SmileDirectClub is the pioneer for teledentistry and one of the most popular at-home clear aligner systems, not just in the U.S. but in Australia, Europe, and Canada. This clear aligner system provides you with custom-made, BPA-free clear plastic trays designed with Comfort Sense™ technology that are smooth and won’t irritate your cheeks or gums as braces.
In a survey done in 2019, clear aligners were the most acceptable orthodontic appliances among the participants to have placed on themselves (86.9%) and their children (84.9%) because of how discreet and comfortable clear aligners are compared to traditional metal braces.
The most popular at-home aligners with a free teeth scan, and a free one-time replacement
PROs of SDC
- Starting with SmileDirectClub is free.
- Less expensive than Invisalign or any in-office clear aligner systems.
- You can get free 3D scans at any SmileShop across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia if you find it challenging to take impressions of your mouth.
- Dental office visits are not required.
- 3D visualization of how your teeth will look after the treatment will be shown to you after your 3D scan or after they receive your impressions.
- The total amount for SmileDirectClub’s monthly plan ($2,564) is cheaper than its competitor, Byte ($2,869-$3,467).
- Free one-time replacement if you lose or break the aligners.
CONs of SDC
- Can only correct minor to moderate alignment problems, including gaps, crowding, rotation, and tipping.
- Their customer support hotline’s wait time is can be very long, as per some customer reviews.
- Some patients who experienced dental problems during treatment could not connect to SmileDirectClub’s affiliated dentists.
- Users are required to purchase retainers every 6 months to qualify for their Lifetime Smile Guarantee.
How SmileDirectClub aligners work
To get started with SmileDirectClub, you need to purchase an impression kit or book a schedule for an in-person 3D scan of your teeth at SmileShops across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia.
Their affiliated dentists and orthodontists will then review your scans, images, and medical history. SmileDirectClub’s patented technology, Smart Sculpt™, allows them to carefully plan the coordinated movements of every tooth to safely and efficiently move your teeth with a series of clear aligners. Once you’re happy with the 3D animation of your “after” smile, they’ll create your clear aligners and ship them directly to your address within 2-3 weeks.
Your progress will be virtually monitored by their affiliated dentists and orthodontists through the Smile Check-ins™, by sending photos of your smile through the SmileDirectClub app.
Once treatment is completed, you may purchase retainers for $99. These retainers should be replaced every 6 months and worn as prescribed to qualify for their Lifetime Smile Guarantee.
SmileDirectClub Clear Aligners
SmileDirectClub Aligners are an all-day clear aligner system that should be worn for at least 22 hours daily. Unlike traditional metal braces, SDC aligners are removable, discreet, and comfortable. You can remove your aligners when you eat, drink, and brush your teeth –making it easier for you to do your oral hygiene care at home and enjoy eating without restrictions.
SDC aligners are designed with the company’s patented laser technology, ComfortSense™, which cuts the aligner with precision for a smoother fit that provides comfort to users.
Nighttime Clear Aligners
SDC Nighttime Aligners are suitable for people with busy lifestyles who don’t want the hassle of removing the aligners when eating, drinking, and brushing their teeth during daytime. It requires at least 10 hours of continuous wear at night when you’re asleep.
The tradeoff is that your treatment duration may be longer than the average for all-day aligners since your aligners only work when you’re wearing them. So if you have extra time before nighttime, you may also pop your nighttime aligners and wear them for more than 10 hours to give a little boost to your treatment.
However, some orthodontists find nighttime aligners ineffective because you are not wearing your clear aligners as much as needed to constantly apply force on your teeth. According to Dr. Lynn Hurst, Candid aligners founder and an orthodontist, patients may never experience the light continuous force necessary for effective healthy tooth movement while with nighttime aligners.
How long does treatment take?
Treatment duration varies for every patient and every case, but usually, it will take around 4-6 months to achieve the smile you wanted with SmileDirectClub aligners. However, it can take longer for nighttime aligners, which can take up to 10 months or more.
Also, you need to remember that the duration of your treatment is fully dependent on how much time you wear your aligners in a day. A research done by Carol, K. at Ohio State University in 2018 states that decreasing wear time led to decreases in certain tooth movements. Thus, wearing aligners for 22 hours daily helps achieve the planned tooth movement efficiently.
How much does SmileDirectClub cost?
You can get your SmileDirectClub aligners for a one-time payment of $2,050 for all-day or nighttime aligners. That price is not even half of how much clear aligners would cost in a dental office. Every package also comes with the BrightOn® premium teeth whitening.
They also offer SmilePay™ to conveniently pay $89 monthly for 26 months with a required down payment of $250, which is a total of $2,564.
In the U.S., they have partnered with Accrue Savings, wherein you can save up for your SmileDirectClub SmilePay down payment while earning cash rewards.
Does SmileDirectClub really work?
With SmileDirectClub pioneering teledentistry, they have a long track record. According to their website, they have worked on 1.5 million smiles and counting, and there are innumerable positive reviews about patients’ SmileDirectClub journeys all over the internet. As with any clear aligners, however, SmileDirectClub works for those with minor smile alignment but won’t really work on severe bite problems.
In a study published in the Journal of Dental Research and Reports by Ackerman, M., the data suggests that teleorthodontic treatment with SmileDirectClub is clinically effective in the correction of maxillary and mandibular incisor alignment problems less than 6 mm only (mild crowding or spacing).
The only concern is feedback from people with severe bite problems that were accepted to have it corrected with SmileDirectClub aligners. It is worth noting that severe bite problems still require in-depth orthodontic planning and treatment with metal braces or jaw surgeries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does SmileDirectClub offer discounts?
Yes! You can actually get their impression kit for free. A promo code (SAVE2SMILE) can be used on the checkout page, giving you $41 off, and the remaining $18 will be refunded if you send back your mouth impressions for assessment!
Are SmileDirectClub Aligners safe?
It is relatively safe for as long as you only have mild to moderate bite problems. There are some reports of complications arising from using SmileDirectClub aligners due to their bite problem being a severe type, but SDC still accepted it. Overall, SmileDirectClub aligners are safe as they assure customers that they have licensed dentists and orthodontists reviewing every case and patient’s progress.
Does SmileDirectClub accept insurance?
Some insurances provide orthodontic benefits that may reimburse purchasing aligners. SmileDirectClub has set up a page where you can instantly check your insurance eligibility. Their finance team will coordinate directly with your insurance company and process any paperwork required. They also accept HSA and FSA payments.
Does SmileDirectClub fix overbite?
SmileDirectClub claims their aligners can correct only mild cases of overbite and overjet. There are several reviews online from customers with significant overbites, and all of them said the same thing –the treatment did not meet their expectations.
SmileDirectClub comparison to others
SmileDirectClub is the pioneer and most popular remote clear aligner treatment available on the market. One of the main advantages of SmileDirectClub over other remote clear aligner treatments (i.e., Byte, AlignerCo, NewSmile) is that you can have your teeth scanned for free at a SmileShop near you. You can skip the step of having messy putty inside your mouth and make the impressions by yourself! That’s the only time you are required to see them physically, as opposed to Invisalign and Candid, where you must see a dentist or orthodontist to plan out your treatment and frequent visits to monitor your progress.
Cost-wise, SDC is considerably more affordable than other clear aligner systems like Byte, Invisalign, and Candid. SmileDirectClub is more affordable than the leading clear aligner provider, Invisalign, because there are no in-office and dentist fees similar to what is shown in this infographic.
It is also worth noting that SmileDirectClub has special perks for teens. They offer one free replacement for any lost or broken aligners.
Overall, SmileDirectClub is a viable option for those looking for a more affordable and convenient way to improve their smile. SDC aligners are recommended for those with mild to moderate teeth alignment problems.
Although there are some reported problems, SmileDirectClub seems to be good about resolving issues and is now working with state-licensed dentists and orthodontists to design and monitor every case.
- Alansari, R., et al. Adult Perceptions of Different Orthodontic Appliances. National Library of Medicine. (2019). Available online at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6916694/
- Carol, MK. Investigation into the Significance of Daily Invisalign Tray Wear Duration. (2018). Available online at: https://etd.ohiolink.edu/apexprod/rws_etd/send_file/send?accession=osu1522789295620812&disposition=inline
- Ackerman M. Teleorthodontic treatment with clear aligners: An analysis of outcome in treatment supervised by general practitioners versus orthodontic specialists Journal of Dental Research and Reports. (2019). doi: 10.15761/JDRR.1000114. Available online at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341619741_Teleorthodontic_treatment_with_clear_aligners_An_analysis_of_outcome_in_treatment_supervised_by_general_practitioners_versus_orthodontic_specialists