No one likes to go to the dentist. Frankly, it’s a hassle: you have to set up an appointment and endure the annoyance of the dentist’s office. Then they give you a referral to the orthodontist, making you repeat the process. All. Over. Again. Is a straight smile worth all the trouble?
Luckily, there’s an alternative: you can get a million-dollar smile from the comfort of your own home with home clear aligners. Using a home clear alignment system, you can ditch the dentist and straighten your teeth on your own. Home clear aligners aren’t just convenient, either. For many people, they’re also much faster and cheaper than braces.
NewSmile is one of the many clear aligner companies on the market. And frankly, they’re one of the newest: they got started in the Spring of 2020. But is NewSmile right for you? In this review, we’ll give you the full scoop on NewSmile: the good, the bad, and how to know if they’re right for you.
How Does NewSmile Work?
NewSmile’s startup process is relatively simple: they ship you an impression kit. Then, you take molds of your teeth, and send them back so NewSmile can design and ship custom aligners to kick off your treatment. For most people, treatment lasts 4-6 months. Here’s a fly-by of what to expect when using NewSmile:
- Step 1: You order an impression kit from NewSmile and create 3D molds of your teeth. Afterwards, you send those molds back to NewSmile; shipping is easy thanks to a prepaid shipping label.
- Step 2: NewSmile analyzes the mold you’ve created to develop a treatment plan that’s unique to you.
- Step 3: Pay for your treatment all in one go, or sign up for financing (there’s no credit check) and pay as you go.
- Step 4: You wear the custom aligners sent to you by NewSmile and gradually make your way to a straighter smile.
What Sets NewSmile Apart?
NewSmile is essentially the “new kid on the block” on the teledentistry scene. That said, teledentistry, or remote dental treatment, is still a relatively new industry (the “oldest” company started in just 2014). NewSmile started just last year, so if you’re wondering if they’re “too good to be true,” you’re not alone.
It’s tough to give a true stamp of approval to such a new business, but so far, we like what we’ve seen from NewSmile. They have the second-most affordable treatment kit on the market. And while they might not have a ton of reviews just yet, those they do have are pretty encouraging. We also like the fact that they give a hefty $200 discount to members of the military.
Granted, there are a few downsides to NewSmile’s treatment (although we’ll cover them in-depth later). The primary downside is that NewSmile only works for mild to moderate cosmetic cases of misalignment, but that’s true of any at-home aligner company.
No matter which provider you choose, your clear aligners are made out of BPA-free plastic—that’s a constant across the industry. What does change from company to company are certain aesthetic choices?
The tops of clear aligners are shaped in one of two ways: straight across, or scalloped to mimic the gumline. There’s a bit of a trade-off there; if aligners are cut straight across, they can exert more force, since they can use your gums as an anchor. However, their overlap with the gums makes them more noticeable. NewSmile scallops their aligners; so you can expect a discreet treatment, even if your aligners won’t have the same power as other options.
Providers also differ on the degree of transparency that aligners should be. This may sound a little counterintuitive, but super transparent aligners aren’t necessarily the lowest profile. Very clear-looking aligners are shiny, whereas the natural surface of your tooth is porous. This causes them to be a tad more noticeable than aligners that use frosted plastic (like Invisalign and Candid), which has a matte finish that blends in better with your teeth.
NewSmile makes its aligners from shiny plastic, so your grin during treatment will have a bit of a gleam. This may make it a touch more noticeable, but hey; appearance is subjective! Choose whichever aligner matches your unique preferences.
You might be wondering how these new-fangled remote companies keep an eye on your treatment if you never have to leave the house. Some providers request photo check-ins throughout your treatment to ensure everything is unfolding as it should.
NewSmile has a much more hands-off approach. They offer an app where you can track your own progress, but there isn’t anyone on their team reviewing any photos during your treatment. If you’re someone who values frequent oversight, NewSmile probably won’t be the right provider for you. But if you’re someone who prefers a more laid-back approach to treatment, then NewSmile may be right up your alley!
If you have a question during your treatment, or if an issue arises, you’ll handle this with their support team. But NewSmile is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to customer service. On one hand, their customer support team is friendly and generally responds promptly to phone calls, and messages. And as an added plus, they offer video conferences for impression sessions.
NewSmile recently expanded their hours of operation, so they’re a bit easier to get a hold of than they used to be. They’re available Monday through Saturday from 9:30-4:30 PST, and Sundays 10:30-3:30 PST.
In our experience, some emailed responses from the NewSmile team can seem a little canned—but if you persist, you can usually get someone to address your question directly. We found that phone calls are the best way to get a straightforward response from NewSmile.
Bang For Your Buck
NewSmile is considerably less expensive than traditional in-office options like braces and Invisalign. Let’s take a look at the nitty-gritty details of the cost of treatment with NewSmile.
There’s two ways to snag an impression kit. You can buy it outright for $139, with no obligation to move forward with treatment. Or, if you’re sure that NewSmile is the right provider for you, then you can choose their ‘fast track’ option and purchase their aligner package outright, in which case you’ll receive the impression kit for free. Though this impression kit is priced higher than average, you can usually catch it on sale for $49.
These costs are non-refundable unless NewSmile determines you’re not a candidate for treatment. NewSmile frequently runs sales on this kit, so keep an eye out for that.
NewSmile’s all-day aligner package costs $1,395. This treatment bundle includes everything you need to straighten your teeth from the comfort of your own home. It comes with an impression kit, all the aligners in your treatment plan, a one-month supply of whitening foam, and your first set of post-treatment retainers. NewSmile even includes a pulling tool and “chewies,” which help you remove and seat your aligners; respectively.
NewSmile’s nighttime-only treatment option comes with all the same goodies but costs $1,495.
NewSmile packs your aligner bundle full of freebies, but they have an online shop in case you’d like to purchase anything else to enhance your aligner experience.
If you run out of whitening foam and decide you want to keep your smile bright, you can purchase another bottle for $39. NewSmile also sells tray spray; a minty spray for your aligners to clean and freshen them when you’re on the go.
If you don’t want to pay the whole cost all at once, NewSmile offers financing. For all-day aligners, you’ll just pay $83/month for 18 months, with no downpayment. This brings your total to $1,494. For nighttime only treatment, you’ll simply pay $88/month for 18 months, with no money down. This brings your total to $1,584.
Both plans have pretty reasonable financing fees, but you’ll still save money by paying all in one go if you can.
If your insurance includes orthodontic benefits, it’s possible that you’ll be at least partially covered for your NewSmile treatment. Be sure to reach out to your provider to discuss the details of your coverage. It used to be that most insurance companies viewed clear aligner treatment as “cosmetic,” therefore wouldn’t contribute to the cost, but that’s slowly changing—so be sure to ask!
The best way to ensure your straight smile sticks around is to wear post-treatment retainers. Lucky for you, your aligner bundle includes the first set for free! These retainers are good quality, but they won’t last forever; typically retainers need to be replaced every 6 months or so. NewSmile sells theirs for $149 per set.
The cost and quality of your at-home clear aligner treatment are important, but so is how you’re treated from start to finish. Let’s see what you can expect when you choose NewSmile for your treatment.
Buying anything on the internet is convenient, but sometimes it’s hard to trust. In the “old days,” you could just ask your family and neighbors for their recommendations. Now, word of mouth often gets replaced with online reviews. What are other customers saying about NewSmile?
Like we mentioned earlier, NewSmile doesn’t have a ton of third-party reviews. But despite that, it’s important to consider what reviews there are. And we should account for the good and the bad. So, here are a few of the things customers like about NewSmile:
- Customer support is friendly and helpful
- Video calls helpful resource for the impression process
- Treatment is straightforward and easy to complete
- Video conferences make taking impressions easier
But there are a few drawbacks, too:
- Delays in reciving aligners (sometimes months after impressions were accepted)
- Impression kit doesn’t have extra putty, so if you make a mistake you’ll need to order another kit
- Notable wait for new impression trays if the originals do not fit
- NewSmile takes out sizeable fees even when they process a refund “in full”
We know that it’s been a crazy couple of years, so we can understand a little bit of a manufacturing delay here and there. But NewSmile has quite a few online reviews detailing experiences with extreme delays in their products—with some customers waiting months at a time for their aligners without clear communication from staff.
That gives us some cause for concern, but we hope that they’re working to end those long wait times—or at least set their customers up with clearer expectations.
Just to be clear, moving teeth from one place to another is never going to be a total walk in the park. Some discomfort comes with the territory—even traditional methods like braces and Invisalign have their aches and pains.
The soreness is usually most pronounced when you switch to a new set of aligners since they have a tighter fit than the last set. Typically companies advise that you switch your aligners before you go to bed so that you sleep through most of the soreness. This discomfort is usually no match for an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Sometimes the edge of an aligner can be a bit sharp and cause some discomfort. With the go-ahead from NewSmile simply take an emery board and file down any areas that are giving you trouble. It’s a cheap and quick way to make treatment more comfortable for yourself!
Pretty much all at-home clear aligner providers have the same refund policy: if they determine you aren’t eligible for treatment, you’ll be refunded the cost of your impression kit (or the full aligner package if you paid upfront).
NewSmile has the same offer, but it isn’t quite as comprehensive as its competitors. NewSmile charges high fees for refunds—even if you haven’t started treatment. This is a little bit concerning since their ‘Fast Track’ aligner bundle seems to encourage customers to dive in headfirst.
As per their refund policy, customers are subject to a $139 fee for their impression kit, $65 for any additional impression kits used, $100 per treatment preview provided by their dental team, and various penalties as they see fit, which begin at $100 but will ultimately be determined by NewSmile.
In addition to the high cost of NewSmile’s refund fees, they also take their time issuing these refunds. The NewSmile Refund Team has 90 days to review your refund request. You can see this can be a frustrating process for some customers, since they’re out nearly $1,500 for months without ever receiving treatment, and without timely communication from the NewSmile staff.
If you reach the end of your treatment plan, but your teeth still need to move a bit, you’ll need some extra aligners, or “refinements.” It’s not unusual for teeth to need an extra oomphf, sometimes they can be a little more stubborn than expected.
Some companies offer up refinements for free, but NewSmile’s policy is on a case-by-case basis. If they determine that the refinements are needed because you didn’t follow the wear guidelines, then you’ll need to pay for additional aligners.
The cost of your refinements will depend on how many aligners you need, but their website says they’re usually $449. By comparison, AlignerCo (one of the only other providers that charge for refinements) charges $200 for refinements, regardless of how many trays you need.
Refinements can take NewSmile’s pricing from $1,395 and $1,495 to $1,844 and $1,944. This isn’t the end of the world, but it’s something to budget for since refinements aren’t necessarily something you can predict.
Our favorite provider, Byte, offers refinements for free. So even though their sticker price is higher ($1,895) it could be worth it in the long run.
Is NewSmile right for you? It’s an important question to ask. Treating your smile is a big decision. You keep your grin for life! So, you’ll also want to consider all the alternatives that are available. NewSmile does a decent job in such a short time in business, but we do have some other options we prefer. Here are a few other companies to consider:
Our #1 pick for home clear aligners is Byte. If you’re in a rush to see your new smile, then Byte should be your first pick, too. Their HyperByte system can cut some treatments down to just 4 months. Plus, they have an unmatched Byte for Life guarantee. Not to mention you won’t have to pay for your refinements!
Candid offers a more comprehensive treatment than their competitors, since their aligners can move all teeth (including the molars) as opposed to just moving the front six teeth (also known as the “social six”). Their Candid Studios also allow you to skip the impression kit process.
NewSmile takes second place to AlignerCo in the price department, who prides themselves on being the most affordable home aligner treatment—and their tiny price tag of $1,145 proves it.
Smile Direct Club
With Smile Direct, you can take advantage of a nighttime treatment option to avoid wearing your aligners all day. They also have more than 300 SmileShop locations across the country, so it’s more convenient to get started.
Should You Use NewSmile?
NewSmile has a lot of positives, but that doesn’t mean that they’re right for everyone. Let’s talk about when you should use NewSmile and when you should steer clear.
✔ When to use NewSmile:
If “affordable” is one of your priorities when choosing a clear aligner, then you’d probably choose between NewSmile and AlignerCo. AlignerCo is cheaper, but their kit doesn’t include any extras. So if you’d like perks like whitening, you might want to go with NewSmile.
✖ When NOT to use NewSmile:
If you have a bite issue like underbite or a severe case of crowding or spacing, then you’re probably not a good candidate for any home alignment system—NewSmile or otherwise. If you’re in a rush or you’d rather work with a well-established brand, there are better options.
All told, NewSmile is an intriguing newcomer on the clear aligner scene. They don’t win our top pick, though. That honor still goes to Byte. We’ll have a better idea of what to say about NewSmile when they’ve established a bigger customer base.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does NewSmile ever offer discounts?
We have found that NewSmile frequently runs sales on their impression kits and aligner packages. These sales are usually seasonal, though, so you might need to be patient for another deal to come around. There’s only one year-long discount: $200 off aligners for members of the military.
What if I’m not happy with the outcome?
NewSmile is (largely) a non-refundable service. The only refund they offer is if their treatment team decides that you’re not a good candidate for their aligners. If that happens, NewSmile will refund your total cost (whether that’s just the impression kit or the Fast Track bundle).
Does NewSmile offer nighttime-only treatment?
Yes! If you use NewSmile’s nighttime-only treatment, then your treatment schedule will look a touch different. You’ll wear your aligners for just 10 hours per day as opposed to the usual 22 hours. And your total treatment time will last longer: 8-10 months instead of 4-6.
Do I need an X-ray before NewSmile treatment?
No X-ray needed with NewSmile! The impression kit is all you need to get started, and it measures the spaces and orientation of your teeth, not your bone structure. That’s assuming you have a relatively normal bone structure, though. If you suspect that your jaw is a slightly different shape or that you have a bad overbite or underbite, then you may want to get an X-ray to be sure.
How does NewSmile compare to Byte, Candid, and AlignerCo?
NewSmile sits at the second-most affordable treatment option (AlignerCo costs less at a cheap $1,145). And they’re the second-fastest behind Byte. Candid is able to address more complex conditions than NewSmile.
Is NewSmile better than braces and Invisalign?
It all depends on what you mean by “better.” Braces, Invisalign, and NewSmile will all get the job done and leave you with an impressive grin. The real questions are how fast does treatment go, and how much are you willing to spend? Of all these options, NewSmile is the cheapest and quickest treatment.
Is NewSmile cheaper than braces or Invisalign?
Yes! NewSmile is cheaper than both traditional braces and Invisalign. Before insurance, NewSmile costs $1,495. Invisalign can cost several thousand dollars before insurance. The same goes for braces. Ultimately, NewSmile can cost thousands less.
Does NewSmile treatment last forever?
Left unchecked, teeth will shift post-treatment. As you age (or during pregnancy), your teeth have a tendency to move. And after treatment, your teeth tend to shift back to their original positions. To prevent that, you need to wear post-treatment retainers.
Does NewSmile offer teeth whitening services?
Yes! NewSmile includes a bottle of whitening with every aligner kit. If you run out and want more, you can buy a new bottle for $39.
I’m in a rush – is NewSmile the fastest at-home treatment option available?
NewSmile has pretty short treatments (4-6 months for daytime treatment), but if you’re in a rush, you should look into Byte. Thanks to their HyperByte system, their treatments can wrap up in just 4 months for some people.
Does NewSmile have a refund policy?
NewSmile does not offer refunds for their aligners or impression kits. The only exception to this: if you take impressions and turn out not to be a good candidate for treatment, they’ll refund the impression kit price along with anything you prepaid on your aligners.
What happens if I mess up my impressions?
If you botch your impressions, get in touch with customer support. They’ll help you get started on getting another one, or if needed, new trays that fit better.
Does NewSmile have upsells?
NewSmile doesn’t have any hard upsells during their order process. They do have a soft one by including a free bottle of their whitening treatment, but that’s it. And since there’s no commitment to buy the whitener going forward, it’s not really a true upsell.
Will NewSmile make me talk funny?
With any home aligner system, you have a foreign object in your mouth. That’s unavoidable. So, your mouth might feel a bit funny, and you could have the slightest hint of a lisp. For most people, though, the aligners are minimally invasive and practically imperceptible to others. And the lisp usually goes away after a few days as you adjust.
How many hours a day should I wear my NewSmile aligners?
If you use traditional NewSmile treatment, you need to wear your aligners for 22 hours a day. If you opt for the nighttime version, you’ll only wear them for ten hours each day.
Can I drink coffee while using NewSmile?
With any aligners, you should not eat or drink anything (except water) with your aligners in. That said, you can remove them during meals and snacks, drink, replace them, and repeat as needed.
What happens if I lose my aligners (or retainers)?
Get in contact with customer support right away. They’ll get started with sending you a replacement. While you wait for the replacement to arrive, wear an aligner from your previous set. That will keep your teeth from shifting too far back.
Is NewSmile covered by insurance?
That depends. If you have orthodontic benefits included in your insurance coverage, then you can probably get reimbursement for NewSmile treatment. We recommend consulting with your provider before purchasing, just to be sure.
How can I contact NewSmile’s customer support?
You can contact NewSmile through a messaging portal on their website, but for more traditional support, it’s best to contact them via phone at 1-888-231-7725.