News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Start-up breaks barriers to straight teeth

An innovative Kiwi start-up is putting teeth-straightening treatment within reach for more New Zealanders.

Smilii is the first New Zealand brand of clear aligners - invisible plastic covers that click over your teeth and gently move them into line.

Similar technology is sold around the world but the market is dominated by two American brands at opposite ends of the price and quality spectrum.

Smilii founder Neil Fitzpatrick says the expense of quality treatment provided by an orthodontist or dentist means three quarters of people who could benefit are missing out.

Alternatives that sell aligners direct-to-consumer carry potential risk because they cut out of the process dental professionals and essential orthodontic x-rays.

“Most Kiwis have never heard of clear aligner treatment but its popularity is quickly growing in America and Europe. It’s widely touted to be the main form of orthodontic therapy in a few years’ time.

“There’s a small window of opportunity for a New Zealand company to claim territory and offer New Zealanders a fair option that is on par with the best aligner brand in the market, but at a price that is much more affordable and - importantly - safe.”

Smilii has achieved affordability and expertise through a hybrid model that combines its own dental team and an exclusive partnership with a specialised medical 3D printing company based in India. It specialises in manufacturing clear aligners for the Indian market and provides Smilii with its own team of orthodontists, plus computer and lab technicians who will work closely with the New Zealand crew.

Client safety and comfort will be assured through treatment plans that include a dental check-up, full set of dental x-rays, a hygiene clean and regular in-person and app-based contact with a Smilii dentist and dental support team.

“As a minimum, we believe treatment should be led by a qualified dental professional, planned by an orthodontist, with the safety net of being able to see our professionals in person,” Neil says.

Dr Julian Leigh, long-time member of the Australian Dental Association and consultant dentist to Smilii, says it’s critical that a general check-up and special orthodontic x-rays are taken and analysed by an orthodontist before clear aligner treatment.

“Your teeth and gums must be in good shape before any aligner treatment - to be safe and ultimately successful,” he says. “Otherwise you could risk permanent damage or embark on unsuitable aligner treatment.

“That’s the difference with Smilii and why I’m delighted to be part of it.”

Smilii is on its way. Visit to reserve a place for a no-cost, obligation-free appointment, or complete an online suitability check to find out Smilii is right for you.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>

Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland