The 10 most common customer complaints with aligner at home companies – The Straight Teeth Direct™ Difference
As with any new service, aligner at home companies have ups and downs: no service is perfect from the beginning! We’ve done some online research into the most common customer complaints around at-home aligners, and have found ten main issues that seem to be causing people the most annoyance. So, here are the top 10 customer complaints with other aligner at home companies, and how we’re working to bring you the best service on the market at Straight Teeth Direct™.
#1 Improper screening process – Hopes risen and time wasted
If you’ve been clicking around our site for a little while, you’ll have noticed (or even already completed) the “Free E-Consultation” button. Though this step is free, it’s absolutely essential. Here’s why.
Many users who have experienced other aligner at home companies complain that they were not properly consulted before buying products and investing in their new smile, only to be told further down the line that this method would not work for them after all. This is a direct result of improper consultation at the very start, which is why we’ve created our unique e-consultation process.
The free e-consultation gives you the chance to inform us on your current dental situation and dental history by answering a few easy questions, and by including 5 pictures of your teeth from different angles. An experienced dentist is then able to screen your case and tell you for sure whether or not this method will work for you, and ensure it is safe and appropriate before moving on to any paid services.
#2 Not advised to see their local dentist for a general checkup
Although a dentist monitors the teeth straightening process, your regular dentist visits to check for cavities and gum problems are essential. We’ve gathered that other aligner at home companies didn’t (or still don’t) reinforce the importance of a dental checkup before starting any orthodontic treatment.
That’s why we make sure to ask for your most recent x-ray and gum scores during the SmileBox™ phase, which means having visited a dentist within the last 6 to 12 months to confirm you’re dentally healthy. The x-ray also allows your assigned digital orthodontist to assess the condition of your roots, ensuring maximum safety throughout your treatment.
#3 Slow response time to customer queries and complaints
One of the issues that seems to be prevalent across the board of online services, is that queries and questions are dealt with too slowly. Aligner at home companies cannot afford to slack in this area, as reassurance and competence are everything when it comes to teeth straightening. You have questions that deserve answers when you need them.
We’ve found that the standard emailing system is suboptimal for quick, reliable replies, which is why we’ve created the Straight Teeth Direct™ App, the world’s No.1 teeth straightening app, connecting users directly to their assigned dentist and support team. This allows for much faster response times, giving you the expert reassurance you require and deserve. You also have access to all your records, saved documents, photo uploads and entire message history at all times.
#4 Pushy marketing strategies instead of results-driven advice by other aligner at home companies
Nobody likes being cornered by salespeople, or pressured into buying a product. Unfortunately, it seems that a handful of aligner at home companies are doing just that, without much regard for their users’ individual needs, expectations, or even suitability. As we saw in complaint #1, many feel that they are not adequately screened before proceeding with the next steps towards their dream smile, but they proceed anyway, which is often a direct result of pushy sales strategies operating on a one-size-fits-most mentality. The importance of treating each user’s smile as unique cannot be emphasised enough.
For this reason, we make sure to encourage every user to understand their individual options and expectations based on their suitability, including limitations if our experts feel some goals are not realistically achievable. If someone isn’t 100% suitable for at home teeth straightening, we will inform them of this and explain that their needs would be better met through a different solution. The best way for us to help you achieve your smile goals is through honest, results-driven advice, not by pushing you into buying a service that won’t serve you.
#5 Delivery delays – weeks instead of days
Another issue seems to be that delivery estimates are inconsistent with actual delivery dates. While we cannot confirm that other aligner at home companies opt for or against express shipping, we heard the complaint and decided to combat it immediately.
At Straight Teeth Direct™, all your kits, boxes and aligners are sent using DHL express shipping, or equivalent courier services in some areas. This gives you the peace of mind that your package is on the quickest way to you, all trackable from the comfort of your own home.
We also keep you updated on your journey’s progress via your secure app account, and guide you through every step of the way.
Your aligners are produced in our own lab in the UK, meaning those based in Europe receive them much faster and with no delivery issues compared to all other European based aligner at home companies, who need to outsource their production (often in the USA or China).
#6 Impressions rejected without proper explanation by other aligner at home companies
When making dental impressions at home, it’s understandable that every now and again they might not end up exactly the way they should. Did you know that even dentists need to repeat the impression process sometimes? Customers of other aligner at home companies have complained that their impressions were rejected, but that they weren’t given a reason why or clear guidelines on how to correct this the second time around. This is unhelpful for both the user and the company, and it also results in a lot of wasted time and resources. So, what’s our solution?
At Straight Teeth Direct™, you’ll receive personalised guidance from a dentist via your app account after your first impression attempts. Simply take the first two impressions (1 upper arch, 1 lower arch), send a picture through the app, and your assigned dentist will get back to you with feedback. At this point, you will be guided on how to improve the impressions if needs be.
Additionally, you’re covered by our unique Impressions Guarantee. This means that, if you should need a second go at making your dental impressions, we’ll send you a custom impression kit with precise guidelines for you – free of charge. The reason we provide a custom impression kit is that everyone’s dental structure is different, and you may just need slightly smaller or larger trays to get the impression right.
#7 Sharp edges on aligners
Even though aligners are, by default, less irritating to your gums than braces (no sharp brackets and metal), if they have not been finished properly, sharp edges on the plastic can still cause some discomfort and, in extreme cases, lead towards sores and ulcers. This happens when the situation isn’t dealt with in the right way.
We find that by producing the aligners at our very own lab, using the best materials, as well as filing and polishing every pair of aligners by hand, we can minimise the chances of uneven or sharp edges irritating your mouth. Additionally, every StraightBox™ comes with a small file, so that you can carefully file down any edges in case you still feel any discomfort.
Making your aligners at our own facility gives us a huge advantage, as we have full control over every aspect of the aligner production. One of the problems with outsourcing to one or more aligner production facilities, which all other at home aligner companies need to do, is that you have no control over the process or the consistency of product quality, leaving room for errors, like sharp edges.
#8 Ulcers and sores on gums
As mentioned in #7, sharp edges on aligners can lead to small cuts in the mouth, which may promote ulcers and sores if not handled right, while some people just have sensitive gums in general. There are multiple factors to consider here, such as general oral hygiene, specifically when using aligners. Are you brushing as often and the way you should? Do you floss? Do you brush and floss too aggressively? Do you use a proper cleaning agent for your aligners from time to time? All of these can have an influence on the development of gum irritation.
Unfortunately, other aligner at home companies tend to not provide enough information around teeth straightening and general dental care if it doesn’t immediately concern the treatment process. We know that successful teeth straightening doesn’t start and end with wearing aligners, there is much more to it. That’s why we started the Straight Teeth Direct™ Blog and YouTube channel, full of helpful information on all things teeth and teeth straightening, so that you’re well informed and can approach your treatment in the safest, most holistic way possible.
#9 Not happy with results delivered by other aligner at home companies
Now, let’s talk about the end result. Cosmetic orthodontics is all about achieving your individual best smile. No two results will ever be the same. Unfortunately, this is falsely advertised by many aligner at home companies, whose users end up being disappointed because their results weren’t the same as “the girl in the advertisement”.
The problem is that not enough effort is made to inform users about their individual possibilities and expectations, so they end up getting unexpected results. For us at Straight Teeth Direct™, this is a no-go, so we’ve put in place as many measures as we could think of to ensure you know exactly what your results will be before even spending a dime on your aligners.
With your SmileBox™ impression kit, you will also receive a fully detailed orthodontic report, the Straight Teeth Plan. It describes your current dental situation with a comprehensive diagnosis and expectations, as well as the steps necessary to achieve your individually optimum smile. Most other companies use the term “treatment plan”, but in fact refer to only a 3D smile simulation video. As leading experts in the field, we feel this is not enough, and makes it very hard for you to consent with such little information.
Don’t worry, your comprehensive report from Straight Teeth Direct™ also comes with a 3D simulation, which shows the transformation your smile will go through, as well as your guaranteed results. This leads us to one more point.
#10 Expensive refinements without warning
Sometimes, due to our individual biological dental structure, one or more teeth may be less inclined to move as planned. This isn’t a problem, it just requires a bit of tweaking to the initial treatment plan and a few extra aligners, called refinements.
Other aligner at home companies typically charge up 400€ / £400 or more for refinement treatment, but at Straight Teeth Direct™ you’ll receive any additionally required aligners free of charge as part of your Results Agreement Guarantee. That means you are guaranteed to achieve the smile goals agreed upon in your treatment plan, with no hidden costs.
How do we do that? As the production is done in house, we have better control, and ship in stages rather than all in one go based on your treatment progress; yes your treatment is fully monitored and tracked by our dental professionals every step of the way so adjustments can be made if necessary, at no extra cost to you.
As you can see, it takes a lot of attention to detail and constant innovation to stay on top of our users’ needs, and to provide the teeth straightening experience you deserve!
If you’re interested in finding out whether or not this solution is for you, why not get your free e-consultation today? You’ll receive a dentist’s evaluation in less than 24 hours, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask any more questions that you may still have about the process 🙂