Tag Archives: Smile Direct Club

A Serious Problem with smile care club

During a YouTube binge, an acquaintance come across this video by a young woman called Rosie Posie. She’s been documenting her experience and treatment with Smile Care Club. In one of her videos, posted directly below, you see her struggling to get her aligners in. It takes quite a while.

Eventually, after twenty mintues of trying to put them in, she gives up. In a follow-up video, the problem was discovered and resolved. Smile Direct Club inadvertantly mixed up her aligners giving her ones that were a month ahead of where she really was in her treatment.

To give you an idea of how serious this is from a medical standpoint, it would be like a surgeon accidentally doing surgery on the wrong body part.

The stress put on her teeth from being a month ahead and then going back to an earlier treatment often leads to root resorption. This can lead to premature tooth loss. It would be interesting to look at before and after x-rays of her teeth roots as a result of this mistake.

Patient Floundering

Here lies one of the big problems with services such as Smile Direct Club. Patients are left to flounder. If it weren’t for the fact that she’d been documenting her treatment on YouTube and it caught the attention of Smile Direct Club, she likely would have been left trying to shove these on every day, causing serious ireparable damage.

Many people are attracted to these mail order services because of their discounted prices. What makes their prices so low is you do not have a dentist you see regularly that check on your treatment. Bodies are unique. Because of that, even when someone is given the correct aligners, the treatment may not respond as it was supposed to. That is one of the important ways being under the care of a dentist is important. Early intervention in these cases can save the treatment and the patient’s teeth.

Affording Invisalign

If you want to safely straighten your teeth, I recommend Invisalign. It has one of the highest patient satisfaction rates of any treatment. If the cost makes you feel you could more quickly get your teeth straightened with a mail order service, consider talking to your dentist.

Most dentists are willing to work with patients under financial strain. Some have in-house payment plans that will allow you to pay things out as you go. Almost all dentists work through Care Credit. This is a medical payment service that pays for your procedure, and allows you to pay them back with extraordinarily reasonable interest rates.

A Hidden Benefit with Invisalign

There is a way to “double-up” your treatment in a way that saves you a lot of money while giving you a mini smile makeover. Because your aligners are custom fit and you are under the care of a dentist, your dentist is able to provide you with the professional teeth whitening gel that you can wear in your aligners as you straighten your teeth. This enables you to whiten while you straighten.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. Emily Foreman.

Smile direct Club Safety

I’ve been wanting to straighten my teeth for years, but wasn’t able to invest the amount of money into it required. I’d run across Smile Direct Club on Facebook. They are significantly cheaper than Invisalign.I did wonder in the back of my mind whether they were too good to be true. Is it okay to use this? I was especially interested because we can’t go in to see a dentist at the moment for routine care because of COVID-19. This seems like a quick, easy way to get my teeth straightened while still social distancing.


Dear Mercy,

Invisalign aligner
Invisalign aligner

Smile Direct Club advertises as a more affordable way to invisibly straightening people’s teeth by comparing themselves to Invisalign. While there are some similarities, the differences are the most striking. First, how they’re similar:

  • They use clear aligners
  • You switch your aligners out as your treatment progresses.

That’s about it.

The Shortcomings of Smile Direct Club

It’s the ways in which Invisalign is different that create my biggest concerns.

The Pre-Exam

With orthodontics under the care of a dentist, you get a thorough pre-exam. This is important. You need a dentist to look for things like decay, failing fillings, gum disease, and signs of TMJ Disorder. Ignoring these can have serious consequences. For instance, if you do orthotdontics with untreated gum diease, you could end up with you teeth coming loose.

With Smile Direct, there is no real exam, putting you and your teeth at risk.

The Impression

An accurate impression of your bite is essential for a proper treatment plan. It’s so imperative it’s done right that many dentists won’t even let their hygienists do it.

What you’ll get with Smile Direct is a do it yourself kit. If that impression isn’t free of imperfections, it will throw off your treatment.

The Treatment

Though many cases go as planned, not all of them do. Sometimes teeth don’t turn the way they should or you need more space opened up than originally planned. In that case, a dentist will need to carefully shave some of the sides to your teeth.

I honestly think you are safer waiting for COVID-19 to calm down. This will be the safest way to straighten your teeth.

An Added Benefit with Invisalign

In addition to being able to safely straighten your teeth, the Invisalign aligners can double as teeth whitening trays enabling you to straighten and whiten your teeth simultaneously. It’s like getting a mini smile makeover.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Does smile direct work?

I keep seeing advertisements on Facebook for smile direct club. They’re offering a free start on their program and it’s much less expensive than Invisalign. Does it really work?


Dear Sadie,

The Smile Direct Club is an company which has been in business since about 2013. They’ll mail you your aligners which you’ll wear for three weeks. With Invisalign, you switch the aligners every two weeks.

Their biggest benefit is the money savings. It does cost less than working through a dentist with Invisalign. It appears to work out fine for many patients. But (you knew there would be a but), there are risks.

Dangers with Smile Direct

  • Gum Disease

While you submit a photo and a dentist reviews it, only certain cases of gum disease are able to be diagnosed this way. Dentists will also do x-rays and probe the tissue.

If you do this treatment and have gum disease it will quickly get worse. As it progresses, your teeth can become loose. Combine that with shifting of tooth movements for your orthodontic treatment and you could end up losing teeth.

  • Complications

While for most patients things will go fine, there are exceptions. Sometimes a tooth his supposed to rotate which doesn’t. This affects the entire treatment process.

Another, more common issue, is when there’s crowding. When that is an issue, some of the sides of the teeth have to be shaved down to make room for the correct alignment.

This is something you’ll have to do at a dental office. However, removing the right amount of enamel is tricky. You’d really want a dentist who’s invested in the case to do the work on it. Without that, It might not go as well as you’d like.

So, could it work? Possibly. In many cases it does. The thing to be aware of is what to do if something doesn’t. At the very least, I’d recommend you get a good check up with a dentist ahead of time and make sure you don’t have any signs of gum disease before proceeding.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.