Smilelign Clear Aligners - Loughborough, UK

Hi everyone. So I have just started my clear...

Hi everyone.


So I have just started my clear aligner treatment with a UK based company called Smilelign, which seems similar to Invisalign but is cheaper for UK patients as the aligners are made in the UK. I haven't come across any other Smilelign reviews so thought I would start my own.


I'm undergoing treatment for a gap in front two upper teeth which I have had all my life and never really liked the look of it in photos, so now at 28years old I decided to get something done about it. My lower teeth are fine so I'm only having aligners for my top teeth. I did go for a consultation nearly 4 years ago but at the time I couldn't really afford it (I can't really now but it's for the 'greater good').


So I had my initial consultation (again) and had x-rays taken (again) to make sure my teeth are all healthy and there aren't any hidden cavities, which there wasn't. Then 3 weeks later I had the moulds taken (an unpleasant but bearable experience), which were sent off the labs to produce my aligners. Another 3 weeks later I had my 1st aligners fitted. Now something I wasn't expecting was my 1st set of aligners are called pre-aligners which according to the Smilelign website are just passive aligners, not designed for any movement and are to get the patient used to life with aligners. However...they felt really tight to begin with, I can feel pressure areas on certain teeth and when remove them and eat my teeth feel quite sore delicate when I chew and bite. So I'm not sure!


I have to wear each set of aligners for 3 weeks and I have a total of 8 to close my gap, so 24 weeks in total! After treatment I will either have a fixed retainer behind my front teeth fitted and use a night time only retainer every other night or have a night time retainer every night if there isn't space behind my teeth for the fixed retainer.


At my fitting appointment I was given printout images of what my teeth will look like and it's better than I imagined! Woop woop! I was also given an aligner box to use when eating, a chewie and a hook to remove them with (which I've never needed to use) and some Nitradine to soak them in for cleaning.
So how do they feel?….


When the dentist first popped them in I thought my mouth had doubled in size. They felt intrusive and as wide as my head! I begin producing excessive amounts of saliva and found myself instantly sucking the saliva and spit bubbles out of my aligners! I also couldn't navigate my tongue around to produce coherent words and thought I'm never gonna do this! The dentist reassured me everything would be fine.
I'm now on day 5, excess saliva has calmed down a touch but the spit bubbles still accumulate in the space where my gap is and I'm managing to talk much better, which is a relief as I work face to face with the public! Which is also the reason why I went for clear aligners. They don't feel as tight anymore and I'm becoming less aware of them in my mouth (by which I mean I'm 97% aware rather than 100%!). I do find the whole eating and cleaning routine a bit inconvenient and I don't snack anymore as it's too much effort, so perhaps dropping a few pounds will be an added bonus!


So I will try and keep this review updated with photos and my progress, although I am really busy with uni and home life.

Please feel to comment below if you have a question.

Photos week 1

Here are some pictures of my 1st week wearing my pre-aligners

Before and after shots

Aligner 1

Hey!
I went to the dentist today and got my complete set of aligners for my treatment. 8 in total. They come in clear plastic bags so of course the first thing I did was check out number 8! It looks great!
So aligner one is in and I have to wear each one for 3 weeks, I don't need any attachments adding to my teeth. The aligners fits over my gum line and sits just slightly over the palate behind my teeth. It feels like a really tight hug all round my teeth!
I can feel lots of pressure against my front two teeth right now, but overall it seems ok. I've added a picture to show you what this aligner looks like with it in.
I've had to use my retainer retriever to remove this set as it's really tight. My pre aligner was really loose after 3 weeks and I could remove it just using my tongue.
Any questions feel free to ask
X

Aligner 1 update

So tomorrow I switch to aligner 2 which I'm excited about! Aligner 1 feels passive now after wearing it for 3 weeks, which is a good sign that I'm ready for the next aligner.
Haven't noticed any differences so far, but my next aligner looks as though my two front teeth will be more in line with one another, currently my left front tooth sticks out slightly (I've attached a photo of this)
My current aligner doesn't appear to have discoloured at all, I've been soaking it daily in retainer brite whilst eating breakfast and then twice a week using the nitradine. I haven't noticed any problems with odours either.
So I'll update this weekend with how aligner 2 is feeling and post some pics!

Aligner 2

So I've switched to aligner 2 on thurs evening and I must say the first two days my teeth were really REALLY sore. Removing the aligner felt horrible like my teeth were been ripped out.
However today (Sunday) feels much better, teeth aren't as sensitive. One thing I have noticed is chewing food feels so different like my bite is slightly off, it's almost like my back teeth don't touch as much as they used to before treatment.
Anyway I've added a photo of aligner 2 and will update in a couple of weeks at the end of aligner 2.
I'm off on holiday tomorrow so I will see how practical smilelign is on holiday!

Aligner 4

Oops sorry haven't updated this for a few weeks, been quite busy!
So I've had aligner 4 on for a week and 3 days and it's been fine. I did ring the dentist as there is a space between one of my front teeth and the bottom of the aligner but they said that wasn't a problem treatment wise. I was just concerned that maybe that tooth wasn't moving as it should be. The rest of the aligner fits well and is feeling loose already, however gotta wait another week and a half to get the full 3 weeks wear. I've attached a photo, hopefully you can see some difference. I did start to feel as tho not much was changing so tried my pre aligners on and it doesn't even near fit, so progress has been made!

Pre treatment vs aligner 4

Wow I'm shocked actually! Goes to show how we don't notice subtle changes!

My treatment video

Aligner 5

Right......
I am not a happy bunny. Firstly I popped in aligner 5 and it fits everywhere, except my two front teeth....it's like my teeth are shorter than the aligner. I had this with aligner 4, but just on one tooth and the dentist said it wouldn't be a problem. So I rang them up tonight in a panic as next week I fly to Oz and don't want my treatment delayed for the 3 weeks I'm away!
Anyway the dentist rang the lab then rang me back, and said I wasn't supposed to be on aligner 5 yet and I've been shaving time off between aligner switches. This is not true! I told them I have been wearing each one for 3 weeks and always switch on a Thurs, but she still didn't believe me!!!! I'm very very annoyed.
So anyway, the technician wasn't at the lab so she will ring me tomorrow, she said I will possibly need moulds taking to assess the position of my teeth and then switch to previous aligners. Which doesn't make any sense to me as previous ones are not gonna fit! I tried to explain that the rest of this aligner fits on all my other teeth except the two front ones (see attached pic).
I'm a bit bummed out, especially about the accusation!
:(

Aligner 5 update

I had impressions redone last week after the incident of aligner 5 not fitting properly and received an exciting phone call today! So I'm not quite sure what's happened but some of the aligners are slightly distorted in relation to my actual teeth so I am having the remainder of my aligners remade based on my new impressions and the great news is I actually need less aligners. I can't remember if she said I have 3 more or 4, but either way it's less time til finished!!! So that's exciting, and I pick up the new next one in time for going away, but the remainder may not be ready til I'm back, which works out well anyway as I'll be away for 3 weeks.
The nurse also said that my previous aligners were more active than originally thought which means my teeth have moved quickly, hence the reduced treatment time!
Anyway I will update on thurs regarding the new aligner!
I must say as well that Smilelign have been really helpful and quick to resolve my situation. Can't sing their praises enough!!!

Aligner 1B

I am soooooo happy!!!! Picked up my new aligners today that have been made at super speed thanks to the amazing Smilelign technician!!!! And they look amazing. My dentist popped then in to make sure they fit and they do perfectly!!! You can barely see them in!!! I've attached photos. They feel so much thinner too and I can't emphasise the relief of then fitting so perfectly. Thank you so much Smilelign for the amazing job you've done. I couldn't be happier right now xx

Aligner 2B - the gap has gone :)

So I switched to aligner 2B on weds just gone and there has been no discomfort at all with this one.
I'm so excited to be one aligner away from been finished!
This aligner has become loose very quickly to the point it can be removed just using my tongue! Hopefully it won't just slip out!
I've attached a photo showing this aligner in and out.
I'm so glad I went ahead with this treatment, I just can't believe how well it has worked!

Progress

End of treatment...almost!!

Well I'm almost finished my treatment! Yay.
I finished on my final aligner last weds, but still wearing it full time until my fixed retainer is ready.
So today I had the impressions taken for the fixed retainer which will be ready in 1-2 weeks and then another set of impressions will be made once the fixed retainer is fitted for my night time retainer.
I've also been asked if my pictures can be used in a lecture or conference this weekend, which I was fine about.
I've also had my right front tooth filed slightly at the bottom to even it's shape up slightly with it's next door neighbour! I will post some pics later of the finished product!
But I'm very happy and would highly recommend this treatment and my dentist to anyone who is unsure of the results.

Before and after

View from underneath before and after

Sorry not the best before photo for comparison, but still think it does the job well

Fixed retainer

So I had my fixed retainer fitted today. It all seemed to go well without any problems. It feels strange not wearing my aligner, as I've been programmed to wear it religiously for the last 6 months!
I also had another set of impressions taken to get my night time retainer which I won't need to wear every night & I'm actually getting 2 night retainers.
I also had impressions taken for my bottom teeth to get a whitening tray made which was a nice surprise, as I'm getting free whitening treatment! So I will post progress of my whitening treatment. I have an appointment on thurs morning to get my whitening kit and retainers, I think my official smilelign retainer will be ready next week :)

Fixed retainer cont....

I've been asked how I came to the choice of retainer type. Well I think I opted for fixed because then your teeth will constantly be held in the final position, and a night time retainer will be worn to assist.
The fixed retainer lasts between 5-10 years depending on wear, such as patient grinding etc. I think I'm a night grinder looking at the wear on my previous aligners, so hopefully my night retainer will protect me from grinding on the fixed one.
I can't even tell I've got the fixed one now and that's after 3 days, it's really comfy, doesn't affect my speech or rub on my tongue and doesn't taste of anything. It's a metal wire so I wasn't sure if it would taste like metal.
My teeth haven't changed position at all just having the fixed retainer for three days, as I picked my plastic ones up today and they fit perfectly. I will be starting the whitening process tonight and I've been given the Philips zoom nite white kit. So if any one has used this its be great to hear your feedback!
I've attached a photo of my fixed retainer for you guys to see, it's completely invisible from the outside. I guess if your a head thrower backer when you laugh kinda person, people would see it, otherwise no one would know unless you told them :)

Fixed retainer

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Sweet!  Thanks for the picture of the fixed retainer :).  It's so great that you'll have the nighttime retainer as well, so you don't have to worry about any of the teeth not covered by the fixed retainer moving.  I know they tend to move slowly, but slowly is not 'not at all'.  When I stopped wearing my full Vivera retainer for a while and moved to a Hawley, all my teeth moved.  Just a little, but enough to notice and make me run back to my Vivera!  Are you using a floss threader with those teeth?
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Congrats on your progress, your teeth look fab! I don't yet know much about fixed retainer, could you write a bit about how you come to that decision? Looking forward to seeing your whitening progress :-)
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Wow!  I didn't even think about that they'd need to do a bottom tray for your whitening, but that's fabulous that you get that included in the price.  They are seriously taking care of you at this place, LOL!  Fantastic service.  Looking forward to seeing your whitening results!  Do you know which bleach you'll be using?
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Hi! I have been following your blog since your pretty much started posting and noticed that you previously mentioned one of your aligners was slightly to big for your teeth.. As in there was a gap between the aligner and the bottom of your front tooth. Two of my aligners have been too big on both front teeth .. As in my teeth seem too short to fit the aligner and I definitely can't push it up any further. Did you say the dentist said that this isn't much of a problem treatment wise? I'm on holiday at the moment and it has happened on my third set of aligners and I don't want to make the situation worse if it shouldn't be like that! Did all your aligners fit perfectly? Thanks!
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It's not a major problem, in fact it could be that at this stage we want those teeth to come down into the space. If the space gets worse then I'd call the dentist. The movement is one of the trickiest to achieve and we may need to make adjustments at the end of treatment to achieve those positions. Does that help answer your question?
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Hi! Hope your having a nice holiday! No, not all my aligners were a perfect fit. If you look at the photo of aligner 5, you can see where things went a bit wrong. As smikelign staff has said, sometimes it's the case that a tooth needs to come down which one of mine needed to. However if it gets really bad just go back to your dentist. I had to have another set of impressions taken and new aligners made. The staff at smilelign were fantastic and I didn't have to wait long for the new aligners...I was in a panic as was going to Australia! What are you having the treatment for?
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Fantastic!  Beautiful result!  Thank you so much for choosing to share your story with us :).  Please do keep us apprised of developments even after you get your retainers, if anything changes for you.  Hopefully you'll be able to show us your retainers as well.  Will you be getting retainers for only your top arch as well?
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Thank you for your lovely compliments! I will only be retaining the top arch as haven't had anything done to the lowers. I've got an appointment on the 22 Sept to get my top fixed retainer fitted. Then once that is done I will another impression taken to make my removable retainer to wear every other night I think? It will be odd not wearing my aligner 24/7! Quite often I wake up now in a panic that I'm not wearing my aligner cuz I can't feel it so I'm sure I will be even worse when I'm not wearing it! Looking back at my original pics, I can't believe the gap was so big and my teeth were all uneven compared to now
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A lot of people, before they start orthodonitc treatment (I was definitely one of them!)  See only one flaw in their teeth before they start.  But during treatment, they start seeing everything else.  And then when treatment is over, and the teeth are perfect, they wonder how they ever could have thought there wasn't that much wrong with their teeth before.  We train ourselves to watch for the minutiae.  Good thing all those imperfections are gone at the end, most of the time, LOL!  Congratulations again :)
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I have been following your progress as am on my fourth set of aligners. I had hoped to be able to post on here but unfortunately did not find the time. Thank you so much for detailing your progress as any worries I had about the treatment not working are gone when I see how fabulous your teeth look. Tricia
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Hi Tricia. I'm glad to hear you are still continuing with things. Taking photos was a suggestion I made back in June/July when you last commented, so you can see the progress. As we see ourselves on a daily basis it's hard to notice the subtle changes, and I only really noticed when I did the comparison photos side by side. What are you having Smilelign for?
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There is a dentist giving a lecture next Friday to new Smilelign dentists. He saw your case online and asked if he could use your case as a great example of Smilelign treatment. We asked your dentist to see how you felt about that. I have one more request. :-) Would you be happy to be one of our faces of Smilelign? The website is currently having an overhaul, the web guys said they would like to get 'real people with real smiles'. We would arrange a professional photographer to come to take photos. Let me know, in return we would be happy to share the photos with you for your own use too.
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Yeah why not! What do I need to do? Have you finished your treatment now? I'm really excited about not having to wear my aligner 24/7! Plus this last one looks so worn and bit on the gross side now!
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Beautiful!!  How much longer have you got to go now?
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I've got 4 1/2 weeks to go! Seems to be flying by now and I'm just so happy with the progress I've made so far and excited to see the final results!
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Yeah, wow, that's nothing!  One month :).  Congratulations!
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Don't forget, you will still need to wear a final retainer to hold your teeth in their new positions for a while then intermittently long term. Your dentist will discuss options with you.
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Yeah we have already made an appointment to have an impression for my final retainer and I will be having a fixed retainer hopefully if there's enough room. So my appointment is 5 weeks after I've started wearing my final aligner and then it could be another 2 weeks until I have the fixed retainer. So looking at 7 weeks wearing the final one
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Just doubled checked and I've added a week on, so I will be wearing my final aligner for 4 weeks when I have my impressions done. So looking at around 6 weeks
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@Smilelign Staff, do you know how long is usual for full-time retainer-wear post treatment (before going to intermittent wear)?  I've seen many doctors talk about 6 months, but I know mine was less--I think because I was getting issues with an open bite.  Also, does Smilelign recommend any certain type of retainer (or offer one), or is it doctor and patient's choice?
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Sorry, only just seen this question. Most orthodontists and dentists now insist on 'retention for life' be that fixed or removable. We recommend a minimum of 3 months daily wear of removable following active aligners. Afterwards each night or every other if fixed retainer is fitted for 3 months. Then intermittent for life. There are some cases where fixed would almost be necessity.
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Thank you!  :)
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I agree--the only reason you can see them at all is because they're shiny.  Otherwise, they're so thin and perfectly fitted.  Looking fantastic!
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They look so much better now, you really can't see them now! By the way your dentist and nurse are great too. Good choice of dental practice. I'm excited for you! :-)
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Thank you. Other than the misunderstanding last week I can't fault them at all, and even then it was quickly resolved. Definite A**** for communication. Also looking at the new aligners, it seems as though the space created behind the canines is gonna be reduced? Thanks again for your help. How's your treatment?
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