Safest Teeth Whiteners
The safest ways to whiten your teeth explained
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Invisible aligners are clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth and slowly move them in small increments. They’re a removable, comfortable, and convenient alternative to traditional braces.
There are two types of aligners available in the UK: in-office and at-home.
Invisalign is the most established in-office aligner. You have to visit an Invisalign-certified doctor to begin the process and set up routine check-ups throughout treatment. Invisalign can be expensive but offers the best care overall.
At-home aligners are a convenient and more affordable alternative to Invisalign. You begin treatment remotely by taking impressions from home.
Then, you’ll send the impressions back to have a treatment plan created. The entire process is monitored remotely, which means you never visit a dentist in person.
Aligners typically straighten teeth in less than a year. If you have mild teeth misalignment, treatment might take less than 6 months.
There are many clear aligner brands on the market today, making it easy to find one that fits your lifestyle, budget, and needs.
To help determine which one is right for you, we’ve ranked the 6 best aligners available in the UK. The factors we considered while ranking each brand include:
Most of the aligners we recommend are at-home options (best for mildly misaligned teeth). We also recommend an in-office aligner if you’re looking for comprehensive care, have moderate to severe misalignment, and don’t mind the higher price tag.
Based on our research, here are the top aligners available in the UK:
Invisalign is the most well-known clear aligner. The brand has been around since 1997, treating over 10 million patients (and counting) around the world.
Invisalign is our #1 recommendation because the aligners can treat 90% of orthodontic cases. This includes more severe malocclusions (teeth misalignment) like overbites, underbites, and crossbites. At-home options are usually only suitable for mild to moderate cases.
Invisalign aligners use buttons or elastics to treat more severe cases. These are small hooks that attach to the tooth surfaces. They act as anchors for interarch bands that apply additional pressure to gradually reposition the jaw, providing more precise results. Small rubber bands help shift the jaw into the correct position.
You’ll also receive the best care overall with Invisalign. The treatment process and monitoring are very comprehensive because you see a specialist for check-ups throughout treatment.
The interactive ClinCheck Software helps you track your progress from the beginning. If any changes are needed mid-treatment, the orthodontist or dentist can easily make them.
Regular, in-person visits allow for quick adjustments to ensure your treatment stays on track. This is more difficult, but not impossible, with remote options.
Payment Plan: Many Invisalign providers offer payment plans, but it depends entirely on your treatment plan and length
Treatment Time: 3 to 12 months or more, depending on your plan
Best Overall (Editor’s Pick)
Invisalign is our #1 recommendation because they provide comprehensive, in-person care and can treat more severe cases of teeth misalignment.
Treatment costs up to £5,500 and takes between 3 and 12 months, on average. We recommend Invisalign for almost all mild to severe cases.
PlusDent uses a hybrid model for aligner treatment. Like Invisalign, you’ll set up an initial consultation with a PlusDent provider registered through the General Dental Council (GDC). They currently have over 20 locations in the UK.
After this consultation, the provider will create a custom treatment plan for you. Then, you’ll use an app for remote monitoring and switch the aligners out every 2 weeks. You won’t visit the provider for routine check-ups like Invisalign.
Although remote monitoring is slightly less comprehensive than Invisalign, PlusDent provides quality, convenient care at a more affordable price. The initial scans and any refinements needed after treatment are also free.
Plusdent has treated over 50,000 patients since 2016. The aligners can fix minor to moderate malocclusions in the anterior region. This includes gapped, crowded, and crooked teeth.
Treatment Time: 3 to 10 months, depending on your plan
Best Hybrid Treatment
PlusDent uses a hybrid model (initial in-person consultation and 100% remote monitoring via an app). This allows for flexibility and convenience while also providing in-depth care to ensure your teeth move safely.
Treatment costs up to £2,190 and takes between 3 and 10 months, on average. We recommend them for most mild to moderate cases.
SmileDirectClub (SDC) is the most well-known remote aligner. They’ve treated over 1 million patients since 2013 and expanded treatment to the UK in 2019.
SDC works with registered doctors, dentists, and orthodontists who create and oversee each treatment case.
There are two ways to begin treatment: order an online impression kit or visit a SmileShop for a risk-free consultation (3D images/scan). There are currently more than 20 SmileShop locations in the UK.
If you aren’t a candidate, you’ll receive a full refund on the impression kit. The scan is also risk-free.
Treatment Time: 4 to 6 months, depending on your plan
First At-Home Aligner
SDC is the oldest at-home aligner company, so they have thousands of online reviews.
Treatment costs £1,539 and lasts up to 6 months. Since everything is remote, we only recommend SDC for mild cases.
Straight Teeth Direct is one of the most popular at-home aligners in the UK. Unlike PlusDent and Invisalign, you don’t have to visit a provider for an initial consultation.
Instead, the treatment process begins with a quick online questionnaire. You’ll be asked:
After completing the form, you’ll have the option to order a SmileBox™ (impression kit). You’ll take these yourself and send them back within a few days. This kit costs £42. A trusted dentist will review your case and create a custom treatment plan if you’re a candidate.
If you live near Central London, you can opt for a professional 3D scan (in person) to get a digital impression of your teeth. These scans are more detailed than at-home impressions.
Once you approve the plan, Straight Teeth Direct will send the aligners to your home in stages. You’ll use an app to check in monthly with your assigned dentist. This specialist will adjust your treatment and aligners to ensure your teeth are moving correctly.
Treatment Time: 5 to 9 months, depending on your plan
Best Remote Aligner
Straight Teeth Direct offers completely remote treatment from start to finish. Every treatment case is assigned a dentist who reviews and monitors progress via an app. They also offer more guarantees than other at-home aligners.
Treatment costs £1,350 and takes between 5 and 9 months, on average. Since treatment is monitored remotely, we only recommend them for mild cases.
Wondersmile is a newer, Australian-based remote aligner company. They expanded treatment to the UK and other countries in 2019. They’re growing in popularity around the UK because of a few unique offerings:
You can begin treatment with Wondersmile in two ways: order an impression kit or visit a studio for a 3D scan. They currently have 13 studio locations, including some in London and Scotland.
After you take the impressions or scans, your case will be reviewed by one of Wondersmile’s orthodontists. They’ll determine if your teeth are eligible for treatment (typically, mild to moderate cases are accepted). If not, you’ll receive a full refund on the starter kit.
The orthodontist will design your customized treatment plan. This includes a 3D digital model of how your teeth will move. You’ll also receive a personalized walk-through of your treatment plan.
If your teeth shift post-treatment, they’ll help at no extra cost. The guarantee covers the teeth initially involved in your Wondersmile treatment plan. You'll also have to show that you have been wearing your retainers as recommended.
Treatment Time: 6 months (All-Day) to 9 months (NightClear)
Wondersmile allows you to begin treatment with an at-home impression kit or at a studio. They also offer free refinements (terms apply) if your teeth move after treatment.
Treatment costs up to £1,490 and takes between 6 and 9 months, on average. Since treatment is monitored remotely, we only recommend them for mild cases.
Straight My Teeth is the most affordable remote aligner available. The aligner material is made of a biocompatible plastic from Raintree Essix, a reputable dental supplier.
The best way to begin treatment is by ordering an impression kit online. They currently only have one studio location in the UK.
The kit comes with enough trays for you to take up to 5 impressions. It includes disposable gloves, a cheek retractor, and a pre-paid return label.
Once Straight My Teeth receives your impressions, a custom treatment plan is made. Treatment typically takes less than 6 months.
Payment Plan: £67/mo (£295 down payment)
Treatment Time: 4 to 6 months, depending on your plan
Affordable At-Home Option
Straight My Teeth is a very affordable at-home aligner. But they don’t offer detailed remote monitoring. Refinements also aren’t free.
While more expensive, we recommend the other options mentioned in this article because they provide more comprehensive care. Straight My Teeth may be a good option if you have very mild misalignment.
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