The Truth Behind Smile Direct Club's DIY Invisalign Kit

    The bankruptcy of Smile Direct Club has brought into focus the risks associated with DIY dental aligners. Smile Direct Club, offering at-home dental impression kits was appealing for its so-called ‘convenience and affordability’. However, the need for precision in creating dental impressions, attachments, and aligners was underestimated, losing the company its 3 Billion valuation and risking the stability of millions of teeth. 


    Since their establishment in 2014, Smile Direct Club has gained significant popularity in the orthodontic market, primarily due to its cost-effective and convenient approach to teeth straightening. Offering clear aligners at prices 60% lower than other more well-known brands such as Invisalign® and utilising a direct-to-consumer, teledentistry model, the company rapidly grew in fame and finance within a few years. However, Smile Direct Clubs approach, involving patients applying treatments themselves with only general dentists to monitor progress, raises concerns about the expertise and safety in such health-related services.


    However, according to Teresa Yang, D.D.S., a California-based dentist, Forbes Health Advisory Board, when it comes to the choice between Invisalign versus SmileDirectClub, Dr. Yang says she would recommend Invisalign over SmileDirectClub for “almost everyone.”


    A BBC report highlighted one patient's experience – the inability to trust the strength of their front teeth, even for something as simple as biting into an apple – underscores the critical need for professional supervision in such dental procedures. As it can be seen in this example, bypassing a dentist for a DIY approach at home may risks serious complications, to include but not limited to, nerve damage, bone loss, tooth mobility, and issues with bite closure. 


    The fall of Smile Direct Club has proven that the monitoring process of General Dentists who apply such aligning procedures is not enough to ensure the dental safety of patients and the DIY aligner model has been unsuccessful leaving 2 million users of Smile Direct Club out in the cold. 


    Orthodontists, with their extensive and specific training in tooth alignment, are uniquely qualified to ensure not just aesthetically pleasing but also healthy smile transformations. Their expertise is crucial for optimal treatment outcomes.


    After Smile Direct Clubs failure of their home kit aligner packages, the American Dental Association (ADA) has taken significant steps against SmileDirectClub by filing complaints with both the FDA and FTC. These actions highlight serious concerns about Smile Direct Club bypassing FDA regulations that classify dental aligners as prescription-only items. 


    By 2019, Smile Direct Club faced increasing legal cases and scrutiny. This eventually lead to financial difficulties and the onset of their bankruptcy process in 2023 which left millions of people without a guarantee and wonky teeth. This situation serves as a critical reminder of the need to carefully evaluate the longevity, credentials and treatment methods of health service providers. 


    Smile Direct Club’s cancellation of unshipped orders and the voiding of their “Lifetime Smile Guarantee” starkly reminds us that such promises are only as robust as the company’s stability. This scenario serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the importance of evaluating a company's longevity and reliability before trusting in the promise of life long guarantees. 


    If you are considering tooth or smile realignment, it's crucial to research the provider's history. Focusing on the duration of their service, rather than just the number of patients treated, offers a more reliable indicator of experience, quality and promises. Equally important is ensuring your aligners come directly from the original provider, not via third-party company.


    DCT clinics in Turkey are proud to offer Invisalign clear aligners, produced by the Original Invisalign® brand (Align Technology). Invisalign® offer a thorough patient centric consultation process and the added benefit of the latest iTero digital scanning technology. Established in 1997, Invisalign® has built a solid global reputation for excellence through decades of successful patient outcomes, over 16 million smiles in fact! This experience coupled with a healthy balance sheet proves once again that Invisalign® are the clear industry leader when it comes to clear aligners. 


    In short, if you are looking for the best, look for Invisalign®.


    If you have been undergoing treatment with Smile Direct Club and you would like to continue your treatment with Invisalign®, please get in touch.

    For further information relating to Invisalign® or to obtain your personal Invisalign® quotation please get in touch using the form below and a member of our friendly team will be in touch.