An in-depth guide and review of SmileLove aligners
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As the aligner market becomes increasingly crowded, it’s becoming harder for brands to stand out. Price is often one of the deciding factors surrounding customers’ choice, but value for money and quality of service is also important. SmileLove is trying to tick all of these boxes with their aligners, with a treatment that is affordable and service-focused. In our SmileLove review, we take a look at whether or not they’re successful.
So, how does SmileLove stack up at a glance? Well, there’s a lot to like about the service on offer here, especially the price.
One of the most competitively priced aligner treatments on the market today.
100% approval for financing methods.
Excellent customer service.
No option to have a 3D scan of your teeth.
Dental preview costs extra unless you pay for treatment upfront.
Who is behind SmileLove?
SmileLove was formed in 2017, making them one of the newest companies in the aligner market. Their aim was to bring a new and affordable approach to mail-order aligners. With multiple payment options, a lower base price than many competitors, and many freebies thrown in, value for money is crucial.
Co-founders David Frazier and Spencer Grider secured $270,000 in investment during a Seed Round in December 2018. The company has its main SmileLove office at:
11822 Sunrise View Drive Draper, UT 84020 United States
Who can use SmileLove aligners?
There are several factors that determine whether or not you’re a suitable candidate for SmileLove aligners. On the company’s website, there is a Smile Assessment questionnaire that helps you determine whether you’re a suitable candidate.
This assessment asks what your reasons are for wanting aligners, whether you’re old enough, what you hope to achieve by using them, and what issues you want resolving. If you’re a suitable candidate, they’ll email you the steps you need to take next.
Generally, you’ll be accepted if you have either slight misalignment issues or slight spacing or crowding issues. However, if you suffer from gum disease, have cavities, have small or eroded teeth, and have had serious dental work done, you likely won’t be eligible. The same applies if you have major issues that need resolving, such as an extreme overbite or underbite.
Some of the issues can be fixed before you apply for aligners. So, with things like tooth decay and cavities, you can get treatment and apply later down the line. It’s best to visit your dentist before applying to make sure you’re eligible.
How are the dental aligners made?
SmileLove aligners use the company’s patented ClearComfort technology. This means that they are completely clear, appearing almost invisible in the mouth. They’re also trimmed to follow your gum line, making them more comfortable than those that are cut straight across.
The aligners are made from a BPA-free Essix plastic, which is FDA approved, and SmileLove claim is one of the best in the industry for durability and wear.
To get your own dental aligners made, you’ll have to first start with an impression kit. Once you purchase a kit, it’ll be sent out within two business days and take up to a week to arrive. In the kit, you’ll have some practice putty so you can have some trial runs at making the impressions.
The kit also contains two trays for your top teeth and two for your bottom teeth. You have to use the dental impression putty for around three and a half minutes to get your impression. There is also a mouth spreader that you’ll have to use to take photos of your teeth.
Once you’ve taken the photos and impressions, you send them back to SmileLove, who will create a 3D preview of what your teeth will look like after treatment. Your aligners are then created based on this.
What treatment options are available?
SmileLove only offers one treatment, clear, all-day aligners. This one-size-fits-all approach does limit the options available. With this type of aligner, you have to wear them essentially all day every day, roughly 22 hours in total. You can take them out for cleaning and to eat and drink, but that’s it.
Although this is fairly standard for most mail-order aligners, there are now several companies that give options. One popular one is the at-night aligners, which only require around 10 hours’ of usage overnight. This makes the treatment last longer overall, but it can be more convenient for some.
With only the one treatment option, it means that those looking for a more flexible or less-intrusive treatment option will have to look elsewhere.
How long does SmileLove treatment take?
SmileLove treatment times vary depending on the individual. As well as your own teeth and treatment plan, it depends on how strict you are with wearing your aligners. On their website, it states that you ‘might only have to wear them for a couple months or up to a year.’ However, average treatment times are around 6 months, which is reasonably standard.
Are there any other steps to take?
During your treatment, there are a few steps you’ll need to take. As well as changing your aligners roughly every two weeks, you’ll also need to take good care of them. This means rinsing them when you take them out, and brushing and flossing before you put them back in.
How much does SmileLove treatment cost?
One of SmileLove’s main selling points is their cost and the flexibility of their payment options. There are several factors that impact your overall cost, although SmileLove does offer plenty of free items to help keep costs down. However, prices generally range from $1895 to $2145, making them some of the cheapest aligners around.
Impression kits for SmileLove cost $79. This is mid-priced compared to some competitors. However, if you buy a treatment plan up front, you get the impression kit for free.
Additionally, if you order an impression kit and you’re unhappy with the preview, you’ll get a refund. The same applies if the SmileLove dentists determine you’re not a good fit. The latter is fairly common, but a refund if you’re not happy with the preview is a unique and useful feature.
If you pay for your entire treatment up front, clear aligners from SmileLove cost $1895. This price point is one of the cheapest around and is far cheaper than traditional braces or Invisalign treatment.
However, if you pay for a test kit and then a treatment plan in full, it’ll cost a total of $1974. Again, not hugely expensive compared to others.
Finally, if you pay in installments, it’ll cost you a total of $2145. This works out as a $250 down payment, followed by $79 per month for 24 months.
The SmileLove website doesn’t give information about the cost of replacements. Instead, they suggest just putting in your next set of aligners if you lose a pair. You then wear the new set for the remainder of the time you would have worn the missing one, plus two weeks after that.
You get your first set of retainers free with SmileLove’s treatment plan. These will last you about two years and cost $99 to get replaced. Compared to many companies, this offers good value. Some brands charge the $99 as soon as treatment is complete and suggest getting new retainers every six months.
Are payment options available?
Yes, there are two main payment options available. The first (and cheapest) method is to pay the full cost upfront. $1895 will get you your entire set of aligners, your impression kit, and your first pair of retainers.
You can also pay monthly at a cost of $79 per month over 24 months. Although this works out more expensive at $2145 in total, they offer a 100% approval for finance with a down payment of $250.
Is a warranty or guarantee available?
There are a couple of guarantees available. The first concerns the impression kits. If you pay the $79 and send off your impression kit but aren’t happy with the preview, you’re entitled to a refund. The same applies if SmileLove’s dentists don’t think you’re eligible for treatment.
The second relates to your treatment. If you’re unhappy at the end of your treatment plan, SmileLove will work with you to make sure you’re satisfied. If your results don’t match your preview, you may receive a prorated refund. You can also pay for refinements, which cost $200.
The only time you’ll receive a refund on the aligners themselves is if there are manufacturing defects.
How old do you have to be?
To be eligible for treatment, you have to be at least 15 years old. You’ll also need to have all of your adult teeth through. For those under the age of 18, you’ll need written consent from a parent or guardian.
Where is SmileLove treatment available?
SmileLove’s aligners can be purchased throughout the US and Canada. Although they have no physical locations, you can order an impression kit and treatment plan from anywhere in the US.
What about customer service?
Generally, SmileLove customer service gets good reviews. If you need to contact them about any problems you encounter, they’re friendly and responsive. This includes video call support when you’re taking your impressions with the impression kit.
On the SmileLove websites, you’ll also be able to access the text chat, which is available in real-time. The friendly and helpful staff will be able to answer your questions.
SmileLove: The Verdict
There’s a lot to like about SmileLove’s aligners and treatment plans. Although a relative newcomer to the industry, their competitive pricing makes them stand out from some of the competitors.
It’s fairly easy to get started with your SmileLove treatment. Impression kits generally take a week to arrive once you order them. Once you’ve sent back your impression kits, it can take around 6-8 weeks to get your aligners. This is a little longer than some competitors, but not by much.
The price of SmileLove aligners is one of the company’s big selling points. With a low cost of $1895, you get everything you need for straighter teeth. This makes them one of the most affordable companies on the market.
This low price doesn’t mean they sacrifice on quality either. With plenty of reassurances in place, you also get free retainers at the end of your treatment, as well as a code for a free teeth whitening kit.
Retainers cost $99 a go after your initial free set, but they last up to two years, which is longer than many.
Ease of use
The trickiest part of the whole process is the impression kit. This is largely the same across the board. However, other companies also offer in-person 3D scans, which SmileLove does not. They do offer a detailed video explanation of the process, as well as live video calls to help.
Once your aligners arrive, you have everything you need to get started. All you need to do is put your first pair in and wear them for 22 hours each day. You then change them every two weeks, making sure to clean and maintain them throughout.
One downside of SmileLove is that they don’t offer any treatment options aside from the basic one. Other companies now offer at-night aligners, which can be a much-needed alternative for people who don’t like having theirs in all day.
One of the unique things about SmileLove is the fact they offer a money-back guarantee in a couple of regards. If you’re unhappy with the preview of your teeth after using the impression kit, you’ll get a refund for the kit.
Once your treatment is done, you may also be eligible for money back if your teeth don’t match the preview. Alternatively, you can keep working with SmileLove to find a solution that works for you. However, unlike some other brands, you may have to pay for additional treatment.