SA Aligners

SA Aligners offer fast, effective and affordable treatment for your smile. Find out more about the range of treatment options in this detailed review.

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Written by Chris Pearson GDP Registered Dentist

Smile Aesthetics (SA) Aligners are one of the newer aligner treatment companies that you can choose if you want to correct your smile. However, don’t let that relative inexperience fool you – they already have some excellent customer reviews, and they are more than just a copycat of others that have come before.

SA aligner treatment offers reliable results in a fast timeline without breaking the bank. So, do they meet those goals, or are they biting off more than they can chew with their marketing? Let’s take a look in detail at what SA Aligners has to offer.

First Glance

We’ve reviewed a number of clear aligner providers in the past, so we know what to expect. Even then, we were quite impressed with SA Aligners’ offering. Their website is clear and easy to understand, their offering is great value, and they clearly know their stuff.

With new innovations, some fantastic prices, and arguably the best app we’ve seen for customers managing their own smile journey from home, we’re very impressed by what SA Aligners brings to the table.

Pros

  • Excellent prices and various finance options
  • Improved aligner design maximizes results and comfort
  • Choice of plans to suit you
  • Whitening options available
  • Detailed but easy to use app for managing your plan

Cons

  • No option for in-person impressions

Who is behind SA Aligners?

SA Aligners is a relatively young company with an office in Albany, NY. The company is US-owned and operated, which means that (unlike some other aligner companies that have bases elsewhere in the world) you can always easily reach a customer support agent during reasonable daytime hours.

And because the company is based in the US, you’re guaranteed a better quality product than companies that operate elsewhere globally and are less restricted by business practice standards. So that’s reassuring.

Who can use SA Aligners?

SA Aligners can be used to treat a number of different orthodontic issues, including crowding, underbites and overbites, issues with spaces and gaps between teeth, and crossbites. As they are clear aligners that exert gentle but firm pressure, they can’t be used in very extreme cases, but most people with these problems will be accepted onto the treatment plan once their impressions have been reviewed.

There is not a fixed minimum age for treatment with SA Aligners, but the company recommends that you need to be at least 12 years old to be considered in most cases. However, younger patients aged 12 to 14 will be subject to more scrutiny as teeth are still being developed at these ages, and the orthodontists reviewing the impressions won’t want to impact natural development.

Certain dental issues may also impact your suitability for treatment with SA Aligners. If you have cavities that are untreated, or issues with your wisdom teeth, you may not be able to begin aligner treatment until these are resolved.

How are SA’s aligners made?

The aligners you’ll use if you choose SA Aligners’ treatment plan are made using a medical grade polymer film that is BPA-free and designed to be highly transparent, so it’ll be very difficult for anyone to see that you’re wearing them even when stood close by for a conversation.

But BPA-free durable plastics are what all clear aligners are made from, so that’s not particularly special – except that SA Aligners have a special multi-layer design.

This is an innovative approach to aligners, so this is a great reason to consider using SA Aligners over other brands. They’re made up of:

  • Consistent Force Layer – this is responsible for maintaining consistent pressure on your teeth, making sure they are constantly being moved and realigning your smile, rather than working initially and then fading as your teeth begin to move
  • Flexible Elastomer Layer – this layer helps to break resistance but also dampens the initial force on your teeth

In other words, your aligners are made more effective as they are constantly pushing the teeth and pressuring them into a new position without being so harsh when you first wear them that it actually hurts or makes the aligners uncomfortable to wear.

The process of making the aligners is simple:

  1. You’ll order and then complete an impressions-making process that SA aligners highly recommend with video guidance from our dental expert, it actually shows the current positions of your teeth
  2. Your aligners are then produced in multiple sets, tailored to your smile, so that they are gently pushed into a new position

What treatment options are available?

There are two treatment options available with SA Aligners. You can either choose All Day treatment, or At-Night treatment.

All-day treatment is exactly how it sounds. You’ll wear the aligners for 20-22 hours each day, only taking them out to eat and brush your teeth. They’re comfortable, and because they’re almost invisible, you should be fine wearing them without attracting unwanted attention to them. Most people tend to choose this treatment option.

However, some people don’t like the idea of wearing aligners for almost the entire day. With At Night aligners, you don’t have to. You instead have to wear them continuously for 8-10 hours every night – that’s important because if you sleep for 6 hours, you need to make sure you put your aligners in a couple of hours before you go to bed. 6 hours won’t be enough for the aligners to work properly.

Choosing At Night aligners does increase costs a little, as you’ll need more aligner sets, and it also extends your treatment time. On that…

How long does SA Aligners’ treatment take?

The length of your treatment with SA Aligners will vary on a number of factors, including how strict you are at following the plan and how severe your current dental issues are.

For most people, it takes between 4 to 6 months to complete treatment if you’re using the All Day aligners. That’s an average based on mild to moderate teeth conditions and assuming you wear the aligners correctly.

If you choose At Night aligners, that treatment time gets extended to an average of 6-8 months, but that’s still faster than most people who choose treatment with Invisalign or who opt for metal braces.

Are there any other steps to take?

The actual treatment process is super-easy. You’ll order your Impressions Kit and take your impressions at home following the simple step-by-step guide provided. Once you then send your impressions off (using the packaging provided to you), they’ll be analyzed by the orthodontists working with SA Aligners, and your aligner will be manufactured and shipped to you within 2-3 weeks.

If you want, that’s all you need to do – wear the aligners as instructed and then switch to retainers following the end of your treatment.

You’ll be able to check in using the app to show that you’re following the treatment plan – you’ll need to provide bi-weekly photos to prove that you are using the aligners correctly and to monitor your progress, with adjustments available if something really isn’t working for you.

You will also be provided with a free whitening kit, which includes gel pens and a cold light device to help activate the gel and whiten your teeth. This is optional, but if you want to get a whiter smile as you straighten it, then you can follow the whitening guide included during the hours that you aren’t wearing the aligners, and by the end of your treatment you should find that your teeth are brighter as well as less crooked.

How much does SA Aligners’ treatment cost?

Considering how SA Aligners offer innovative aligners and one of the best app experiences, as well as a range of treatment options and an included whitening kit, you’d be forgiven for assuming they charged a premium for their service.

Whereas in reality, treatment is actually very affordable – SA Aligners is one of the cheapest aligner providers in the US.

Impression Kit

The impression kit you’ll need for SA Aligners normally costs $75, but you can often grab it at a discounted price of $49. This includes 8 sets of dental trays and 10 dental putties, along with a pre-paid shipping label to return them and extras you’ll need, such as a smile expander, impression guide and a pair of nitrile gloves, so that you don’t contaminate the putties.

It’s worth noting that the treatment packs are advertised with free impression kits – it’s not clear if this means you will pay for the treatment minus the cost of the impression kit should you then progress.

Treatment

If you choose to pay for your SA Aligners upfront and you opt for the All Day aligner plan, you’ll usually pay $999 though at the time of writing this review, that cost was discounted to $749 on special offer and included the whitening kit free (normally worth $150, though that’s also discounted to $99 at the time of writing).

If you prefer the At Night aligners, that cost increases to $1099 for a one-off payment, though it’s currently discounted to $849. This also comes with the free whitening kit.

Retainers

Once you complete your treatment with SA Aligners, you need to wear retainers in order to keep your smile held in place. It’s recommended to wear retainers for at least 12 months after completing treatment, though it’s even better if you wear them permanently since this will better protect your smile.

A single set of retainers which should last you a year will cost $150 usually from SA Aligners. They’ll be custom-made to fit your new smile. You can also get them discounted at $99.

However, if you’re interested in protecting your smile long-term, then you should choose the ALIGNERS Protection Plan, which normally costs $600, but you can get it for $549. This includes 8 sets of retainers, so you’re getting them at a heavily discounted price.

If you’re on an All Day aligners plan, it’s recommended that you wear your retainer for the full 20-22 hours each day for three months and then transition into wearing them only at night.

For Night Only aligners, you should continue using retainers for 8-10 hours each evening for the next year at least.

Are payment options available?

Payment options are available for both the All Day and At Night aligner plans, so if you can’t afford the plan upfront, then don’t worry.

Subject to a credit check, you may be able to get your aligners at no extra cost on a finance plan with Affirm. There’s no down payment for this option, and you’ll spread the cost over 24 months, meaning you’ll pay between $32 and $36 per month, depending on your chosen plan.

If you don’t meet the credit requirements for that, there’s another monthly installment plan powered by Partial.ly, which includes an initial deposit of $249 for All Day aligners or $349 for At Night aligners, and then $100 per month for the next 8 months, meaning for All Day aligners you’ll pay $1,049, and for At Night aligners you’ll pay $1,149.

Is a warranty or guarantee available?

SA Aligners does offer a guarantee for your perfect smile. If you’re able to prove that you’ve worn the aligners daily as instructed and kept your aligners safe throughout the duration of your treatment by using the protective case provided, then you can get additional treatment if your smile does not meet the expectations of treatment once you’ve completed your aligners.

For this guarantee to be active, you’ll need to show that you’ve uploaded progress pictures throughout the app for each aligner step and you’ve avoided unnecessary dental work and maintained good dental hygiene throughout the treatment plan.

If you’re unable to demonstrate this, the guarantee will become invalid, and you’ll need to pay for additional treatment.

Where is SA Aligners treatment available?

SA Aligners only offers an at-home service. For most people, this is the most convenient option anyway – you’ll be sent an impression kit to use in your own time and then manage the whole process through the app as your aligners are shipped to you.

Some people prefer to visit a clinic to get their initial impressions taken with more accuracy, and some aligner providers do offer this service, though it’s becoming increasingly rare. SA Aligners do not offer this option, and it’s the only real drawback to the service, though again, it may not be something you consider an issue if you’d rather use the service completely remotely anyway.

What about customer service?

There are lots of reasons to choose SA Aligners – great price, durable and reliable aligners etc., but another reason you can’t ignore is the excellent customer service, primarily provided through the app.

You’ll download the app to your phone at the start of the process, and then throughout your treatment, you can chat with the team easily through the app to ask any questions about how your treatment is going.

You’ll upload photos regularly to check in and even be able to see real-time tracking of your aligner shipments. Managing everything from just one place is super easy.

And don’t worry – they don’t force you down the app route, especially before you’ve bought. You can call the team between 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday if you prefer.

The best bit? There are even free video consultations available if you want a 15-minute video chat with an expert before you commit. All you need to do is fill in the form on the website.

SA Aligners: The Verdict

Availability

Because SA Aligners is an at-home service, availability is never going to be a concern. Anyone in the US who is of a suitable age can apply and use the impression kit to determine whether or not you’re a suitable candidate. If you aren’t, then you’ll get a full refund, so there’s no risk to trying it.

You might be a little disappointed that there are no SA Aligners clinics you can visit, but the option of a video consultation before you begin and the support provided throughout renders this unnecessary anyway.

Price

The SA Aligners pricing couldn’t offer better value. You get all your treatment for a price under $1,000 if you pay upfront, including additional freebies such as the whitening kit. Retainers that you need after treatment are kept affordable too.

Unable to pay in full? There are multiple options for spreading the cost so you can find the one that best fits your credit situation.

Ease of Use

Everything is made super-easy through SA Aligners, thanks especially to the support you’ll get through the app. Being able to monitor your shipments or just ask questions on-the-go, is really handy.

The guides you’re given for using your impressions kit and aligners are really easy to follow, too – there’s no need to worry about messing things up.

Options

If you don’t like the idea of using aligners all day, then SA Aligners does provide good options for At Night aligners too. It’s up to you – if you want faster treatment, you can opt for All Day, but if you think it won’t be comfortable then just go for the At Night aligners instead. The cost difference isn’t huge.

The fact you also get a whitening kit included to make your smile whiter as well as straighter is a nice optional bonus too.

Reassurance

Between the free video consultations offered before you even apply, the telephone support six days a week and the friendly chat service through the app, you’ll have no problems finding reassurance when using SA Aligners.

Add in the fact that there’s also a guarantee, provided you follow the instructions and have good dental hygiene, and you can relax knowing that you’ll get the treatment you deserve when you sign up for a plan.

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SA Aligners FAQs

What makes SA Aligners different?

SA Aligners are different from other brands because they have an innovative multi-layer design that applies pressure consistently without being uncomfortable. The company also offers excellent support through a tailored app and has lower prices than many other aligner providers too.

Do SA Aligners fit your gums?

SA’s aligners are given a straight cut rather than being fitted to your gums. This means there will be a faint visible straight line across the top and bottom of each set of aligners that might be visible to others but only if they are actively looking for it. The straight cut helps to apply more pressure to your teeth to move them, rather than simply resting against your gums.

Can you choose single-tray treatment with SA Aligners?

It is possible to choose single-tray treatment if you only have problems with either the top or bottom teeth in your mouth. Normally you’ll need to use both trays to make sure moving one set doesn’t negatively impact the other, but you can talk to the experts at SA Aligners if you believe single-tray treatment is a better option for you.

Can you eat and drink while wearing SA aligners?

It’s recommended that you remove your aligners whenever you are eating because you can damage them with the pressure of chewing. You should also remove them when drinking anything but water, as other liquids could corrode or stain your aligners. You should remove the aligners at meal times and then brush your teeth and floss before re-inserting them. This will help avoid trapped food, which, when further trapped by your aligners, can cause more damage to your teeth. Definitely avoid hot drinks, as these can soften and warp the aligners.

How do you clean SA aligners?

You should clean your aligners every day using a soft toothbrush and lukewarm water. Avoid using any other products, including toothpaste, as this can damage the aligners. When you are removing your aligners to eat (or during the day, if using At Night aligners), make sure to store them in the provided case.

Can you use SA aligners while pregnant or nursing?

You can use SA’s aligners when you are nursing. They have no impact on nursing a baby, and you’ll be fine using them safely. However, it is recommended that you avoid using clear aligners, or any unnecessary dental treatments for that matter, while pregnant. It’s best to wait until the pregnancy has ended due to risks from vomit/stomach acid and also from changes to your body, including your mouth.

Do SA aligners hurt?

SA Aligners’ treatment should not hurt. Wearing aligners can cause some mild discomfort, especially in the first couple of days after changing to a new set, as your teeth start to get pushed into a new position, but this is a slow process so you shouldn’t find that they cause pain. If you do find your aligners are hurting more than you feel they should, or you experience anything like bleeding gums, speak to the support team at SA Aligners.

Can you talk normally while wearing SA aligners?

Most people have no problem talking while wearing their aligners. It may take a little bit of adjustment for the first couple of days as you get used to them, but for many people, they don’t impact speech at all, and you may even forget you’re wearing them. Try not to, though, because you do need to remove them for eating and drinking.

What happens if you break or lose your aligners?

If you lose your aligners, or in the unlikely event that you break them, you should insert your previous set of aligners and then speak to the support team at SA Aligners as soon as possible to arrange to get a new set of replacement aligners sent out, if needed. They may just recommend that you start wearing the next set of aligners a little earlier than planned, but each case will be different. Don’t make the decision for yourself, or you’ll void the guarantee.

Summary

SA Aligners offer fast, effective and affordable treatment for your smile. Find out more about the range of treatment options in this detailed review.

SA Aligners

Pros

  • Excellent prices and various finance options
  • Improved aligner design maximizes results and comfort
  • Choice of plans to suit you
  • Whitening options available
  • Detailed but easy to use app for managing your plan

Cons

  • No option for in-person impressions

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