Disclaimer: Closure of SmileDirect Club
Please be aware that SmileDirect Club has ceased operations. This closure may affect individuals who were considering or using their services. The Dentistry Club is not affiliated with SmileDirect Club and cannot offer guidance or assistance regarding their closure. For more information, please contact SmileDirect Club directly.
SmileDirectClub was the first to offer at-home clear aligner treatment and continues to be a voguish option. SmileDirectClub operates online and also through Smile Shops. Usually when we think about teeth straightening with Invisible aligners, the first name that comes to our head is Invisalign. But, Invisalign asks you to pay a high price for your smile. Here’s where SmileDirectClub comes into play. They offer their services at around 60% less cost. Also, unlike Invisalign, you can actually expect your custom-made aligners delivered like pizzas at your doorstep. They also provide two options: original daily clear aligners and night-time clear aligners (which will be elaborated later). SmileDirectClub is also known for it’s 30-day guarantee wherein you get a refund if you’re not satisfied with the treatment.
But there are also certain concerns as to going about your treatment without your orthodontist’s supervision. Some also claim that the aligners do not hold up your teeth as they should. Now, you probably aren’t sure whether you should consider SmileDirectClub or not. So here’s everything you should know before opting for SmileDirectClub.
How does it work?
Firstly, you have to go to their website and perform the 30-second assessment wherein the dentist has a clear overview of your previous dental issues (if you have any) and understands your dental organs. Then, they’ll give you an option to either get the consultation done at a nearby SmileShop or at home. It is usually preferable to get your consultation done at a physical office so that there are no issues left unseen. There are over 300 SmileShops so there is a high chance of one being nearby.
Later, you will receive an email stating whether you are qualified to take the treatment further or not with a preview of your future teeth. If by any chance, you’re aren’t qualified or not happy with the preview, then they refund your consultation fees. And if you’re qualified, again, you have the option of getting your impressions at the SmileShop or at home with the impression kit and again it is advisable to get yourself supervised while doing the impressions.
Whatever way you decide to get your impressions, the dentist forms a 3D image of your teeth. He will view and scan the images and suggest a treatment plan for you.
The orthodontist mails you all your aligners that you would need for the period of 6 months. The orthodontist will keep on checking with you every 90 days.
There are two treatment options available for you (as mentioned earlier): original daytime clear aligners and Night-time clear aligners. The original daytime clear aligners are for those who want their treatment done in about 6 months. Though, these are to be worn for around 22 hours each day. On the other hand, night-time clear aligners are to be worn only for about 10 hours. But this flexibility might cost you an additional 4-5 months for your teeth to be aligned.
The cost of aligners is $1895. No matter how severe or mild your treatment is, the price of aligners remains the same. These are much inexpensive when compared to Invisalign. However, it is not really that cheaper compared to brands like Byte and SmileLove. The impression kit and the consultation fees are $45 each. Though, if you do not qualify after the consultation, SmileDirectClub’s ‘Smile Guarantee’ refunds your money. Lastly, the retainers after your treatment will cost you $99 each.
SmileDirectClub offers you two payment plans:
Single Pay and SmilePay. Single Pay is nothing but paying the entire $1895 at once. SmilePay requires a down payment of $250 and then you have to pay $85 each month for 2 years. SmileDirectClub accepts payments from HSA, FSA and CareCredit accounts. But, it is not possible for any insurance company to indemnify your costs as SDC does not accept direct payments from insurance companies.
Original daytime clear aligners take as less as 6 months whereas night-time clear aligners take around 10 months. Though, there are some patients complaining that it took them 3-4 months more than expected.
If you’re seeking some inexpensive options for teeth straightening, SmileDirectClub is an excellent option. The SmilePay payment plan helps you further financially. It is very handy for those people who want to escape frequent visits to the dentist. Also, the treatment time is not very lengthy.
But, an important thing to note is that these treatments are best suitable for mild corrections since no X-rays are taken. Additionally, you won’t have much contact with your dentist throughout the treatment (not even while taking impressions). The aligners do not have anchors and may slip off causing huge embarrassment. Also, the custom-made aligners will take 4-5 weeks to reach you.
So, you should consider SmileDirectClub only if you do not have very severe issues and teeth which need mild straightening.
Brands other than SmileDirectClub
- If you have severe issues, Invisalign is the best option as your orthodontist is checking on you every now and then.
- If you’re not sure about the duration promised to you by SmileDirectClub, you can trust Byte with it’s HyperByte technology guaranteeing your treatment time of three months.
- If you want to stay within your budget then, AlignerCo and SnapCorrect would be the right choice for you.
- If you don’t want to sacrifice the quality of your treatment then, CandidCo and SmileLove are better options but with a slightly high price.
Things to do if you choose SmileDirectClub
- SDC doesn’t accept direct payment from insurance companies. So, you must go through your policies and know what would be actually beneficial.
- It is always and always advisable to get yourself checked by the dentist whenever it is possible so that you know whether your treatment is on the right track.
- Always keep a track of when you have to change your aligners.
- Follow their instructions with discipline to get the best results.
Is there any minimum age limit?
Yes, there is a minimum age limit of 12 years. Anyone above age 12 and having all their teeth permanent is eligible for SmileDirectClub’s treatment. However, minors are to be always accompanied by their parents and guardians.
Am I eligible if I got rid of the dental issues (crowns, gaps, etc) for which I was not eligible before?
Yes, you will be eligible if the dentist feels that there won’t be any problems in the future.
What if I'm not satisfied with the end result?
SmileDirectClub provides a ‘Club Warranty’ according to which at the end if you aren’t satisfied with your results, you can re-evaluate with your dentist. If you’re eligible, your treatment will be extended further.
Who is eligible for the 'Club Warranty'?
You’re eligible for the ‘Club Warranty’ if:-
- You had worn your aligners with discipline and as prescribed by your dentist.
- Registered your aligners at the website SmileDirectClub.com/checkin.
- Responded to each 90-day check-in from your doctor by sending an email with the requested photos
How to keep track of changing your aligners?
For that, you need to log in to the website and enter your start date. The website will show you the date at which you have to change your aligners as well as the number of days left to do that.
Whether SmileDirectClub is the right option for you or not clearly depends on the type of treatment necessary for your teeth. SmileDirectClub has equal numbers of benefits and flaws. Therefore it is very essential to discuss thoroughly with your dentist first and then start your treatment at SDC. Just remember that no matter what, you have to keep smiling!