I get a lot of questions about Smile Direct Club. I thought it would be better to post this so people can have a better understanding of what they would be getting into if they decide to go that direction. I’m going to be upfront and say that I think it is a bad idea and dangerous for patients.
However, for those who are unfamiliar with Smile Direct Club I’ll explain. It is a company that provides clear aligners, such as you can get with Invisalign, but it is more do it yourself than Invisalign. They send you a kit to do an impression which you send back to them. They’ll send you the aligners you will use over a period of about ten months. Here are my concerns.
When a dentist is doing the impression for an Invisalign case, they have to be very careful. There can be no bubbles, tears, or any other kind of defect. In fact, they have to be so careful many dentists won’t even let their assistants do it. If the impression is off, the whole case will be defective. What do you think the chance of a patient, with no training or experience, doing an accurate impression with a mailer do it yourself kit?
You’re also talking about getting orthodontic treatment without any pre-exam. There are so many things which need to be looked at to ensure a patient’s teeth and gums are healthy enough. If there is the beginning of gum disease and you go through with treatment, it puts your teeth at risk. The gum disease will get worse. As that happens, there is bone loss, which can cause your teeth to literally fall out as they shift into new positions. This is why a dentist will do a thorough exam before any orthodontic treatment.
Rarely, does a case go just as planned. With most cases, there is crowding of the teeth. Often that means a premolar needs to be extracted or maybe some shaving at the sides of the teeth to open up some room. They’ll likely send you to a dentist they have a contract with. However, that dentist isn’t invested in your case and will likely just get you in and out as quickly as possible.
Also, sometimes teeth don’t move the way they are supposed to. When that happens, a tiny button is bonded on to the tooth that is being uncooperative in order to help grip it and enable it to turn the way it should. But, you won’t be under the care of a dentist making sure things are going as they are supposed to.
Safely Straighten Your Teeth with Invisalign
If you truly want to straighten your teeth safely, I recommend doing it under the care of a dentist. Invisalign will still do it invisibly. The difference being it will do it safely because you have a dentist keeping an eye on things every step of the way.
There is another benefit. The Invisalign aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. Your dentist can provide you with professional teeth whitening gel that you can wear in your aligners while you straighten your teeth. It’s like getting a mini smile makeover at a discount because you won’t have to have teeth whitening trays made.
This blog is brought to you by La Jolla Dentist Dr. Stephen Doan.