Blurb from the author: Become is one of several teledentistry providers in Malaysia, but they have one catch: they do not need monthly visits to the dentist for their service. That made me curious. How can you get orthodontic treatment without these regular visits?
Invisible braces were the savior for those who want to “fix” their smiles but don't want to commit to traditional metal braces.
Vivien Bresson, co-founder and CMO of Become, still found a minor problem in the industry.
"The price for the invisible braces market is between $ 3,000 and $ 7,000 (RM12,000 and 29,000), which is about 3 to 10 times the average monthly individual income in Malaysia."
She talks about Invisalign's prices, one of the most popular brands of invisible braces in Malaysia.
If, as a young adult, you have concerns about wearing traditional braces and are too broke to get clear braces, this seems to be a struggle you can't win.
But becoming is different.
Use your money where your mouth is
Become is a teledentistry startup that wants to create a fair middle ground.
A complete set of invisible braces / Image Credit: Become
With other international competitors such as Invisalign and Zenyum from Singapore, Become does nothing new per se.
How they stand out from others is to exclude personal visits to middlemen, who are usually dentists / orthodontists, for assessments.
"We digitize the process through the Impression Kit or booking 3D scans, the treatments (before and after the simulations) and the remote monitoring follow-ups," said Vivien.
With Zenyum and Invisalign, you still need to go to the dentist to see if your teeth are in good condition for clear braces at all.
Before and after results from a user / Photo credit: Become
“One of the first challenges was to find the right price for the Malaysian market. It was not enough to offer the product cheaper than alternatives, so we did a competitive analysis, ”said Vivien.
They found that regular visits to the dentist contributed significantly to the high costs.
By eliminating this, Become keeps its prices lower than its competition. As a replacement, they offer two different evaluation options.
The first thing you get is an impression kit (which costs RM199) that you can fill out from home. This video explains how to use it.
The other option (if the first one seems too much work) is to opt for a free 3D scan in one of their comeStudios ™. They currently have only one in KL and one in Johor Bahru.
If the quality of your impressions is inaccurate (your bite is not deep enough, gum lines are not clear), a second kit will be sent to you free of charge.
A free 3D scan in one of Become's / Image Credit: Become's studios
We've put together a list of the most important things you can expect from Become compared to Zenyum and Invisalign, two popular brands of invisible braces across Malaysia.
|pricing||RM5,799||RM6,699||Offer based, but can be between 12,000 and 29,000 RM|
|Pre-assessment type||– Delivery of the impression kit (additional RM199)
– Free 3D scan in your studio
|Online rating (photo upload)||dental visit|
|dental visits||none||2+||As recommended by the dentist|
|Retainer for post-treatment||First sentence provided free of charge||Additional costs of approximately RM900||As recommended by the dentist|
Zenyum's prices are slightly higher than those of Become, as it is still claimed that you go to the dentist at least twice to monitor progress. (Although they only offered a discounted price of RM5,599 for February).
To be fair, Zenyum's pricing also takes into account the use of its mobile app, which allows patients to speak directly to their care team and doctors.
This also allows patients to monitor the progress of their treatment.
Quality still assured
If you don't go to the dental office, it doesn't mean that your progress remains unattended.
Vivien explained that they work with orthodontists every step of the way, from creating a treatment plan to simulating how your teeth should look at the end of the treatment.
If, after receiving your kit results, your orthodontist determines that clear braces are not suitable for you, you will receive a 100% refund on your investment of RM199.
"We work with orthodontists who have at least 5 years of experience with invisible braces," said Vivien.
Of course, all of this is done remotely to ensure that there are minimal costs.
If you're already wondering if this looks too good to be true, I'm with you.
As affordable as
Teledentistry startups can be – there are certain limitations to what they can do
The Become website clearly states that the service is designed for minor to moderate tooth corrections.
Therefore, those with strong overcrowding, over- and underbites, large gaps and irregular tooth shapes are not their target market.
Become braces that don't promise too much what they deliver, and Vivien is very sure of that.
"We will not deny that this is cosmetic treatment first, so we only move the client's front teeth," she said.
The "free" path ahead
However, during her team's research on clear braces, Vivien learned not to underestimate the power of aesthetics and vanity.
What Become's Impression Kit Box looks like / Image Credit: Become
At the time of writing, Vivien said it had seen healthy sales growth of around 38% since August 2019.
Funnily enough, we thought our competitors were actually traditional metal brackets, but we learned that most adults would prefer not to straighten their teeth at all, rather than wearing metal.
Vivien Bresson, co-founder and CMO, Become.
From the customer side, Become is still working to get more Malaysians on board with the idea of affordable, clear braces.
"We focus on producing a lot of educational content on our website, be it through videos, blog articles or infographics," said Vivien.
When asked what would be available for Become in the near future, she said that they wanted to offer their customers even lower prices.
"In the future, we want to expand to other dental services such as whitening and scaling (through partners) and democratize other health-related suggestions. Invisible braces are just the beginning. "
ultimately: It's great not to have to go to the dentist to keep prices down, but I would imagine that the whole process of doing your own exams is also time consuming. To avoid user errors, I think that a pre-assessment with the free 3D scan would be the best way.
* Update from the publisher: Portions of this article have been changed since publication to reflect better factual accuracy.
- More information about other Malaysian startups can be found here.
Selected image source: you will