Top 5 Things You Need To Know About Smile Direct Club
- 1 year ago
Clear tooth aligner systems have been branching out beyond Invisalign recently, and figuring out the differences between each option can get a little overwhelming. To help with your aligner research, we’ve broken down the most pertinent information about what makes Smile Direct Club unique.
1. Insurance may cover part of it.
According to Smile Direct Club, your insurance may pay over half the 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 malocclusion (which really just means crooked teeth). Health Saving Account debit cards and major credit cards are accepted, and 12-month financing is available for those who qualify.
2. You don’t have to regularly go to the dentist or orthodontist for new aligners.
The entire treatment process is fulfilled through the mail, although you may need some visits to a Smile Direct Club provider depending on how severe your tooth crowding is.
How it works: You are sent a dental impressions kit to create molds of your teeth, which you complete in the comfort of your home and then ship back to their US office. Once your impressions have been assessed, Smile Direct Club will send you a treatment plan which includes the expected 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 Smile Direct Club endorsed dentist 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.
How they attach: Aligners can have either a scalloped edge or a straightline-trim. Brands like invisalign are scalloped and are trim to the gum line so they require attachment points to be glued to the teeth. Smile Direct Club aligners use the straightline trim. Straightline-trim aligners sit slightly above the gum line, which makes them more secure and less noticeable. "It is more esthetic because it sits about 2-3mm above the gum-line and is completely hidden by the lip. These make the aligners not noticeable in photos," 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 who have dental implants, but other dental work may be okay.*
Dental implants are screwed into the bone, which impedes the tooth’s ability to move, so aligners are not appropriate. Don't be discouraged however: you may still be a candidate for another straightening system. "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.
Veneers: "If a veneer is stable functionally and restoratively, it can withstand aligner treatment," says Dr. Darren Wong, a Honolulu cosmetic dentist, in a RealSelf Q&A; but he recommends seeing your dentist to be safe.
Bonding: See your local dentist to ensure the bonding is strong enough to withstand the pressure of aligners. "He/She has an xray and has examined them and will know if they are stable enough for aligner treatment," says Dr. Kathryn Wilson in a RealSelf Q&A.
*Always check with your local dentist if you have any concerns about your own dental history before starting a treatment like Smile Direct Club.
5. There's no cost to you if you don't qualify.
If, after analyzing your impressions, Smile Direct Club determines that you are not a good candidate, they will refund your impression kit fee. See their refund policy for more information.
Your aligners double as whitening trays, and the gel is provided with your treatment plan. Just doing your lower or your upper arch? You will make dental impression molds of both your upper and lower arches, and Smile Care Club will send you one tray for the arch you are not straightening so you can whiten all your teeth.
Read Smile Direct Club reviews from real people
Read Q&As about Smile Direct Club with answers by doctors
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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.