Invisalign suresmile aligners Scottsdale dentist cosmetic dentistry, dr sluyk

I DECIDED TO GET aligners!aligners!

Invisalign suresmile aligners Scottsdale dentist cosmetic dentistry, dr sluyk

Straightening my shifted teeth has been a desire of mine for the past 5 years. I have several friends who have had braces and clear aligners as adults to make minor adjustments as time has shifted their teeth and they nee them realigned. Seeing how happy they are with their results really made me want to do it – but there were actually a few reasons I felt I needed aligners which I’ll explain.

My history with braces/ straightening my teeth

I had braces my freshman to sophomore year of high school (1995 to 1997!) and didn’t do the metal retainer bottom, instead doing the new clear retainer which look similar to today’s aligners.

Throw in college years, to young adult life, and here I am at 41 so how do you think those original retainers held up from 1997? 

They broke in half after college. 

I had to get new molds with my shifted teeth with a new dentist in LA, and I’ve been wearing them since – oh but those second clear retainers from 2003 finally broke a few months ago but that didn’t stop me from them my mouth, in three pieces. Don’t laugh, I know you love me for this. There are plenty of things I want to spend money on, and a new set of retainers isn’t one of them. 

I had inquired about aligners many years ago but decided a Thailand trip was more important so off I went to Thailand with a friend and I put straightening my teeth on the back burner. Then 2020 hit and I was on Instagram stories so much I couldn’t stop staring at my bottom teeth, I would even Photoshop my bottom teeth straight in some campaign images it bothered me so much! 

So with my need for replacement retainers I was quoted around $400+ for new retainers (different dentist) because new molds would again need to be taken. I thought, why would I pay such a price to keep my teeth crooked? That seems like a waste of money, why even wear retainers?

And so, I decided to look into clear aligners again and really consider pulling the trigger.

Starting my journey with SureSmile aligners

My aligner plan and the details:

  • 3.5 months time (each case will vary)

  • New aligners every week

  • Wear 20-22 hours a day

  • No buttons on my teeth (each case will vary)

Here’s the exciting scoop on my current aligners! I am working with my new Scottsdale dentist, Dr. Sluyk (we share the same alma matter UofA!). Dr. Sluyk’s dentist office is located in Scottsdale and my aligners are by SureSmile, an alternative to Invisalign. It is Invialign’s oldest competitors that launched in 2007. 

We discussed my case after a dental examination and thought it might be 6-8 months for my case.

Surprisingly when the trays arrived, we found out I would only have to wear the aligners for 3.5 months! YAY!! And NO BUTTONS ON MY TEETH! 

I only need to wear my aligners for 3 months because my case requires minimal shifting around. I love it because it means I can pop out my retainers and no one would know I was on the alignment plan!

Years before when I was kicking tires with quotes, I was told 1 year with Invisalign, and with an accelerated plan with Invisalign would be a 6 month case for me. 

Imagine my surprise when I would hear my case is 3.5 months with SureSmile – this was a surprise when I came in to receive my aligners because we thought it would be maybe 8 months. And, this plan would include my retainers and in the future if I ever break them (it will happen) they have my scans in the system so they can easily make a new retainer for $150!

Dr. Sluyk also said I can bring in my retainers at my cleaning and they will clean them for me so I don’t need to buy those retainer cleaners. Yay – saving money means more money to spend on plants or at estate sales. *wink*

Invisalign suresmile aligners Scottsdale dentist cosmetic dentistry, dr sluyk
With Dr. Slyuk and my new retainer/aligner container haha!

Why at home aligners didn’t make the cut for me

A year ago, I attempted to start at home clear aligners thinking I would save money, you know, send in your mold and teeth photos and they send the aligners to you at home. However, after unsuccessfully sending in my own mold, photos that were too dark or not the right angle, I decided it was a waste of time and I gave up even though the company kept asking me to resend. I quickly realized I need a dentist to talk to, to see me in person, to address my questions and concerns, and be more hands on with my alignment journey if things didn’t go right. I didn’t think I could confidently DIY my teeth straight. 

aligners suresmile Invisalign alternative scottsdale dentist cosmetic dentistry


Because there were some minor sanding adjustments that had to be made on my bottom teeth to allow my teeth room to shift to be straight I am so glad I saw a dentist in person. Dr. Sluyk did this carefully by hand to make sure I wouldn’t have tiny teeth from accidentally over shaving. He really cared about how my smile was going to look and he specializes in cosmetic dentistry in the Scottsdale area, including veneers.

I live 30 minutes away from his office but I find the drive worth it (the office is off the 101 and Bell Road), I really love the new office, the staff is incredibly friendly and welcoming and he’s my new dentist!

On a side note, I also realized since I have to wear the alignment trays for 20-22 hours a day may prevent me from snacking so maybe this will be a great way to balance the holiday weight this season – haha!

I am looking forward to sharing with you the process of my aligners, my results, and any tips along the way. 

I am receiving the aligners at a discount in exchange for my honest review and experience throughout the process. Thank you for supporting the companies and small businesses that help make my blog possible. I look forward to sharing with you the final review.


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Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next creative themed party. She continues to blog weekly.


  • Barb freund

    I’m interested in alingers too. My braces came off in 1980! I will make an appointment. I’m in Cave Creek, he is close!

    • Diana Elizabeth

      That’s great news Barb! I hope you can get some information from Dr. Sluyk, we thought it would be longer but was surprised to find it wasn’t, but either way, doing it is worth it for ourselves!


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