interest free, which can make treatment much more accessible. 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?
Smileie might not have a ton of customer reviews yet, but the ones they do have — primarily on Trustpilot — are overwhelmingly positive. Many of them rave about the responsiveness and helpfulness of the customer support team, as well as the appearance and affordability of the aligners. We found almost no complaints among them.
It’s worth noting, though, that most of these reviews are from customers who are in the very early stages of their treatment, so it’s tough to get a sense of the customer experience from start to finish. Even so, all that praise for their customer service is encouraging.
Smileie aligners give adults another way to straighten their smiles while keeping treatment affordable and convenient. Their wealth of options, combined with excellent support, simplifies things and makes it easier to get a treatment that works for you. While they aren’t the perfect option for everyone, they 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 Smileie and other at-home aligner companies are faster than in-office ones is that they only treat milder 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, which is why retainers are vital.
Why does nighttime treatment take longer?
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.
Why does insurance rarely cover remote treatment?
Teledentistry 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 $995 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 track your progress. 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.