Tara Cook, 28, had traditional braces as a teenager. But when she didn’t wear her retainers, so her teeth shifted back. Eventually her wisdom teeth crowded her smile even more. She knew she wanted to straighten her teeth and began researching all her teeth straightening options, when she stumbled upon SmileDirectClub.
“I was really self-conscious,” she says. “I was tired of smiling with my mouth closed or feeling like I had to cover my mouth when I laughed.”
As an adult, Tara knew she wanted to go through another teeth straightening treatment, but couldn’t imagine getting braces again. She looked into other aligner options, but she felt discouraged at how much they cost.
It wasn’t until she got engaged that she really started researching her options.
“I wanted to have straight teeth for my wedding,” Tara says. “That’s the day I want to remember forever and be the prettiest. I couldn’t imagine being self-conscious about my smile or looking back at photos and regretting not having done something.”
Through her research, Tara learned about SmileDirectClub from Facebook.
“I watched a ton of YouTube videos to get other people’s opinions and see their results,” she says. “I’m not someone to jump into something hastily, but after doing research and checking SmileDirectClub reviews, I couldn’t give it up, especially when you factor in how affordable the price is.”
SmileDirectClub, an alternative to traditional orthodontic options, provides customers with clear, BPA-free plastic aligners. As part of the custom program, dental professionals evaluate the customer’s smile to create a treatment plan to gradually shift their teeth to the desired position. SmileDirectClub doesn’t require regular in-office visits.
Customers get a 3D image of their teeth at a SmileShop, or create molds of their teeth using an impression kit. They receive all their custom SmileDirectClub aligners shipped at-once. Customers then follow along with their personalized online portal or within the app. Each customer is assigned a state-licensed dentist or orthodontist, who conducts regular virtual check-ins to make sure teeth are moving as planned.
“Tara needed to have her upper central incisors moved out a bit to meet her lateral incisors for a better aesthetic appearance. We also needed to make more space for her crowded lower front teeth,” says SmileDirectClub’s lead dentist, Jeffrey Sulitzer, DMD. “The invisible aligners effectively treated Tara’s orthodontic needs, as she required mild tooth movement to obtain her desired aesthetic outcome. Tara also had the ability to remove her aligners before eating and while conducting her daily oral hygiene.”
“There wasn’t a SmileShop in my area, so I used the at-home kit,” says Tara.
Tara’s smile plan was 4 months in length. “She wore three sets of aligners per month – one set for the first week, the second set for the next week, and the third set for the last two weeks. In total, we prescribed 12 aligners to bring Tara’s teeth into alignment,” explains Dr. Sulitzer. “SmileDirectClub customers utilize their accounts on the SmileDirectClub website to track which aligners they should be wearing, when they should be switching to the next set of aligners and how many weeks remain in their smile plans.”
“It took some getting used to,” Tara admits. “I always made sure to change out my retainers on Friday evenings, so I could adjust over the weekend. Some of the trays hurt at first, but the pain usually went away by the next week. I work in customer service and I spend a lot of time on the phone, so I was concerned I would sound different. But, if I wouldn’t have told anyone I had aligners in, I don’t know if they would have noticed.”
Tara wrapped up her treatment in October but started seeing results long before she finished the full course.
“By the end of the second month, I noticed a difference,” she says.
“At the end of the third month, I had maybe four teeth that were still a little out of place, and the last month, the last two aligners were just doing very minimal tweaking because my teeth were almost perfect. I absolutely love my smile now. I don’t cringe when I see photos of myself anymore, which is amazing! Now, I no longer have to be self-conscious, and I can’t wait to smile ear to ear on my wedding day!”
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