There are several pros and cons when it comes to important factors like cost, maintenance and effectiveness.
A clear aligner is very appealing to many adults. Compared to traditional braces, it has many pros, the main one being that it’s removable. You can wear the aligner during the day or at night (per your dentist’s recommendations), and it resolves some common braces-related issues like getting food stuck in your smile, as there are no brackets for food to get snagged on.
The at-home process that SmileDirectClub provides may be straightforward and convenient, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best option when making permanent decisions about your teeth, according to experts.
It’s important to note that in 2017, the American Dental Association (ADA) passed a resolution stating that it, “believes that supervision by a licensed dentist is necessary for all phase of orthodontic treatment including oral examinations, periodontal examinations, radiographic examinations, study models of scans of the mouth, treatment planning and prescriptions, periodic progress assessments and final assessments with stabilizing measures.”
Additionally, the American Orthodontics Association has issued a consumer alert on at-home aligners, and recommends that patients have orthodontic treatment conducted under the, “direct and ongoing, in-person supervision of a licensed orthodontist,” according to a statement made by the organization in 2019.
As for whether SmileDirectClub requires in-person consultations, the company’s website states that, “most SmileDirectClub customers don’t need to make any additional visits to a dental office during their clear aligner treatment, aside from regular dental cleanings.”
“Orthodontists provide patients with a variety of options, including metal braces, ceramic braces, lingual (on the inside of teeth) braces, aligner therapy, hybrid therapy and more…” says Mairaj Ahmed, co-director of the orthodontic program at Montefiore Health System in New York. “Providing more options—in the form of bypassing the appropriate health care provider—is not so much more important than sound clinical advice and treatment.”
SmileDirectClub is a very affordable option for aligning your bite. It’s more affordable than traditional braces and other dental-aligning procedures that an orthodontist does in their office.
Once your treatment is complete and your dental professional gives you the green light, you have the option to purchase a set of affordable retainers for $99 from SmileDirectClub that you only need to wear at night.
While SmileDirectClub boasts over 50,000 reviews with an average of 4.9 out of 5 stars on its website, it has an average rating of 3.97 out of 5 stars on its Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile. Specifically, customers who filed complaints with the BBB against SmileDirectClub allege that they had incurred dental problems following SmileDirectClub treatment.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that the company has been ensnared in multiple legal battles over its product and marketing tactics with organizations including the ADA, and various state dental boards.