Have you considered straightening your teeth with clear aligners? There are many companies in the United Kingdom offering teeth straightening treatments, but it can be overwhelming to make a decision about which one to opt for. That’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive overview of some of the top aligner brands in the UK.
Our review focuses on five aligner companies, namely Straight My Teeth, PlusDent, Straight Teeth Direct, WonderSmile and Invisalign. We look at the advantages and downsides of each aligner brand and we’ve also included some answers to frequently asked questions that will help you to make a more informed decision.
You will have probably noticed a wide range of companies offering remote, tele-dentistry treatment, while others prefer in-person consultations. There are also many other subtle differences between aligner companies to look out for when making your decision. Some aligner companies offer more supervision by specialist dentists and orthodontists, others undertake lots of innovative research into making their aligner treatment more precise and comfortable, while others are able to treat a wider range of bite and alignment issues.
Depending on your budget, your dental issues, and perhaps where you live, you will be able to make a choice about teeth aligners and a straight teeth plan that suits your individual circumstances.
Straight My Teeth
Straight My Teeth began selling their clear teeth aligners in 2018 and has partnered with a company that supplies them with patented clear aligners. Their aligners are made from Raintree Essix plastic (which BPA-free) and are approved by the The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) of the United Kingdom and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States of America.
Advantages of Straight My Teeth
- Straight My Teeth offers flexibility in terms of getting started with your teeth straightening journey. You will need to get a dental scan or make teeth impressions in order for them to assess your eligibility and so they can create a personalised teeth straightening treatment plan. To do this, you can either visit their Smile Studio near London for a free dental scan, or you can purchase their home impression kit for £49. If you’re found to be ineligible for aligners, you will receive a full refund.
- They offer flexibility in terms of when you can wear your aligners with All-Day or NightOnly options, which is not something that all aligner brands offer.
- Their once-off fee for aligners is one of the most affordable on the market at £999 for the All-Day option, and their NightOnly package is £1,149. This price is inclusive of your aligners, impression kit, smile projection, your first set of retainers, and delivery within the UK.
- They also offer flexible payment plans, which makes teeth straightening with their aligners more affordable.
- Straight My Teeth give a £50 discount to active and retired veterans off the cost of aligners (over and above any promotion deals they may be running).
- They include your first set of retainers for free (thereafter you’ll pay £99).
- Another reason to smile, is that they offer a WorryFree Protection which gives you a six year supply of retainers to keep your pearly whites straight, for £459 .
- Their average treatment time is between 6 and 9 months, which is relatively quick.
- In terms of remote treatment monitoring, you will be assigned a Smile Crew Member who you can contact with any questions and queries. They will act as a liaison between you and your dentist, communicating any responses and answers to questions.
Downsides to Straight My Teeth
- They don’t currently have an app for remote monitoring and all communication is through your assigned Smile Crew Member, rather than being directly with your dentist.
- If you reach the end of treatment and you’re not satisfied with your results, then any refinements will be an extra £150.
PlusDent is a Berlin-based aligner company operating in various European countries including the UK. It has designed its own digital dentistry platform and it also produces its own medical technology products in its Berlin dental laboratory (including all its BPA-free aligners).
With over 30,000 patients having completed aligner treatment with PlusDent since the company started in 2017, it has gained a wealth of experience in teeth straightening and tele-dentistry.
Advantages of PlusDent
- PlusDent offer fixed prices for their aligners and there’s a lot of flexibility in how and when you can pay. Their aligners come in three different package options, depending on the complexity of your dental issues. Their short, normal or complex packages offer either a fixed one-off payment or flexible monthly payment options, which makes PlusDent aligners very affordable.
- Their instalment fees, which can be made over 12, 24, 36 or 48 months, offer some of the lowest monthly rates for aligners – starting from just £34.63 per month.
- To get started with PlusDent, they offer a free 3D teeth scan and assessment at one of their studios to check that you’re eligible for their aligners.
- PlusDent’s average teeth aligner treatment ranges from between 4 and 10 months, which makes it quite fast by comparison with other brands.
- PlusDent is set up for tele-dentistry, with remote monitoring. That means that you don’t need to go into an office for regular check-ups at all. Your treatment progress will be digitally monitored by their dentists and orthodontists, according to your individual plan. You’ll need to submit photo updates of your teeth every 8 weeks via the app and all feedback from dentists is via email.
- PlusDent’s satisfaction guarantee means that once you’ve completed treatment, you can request a free refinement as long as you meet certain requirements.
- PlusDent’s network of doctors have significant experience (on average 20 years) with teeth straightening using invisible aligners.
Downsides to PlusDent
- PlusDent doesn’t offer home teeth impression kits, which means you will have to go to one of their studios to have your 3D teeth scan taken to initiate your treatment.
- Their three teeth alignment packages dictate how much you’ll need to spend. The package you’re offered depends on how complicated your dental issues are. The downside is that, is that if you have a more complex alignment issue, you will end up paying more.
- If you opt for their monthly instalment payments, you will need to have a credit check done. Not everyone who applies will qualify for instalment payments, which is another drawback.
Straight Teeth Direct
Straight Teeth Direct is an international brand operating on 5 continents and has been in existence since 2009. They recently started offering their teeth straightening aligners using a digital dentistry platform to make them more accessible.
The company makes their aligners in the UK and has offices across Europe. They have invested in research and development to customize their aligners for optimal efficiency without the need for clinic visits. They also spend time developing materials to ensure aligner quality and comfort.
Advantages of Straight Teeth Direct
- Straight Teeth Direct offer flexible pricing options. You can either pay a once-off fee of £1350 for their StraightBox aligner kit – or you have the choice of a payment plan in instalments. The instalment option costs £500 each for three consecutive payments – or you can pay £150 per month over 8 months with an initial deposit of £399. They also cover free worldwide shipping for teeth aligners.
- An added advantage of choosing Straight Teeth Direct aligners, is that if you lose or break your aligners, then your assigned dentist will assess your case and may determine that you need a replacement (subject of course to terms and conditions). This could translate into a significant cost-saving as other companies charge anything from £50 to £150 for replacements.
- Straight Teeth Direct is almost entirely a remote orthodontic company, and only have a single office in London where they do 3D scans and consultations. If you live near London, you can get your tooth scan done there for £89 – or you can make your own teeth impressions at home using their SmileBox kit which also comes with a price tag of £89.
- Straight Teeth Direct also offer a maintainer plan which costs £139 a year and includes 2 sets of retainers which are delivered to you every 6 months.
- In terms of their treatment times, they average around 5 to 9 months, which is relatively quick.
- When it comes to remote monitoring of your treatment plan, Straight Teeth Direct has a user-friendly app that lets your dentist or orthodontist perform remote, monthly check-ups to review and monitor your progress.
- Anyone is eligible for the instalment plans involving either 3 or 8 payments. There is also a special UK finance plan with an external finance company.
Downsides to Straight Teeth Direct
- They only have a single office in London where they do 3D scans and consultations, which is quite limiting for anyone not in the area.
- Straight Teeth Direct can’t treat complex dental issues like braces and some other aligner brands are able to.
WonderSmile started as an Australian aligner company and is now operating several countries around the world including the United Kingdom.
Advantages of WonderSmile
- WonderSmile offers flexible payment plans including both single-pay and monthly instalment options. The single pay option is £1450 or £1490 for All-Day or NightClear aligners, respectively. Having such a small price difference is a benefit, as many other aligner companies charge much more for nighttime aligners.
- They also offer an interest-free WonderPay instalment plan that is £108 a month for 12 months with an initial deposit of £145 for the All-Day aligners – or £112 a month over 12 months with a £149 deposit for the NightClear aligners. The option of paying in instalments makes treatment more affordable for many people.
- An advantage of choosing WonderSmile (particularly if you’re concerned about your credit rating), is that they don’t require a credit check.
- The cost of the initial in-office scan at a WonderSmile Clinic Store (which is £40), is later deducted from the amount you owe for your aligners. And if it turns out that you’re not eligible for aligners, then they will give you a full refund.
- You also get the option to do a home impression kit for £25 and that amount also gets deducted from the price of your aligner treatment.
- WonderSmile treatment averages 6 to 9 months, which is relatively quick.
- If your alignment issue is confined to only one arch, then you may be eligible to buy aligners just for that arch, which will result in a cost savings of £250 off the regular price.
- The WonderSmile Lifetime Guarantee means that you’ll get free additional treatment if you need it, for the rest of your life. So if your teeth shift out of alignment and you can show that you complied with the treatment plan and wore your retainers as directed, then you will be covered.
- Children from 12 years and older can get WonderSmile clear aligners as long as they have all of their adult teeth.
Downsides to WonderSmile
- After you’ve completed your aligner treatment you will need to buy a set of retainers every 6 months for £60 and these aren’t included in the treatment price.
- There are only a couple of WonderSmile office locations in the major UK cities (London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester). So if you don’t live nearby, then these limited locations could be an inconvenience.
Invisalign is a long-established global aligner company with a reputation for being able to treat complex cases.
Advantages of Invisalign
- They have an impressive international footprint, having treated over 9 million people with invisible aligners.
- Their dental network is also vast with over 100,000 doctors around the globe, which means you’ll have a lot of choice about which dentist you choose.
- What distinguishes them further, is that they are able to treat complex bite and alignment cases which typically would be the purview of traditional braces.
- They are also dedicated to in-office consultations and check-ups and do not offer remote monitoring of aligner treatment, which suits people who feel comforted by having face-to-face check-ups.
- Invisalign have also patented many innovative materials and technologies to ensure the safety, comfort and durability of their aligners and retainers.
- While they do offer a shorter express treatment option, their treatment times are generally longer than other aligner companies, which is largely due to the fact that they are able to treat more complex dental cases.
- Their aligners are BPA-free and are designed for optimal comfort.
- Treatment is planned, modified, and approved by licensed dentists and orthodontists.
Downsides to Invisalign
- Invisalign doesn’t provide any fixed pricing options, and you will need to get a quote from your dentist based on your particular circumstances.
- Invisalign is generally more expensive than other aligner companies and more comparable to traditional braces in that regard. You can expect to pay between £1,500 and £5,000 or even a bit more, depending on the complexity of your issue.
- Treatment times are generally longer than with most other clear aligner brands, because they treat more complex cases that take longer to straighten.
How much are clear aligners for teeth in the UK?
Below is a summary of the pricing related to the 5 aligner brands mentioned above. It’s important to realise that when you are deciding on which aligner company to choose based on costs, that you will need to factor in all the costs involved in your treatment. These costs include the aligners, the initial consultation and scan or home impression kit, and your post-treatment retainers.
It is also relevant to look at whether any of the companies offer discounts or other valuable services or guarantees (like replacing lost aligners for free) which can save you money.
The cost of aligner treatment
- Invisalign: Their pricing is not fixed and depends entirely on the complexity of your alignment and bite issues. However, you can expect to pay between £1,500 and £5,000 for their treatment. The cost could even exceed that for more complicated cases.
- Straight My Teeth: Aligners cost £999 if you pay a once-off amount. If you pay in instalments, they’ll cost you £67.00 per month over 12 months with a £295 deposit. The NightOnly option is £1149 as a once-off payment or £75 a month for 12 months with a £349 down payment. You’ll also get a free teeth whitening kit if you pay the once-off SmileAdvantage fee.
- Straight Teeth Direct: Aligners cost £1350 as a once-off fee, or you can pay in 3 instalments of £500 each – or in instalments of £150 a month for 8 months with a £399 deposit.
- WonderSmile: Their All-Day aligners will cost you £1450 and the NightClear aligners are £1490 – both as once-off amounts. Alternatively, there’s an interest-free WonderPay instalment plan where you’ll pay £108 a month over 12 months with an initial deposit of £145 for the All-Day aligners – or £112 a month over 12 months with a £149 deposit for the NightClear aligners.
- PlusDent: Aligner prices rangefrom £1390 to £1990 as a once-off payment. If you opt for a payment plan, then the rates range from £34.63 to £173.10 a month, depending on your aligner package and whether you pay over 12, 24, 36 or 48 months.
The cost of the initial dental consultation and scan or impression kit
- Invisalign: There is no fixed price for the initial scan and consultation, because pricing is determined on an individual basis by Invisalign-trained dentists and orthodontists. They don’t offer home impression kits.
- Straight My Teeth: You can get a free dental scan at their Smile Studio or you can buy their home impression kit for £49.
- PlusDent: You’ll get a free dental scan at one of their studios. There’s no home impression kit option.
- Straight Teeth Direct: For £89 you can choose to either have a dental scan at their office near London or to do your own teeth impressions at home using their SmileBox kit.
- WonderSmile: Your scan at a WonderSmile clinic will cost you £40. This amount will be deducted from the cost of your aligners or it will be refunded in full if you’re not eligible. You also have the choice of buying a home impression kit for £25 instead of doing the in-office scan, and that amount also gets deducted from the price of your aligner treatment.
The cost of retainers
- Invisalign: Invisalign has their own brand of Vivera retainers, which can range in price from around £125 to £200 for a set. However, there is no fixed pricing for retainers. Because their retainers are more durable than many alternatives, they don’t need replacing as often (sometimes only once in several years) which can translate into cost-savings over time.
- Straight My Teeth: Retainers cost £99 and you’ll get your first pair free.
- Straight Teeth Direct: Their maintainer plan costs £139 a year and provides you with 2 sets of retainers which are delivered to you every 6 months.
- WonderSmile: Their retainers will cost you £60 a pair.
- PlusDent: Their retainers will set you back £99 a pair.
Do these brands offer any discounts or other cost savings or benefits?
While all brands do offer specials from time to time, some have standard discounts and others offer other guarantees and cost saving benefits which we’ll discuss below.
- Invisalign: Invisalign Express is a shortened version of their aligner treatment for milder alignment issues, and is significantly less expensive (and also has a shorter treatment duration).
- Straight My Teeth: Straight My Teeth have discounts for active and retired military personnel.
- Straight Teeth Direct: They offer a guarantee that if you lose or break your aligners, then you might be eligible for a free replacement (subject to terms and conditions). They also offer a maintainer plan for £139 a year which includes 2 sets of retainers which are delivered to you every 6 months.
- WonderSmile: They offer aligners for just one arch, with a cost savings of £250. The WonderSmile Lifetime Guarantee also means that you’ll get free additional treatment if you need it for the rest of your life (subject to some prerequisites).
- PlusDent: They offer a free 3D scan at one of their practices and they also offer huge flexibility in that you can pay your instalments over 12, 24, 36 or 48 months, which makes treatment much more affordable on a monthly basis.
Do teeth aligners really work?
You’ll find a myriad of teeth aligner brands operating around the world. Many of them are new start-ups and lots of them have been in existence for a good number of years. That means there’s a wealth of global expertise in teeth straightening using clear aligners.
You’ll also be able to read thousands of reviews from happy customers and you can see hundreds of photos of how people’s smiles have been completely transformed by aligners. In addition you can read thousands of touching testimonials about how new straightened teeth have impacted people’s lives in very personal ways. These make it quite clear that aligners really do work.
However, as with any products you buy, you will need to look for companies that have a good reputation, that use proven and safe technology, and that provide the type of support that you are looking for. Some people prefer remote monitoring (which many of the newer aligner companies offer), while others prefer having face-to-face check-ups with their preferred dentist or orthodontist.
Can I get aligners through the NHS?
According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) website, about one third of all children require some orthodontic treatment. For young people under the age of 18, this treatment is free. For adults, orthodontic treatment is not usually available although it may be approved if your health depends on the treatment.
However, the type of orthodontic treatment that the NHS typically approves for children under 18 years is limited to braces, and more specifically to fixed braces that stay in all the time. These are visible metal braces, not ceramic or other types.
The NHS does not provide free aligner treatment. So if you’re looking for clear, invisible, removable treatment options to straighten your teeth, then you’ll need to consider paying privately for these costs.