Clear Dental Aligners - Consumer Expectations
Some customer expectations from clear dental aligners are that they will address dental issues such as overbite, overcrowding and others, will be unobtrusive, take a shorter time to align the teeth, will not be very painful, are easily removable and invisible.
1. Address Dental Issues
- Most consumers expect clear aligners to treat at least some dental issues.
- These issues include crowded teeth, overbite, underbite, crossbite, gap teeth, open bite, baby and permanent teeth, and generally straighter teeth.
- Customers who have tried aligners state that these dental products can do everything, including fix "gaps and snaggleteeth" as well as overcrowding.
2. Affordable Prices and Payment Plans
- It is a customer's expectation that aligners will be affordable and payments are flexible. Some clear aligners will charge anywhere from under $2,000 to $5,000. Candid's aligners cost up to $2,000. The starter kit for one brand, in particular, is $95 and can be lower with various kinds of promotions
- Invisalign costs between $3000 and $5000. There are also available for purchase on payment plans from the dentist or financing from institutions such as Capital One and CareCredit.
- Other brands such as Smile Love, byte, Smile Direct Club and SnapCorrect have prices between $1845 and $1895.
3. Unobtrusive in Nature
- Customers expect that clear aligners will be unobtrusive in nature while straightening their teeth.
- Doctors have expressed that their patients like the unobtrusive and smooth feel as they are more likely to remain compliant with their dental program.
- Customers such as teenagers find the experience "less intrusive." They are able to smile without worrying about something being on their teeth (metal braces) and visible for all to see.
4. Shorter time for teeth alignment
- Customers expect clear aligners to take a shorter time than braces to straighten the teeth.
- However, the period of use of clear dental aligners varies with each person depending on the dental problem that is being corrected. The Invisalign website lists three different time scenarios for three different patients, that is, 36 months for Martin, 24 months for Maria, and 24 months for Jamie.
- Clear aligners require less than time than braces and without the hassle of regular dental checkups. Customers will choose clear aligners over traditional braces as they are believed to be faster.
5. Not very painful
- Customers expect that dental aligners will not be as painful as braces as they do not have the wires poking the cheek.
- The fact that they are made from plastic, means they are smooth and provides a "pain-free experience."
- Customers recall having painful experiences when braces were being tightened and as a result, developed a hate for braces.
- Customers expect to be able to remove aligners from their mouths as and when required.
- So when it is time to eat or brush teeth, they can be removed, hence there would be no messy cleaning to remove food lodged between the teeth and the braces.
- The clear aligners being removable also means that customers are not restricted by what they eat. Customers are free to eat any food as it will not leave a mess in their mouths.
- Customers expect their clear dental aligners to be invisible.
- With some brands, more than others, it is not obvious when one is wearing clear aligners. So customers expect aligners to be invisible.
- Customers note that with clear aligners, it was not obvious to their friends that they were wearing them.
Using customer reviews and supported by the observations by orthodontists and dentists, we were able to identify the expectations of customers in relation to clear dental aligners. These expectations were posted on various review sites as comments and feedback. However, we assumed that since these are what customers like, then this is also what they expect to see in clear dental aligners. Finally, we ensured that each finding was supported by multiple sources.