The truth about SmileDirectClub

A little skepticism is a normal reaction to any great deal. Is it really possible to get the smile you’ve always wanted at a cost that’s half the cost of Invisalign1? If you’re worried about being bamboozled by another online scam or have concerns about whether or not our clear aligner treatment is safe, keep reading.

We’re addressing all the concerns, rumors, and myths we’ve seen about us right here. Find out below if it’s fact or fiction.

Myth: SmileDirectClub doesn’t have doctors involved/it’s DIY orthodontics

This is pure fiction. We work with a network of 250+ state-licensed dentists and orthodontists. Every Club member is assigned a doctor licensed in their state. All our doctors have 5+ years of clear aligner experience. As a matter of fact, our doctors are the most experienced in clear aligner therapy via telehealth in the industry.

All plans are reviewed, finalized and approved by your doctor who’s with you every step of the way on your Smile JourneyTM via our telehealth platform.

Myth: SmileDirectClub moves teeth too fast

This is false. Our aligners are designed to gently and safely move your teeth into their final position.

Your state-licensed doctor will ensure you get the best plan for your smile so you’re safe and comfortable. In addition, our Comfort Sense™ technology, which includes a proprietary aligner progression plan that takes you from soft to medium to firm plastic aligners each month, means you’ll experience less discomfort.

If you’ve come across comments online about how painful treatment is and are worried, don’t be. Everyone’s pain tolerance is different, and no one’s experience—or teeth—are exactly alike. Some soreness in the first few days after starting treatment is totally normal and only temporary. Your teeth are being moved, after all!

If you have concerns at any time during your Smile Journey, you have access to our dental team 24/7/365.

Myth: SmileDirectClub is a scam

Heard whisperings of a SmileDirectClub scam? We’re not surprised. Clinically safe, effective teeth straightening without the 3x markup of Invisalign2 sounds too good to be true, but our 1.5 million customers — and their before & after photos — prove we’re the real deal.

Our goal is to provide better access to care, so everyone can get a smile they love at an affordable price and that’s exactly what our members get.

Need more proof?

Research by a professor at the Harvard Dental School found teleorthodontic treatment with clear aligners to be as clinically effective in correcting crowding or spacing when supervised by general practitioners or specialists.

Myth: SmileDirectClub is less expensive, so their aligners must be lower quality

So not true! There are a few ways we’re able to save you money and sell you such affordable aligners, starting with cutting out the middleman.

For starters, we handle everything in-house, which reduces our overall cost and instead of selling aligners to your dentist who marks them up to make a profit, we send them all at once directly to you. This also cuts down on shipping costs and we pass those savings onto you, too.

Myth: You’re on your own once you get aligners

We have 24/7 support, giving you unprecedented access to our customer care and dental teams.

No matter your time zone or lifestyle, we can support you via phone, email, chat, and video calls. You can even download our app. Fun fact: This actually exceeds the access you’d have to dental professionals in a traditional office setting!

Myth: SmileDirectClub doesn’t look at your teeth before approving you

Your treating doctor needs to evaluate everything before determining your eligibility for SmileDirectClub.

By “everything” we mean:

  • A 3D image of your smile
  • Photographs of your teeth
  • Your health and medical information
  • Your main smile concerns

If your doctor has any questions, they may ask you to provide additional information or clearances from your local dentist.

Myth: SmileDirectClub damages teeth and causes them to fall out

False. Our aligners will NOT damage healthy teeth. You should always maintain your regular cleanings with your local dentist to keep your teeth healthy and prevent any issues.

Partner Network is also a great in-person resource. You can go to one of the 1,500+ dentists and orthodontists to get a free 3D scan or impression of your teeth and talk you through your options. You’ll also get great dental care with them throughout your treatment with SmileDirectClub — and after, too.

Myth: SmileDirectClub has so many lawsuits against them

We actually don’t. Pushback from those looking to disrupt the status quo is unfortunately par for the course with any disruptive business. Many of our lawsuits are actually initiated by SmileDirectClub – not “against” us – to further our mission of democratizing access to care and ensure consumers like you continue to have an affordable, convenient, and accessible teeth straightening option.

Our products are safe, manufactured at an FDA-certified and registered facility, and all treatment using our telehealth platform is prescribed and directed by a state-licensed dentist or orthodontist in our affiliated network.

Myth: SmileDirectClub only straightens the first 6 teeth – aka “the social six”

We don’t do anything halfway when it comes to giving you the smile of your dreams!

Thanks to advancements in treatment planning and our second-generation aligner production, we’re able to make all the tooth movements you need to address mild to moderate crowding and spacing issues within the treating doctor’s standard of care.

Myth: SmileDirectClub approves everyone

Not true. We focus on mild to moderate crowding and spacing and refer hundreds of customers a week to local orthodontists.

Eligibility is determined by a doctor after a thorough review of your 3D image of your smile, photos of your teeth, and more. If they don’t think our aligners are a good fit for you, we’ll refund the cost of your impression kit. It’s part of our guarantee!

Myth: You can’t get started safely without x-rays

Studies show x-rays are not clinically necessary for all orthodontic cases, and unnecessary x-rays can cause more harm than good.

Dental x-rays have been shown to expose the head and neck to radiation, increasing the risk for cancer of the brain, thyroid, and other parts of the neck. While oral health issues require the use of x-rays, using aligners is not one of them.

A 3D impression or scan eliminates the need for x-rays when planning your treatment.

Still have questions? Check out our FAQ page and blog, which are chock full of helpful info and resources, or hit us up here by chat, phone, or email.

1Half the cost of Invisalign” claim based on Single Pay vs. avg. fees (incl. diagnostics and exams) for Invisalign treatment, as reported in a nat’l survey of dentists and orthodontists. Comparison does not include added costs, such as retainers, and is limited to mild-to-moderate teeth correction, as Invisalign may treat additional issues.

2“3x markup” claim is based on the average cost of Invisalign aligners charged to the dentist or orthodontist by Align Technology, Inc., as compared to the average total fees (including diagnostics and in-person exams) charged to the consumer by the dentist or orthodontist for treatment of mild-to-moderate malocclusion with Invisalign, as reported in a 2021 national survey of practicing dentists and orthodontists. Results may vary.

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