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70% of Americans report being self-conscious about their teeth.
Traditional braces cost $5,000 to $6,000 and must be worn for one to three years.
Invisible aligners from SmileDirectClub cost as little as $1,950.
With SmileDirectClub, you can correct your smile in as little as four months.
The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you’re insecure about your teeth, you’re not alone. A 2019 survey from market research firm OnePoll found that approximately 70% of Americans are self-conscious about their teeth, particularly when it comes to crookedness or spacing between teeth.
In the past, you had to visit an orthodontist and get fitted for braces if you wanted to correct your smile. On average, traditional comprehensive orthodontic treatment costs $5,000 to $6,000. You also had to make monthly trips to the orthodontist.
With SmileDirectClub, you can get straighter teeth from the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the cost. In SmileDirectClub reviews, customers report being highly satisfied with their new smiles.
SmileDirectClub was founded in 2014 to make orthodontic care more accessible. Using clear, invisible aligners, customers can gradually shift their teeth into a more cosmetically appealing position in four to six months.
While straightening teeth with traditional braces usually requires regular visits to an orthodontist, SmileDirectClub eliminates that requirement. You can straighten your teeth at home instead, without any office visits.
1. Visit a SmileShop or request a home impression kit.
To begin your aligner treatment, you first need your current teeth evaluated. There are two ways to do this:
Go to a SmileShop: SmileShops, SmileDirectClub’s in-person locations, are located all over the country, including in some pharmacies like CVS or Walgreens. When you come in for your appointment, you’ll undergo a 3-D scan.
Use a home impression kit: For the price of $59, you can get a kit to make home impressions of your teeth. With this option, you use the kit to take impressions of your teeth, then mail them back to SmileDirectClub. Before requesting an impression kit SmileDirectClub gives you the option to complete a free 30-second "Smile Assessment" to determine if an aligner treatment is right for you.
Whether you opt to visit a SmileShop or use a home impression kit, SmileDirectClub will use that information to make a 3-D image of your teeth and evaluate your smile. A certified dentist or orthodontist (one of SmileDirectClub’s partner dental professionals) will review your 3-D image and approve your customized treatment plan.
3. Receive your set of aligners.
SmileDirectClub will share a preview of your corrected smile and ship all of the invisible aligners to you at once. This way, you don’t have to wait for the next set of aligners to arrive. Depending on your teeth and preferences, there are two aligner options:
Traditional clear aligner treatment plan: With this approach, you wear your aligners 22 hours a day, taking them out only while eating and drinking.
Nighttime Clear Aligner Therapy: If you decide to use the Nighttime Clear Aligner Therapy option, you wear your aligners for just 10 hours a day when you go to bed. This option may be preferable if school or work makes wearing aligners all day difficult for you.
SmileDirectClub vs. Traditional Braces
If you’re trying to decide between a treatment plan from SmileDirectClub and traditional braces, here are some benefits and drawbacks to consider:
Cost: SmileDirectClub is significantly cheaper than traditional braces, and you can take advantage of a monthly payment plan to make it more manageable.
Length of time: The average amount of time someone wears traditional braces is one to three years. Using SmileDirectClub, you can get the smile you want in just four to six months.
No office visits: With traditional braces, you typically have to visit an orthodontist on a monthly basis. That means taking time off school or work, which can be both tricky and costly. With SmileDirectClub, there are no office visits. Those who opt for the home impressions kit can even do everything from their own home.
Safety concerns: While services like SmileDirectClub make teeth straightening more affordable, some professional groups have expressed safety concerns. For example, the American Dental Association strongly discourages the use of do-it-yourself orthodontics, noting that they may cause harm to some users.
Designed for minor to moderate issues only: SmileDirectClub’s aligners are only designed for people with minor or moderate alignment problems. If your teeth have more severe issues, such as severe overbites or underbites, you may not be a candidate for the SmileDirectClub.
Limited money-back guarantee: While SmileDirectClub does offer a money-back guarantee, it’s only valid if you’re unhappy with your aligners and notify the company within the first 30 days after delivery. If you’re dissatisfied with your experience after that time window passes, you’re no longer eligible for a refund.
How Much Does SmileDirectClub Cost?
An aligner treatment from SmileDirectClub costs substantially less than traditional braces. According to the company, you can get invisible aligners for up to 60% less than braces.
SmileDirectClub offers two payment options:
Single pay: If you opt for a one-time upfront payment, the cost is $1,950. That price includes customer clear aligners shipped to you and premium teeth whitening.
SmilePay: You can also choose monthly payments and pay $89 per month. This option also requires a $250 down payment. It includes the same services as the single pay option, but you’ll pay more over time ($2,386 in total).
If you have a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account, you can use the money you’ve saved to pay for your SmileDirectClub aligners. Your dental insurance may also cover a portion of your expenses. SmileDirectClub also accepts CareCredit as a financing option.
When it comes to customer service, SmileDirectClub reviews are generally positive. According to Best Company, SmileDirectClub has received over 1,600 reviews as of November 2020, rating the company with 4.2 stars out of five on average. The majority of reviews highlight the product’s value and quality as their best features. One reviewer wrote:
“I absolutely love the progress I've made in such a short time. This affordable option has given me the opportunity to smile and not be ashamed,” said Kelsey.
Customer care representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can reach customer support via live chat or by calling 800-848-7566.
Correcting Your Smile
If you’ve always been self-conscious about your smile, teeth straightening treatments can make a significant improvement in your self-esteem. When deciding between traditional orthodontia and at-home services like SmileDirectClub, think about your budget, current teeth issues, and how quickly you want results. If you’re not sure if this treatment route is right for you, talk to your dentist for further advice and guidance.
Kat Tretina is a journalist and copywriter with expertise in personal health and personal finance. Her content has been featured on sites such as Everyday Health, HuffPost, Forbes, Investopedia, and Credit Karma. Kat calls Orlando, Florida home.