When making that all-important decision on how to get your ideal smile, you are going to want to look at what is most affordable, convenient and trustworthy. With so many options nowadays and online businesses ever-growing, it can be challenging to decipher which aligners will be best for you. Let’s take a look at Smile Direct Club and what they can offer.
What Is Smile Direct Club?
Smile Direct Club, simply put, is a dental company that specialises in clear aligners and retainers. They have 8 locations based within England, including London, Manchester and Birmingham, and another in Glasgow, Scotland. However, their online presence offers you the option of requiring no in-person check-ups or appointments to get started. They haven’t been around for very long compared to many other dental practices as they were only founded in 2014 but have built up a steady rapport with their customers as they strive to pride themselves on their competitive rates.
How does it work?
So, how do you get your aligners and retainers made just right for you? There are a couple of options here.
Your first option is to book an appointment at one of their “SmileShop” locations. Here, your assigned UK registered dentist will use 3D imagery to view your teeth and allow you to preview how your teeth will look after using their product. It’s important to note that this is the ONLY in-person appointment you must attend if you choose to book at one of their locations. From here, your treatment plan and custom aligners will be created for you based on the 3D image taken and will be posted to you. Everything you need to do from here can be completed online; this means your check-ins are done virtually with your already assigned dentist or orthodontist.
Your other option is to start your journey from the comfort of your own home. Smile Direct Club offers an impression kit that can be ordered on their website and delivered right to your door for the base price of £49.
In your impression kit, you will find:
• Impression trays
• A smile stretcher for taking photos of your teeth
• A prepaid return shipping label
Your treatment journey will be the same from here- your assigned dentist will go through your virtual check-ins with you until your treatment is complete.
Who can get treatment from Smile Direct Club?
Not sure if you are a candidate for aligners? Smile Direct Club has a free assessment you can take online. There are a total of 7 questions to answer, in which you can choose your most relevant tooth issues and your goals. Smile Direct can deal with minor to moderate misalignments and some bite corrections but cannot assist in more severe problems than those. If your case is more extreme, you may want to look for a more suitable provider to match your needs. One of them is Invisalign- a clear aligner provider that can deal with multiple different bite issues and more prominent alignment issues.
Is Smile Direct Worth it?
Well, when getting down to the nitty-gritty, we are going to look at the baseline. There are two questions we will ask ourselves when looking to purchase a product- especially one that will affect our body.
Is this product good quality?
By now, Smile Direct has built up quite the demand. Their dentists and orthodontists are all UK registered as would be expected, and their aligners are self-proclaimed to be state-of-the-art. But as with every company, the customers tell all.
When looking at the reviews and feedback of Smile Direct’s products and services, of course you will see those shiny 5-star ratings; there are many of them. However, a good portion of people have paid for a service, and it hasn’t turned out to be all it said on the box. A lot of the product quality may come down to the home impression kit service they offer, and it’s hard to be consistent when the customer is partially doing the work.
When looking at the process of creating aligners, it is a good idea to look at the home impression kits. Using these kits in the comfort of your own home sounds great, and of course, this might be a lot convenient for you. Maybe you have a fear of the dentist, or travelling to one of their SmileShops isn’t a journey you can make. However, when looking at the other side of the home kits, they could have a negative impact on your experience and service. A home kit leaves no room for error, make the impression wrong, and you could face the cost of ordering another kit.
What is the cost?
Well as mentioned earlier, Smile Direct prides themselves on their competitive prices. Their treatments start at £1539 or just short of £1700 if you finance with monthly payments of £70.09. However, this doesn’t consider your added costs if you choose to order a home impression kit. This is arguably not much lower than what you might find the price to be at your local dentistry practice.
Does Smile Direct Club work?
As with most home solutions and virtual schemes, it can be a bit hit-and-miss for the customer. The hundreds of reviews on the Smile Direct Club website, TrustPilot and Google all vary. Still, when you look a little closer, the popular opinion appears to be that you, the customer, have a more positive experience when visiting a “SmileShop” instead of going through the complete online process. Numerous customers have seen outstanding results whilst a more minor, still relevant number have seen no change or worse- had negative effects with the product and the customer service team. Many have reported they had to wait up to 15 weeks for their aligners to arrive only to find that they did not fit.
Which begs the question- Is it really worth travelling for this service when your local and trusted practitioner can give you the results you need at a similar price with a more positive experience?
What are the alternatives?
Whilst Smile Direct Club and other clear aligner providers have many happy customers; they often don’t have the same standard of customer care that you would expect. Although they may not include service from the comfort of your home, there are many alternatives that still offer you a product with results that would be well worthwhile.
A provider such as Invisalign offers affordable rates that you can finance monthly at a lower cost than Smile Direct. With services such as this, finding your provider can be a lot more convenient than you might think. At Oradent, our dental practices provide Invisalign Clear Aligners whilst maintaining in-person consultations that give you the reassurance you need.
Oradent Dental Care can help start your journey with Invisalign, providing you with all the information you need to provide you with ease and make the best choice for your teeth. If you would like to explore your options with Invisalign, we are offering free consultations with our cosmetic dentists- book at your local Oradent practice via one of the links below.