Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Smile Direct Club
- Last updated: 3 months ago
SmileDirectClub (formerly SmileCareClub) is an at-home, tooth-straightening system that uses a series of clear trays. After you are approved through an assessment, a dental impression kit is sent to you with instructions to wear the trays from four to eight months to straighten and correct issues with your teeth. As a bonus, aligners double as whitening trays, and gel is provided with your treatment plan.
Clear tooth-aligning systems are often associated with Invisalign, and figuring out your options can be a little overwhelming. To help with your research, we’ve broken down the most relevant information about what makes SmileDirectClub unique.
1. Insurance may cover part of it.
According to SmileDirectClub, insurance may pay over half your treatment cost. Have a flexible spending account? You can use that to pay the balance, as SmileCareClub aligners are considered a medical device that corrects crooked teeth. Health saving accounts and major credit cards are also accepted, and 12-month financing is available for those who qualify.
2. You don’t have to regularly visit the dentist or orthodontist for new aligners.
The treatment process is fulfilled through the mail, although you may need some visits to a SmileDirectClub provider depending on your situation.
How it works: You are sent a dental impression kit to create molds of your teeth at home and then return them to SmileDirectClub for your customized plan. Once your impressions have been assessed, your treatment plan will include the cost and time estimate, along with 3D imaging that shows how the aligners will move your teeth. If you have moderate to severe crowding you may need to visit a nearby office before you can start wearing aligners. At this appointment the enamel of your crowded teeth will be lightly filed to ensure there is enough room for these teeth to be straightened.
Most aligners have either a scalloped edge or a straight-line trim. Brands like Invisalign are scalloped and require attachment points that are glued to the teeth. SmileDirectClub aligners use a straight-line trim, which sit slightly above the gum line, which makes them more secure and less noticeable. "It is more aesthetic because it sits about 2-3 mm above the gum line and is completely hidden by the lip," says Dr. Kathryn Wilson, a Danville, Calif. orthodontist, in a RealSelf Q&A.
3. SmileDirectClub is registered with the FDA as a repackager/relabeler.
These are the same aligners sold under various brand names, without the added costs of regular dentist office visits.
4. They are not suitable for people with dental implants, but other dental work may be OK.
Dental implants are screwed into the bone, which impedes the tooth’s ability to move, so aligners are not appropriate. People with implants should consult a medical professional for other straightening options. "Implants do not move when subjected to orthodontic forces, clear aligners or otherwise, so one has to make a treatment plan around the implant," says Dr. Mark Weiser, a Katy, Texas, orthodontist, in a RealSelf Q&A.
Other common dental treatments, including veneers and bonding, will need to be assessed by your dental provider to see if they are strong enough to withstand an aligner treatment. In fact, it's safe to check with your dentist and discuss how your history could impact your results.
5. There's no cost to you if you don't qualify.
After analyzing your impressions, if SmileDirectClub determines that you are not a good candidate, they will refund your impression kit fee. See their refund policy for more information.
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Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare professional. Your reliance on any information or content provided in the guide is solely at your own risk. You should always seek the advice of your physician or healthcare professional for any questions you have about your own medical condition. RealSelf does not endorse or recommend any specific content, procedure, product, opinion, healthcare professional, or any other material or information in this guide or anywhere on this website.