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

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

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

I am not a happy bunny. Firstly I popped in aligner 5 and it fits everywhere, except my two front'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!


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Comments (91)

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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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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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I think the misunderstanding was likely from our side. It's a standard kind of comment for our admin team to say 'check patient has worn aligners for 3 weeks, blah blah'. My personal treatment is going well. One more aligner on the top then I'm one of my teeth has worn away in the old position I'm going to have a small addition of composite on the Incisal edge of it to make it level in height. I'm amazed how quick mine has gone!
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Are you happy with how things are looking?
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I'm so happy, can't believe that in the past I was told I had to have metal braces over 2 years! 5 upper aligners 3 lower aligners finished in 15 weeks! Very very pleased.
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Bit of a difference that! So what's your plan for retainers?
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I see my teeth have become famous on the smilelign Facebook and Twitter accounts haha. Hope they are doing a good job at promoting the treatment. There is a new smilelign review started on Realself and they actually said my review helped with their decision to go ahead with smilelign. It's a good feeling knowing I'm helping others get beautiful smiles whilst having my own done
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So far your pics are the most viewed on Facebook! Famous teeth! :-) I did look for the other review last week but couldn't find it???
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It's under clear braces reviews. I don't mind people looking at my teeth for the right reasons! I've had some compliments today at uni about how great they are looking :)
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Brilliant news!!!!!
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Ok, so I pull out all the stops and spoke nicely to a few of the Technicians and we actually shipped your new aligners this afternoon!! It's just 3 more. I personally completed your adjusted treatment plan and I was so pleased for you too. It appears that your original model had a very minute discrepancy making your teeth look a little thicker which in turn has created a small amount of movement in addition to what we expected hence why no5 didn't quite fit. So you will have all of the 3 aligners when you go in on Thursday. Hopefully they should be at the dentists tomorrow.
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Wow you are amazing!!!! Thank you so much and I can't believe I will be finished in 9 weeks!!!! Really can't say thank you enough for going the extra miles to help me, I really appreciate it :)
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Hi me again. I dealt with the nurse when she called a second time. Just shows how wires can get crossed. Someone in our team said ' it may be down to patient moving on too early' . It's kind of a standard issue and the phrase can get used a lot when people say the new aligner doesn't fit. Anyway as I deal with all technical queries I immediately recognised your case and put everyone straight and even used your dates on your posting to demonstrate you had worn them 3 weeks each. Sometimes they can take upto 4 weeks but I think in your instance no4 may have stretched a little and we may need to make a new no4 to finish that position for maybe 1 or 2 weeks max. Then move to no5. I am simply guessing of course and I will know when your mould arrives on Monday. I am personally dealing with it so rest assured we will get you fixed before your hols! :-)
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When I went to get my moulds redone, she was really lovely and made me feel better and said she had spoken to you. That's a relief that it'll be sorted before I go away cuz I'm supposed to switch to no 6 whilst in Oz so was getting worried. She said no 4 may have to be re made, it just seems as though one of my front teeth is not moving to how the video shows as it seems shorter than it's neighbour! Anyway thanks for your help with this, I really appreciate it!
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Wow.  I mean honestly, you've been keeping such good track here on RealSelf, it's easy to see that you've been counting correctly. (I'm not saying to show them your RealSelf page!)  April 3 was aligner 1 and June 26 makes 12 weeks.  So that means time to start aligner 5.  Hopefully that'll get straightened out quickly once you can talk to them again.  I'm surprised they didn't see the date you started with your dentist and count it themselves before accusing you.  Hopefully it's just a misunderstanding.  Maybe they expected you to wear the pre-aligner for 3 weeks, which you didn't do since the doctor called you in after a couple of weeks.
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Thanks for adding the vid!  The side-views are very quick, but it looks like you have a slight overjet?  Is that just an optical illusion?  Also, it seemed like only the front four teeth on the upper jaw are being moved, leaving a space between the canine and the premolar on each side.  Is that just because the vid only shows the closing of the space and doesn't go on to show when the four front teeth are pushed back, closing that space and shortening the arch?  The vid was labeled closing the space as opposed to treatment plan, so I'm wondering whether they just shortened it by taking off part of the treatment that didn't have to do with closing the gap.
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From memory. The request was for upper arch treatment only. There were already minor spacing distal to the upper canines. The space was redistributed to close the midline diastema and equalising the space distal to the canines. The overjet remains the same as previous so I think that may be the video. The only way to retract and close the space behind the upper canines would be to do some significant treatment of the lower arch to give space to retract the upper labial segment. The retraction is not always ideal as it can significantly change the lip profile and it looks beautiful at the moment. :-)
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