Lets’s talk about it.
Every time a patient sits in my chair and wants to straighten their teeth the first question is about Smile Direct Club.
What do you feel about Smile Direct Club doc?
The truth is I don’t hate them, but I don’t love them either. If you’ve ever googled about braces, then chances are you’ve ran across Smile Direct Club. They have been popping up like Mcdonald’s and recently have been on location at various CVS Pharmacy.
They are ran on the focus of fast straightening of the teeth without ever seeing an orthodontist.
Did you catch that?….without ever seeing the orthodontist. Uhhhhh *side eye*
So here is why I don’t hate it:
Simple. I don’t prefer to judge based on gossip. I have never used the product nor have I had a patient use it. I have read and watched various testimonies on people that have used them though. When a patient asks I always mention a lovely orthodontist office in town and they usually go take my advice. The biggest take away if you are going to use Smile Direct Club is to visit your general dentist and have them clear you for braces. Make sure you have no current issues that will stop you from getting traditional braces, Invisalign, of Smile Direct Club.
Why don’t I love it:
SDC does not make the patient get cleared with their general dentist before the start of treatment. In a contract they suggest it and make you sign that you are aware of the downfalls, but no one clinically checks to make sure you have done it. Not only can you have large cavities that need to be taken care of before the braces, you can also have periodontal disease. Also no dentist is monitoring your progress throughout the duration of the treatment. Teeth can sometimes have a mind of their own. Even with traditional braces an orthodontist can have a vision, but the tooth doesn’t cooperate. That can lead to many problems.
The one thing that makes me cringe are the patients with active periodontal disease. In a previous blog post (here), I have gone over exactly what periodontal disease is and the effects it can have on the bone surrounding your teeth. When you have any type of movement of teeth, traditional braces, Invisalign, or SDC if you don’t have solid support it can actually make matters worse. Sometimes resulting in losing teeth. GUYS! Do you want to lose your teeth? Again I ask, Do ya?
My advice to you is definitely to stay away from the DIY braces. For some reason, there are a lot of pop up shops in peoples homes offering braces like lashes (extra sentence that deserves another blog post). DON’T DO IT! However, if you are looking into Smile Direct Club please *i’m begging* get cleared with your general dentist before, during, and after the treatment is completed. Also, listen to your dentist! If he/she says don’t do it then don’t move forward with it. Smile Direct Club sends you a lengthy contract that you must sign before starting treatment that they can not be responsible for anything in regards to losng your teeth or unhealthy teeth that develop it get worse during the process.
The key is to remember that cheap does not always mean equal or better than!
I’ve posted a video below that one of our wonderful Sistahs (Sistahs in Dentistry Facebook Group) posted. His testimony is not the worse that I have heard, but it touches base on a few points dentist fear when we see Smile Direct Club users.