Having properly aligned teeth is so important for not only our confidence but for the overall health of our smile. We have probably all seen the ad’s online or on television for Smile Direct Club. Maybe you’ve even one of their smile spots while out shopping. It’s definitely attention grabbing- getting a perfect smile for a much lesser cost than traditional braces or dentist supervised clear aligner therapy. But is it really all that it is made to seem? Today we will dive into some of the myths that follow at home alignment of the teeth.
Myth #1- Smile Direct Club is monitored by a dentist. The most important thing to remember when choosing an at home teeth aligning service is that you are not supervised by a dentist. While they do give virtual visits with a dentist or orthodontist once every three months during treatment, this dentist is supervising many of their own patients and many other Smile Direct patients and is probably not able to give you the attention you would need while in this type of treatment. The dentist will also never actually see the teeth, and will never take any x rays on the teeth. X rays and visual dental examinations are so important prior to and during any orthodontic treatment to assess any potential problems such as active decay, periodontal disease, bone tumors, or unerupted teeth that could be threatening if movement occurs. Impressions are the only tool used to determine the Smile Direct treatment- and these are done at home by the patient. Dental professionals take courses on how to take a proper impression because this task is not so simple and straightforward, and if trays are made off of inaccurate impressions this could lead to major issues with tooth movement. Also, the consultants they have in their smile shops are trained only on taking digital scans or impressions- they are not licensed dental professionals or require any formal dental courses/training.
Myth #2- Smile Direct Club and Invisalign trays are the same. Smile Direct trays are the flexible clear material that is used in Invisalign treatment however, Invisalign includes many additions to their aligners for optimal movement of the teeth. Attachments are placed where they are needed on the teeth and trays during Invisalign treatment to prevent unwanted movement or to increase the ability for movement. They might also use bite ramps, chains, and other attachment forms to ensure the movement is tracking. Invisalign has step by step guidance throughout treatment- and attachments or interventions are often needed throughout treatment for the optimal results. Smile Direct Club simply ships out trays based solely on the first impression given before the start of treatment.
Myth #3- Smile Direct club is hassle free. Another concern when looking into a company doing virtual alignment is that when issues do arise, you are stuck on the phone trying to connect with someone that will ultimately never see you in person. When having orthodontic treatment of any kind through a dental office, that office is going to prioritize seeing you in their office should any concerns arise. With so many divisions of care as opposed to a small dental office, you are bound to run into more “hassle” as things are largely out of one single person’s control.
When looking over customs reviews on the Better Business Bureau for Smile Direct Club it is clear that these issues are consistent for the users of Smile Direct Club. Many of the positive reviews stem only from their virtual smile appointment prior to the treatment start. Many customers are satisfied with the expectation they are given, but extremely disappointed with treatment results and customer care options given to them when problems arise.
So while it may seem that Smile Direct Club can save you some time and money if everything goes well, ultimately you can end up spending more time and money correcting what can go wrong with an at home alignment company. It is important to talk with a trusted professional and always do research into anything that involves your body and health. Let any of our dental team members know if you have questions regarding your smile!