If you’re anything like me or the majority of busy adults, you lost your retainers or just stopped wearing them years ago.
After a painstaking, long, and expensive course of visits to the orthodontics and, for me, removal of several teeth, you would have expected that wearing my retainers to sleep would be the easy part of the process, unfortunately not.
Moving into my late 20s, I started to notice my teeth shifting out of place and the gaps that were closed 10 years ago, were back. I became self-conscious about smiling big in pictures and with an upcoming wedding, a straight smile became all the more important to me.
I have now recently achieved my perfect smile, through the help of Straight Teeth Direct, the world’s first teeth-straightening company app that fixes your teeth whilst sparing you the countless trips to a clinic. My experience with Straight Teeth Direct has been nothing short of incredible and I can’t thank the company enough for giving me my straight smile, as well as their team of professionally trained staff who were always reachable 24 hours a day and ultimately for helping me to gain my confidence again.
The Background Story
What led me to Straight Teeth Direct? Sadly my journey to the perfect smile wasn’t completely positive. Rewind to 2 years prior to my discovery of Straight Teeth Direct to one of the worst experiences of my life. In 2018, when I first decided that I wanted to invest in my teeth, I ventured to the prestigious Harley Street in London to get my teeth fixed the “traditional way”, at a recommended orthodontics. Here I paid thousands of pounds for Invisalign braces and was promised straight teeth within 6-9 months.
Over a year later and I was still getting treatment, or a lack of and following numerous rude encounters, hostile phone calls, cancelled appointments, “lost” sets of braces and no refund, a group of fellow upset customers and I set up an online group to help advise one and other on the situation in an attempt to get a refund or answers from our Harley Street orthodontist who seemed to have completely vanished. In total, I received only 3 sets of aligners from this clinic.
However, it was all to no avail, and after many months of further complaints none of the customers (over 200 of us), received our full treatment or money back. I never would have expected to receive such a poor experience with a clinic based in an area of London with a long history of highly regarded medical establishments – if anything it taught me that the traditional route isn’t always the best and not everyone can be trusted just because they hold a label.
As you can imagine, this was a draining and disheartening experience, but then I found Straight Teeth Direct, a professional alternative to the in-clinic teeth straightening approach.
Launched in 2016 by Dr Aalok Y Shukla, Co-founder & CEO alongside Lucie Marchelot Shukla, Co-Founder & Managing Director, the brand is now one of the most highly regarded and top-quality dental health platforms in Europe, providing convenient and affordable mobile solutions.
At £1,350, the whole experience is reduced in cost by 70% compared to traditional orthodontics and with aligners delivered directly to your front door, it’s the ideal treatment for those, like me, who are poor on time.
When asked how the concept for Straight Teeth Direct was born, Co-Founder & Managing Director Lucie Marchelot Shukla told KeiKeiTravels: “After years of running our own private dental practice, it became evident that we needed to come up with a new solution, one that would open up access to a beautiful smile, by making teeth straightening more affordable and convenient and a solution that fits into people’s busy lifestyles.
“That’s when we began working with top dentists and experts in cosmetic orthodontics to create a comprehensive platform that delivers world-class teeth-straightening to your door.”
My Experience With Straight Teeth Direct
Every step of my journey with Straight Teeth Direct was fully reviewed and monitored by an experienced member of the clinical team, providing constant, ongoing support through the company’s app rather than being limited to intermittent appointments.
This proved to be one of the major benefits, especially as I am always busy travelling for work, and I was never bound to a specific location for treatment. Additionally, the user’s app account was incredibly helpful in tracking my process as it stored all my conversations with the clinical team along with treatment history, documents, and progress information as well as facilitating clinical support in case I ever had any pressing questions.
The steps to receiving my first set of aligners were simple and quick, as customers are sent teeth moulding kits in the post, following a free e-consultation stage. I completed this step with the help of in-depth instructions and online video support and once my moulds were perfected and sent off I received my first batch of aligners within a few weeks and my journey to straight teeth officially started, all without me having to leave the house.
In addition to this, all of Straight Teeth Direct’s aligners are produced in house, so their team has full quality and product control, making them different from clinics as most need to outsource all the production aspects to an experienced lab.
Lucie explained: “Having our own lab means that we are able to position ourselves at the forefront of teleorthodontic innovation, with our dentists and technicians working together to innovate as well as constantly improve product quality.”
Ok, let’s go through the process step by step.
Step 1. Free e-consultation | Initial dentist screening and evaluation
The e-consultation is completely free and all you have to do is answer a few questions about your dental history and upload 5 pictures of your teeth from different angles. The consultation is then reviewed by a dentist within 24 hours to determine your suitability for at-home teeth straightening with invisible aligners.
Step 2. SmileBox | At-home impression kit
The SmileBox costs £42 and includes everything you need to make 6 dental impressions, as well as return shipping to the lab, a 3D smile simulation to show you how your smile will transform over the treatment period, as well your comprehensive Straight Teeth Plan put together by an orthodontist, outlining the details of your case and treatment (diagnosis, predicted results, potential limitations, treatment duration).
Step 3. Report & 3D Simulation | Personalised orthodontic report & results prediction
To digitise the models, your moulds are first cleaned up and polished, then clamped inside a special mount that registers the bite and placed into the 3D scanner.
The team are then left with an accurate digital replica of your teeth inside the orthodontic computer system and your assigned orthodontist can begin creating your treatment plan.
Once the digital model of your teeth is imported into the specialised software, the clinical team starts getting to work on mapping the exact location and angle of each tooth. This allows them to properly analyse your current dental situation and see which areas need correcting to create your straightest smile.
Take a look at my 3D simulation below:
Step 4. Your Smile Delivered | Aligner deliveries + professional progress monitoring
For £1,350, this includes all aligners necessary to achieve the results outlined in the Straight Teeth Plan, as well as a complementary set of retainers once the end position is achieved. The aligners are sent in batches according to your progress, which is monitored monthly by an assigned dentist via the Straight Teeth Direct app.
Step 5. Treatment Review | Final dentist review and retainer delivery
When the clinical team is satisfied that your teeth match your 3D predicted results you’ll be given the wonderful news that you have clinically achieved your end results along with a treatment review like mine below.
Step 6. Maintainer Plan | Optional: receive new retainers every 6 months
For an additional £139 you can opt for a subscription aftercare plan, which provides users who have completed teeth straightening, with bi-yearly retainer deliveries to keep their smile straight.
Over the course of the last 12 months, I received each set of new aligners in the post, all whilst keeping the company’s team of dentists informed of my progress by sending detailed photos and videos. At any point that I had queries, I was able to contact a member of the team at all hours of the day and receive helpful replies within minutes. The fantastic service alone made the experience worthwhile.
My Perfect Smile
Fast forward to the current day and having recently finished my full course of aligners, all of the gaps between my teeth are now fully closed and I’ve got my straight smile back, all without having to pay one visit to a clinic. It’s no wonder Straight Teeth Direct is now delivering aligners to over 50 countries worldwide and have no plans to stop just there.
Lucie said: “We have also recently launched a new wellness platform called Instant Dentist™, set out to revolutionise dental care at home through comprehensive diagnosis, tailored regimes, and smart devices”.
“It is of utmost importance to us that each and every user has a positive end to end experience, which is why we offer unique ongoing monitoring and 24/7 support via the app.
“By breaking away from the traditional call centre mindset and instead of using the app and teledentistry platform, we are better equipped to meet users’ requirements and requests. Our service is 100% personalised and tailored to the users’ individual needs.”
Through their ongoing monitoring service and with the premium aligners delivered in stages according to your progress, at no point did I ever feel out of the loop.
Gone are the days that you have to pay up to £6,000 and go through time-consuming, and often painful, dental procedures to achieve your perfect set of teeth.
Straight Teeth Direct has completely changed my outlook on online services and, most importantly, changed the way I feel about myself when I look in the mirror. It’s a truly fantastic alternative to traditional braces or over-priced Invisalign and when anyone asks me for a recommendation on getting the perfect smile, I will forever be sending them in the opposite direction of Harley Street and directly to https://www.straightteethdirect.com/