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SmileDirectClub review

Get your pearly whites in line with SmileDirectClub and its clear aligners.

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SmileDirectClub logo

Getting your teeth straightened without having to leave the house seems temptingly convenient. SmileDirectClub has been making waves for years now with its clear aligners that you can purchase without ever having to step foot in a dentist’s office.

Learn more about the costs involved and what the treatment is like.

How does SmileDirectClub work?

SmileDirectClub’s clear aligners are designed to be worn 22 hours a day and the average treatment time is four to six months. New aligners are sent to you periodically depending on your personal treatment plan.

One selling point for SmileDirectClub over the competitors is the option for its Nighttime clear aligner therapy. Suitable for those looking for a more discreet, flexible treatment plan, you’ll only need to wear your aligners for 10 hours at night, although this stretches your total treatment time to an average of ten months.

However, traditional metal braces are often the recommended option for complex dental issues. If you’re working with anything more than minor to moderate teeth correction, discuss your needs with a professional.

How much does SmileDirectClub cost?

SmileDirectClub hopefuls start off with either a $59 remote impression kit sent through the mail or a free 3D imaging appointment in person at a SmileShop. Once you’ve been confirmed as eligible, you have two payment options: a one-time payment of $1,950 or a deposit of $250 and two-year payment plan of $89 per month, totaling $2,386.

To compare, the cost of Invisalign can be anywhere between $2,000 and $7,000 depending on how much alignment you need and how many adjustments are necessary. You could, however, be entitled to claim a portion of the cost back on your health insurance.

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Is SmileDirectClub covered by health insurance?
It depends on your coverage. If your dental insurance covers the cost of braces, you may be eligible for SmileDirectClub aligners. In some cases, you may need to cover the cost yourself and apply for reimbursement. Contact your insurance company to find out more.

If your insurance does not cover the cost, you can pay out-of-pocket upfront or by monthly installments over 24 months.

Who is SmileDirectClub for?

SmileDirectClub isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for a quick way to straighten your teeth and don’t have an overbite, underbite or severe misalignment, then it could be just the ticket.

If you require bite correction, significant tooth rotation or need to move molars, a dentist or orthodontist-supervised method is more appropriate.

Pros and cons of SmileDirectClub

While there are many benefits to SmileDirectClub, including the comparatively lower costs, sometimes you do get what you pay for. In this instance, the cost savings means sacrificing the personal touch you would receive from getting braces or Invisalign through your dentist or orthodontist.

Here are some of the main pros and cons to consider before getting a set of clear aligners.

Pros

  • You can do it on your own
  • Shorter time commitment since there are no regular checkups
  • Total treatment time can be quicker than other methods
  • Price is usually less than traditional braces or Invisalign

Cons

  • Not always covered by private health insurance
  • Can only help with mild to moderate teeth alignment problems
  • No personalized communication or treatment
  • Aligners can take up to six weeks to make and ship

How does SmileDirectClub compare to Invisalign and braces?

Invisalign hit the orthodontics world back in 1997. Since then, we’ve seen other brands offer transparent teeth alignment trays. While the offering is similar, the biggest difference is that Invisalign is sold and administered exclusively through dentists and orthodontists, while SmileDirectClub sells directly.

SmileDirectClub office locations

While you can order an at-home impression kit in the mail, SmileDirectClub also has several locations across the US where you can have your 3D scan done in person. You can find SmileShops in the following states, or refer to SmileDirectClub’s location finder to locate the office closest to you.

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

What is SmileDirectClub?

SmileDirectClub is an at-home teeth-straightening company founded in 2014. It offers home-use teeth straightening kits that can be ordered online. Customers eager to straighten their smile receive several sets of personalized, tight-fitting, clear aligners that gradually shift their teeth into the desired position.

The clear aligners have several advantages over traditional metal braces. You can eat your favorite foods without fear of getting it stuck in the wires, it’s easy to clean your teeth and — possibly the biggest benefit — the aligners can barely be seen.

How has COVID-19 impacted SmileDirectClub?

In response to the pandemic, SmileDirectClub closed its physical locations but is still sending kits to clients by mail. As of November 2020, SmileDirectClub announced plans to begin reopening its SmileShops based on local conditions.

However, because of the way COVID-19 spreads, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that certain dental procedures may put you at a higher risk of infection. Do not visit a SmileShop if you feel sick or have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 within the past 14 days.

Bottom line

SmileDirectClub is a solid option for teeth straightening for those with minor or moderate corrections required, and its mailing option allows greater access and convenience for anyone unable to visit a physical location. However, those with major alignment issues may not be able to use SmileDirectClub as a solution, and the service lacks personalized treatment.

To know what treatment plan is best for you, compare your teeth straightening options before you decide.

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