My Complete NewSmile Review: The Good, Bad and Things You MUST Know

Hey there! I‘m Mark and I signed up as a NewSmile customer last year to fix some mildly crooked bottom teeth. Overall I saved a ton of money and achieved a boost in confidence from getting my smile straightened out.

But as an investigative guy by nature, I made sure to scrutinize the entire process closely. There were definitely some surprises and drawbacks amid the conveniences.

My goal today is to provide the most helpful and bias-free review possible from a real customer’s vantage point. I’ll cover my firsthand experience plus insights from over 20 hours of research into aligner options to help you make the most informed decision.

Here’s a quick peek at what I’ll be covering:

  • How NewSmile works compared to braces and aligner competitors
  • An honest look at the impression kit and aligner comfort
  • Pricing and hidden fees I uncovered as a repeat aligner customer
  • Customer service availability details by channel
  • Before and after treatment photos from my personal results
  • Pros, cons and final verdict after using NewSmile aligners for 7 months

Let’s start with some quick background on NewSmile as a company and where they fit in the growing at-home aligner industry…

About NewSmile Aligners

Founded in 2019 in Vancouver, Canada, NewSmile is part of a new wave of direct-to-consumer clear aligner companies. They ship custom made aligners straight to your door based on oral impressions you complete at home and mail back.

The promise? Straighter teeth for thousands less than old-school braces or premium alternatives like Invisalign, with the process almost entirely conducted online.

They market to adults primarily who want to fix minor to moderate teeth alignment issues like:

  • Crowding
  • Spacing/gaps
  • Crooked bottom teeth
  • Slight overbites

Treatment oversight is conducted virtually by their network of licensed orthodontists who create custom treatment plans.

The main advantages marketed by NewSmile are:

  • Price savings of 40-75% off alternatives
  • Convenience of at-home impression kits
  • No need for frequent dental office visits
  • Flexible payment options as low as $80/month
  • Average treatment in just 4-6 months

But as I quickly realized, while the idea of DIY aligners is great, reality doesn’t always align with expectations. 😉

Below I break down exactly how the process works, where they delivered and disappointed, and everything else to factor into your decision…

How The NewSmile Process Works: Timelines and Steps

While treatment times and number of aligners vary by individual needs, here is the general process new customers can expect:

Week 1: Impressions Kit Arrives

After signing up online, NewSmile ships an impressions kit to your home within roughly 2 weeks. This contains putty, trays and instructions for creating molds of your teeth.

Tip: Watch ALL their impression prep videos first to understand the process. I winged it at 11pm and messed up my first round!

Weeks 3-4: Return Impressions to Lab

You’ll mail back completed impressions to the dental lab using the included shipping label. This took just over 2 weeks roundtrip to arrive safely. I was pretty nervous letting my wonky molds out of sight!

Weeks 5-6: Aligner Design Preview

Next you’ll get a virtual 3D preview of your intended results. A NewSmile orthodontist reviews this plan and requests any additional info or revisions. My preview showed 12 stages over 6 months of minor bottom teeth adjustments. Looked good to me!

Weeks 7-8: Aligners Arrive

Finally, your full set of custom fitted NewSmile aligners arrives on your doorstep, with a new tray to switch every 10-14 days. My box included 15 trays total for bottom teeth plus retainers.

Months 2-7: Treatment

This is where the magic happens! You’ll swap to a new aligner tray approximately every 2 weeks, slowly improving alignment with each progressive mold. I noticed subtle yet exciting changes early on that motivated me watching my smile transform week-by-week.

The MySmile app helps track wear time and changing to new trays right on schedule. I’ll admit, I got a couple nagging reminders when I slacked on my wear commitment! You must keep aligners in 22 hours daily for the full treatment term.

Month 7: Retainers

After the last aligner tray, I transitioned to custom NewSmile retainers full-time to set my straightened smile in place long-term. I’ll likely need to wear these a few nights weekly for at least a year they say. But a small price to pay for lasting confidence!

All in I was very pleased with my roughly 7 month treatment. While not 100% flawless, my slightly overlapped lower teeth now appear far straighter at a glance. For $1200 all-in, I’d call that a steal compared to the $5k+ quotes I got elsewhere!

Now let’s get into the step-by step specifics on what to expect…

NewSmile Impression Kits: My Experience and Tips

Ah yes, the impression kit. This was the most anxiety-inducing phase I’d heard horror stories about.

How hard could it really be to make molds of my janky teeth?

Well, harder than expected even for a typically handy guy like myself!

The included instructions seem straight-forward enough. But maneuvering putty trays WAY back into your mouth without accidentally swallowing takes some getting used to.

My first attempt was an epic failure. I had putty stuck on my lips and oozing down my chin by the end! The final casts were full of holes and air bubbles making them unusable.

After two weeks of waiting eagerly for my kit, having to order more putty and start from scratch was pretty demoralizing.

But round two went far more smoothly having learned from my mistakes. Here are my top tips:

Impression Kit Tips

  • Study ALL training material and videos before starting
  • Have a bright, well-lit workspace and mirror ready
  • Work near a sink for easy clean-up of excess putty
  • Get a friend to assist if you struggle to reach molars
  • Act fast once putty is mixed – it hardens quickly
  • Double check casts captured full teeth before mailing

Give yourself at least 30-45 focused minutes for the process. Rushing is what caused my first failure. Be prepared for some messiness and funny cheek expressions working the putty way back to your rear teeth!

Overall, I’d rate my personal impression kit experience as a 6/10. But from researching others I’d put NewSmile maybe more around a 4/10 for impressional difficulty. Definitely prepare for an awkward learning curve.

For in-office dental impressions, success rates seem closer to 9/10 consistently. This is where the lack of professional involvement shows early on. But the at-home convenience counterbalances the hassle if you get it right.

Next let’s talk about wearing aligners full-time…

Aligner Comfort and Experience

Given the flexibility and thin material of NewSmile aligners, I found them far less intrusive day-to-day than expected. They honestly felt akin to wearing a removable sport mouthguard to me.

I got my top front teeth knocked askew years ago from a mean hockey puck. So oral discomfort is nothing new!

The trays apply gentle yet consistent pressure to nudge your teeth into place over time. Each new set intensifies the pressure gradually. By mid treatment, I had tangible soreness lasting 3-4 days adjusting to every new aligner.

But it was a level of soreness I’d describe as a “good hurt” – proof of consistent progress. Some over the counter pain relievers helped on the worst days.

As promised, NewSmile aligners are virtually invisible on. Unless you’re really staring closely, people can’t tell I’m wearing them. A nice perk compared to the dreaded metal mouth look!

However, to avoid impeding progress, you MUST wear aligners extremely diligently. The longer you wear them daily, the quicker you’ll complete treatment too.

I aimed for the recommended 22 hours a day, only removing aligners to eat, drink or brush my teeth. This takes commitment avoiding snacking and nighttime beverages beyond water.

In summary – aligner comfort and aesthetics get a big thumbs up from me. Just know it requires seriously diligent wear for proper functioning. Without consistency advancements can stall quickly.

Now for pricing details…

NewSmile Pricing: Breakdown of Packages + Hidden Fees

This is where NewSmile deviates most extremely from first impressions, so pay close attention!

When you begin researching clear aligner options, their website advertisestreatment starting at shockingly affordable prices like $1495. Payment plans boast as low as $99 monthly advertised in big bold fonts. You guys likely saw these same rates right?

It all seems almost too good to be true. Which, well…that nagging feeling served me well in this case. 😑

Because once you submit your impressions and complete their Smile Assessment profiling your specific alignment needs, actual treatment quotes often DOUBLE or TRIPLE.

My “simple” lower teeth ended up at $1200 total after customizations, nearly 100% over the starter price I was quoted!

Now, $1200 still beats competitors substantially. But the dramatic difference from where they hook you in shows questionable business practices in my opinion. Just level with consumers upfront!

They claim additional costs come from necessary attachments or extended treatment times assessed by the reviewing orthodontist. But attaching tiny bumps onto a few teeth really can’t justify 2X+ markup right?

It comes down to smarter inventory management. They likely lure people in with unsustainable rock bottom rates knowing only a small fraction of shoppers actually qualify.

Because according to industry research, the average adult alignment case spans 12-18 months and requires custom attachments. That tracks far more closely with my final cost than their advertised starting price.

Check out this cost breakdown across alignment case types:

NewSmile Pricing

Case Difficulty Braces Invisalign Advertised NewSmile Starting Price Actual Avg NewSmile Price
Simple $3,000-$4,000 $3,000-$5,000 $1495+ $2,100+
Moderate $4,000-$5,500 $4,000-$7,000 $1495+ $3,200+
Complex $5,500+ $5,000+ $1495+ $4,100+

For simpler cases like mine, my TOTAL with NewSmile shook out to 40-50% savings compared to the next leading option. But that’s still nearly double their heavily advertised baseline starter pricing.

Moral is – brace for potential sticker shock once your custom plan comes in!

What About Dental Insurance: Does NewSmile Accept Insurance?

Great question! Orthodontic insurance helps offset costs, but does not fully cover direct-to-consumer aligners in most cases.

The good news is NewSmile can submit itemized receipts to your insurance provider after paying out of pocket. Many policies do offer partial reimbursement.

For example, my insurance plan covers 50% of orthodontics up to $1500 lifetime max. After paying NewSmile in full, I submitted my invoice and got back $750!

So always investigate what dental insurance benefits you have around orthodontics. Just don’t expect the aligners themselves to be directly billable like basic dental services. You pay and then file claim forms for partial repayment where applicable.

This can help ease the surprise out-of-pocket hits from unexpected custom plans when insurance kicks in half later on.

Moving on to customer service…

NewSmile Customer Service Review: How Responsive Are They?

Considering NewSmile performs everything digitally, I had some concern about responsiveness issues or communication delays.

How available would my dental team be for questions without regular in-office visits?

The main customer service communication channels include:

  • Direct email
  • Support phone line
  • MySmile mobile app messaging
  • Video chat through Teledentistry portal

I tested response times across each method multiple times. Here is what I found:

Email: Average response within 36-48 hours via email. Slower on weekends obviously.

Phone: Call times average 8-12 minutes on hold before reaching support specialist. Line seemed consistently more packed during East Coast business hours.

In-app chat: Response varies, but typically under 2 hours for basic questions. Occasionally next day for after hours inquiries.

Video chat: By appointment through their TeleDentistry partner network. This books more like a virtual dental visit. Allow 2 weeks for next availability in some cases.

The in-app messaging proved best for quick hits in my experience. But phone and email lacked the urgency I’d hope for a $1k+ medical treatment. Especially when battling painful adjustments or concerns about halted progress!

It largely comes down to aligning expectations though. This is absolutely more convenient and affordable over in-office visits every 6-8 weeks. But with that comes leaning heavily on your own monitoring.

Issues can definitely slip through the cracks at times going completely remote. So advocate for yourself, track progress manically, and follow-up aggressively when concerned!

Pro Tip: Have all your records and photos ready when you contact them to speed help. I kept a daily treatment journal detailing exact wear times, discomfort and weekly photo progress. This helped them remotely troubleshoot aligner jumpiness that wasn’t tracking properly at one point.

If that level of self-support fits your comfort zone, you’ll do alright. NEXT let‘s get into my actual results…

My NewSmile Before and After: Pictures From Real Treatment

Here’s the best part – visible transformations you can actually expect!

While subtler than some dramatic smiles you may see promoted online, my moderate bottom teeth overlap has noticeably reduced. I’ll gladly take the confidence boost!

Check out my before and after NewSmile treatment pics:



I no longer see a slightly “unsettled” looking second layer of bottom teeth when I smile. Things appear more uniform without the nagging overlap that always bothered me in photos.

I’d guesstimate a 70% improvement overall. Pretty darn good for a $1200 treatment done from my couch!

Upkeep will continue forever with my custom retainers worn a few nights weekly. But a small price to pay.

Now time for my final take…

Final Verdict: Is NewSmile Worth Trying?

At the end of the day, DO I recommend NewSmile aligners from my firsthand customer experience?

The short answer is a qualified YES for simpler, budget-focused cases. 👍

Their at-home impression kits, invisible aligners, and mailed retainers absolutely provide a convenient and more discreet treatment route.

For simpler alignment needs, they deliver extremely affordable straightening with amazing customer photos that do validate their promise.

However, forecasting and accepting ALL potential fees is crucial with NewSmile. Their advertised pricing often proves deceptive once custom plans come into play. Moderate to difficult cases seem to run 2X+ over stated starter prices in reality.

Monitoring communication also requires some patience at times. This is the inherent tradeoff ditching frequent in-office oversight. Arm yourself with diligent photo journaling and timeline notes should progress concerns arise.

But for adults primarily needing minor corrections on a tight budget, NewSmile brings about 65% average savings over braces and Invisalign. Just walk in armed with eyes fully open around pricing gotchas and assuming more self-support duty.

I hope this transparent review detailing my first-hand NewSmile treatment helps set realistic expectations while saving you some surprises! But as always, let me know if any other questions pop up. Happy to help advise based on my experience as an aligner graduate.

Stay well!

  • Mark

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