How did you come up with the concept of Straight Teeth Direct and what is it that makes the company so unique?
What makes us unique is the fact we have 23 years of combined deep industry expertise.
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, at a fraction of in-clinic prices. We don’t think getting straight teeth should be painful, costly or inconvenient, which is how Straight Teeth Direct™ came to be.
Another reason for starting Straight Teeth Direct™, relates to working with dentists through our marketing agency where we realised dentists were looking for a more flexible way to work and reduce their days working in the clinic, focusing on the work they love doing, by giving them access to a virtual clinic.
Why do you recommend for potential customers to go down this new and modern route of straightening their teeth, rather than the traditional way of signing up to and visiting an actual orthodontist?
Straight Teeth Direct™ is a professional alternative to the in-clinic teeth straightening approach, offering several additional benefits. By taking a more data-driven approach to cosmetic orthodontics, users are provided better insights into their treatment before and during their treatment.
Every step of the journey is reviewed and monitored by an experienced orthodontist, providing constant, ongoing support through the app rather than being limited to intermittent appointments. This comes in handy especially when travelling, as users are not bound to a specific location for their treatment to proceed as planned. Additionally, the user’s app account stores all their conversation and treatment history, documents and progress information, facilitating clinical support in case of questions.
Finally, all Straight Teeth Direct™ aligners are produced in house, so we have full quality and product control. Clinics need to outsource all the production aspect to an experienced lab. Having our own lab also 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.
What is your main goal for customers?
Rather than being the biggest company in remote teeth straightening, we strive to be the best and set the standards for the industry in teledentistry and teleorthodontics.
We want to positively impact the life of our customers, as we know that getting a smile they love more can boost their self-esteem, confidence and many other aspects of their life. A customer recently told us: “A thousand 'thank you' for what you're doing. Not only do you fix teeth, you fix lives. :)”
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 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.
Our goal is to deliver results and go beyond by helping people develop new habits and keep their newly enhanced smile forever (with the unique Maintainer Plan).
How much does the entire treatment cost?
The cost is fixed so users know exactly what to expect before ordering anything and can save up to 70% compared with in clinic solutions. The at home impression kit and in depth plan is £42, and the treatment £1,350 outright or one of the payment plans can be selected. This unique cost includes shipping to and from the user, as well as all guarantees for new impressions, lost / broken aligners and refinements.
How do users get started with the process?
To get started, the first step is to complete a free e-consultation so a dentist can perform a smile analysis and confirm suitability. This can be done following the web platform www.app.straightteethdirect.com or by downloading the app 'Straight Teeth Direct' onto a smartphone (available for both iOS and Android).
What are the next steps for Straight Teeth Direct in the industry? Anything exciting coming up?
2019 was a very exciting year for us. We just finished rebranding Straight Teeth Direct™ and launched a new website that better explains the benefits and uniqueness of our method.
We have also just launched a new wellness platform called Instant Dentist™, set out to revolutionise dental care at home through comprehensive diagnosis, tailored regimes and smart devices.
How can you differentiate between a legitimate review and fake reviews when it comes to finding the right orthodontist?
Nowadays, a good place to look is social media and to see whether the content is by genuine, everyday people or by influencers and bloggers who have been paid to post positive reviews.
Trustpilot is, of course, also a great place to find a general trend when it comes to online services. Here it’s important to look for reviews detailing the actual treatment and results, as companies often incentivise people to write reviews after their first visit or buying experience to boost positive reviews - the key here is to look for quality over quantity.
Many users also do their own research by reaching out to other users on social media platforms who have been tagged or used the company’s hashtag. Most people are happy to help and share their honest experience, so this is a very good way to find out how trustworthy a service is.
How can you tell who a legitimate orthodontist is? Are there any qualifications you need to look/ask for?
Quality over quantity is key. It’s important to do your research and ask all questions you may have before committing to any payment or procedure. This will give you a good chance to see how important you and your dental health are to the service provider, rather than just your custom.
Are all your questions being answered to your satisfaction? Are you encouraged to ask more questions and given choices, or are you being pushed to buy the product/service? Do you get the feeling that the company values sales over your safety? Also, we cannot emphasise enough the importance of an assessment or consultation before buying any products or beginning procedures. Without prior consultation, any service will be a one-size-fits-all scheme that is destined to end badly.
Are there any generic red flags you should look for when seeking help for your teeth?
If you aren’t offered an initial consultation then you should definitely move on to an alternative. Our teeth and dental structure are as unique as our fingerprints, so as soon as it feels like you’re getting a generic solution to your specific problem, it’s a clear red flag. It’s also important to note that, in the case of invisible aligners, they should never be delivered in one go. This would mean that the service provider has no responsibility towards the success of your treatment or your safety from the moment your aligners are unpacked, resulting in costly additional plans if anything doesn’t go to plan. Ongoing monitoring and aligners delivered in stages according to your progress are essential for a smooth teeth straightening journey.
Can you provide any case studies and pictures of users who have finished their treatment?
You will find all before/after results here:
Our five-star Trustpilot reviews page:
Several users have written blogs to document their journey to a straighter smile; unlike other brands we do not work with influencers because we want to ensure our user generated content is completely genuine. We even have users who started stand alone Instagram accounts to share their journey!
Our guest blogs:
Tony works in the client facing music industry and has always wanted to have straighter teeth, but travelled so often that he couldn’t commit to regular dentist appointments. His treatment took 8 months and he would highly recommend this to absolutely anyone - he’s spoken to friends and family about it non-stop, some of which are now on treatment journeys of their own.
Jessica is a musician and translator who noticed that her bottom teeth were beginning to crowd more and more, becoming painful and making her quite self-conscious about her smile. Her treatment took 10 months and she recommends Straight Teeth Direct to anyone wanting to straighten their teeth because it’s just an all-round amazing package.
Tiffany is a senior recruitment consultant for Reed, which means speaking to candidates and clients every day. She felt people would notice her crooked teeth, so she tried to hide them. After 10 months of treatment, she smiles more, is more confident and happier all together - the treatment “changed her life”.
Marta is a fitness and wellness entrepreneur and coach, speaking to clients all day every day. Her smile was a self-confidence issue, but she never had time for regular dentist visits. With Straight Teeth Direct, she was able to fix a lifelong issue in only 10 months: “Don’t hesitate! It was the best decision I could make.”
Ben is a business analyst at a financial services company and regularly meets clients as well as stakeholders. With his teeth being on show all day, slowly moving out of alignment and becoming sharp on his tongues, he sought out a solution for his smile. He was delighted when he came across Straight Teeth Direct as he couldn’t warrant a £5,500 price tag on his orthodontic treatment.
Toni is a busy mother of two and has wanted to straighten her crowded teeth for a long time. With Straight Teeth Direct, she found the easiest and most affordable method to get her dream smile in only 12 months and wished she’d started earlier - even her dentist was impressed at her results.
Maisie is a professional performer and very conscious about her appearance, which is why she hated to see her teeth beginning to overlap. She’s also getting married in summer 2020, so being able to straighten her teeth in only 10 months she can’t recommend this company enough and only has one thing to say to those in doubt: “DO IT!”
Joe is a web developer and professional skate-boarder, and his crooked teeth were causing him to cut his tongue whenever he was stressed out. His dentist suggested invisible aligners, but they were far too expensive - with Straight Teeth Direct, he was able to achieve his smile results in only 8 months and has recommended the treatment to anyone who asked about it.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
What makes us unique is the fact we have 23 years of combined deep industry expertise and know that delivering professional smile results does not need to be inconvenient, expensive or take several years. We have been able to cut the cost by up to 70% compared to clinic prices, while still providing monitored orthodontist and dentist led treatment without the need for monthly appointments, four comprehensive and industry unique guarantees to protect the entire user journey, as well as free international express shipping. Fully monitored, fully guaranteed and fully convenient treatment, all through one app.
Can you provide a brief overview of where the business originated, whose idea it was, how it was funded and set up, and how it's grown?
After years of running their own successful dental practice and creating an online assessment system, our founders saw the possibility to integrate this system with state of the art 3D printing technologies, creating a comprehensive teledentistry platform and enabling at home cosmetic teeth straightening for a 1/3 of the cost of in clinic solutions.
We pre launched in April 2016 and opened access to the public one year later after receiving enquiries from around the world. Now, we have delivered smiles to 61 countries and have set up a team of 16 nationalities and counting.
The business was initially self funded following the sale of the founders' private dental clinic. They then received private capital at seed level; we are currently preparing for our series A and seeking investors excited to join us in our vision to be the highest quality orthodontic and dental health platform in Europe, providing convenient and affordable mobile solutions.
How does one choose the right type of dentistry/orthodontics?
The first step in improving your smile is always to seek out a professional assessment taking into account not only the appearance, but also the dental structure of your smile. This way, you will find out exactly which procedures, treatments and products are right for you and will give you the best results.
For most people, the issue lies in finding an affordable and accessible way to receive this information and further assistance. So far, it was necessary to schedule appointments far in advance and risk paying fees for assessments that might not lead anywhere. Independent assessments didn’t exist, until now.
With the company’s latest platform, Instant Dentist, you can receive a comprehensive dental report giving you a detailed view of your dental health and smile across 24 data points . For those focused on orthodontic treatment, Straight Teeth Direct offers professional, online suitability evaluations free of charge, as well as fully monitored at-home, cosmetic orthodontic treatment.
What are the top 5 things to consider when seeking out the right dental or orthodontic solution?
Tip 1: Understanding your goals
First of all, you should decide if you are looking for your individually and naturally straightest smile, or if you’re seeking cosmetic perfection. The two objectives are very different, so it’s important to understand that the first means achieving your naturally best smile in a healthy and time efficient way, while the second means undergoing comprehensive orthodontic treatment for over 2 years, with all your teeth being moved to exact positions, as well as several other procedures.
Tip 2: Understanding your lifestyle
It’s also important to consider what sort of treatment you’re able to commit to. Do you want an option where you can remove the orthodontic device, such as aligners, which are more comfortable, allow you to eat anything and are easy to maintain, or are you looking for a fixed brace option? Additionally, you should take into account whether or not you can keep up with regular dentist visits, or if you prefer to have everything delivered to you.
Tip 3: Understanding your regime
Any orthodontic treatment results in your mouth being a little drier and increases plaque accumulation. It’s also more important to properly clean your teeth, as well as the orthodontic device. You’ll need to keep a portable dental pack with you to brush after lunch at work, and commit to the use of floss, irrigators and mouthrinses at home to clean thoroughly and keep your smile in optimal condition.
Tip 4: Understanding your smile upgrades
There are 3 keys to a beautiful smile: position, shape and colour. Aligners or braces can improve the position of your teeth, but that’s only ⅓ of the equation. To really get the most out of your smile, you can look into professional whitening to boost whiteness, and cosmetic bonding/contouring to fix any chipped or uneven edges, giving you an overall enhanced smile transformation.
Tip 5: Understanding smile maintenance
The reason teeth become crooked is that the oral muscles and tongue force them out of alignment. After straightening your teeth, these forces will persist, which is why it’s essential to use either removable or fixed retainers to keep your teeth straight. The problem with fixed retainers is they only maintain the front 6 teeth, and they are hard to fix if they break, easily allowing the teeth to move out of position again. Removable retainers are great, as they keep all your teeth aligned and are easy to clean. However, if you lose them, you’ll be stuck, which is where retainer subscriptions, such as the Straight Teeth Direct™ Maintainer Plan, can be helpful.