Updated on February 7, 2024
19 min read

PlusDent UK Review & Guide: Are Dr. Smile Aligners Worth It?

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Key Takeaways

  • PlusDent (formerly SunshineSmile) is now Dr. Smile UK1
  • The hybrid aligner treatment was first launched in 2017
  • It offers clear aligners that can straighten teeth in 6 to 9 months
  • PlusDent aligners cost £1,390 to £2,090 or £116 to £174/mo
  • To begin treatment, PlusDent requires you to visit one of its dental providers
  • PlusDent (Dr. Smile) has over 200 GDC-approved dental partners across Europe
  • Dental experts will monitor your treatment progress via the Dr. Smile app
  • PlusDent will cover additional refinements if you’re not satisfied with the results

Notice: PlusDent or PlusDental was acquired by the Straumann Group (the same company behind ClearCorrect) on May 2022.2 Straumann discontinued PlusDent and merged it with Dr. Smile, a Berlin-based clear aligner brand that combines in-office consultations with at-home teeth straightening.3 From here on, Dr. Smile is responsible for all PlusDent customers.1

PlusDent (now Dr. Smile) is one of our top recommended clear aligners in the UK. Founded in 2017 as SunshineSmile, it originally offered hybrid clear aligner treatments in Berlin.

The company underwent two rebrands afterward: first as PlusDent (2019) and then as Dr. Smile (2022). It’s now grown to 200+ locations and treated over 150,000 people across Europe.4

Many UK locals were extremely happy with PlusDent. Since its acquisition by Dr. Smile, they started having difficulty reaching customer support and delays in their treatment.

However, these setbacks may be temporary. As PlusDent settles into its new owners, there should be fewer negative reviews and improvements in communication and its services.

Outside the UK, Dr. Smile has mostly positive reviews. It has an average Trustpilot rating of 3.9 out of 5⭐ in other locations, including Germany, Poland, Italy, and the Netherlands.

For our review, we looked into hundreds of feedbacks from both Dr. Smile UK and PlusDent. This helped us get a more balanced perspective on user experience. 

We also investigated its treatment process, costs, pros and cons, and how it compares to Invisalign aligners and other clear aligner treatments in the UK.

Why Trust Our PlusDent Review?

We have a dedicated team of medical writers, expert researchers, licensed dental professionals, and medical reviewers who curate and approve content for NewMouth.

Before publishing this comprehensive review, our team:

  • Spent 110+ hours researching PlusDent’s treatment approach
  • Browsed over 900+ customer reviews on PlusDent and Dr. Smile UK
  • Consulted dental professionals and industry experts in teeth straightening
  • Reviewed 20+ studies on the safety and effectiveness of clear aligners
  • Had our writers try PlusDent’s invisible aligners from start to finish
  • Compared PlusDent to some of the best clear aligners we reviewed
  • Asked in-house dentists to fact-check our review for accuracy

Pros & Cons of PlusDent (Dr. Smile UK)

We tried PlusDent and have had the same experiences as many of its customers. Using our rating system, we gave PlusDent UK a score of 3.6⭐ in five categories:

  1. Overall user experience (3.5⭐)
  2. Treatment process (4⭐)
  3. Pricing and financing (3.9⭐)
  4. Customer service and aftersales support (3⭐)
  5. Brand reputation (3⭐)

Below is a summary of PlusDent’s pros and cons based on user reviews.

PlusDent Pros

  • It’s more affordable than Invisalign and fixed braces. Depending on the treatment offered, you can save anywhere from £290 to £3,610 if you choose PlusDent.
  • It’s the cheapest option if you have mildly crooked teeth. PlusDent can treat simple cases for £1,390. This makes it cheaper than other brands of at-home aligners.
  • PlusDent gives excellent value for your money. Treatments include your initial consultation, teeth scans, and free refinements if unsatisfied with the results.
  • It treats a wide range of teeth alignment issues. Unlike at-home aligners, which are limited to mild to moderate corrections, PlusDent also works on complex cases.
  • Dental professionals supervise the whole process. Licensed dentists and orthodontists will review your teeth scans, create treatment plans, and monitor you.
  • PlusDent dentists can help you qualify for the treatment. They can perform dental work like interproximal reductions (IPRs), so you don’t have to find other dentists.
  • It offers permanent retainers, which can help you save on long-term costs. The brand is willing to replace or repair any damaged retainers for up to 2 years.
  • Flexible payment options are available. You can pay for your PlusDent treatment upfront, with private insurance, or with affordable monthly installments for 12 months.
  • It has a convenient hybrid model. You only have to visit the dental clinic once. The rest of your treatment can be monitored at home with the help of a user-friendly app.
  • It provides continuous dental support. You can use the Dr. Smile app to get help. PlusDent may also schedule video and in-person appointments with your dentist.
  • Most clinics have convenient locations. You can easily access them from train stations and other means of public and private transportation.

PlusDent Cons

  • The Dr. Smile rebrand is causing problems. Many users report poor customer service, difficulty booking appointments, and delays in their treatment.
  • Treatments aren’t accessible to everyone. It depends on the availability of PlusDent (Dr. Smile) dentists in your area. There may be places in the UK that don’t have any.
  • PlusDent is for adults only. Unlike most competitors, which offer treatments for teenagers, it only corrects teeth alignment issues in adults aged 18 and over.
  • The quality of PlusDent’s aligners may vary. According to some patients, they’re not as clear as advertised. They can also break and wear out faster than expected.
  • It has inconsistent treatment results. Few customers have complained about ineffective teeth straightening or effects that didn’t match their treatment plan.
  • Its removable retainers are more expensive than usual. They’ll cost you £99 per arch or £198 a pair. Most clear aligner companies charge about £100 for a pair of retainers.
  • It doesn’t provide a full at-home experience. There’s no option to buy an impression kit online. The only way to start treatment is to visit a PlusDent (Dr. Smile) provider.

Who Can Use PlusDent Aligners?

Adults who want a straighter smile may use PlusDent to correct most teeth alignment issues (malocclusions). It can treat mild to complex cases and some bite problems.5

Below are some conditions that can be treated by PlusDent aligners:5

Your PlusDent dentist will see if you’re a good candidate on your first appointment. Generally, you need to have good oral health and no dental problems.

How Long Does It Take PlusDent to Straighten Teeth?

PlusDent (Dr. Smile) aligners can give you straighter teeth in 6 to 9 months. But you should start seeing results within weeks of beginning treatment.

Your treatment duration may last longer, depending on your condition and if you wear aligners as prescribed. As a general rule, mild cases are usually the fastest to treat.

If you have severe misalignment, it may take longer for your teeth to reach the desired position.

How Much Does PlusDent Cost in the UK?

PlusDent (Dr. Smile UK) costs £1,390 to £2,090 for the whole treatment, making it an affordable option. Prices will depend on the complexity of your teeth misalignment.

You can pay for your aligners upfront or with a monthly payment plan for 12 months. Below is a breakdown of PlusDent’s treatment costs based on Dr. Smile’s pricing system:6

PlusDent Treatable CasesUpfront Treatment CostsMonthly Payment Plans
Easy£1,390£116/mo
Moderate£1,790£149/mo
Complex£2,090£174/mo

Treatment costs include your appointment, a 3D scan of your teeth, your customised treatment plan, remote monitoring, and any extra refinements if you’re not satisfied with the results.

The cost of your treatment may go over £2,090 if you need other dental procedures—like IPR or attachments—to qualify for PlusDent’s clear aligners.

Other costs to consider include post-treatment retainers. PlusDent offers two types of retainers:7

PlusDent RetainersCost Per JawCost for Both Jaws
Removable retainers£99£198
Permanent retainers£350£490

The company offers a 2-year guarantee for its retainers. They can replace damaged retainers or reattach loose retainers for up to 2 years at no additional cost.

When the guarantee expires, you’ll have to cover the cost of repairing or replacing retainers.

Does NHS Cover PlusDent Aligner Treatment?

No. PlusDent treatments aren’t typically covered by the National Health Service (NHS). However, some people may get approved on a case-by-case basis.

The NHS only covers dental care treatments necessary for maintaining oral health. Unfortunately, PlusDent and Dr. Smile are usually classified as cosmetic treatments.

If you do request to be covered, the NHS will use the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) to grade your case on a scale of 1 to 5. It will help them determine your coverage:

  • Grade 1 to 2 — Invisalign treatments aren’t covered
  • Grade 3 — Your treatment may or may not be covered
  • Grade 4 to 5 — Treatments are usually covered

Does Insurance Cover PlusDent?

It depends on your insurance. Your insurance company may help cover the cost if you’re privately insured. But if you only have health insurance, you’ll have to pay for the treatment.

You should ask your provider regarding your insurance coverage for aligner treatments

How Does PlusDent Work?

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Now that PlusDent is Dr. Smile UK, the two companies follow a similar treatment process. Here’s a step-by-step of the clear aligner treatment so you’ll know what to expect:

  • Step 1: Book your free initial appointment. PlusDent is available in over 200+ dental clinics across Europe. You can schedule your in-person visit online.
  • Step 2: Find out if you’re qualified. If you’re a candidate, the dentist will take an initial scan of your teeth. But if you’re not, they might suggest treatments to prepare you.
  • Step 3: Review your treatment plan. Dental experts will review your teeth scans and develop your personalised plan. You should receive it in your email in 14 days.
  • Step 4: Approve your plan. If you like the prescribed treatment, you can approve it and have your aligners made. But you can also request to change your plan.
  • Step 5: Wear your clear aligners. They’ll arrive at your doorstep in 4 weeks. You should wear them as prescribed (22 hours daily) and switch aligners every 2 weeks.
  • Step 6: Send in your progress photos. Use the Dr. Smile app (not the PlusDent app) to send pictures of your teeth. It allows the dental team to monitor your treatment.
  • Step 7: Complete your treatment. Your PlusDentist provider will help you determine if you’re done with the treatment or wish to get additional refinements. If you opt for refinements, you must undergo the same treatment process.
  • Step 8: Switch to retainers. People who finish their treatment can wear retainers to maintain their smile. Retainers have to be worn indefinitely for the rest of your life.

Note: PlusDent customers should stop using the PlusDent app and switch to the Dr. Smile app. It will notify you when to change to the next aligner.

PlusDent Reviews from Customers

PlusDent received mixed feedback from customers who are now under Dr. Smile. It has an average Trustpilot rating of 3.7⭐ based on these reviews. 

We picked out reviews that highlight the overall experience of PlusDent users:

Ashley Garner on Trustpilot

Garner was a PlusDent customer. In her Trustpilot review, she talks about her experience with the company shortly after Dr. Smile acquired it:

Updated 02/01/2023: “Patience was a virtue”

“… Received communication about the acquisition by Dr. Smile. Although promised I would receive emails regarding [the] next steps, this was not the case. My treatment came to an end, and I’ve been wearing my final aligner for 6 weeks to avoid any movement, which is obviously the logical thing to do.” 

“It was initially difficult to contact Dr. Smile, I assume while they were setting up operations in the UK. As of this week, I have managed to book in for a scan for a refinement to finish my treatment.”

Updated 02/08/2023: “I managed to go for my scan and I’m awaiting a response from Dr. Smile, which could take up to 3 weeks according to the dental practice I went to.”

Updated 02/14/2023: “I received an email to say my treatment/refinement plan was ready and I have now successfully ordered my aligners and have been given access to the Dr. Smile app to track my order progress.”

Updated 03/06/2023: “Finally, my refinement is being shipped. Unfortunately, in the process of waiting, some of my teeth have moved slightly, but I’m optimistic that this new refinement will work as expected.”

Mrs. H. Lomax on Trustpilot

Lomax needed interproximal reduction (IPR) to qualify for the treatment. It shaves some parts of the tooth enamel and prepares the teeth for movement.

Below, she talks about her experience with PlusDent’s dental treatment:

Updated 06/05/2023: “I finally started my teeth straightening journey but was really nervous about having IPR… It was painless and I’m so glad I didn’t let it put me off starting treatment. My appointments at Liverpool clinic have been great with staff being attentive, reassuring, and happy to answer any questions.”

Jack O. on Trustpilot

Jack left a 3⭐ rating on PlusDent after it failed to completely fix his teeth. While it improved his smile at the beginning, he wasn’t satisfied with the end results:

Updated 08/01/2022: “Fixed my teeth to about 90% what they claimed.”

“Ordered my alignment treatment in Dec 2021 after going to some dodgy dental practice in Birmingham. I did not wear my aligners after having braces, so a few of my teeth had turned back to where they were when I was a child. Nothing [too] bad but enough to make me want to fix it as an adult.”

“The kit was pretty good and over the 16 weeks, it mostly corrected my teeth.

Unfortunately, I did not get (sic) as good as a result as they claimed, so I emailed them. They said go back a few retainers and that will do it. Well, I am at the end again and it is just the same.”

“My bite is also a bit off. My rear teeth clamp down but where the retainers have been, there is a gap. So my teeth no longer bite down correctly. Now they have been taken over by Dr. Smile so I can not get in touch with them. Going to see what Dr. Smile and my dentist say and will update [my review].”

Janey Leonard-Myers on Trustpilot

Myers was a former PlusDent customer who was initially satisfied with the results. Since it was acquired, she had trouble reaching Dr. Smile for support:

Updated 01/21/2023: “Same story as everyone else. Former PlusDent customer, finished my treatment, but [the] results were satisfactory, so referred to Dr.Smile. The last correspondence was in November [2022], and I’m still waiting for a call. Have sent 6 emails, tried the chatbot, and there is no way of contacting these people.”

Anonymous Review on Trustpilot

An anonymous reviewer claims to have had a negative experience with PlusDent’s customer support after its acquisition by Dr. Smile:

Updated 03/04/2023: “I started my treatment with PlusDent and to be fair, they were ok. Since Dr. Smile has taken over, one start is flattering the service. My treatment was supposed to take 24 weeks. 15 months later, and my treatment still isn’t complete. The customer service is a joke. There is no contact by phone as apparently don’t have the staff to man the phone lines.

Communication by [email] is pointless as you receive the same response, a response that has nothing to do with the issues raised.”

PlusDent vs. Best Clear Aligners in the UK

PlusDent is one of the best clear aligners in the UK but it isn’t your only option. You can also choose from at-home clear aligners, in-office aligners, and other hybrid treatments.

Here are the differences between PlusDent and other teeth straightening treatments in the United Kingdom:

Clear Aligner BrandType of Aligner TreatmentTreatment CostsTreatable CasesAverage Treatment TimeStarting TreatmentProgress Monitoring
PlusDentHybrid£1,390 to £2,090Mild to severe6 to 12 monthsIn-personRemote
InvisalignIn-office£1,800 to £5,000Mild to severe12 to 18 monthsIn-personIn-person
NewSmileAt-home£1,595 to £1,695Mild to moderate4 to 10 monthsAt-homeRemote
Straight My TeethAt-home£1,199 to £1,699Mild to moderate6 to 8 monthsAt-homeRemote
Smile WhiteHybrid£1,695 to £3,695Mild to severe2 to 7 monthsIn-personRemote
Straight Teeth DirectAt-home£1,650Mild to moderate5 to 9 monthsAt-home or in-personRemote

PlusDent vs. Invisalign UK

Invisalign can treat 90% of orthodontic cases, including severe teeth misalignment and bite problems. It’s our most recommended in-office aligner and requires frequent visits to the dentist’s office.

You’ll be working with an Invisalign provider throughout the treatment. These are UK-registered dentists or orthodontists who can:

  • Determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign
  • Perform dental work to help you qualify for the treatment
  • Check your treatment progress in person every 4 to 6 weeks

Many UK dentists and orthodontists offer Invisalign treatment, making it easily accessible. Seeing a dental professional for your initial Invisalign assessment and treatment helps ensure you receive personalised care.

Read our full review of Invisalign UK

PlusDent vs. NewSmile

NewSmile is our top pick for at-home aligner treatment in the UK. Its aligners use the same high-quality material as Invisalign but don’t include the expensive price tag.

While most brands offer straight-cut aligners, NewSmile aligners are scallop-shaped. They’re more comfortable, barely noticeable, and less likely to irritate your gums.

NewSmile has daytime and night-only aligners that cost £1,595 to £1,695. It can treat people with mild to moderately crooked teeth in 4 to 10 months.

PlusDent vs. Straight My Teeth

Straight My Teeth is the cheapest clear aligner treatment in the United Kingdom. You can purchase it for £999 if you visit the physical Smile Studio location or £1,199 if you buy it online.

Treatment costs include free retainers and free replacements for ill-fitting aligners. You’ll also get a free teeth whitening kit if you visit the Straight My Teeth Smile Studio in Staines.

Straight My Teeth also has affordable retainers. You can get a pair for as little as £49. This allows you to keep your new smile for a reasonable price.

Notice: According to the Straight My Teeth website, the company isn’t accepting orders at the moment. There is no official statement on its current status and future direction. But you can take a free online assessment and they’ll let you know if they’re taking orders once again. This review was last updated on December 30, 2023.

PlusDent vs. Smile White

Smile White is a great option if you’re after specific results. You can straighten only your upper or lower teeth (single arch) or both (dual arch).

Smile White uses the same high-grade plastic as Invisalign for its aligners. However, its affordable treatments make it a better alternative.

Smile White can straighten teeth in as little as 2 to 7 months, faster than most invisible aligners in the UK. It costs £1,695 to £3,695.

PlusDent vs. Straight Teeth Direct

Straight Teeth Direct gives you the flexibility to choose a payment option that best fits your budget.

You can pay for your treatment upfront. Alternatively, you can use financing and split the cost of your treatment into monthly payments. 

The available payment plans have low interest rates and require little to no deposit. This makes the aligner treatment easily accessible.

Even without financing, Straight Teeth Direct offers affordable treatments.

Read our full review of Straight Teeth Direct

PlusDent vs. SmileDirectClub UK

SmileDirectClub is a brand of at-home clear aligners. 

The company announced its bankruptcy liquidation on September 2023, ceasing aligner treatments and ending its lifetime guarantee. 

Its global operations closed on December 2023 after failing to secure the funds needed to buy itself out of bankruptcy. 

How this affects you will depend on which stage of the treatment process you’re in. You can read our customer guide for SmileDirectClub UK.

Our PlusDent (Dr. Smile) Review

Screenshot 2023 12 19 at 2.07.28 AM
Overall user experience
3.5
Treatment process
4
Pricing and financing
3.9
Customer service and aftersales support
3
Brand reputation
3

PlusDent (now Dr. Smile UK) is a hybrid clear aligner treatment. It can treat most cases of crooked teeth for a cheaper cost than braces and in-office brands like Invisalign treatment.

If your results don’t match your custom treatment plan, the company may cover the cost of any additional aligners you’ll need to get straighter teeth.

To begin treatment, you’ll have to see a PlusDent dentist for an initial consultation. The brand is partnered with over 200+ dentists registered under the General Dental Council (GDC).

You can complete the rest of your treatment at home, where you’ll be monitored remotely with the Dr. Smile app. This makes it a convenient option that doesn’t sacrifice quality of care.

But if you prefer a full at-home experience, you may want to consider PlusDent alternatives.

How We Rated Plus Dent UK (Dr. Smile)

We had in-house writers undergo PlusDent’s clear aligner therapy. While testing its invisible teeth aligners, our team assessed and scored them based on five traits:

  • Overall user experience
  • Treatment process
  • Pricing and financing
  • Customer service and aftersales support
  • Brand reputation

Each trait was assigned a “weight” so we could calculate their individual rating and weighted average scores on a scale of five. Here is how we rated Plus Dent UK:

Customer Experience
30%
Treatment
30%
Pricing and Financing
20%
Customer Service and After-Sales Support
15%
Brand Reputation
5%

Customer Experience

Using artificial intelligence, we gathered and analyzed feedback from hundreds of people who tried PlusDent. This helped us determine the users’ experiences with a brand, including:

  • Its availability for in-person and/or virtual consultations
  • The accessibility of its clear aligners and ease of ordering
  • Whether it gives clear instructions for taking dental impressions 
  • The fit and comfort of its invisible braces, when worn

Treatment

We compared PlusDent’s average treatment times and effectiveness for correcting teeth misalignments.

Our team also examined it for any products or services they provided that would help customers during and after their treatment, such as:

  • Access to dental experts who can answer your questions and guide you throughout your treatment
  • A dedicated app that reminds users to switch aligners and allows them to conveniently track their progress and contact support
  • Regular virtual and/or in-person check-ins with a dental professional who can ensure that your treatment is going well
  • Additional dental treatments, such as teeth whitening

Pricing and Financing

We explored the total treatment cost of PlusDent UK, including their upfront prices, flexibility of payment options, eligibility for insurance, and maintenance costs for additional retainers.

Customer Service and After-Sales Support

Our team investigated PlusDent’s customer support in-depth when answering queries and resolving issues. We assessed them based on:

  • Availability
  • Responsiveness
  • Knowledge
  • Reliability
  • Friendliness

We also checked PlusDent’s offered guarantees for clear aligner adjustments, refinements, replacements, or refunds if you’re not qualified or if the treatment doesn’t work for you.

Brand Reputation

With the help of advanced AI algorithms, we sorted through thousands of customer reviews that would indicate the level of trust in Plus Dent.

Last updated on February 7, 2024
9 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 7, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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