Braces have come a looong way since the days of rocking a mouth full of metal and tiny, neon-coloured elastic bands. With the launch and growth of doctor-directed, remote invisible aligner therapy, there's a new (and, dare we say, better) way to get straight teeth. We chatted with Dr. Jeffrey Sulitzer, chief clinical officer for SmileDirectClub, about this grin-inducing service—and teamed up with the company to giveaway an incredible prize package! —Noa Nichol
Hi Dr. Sulitzer! Tell us a bit more about SmileDirectClub.
SmileDirectClub is the market leader and pioneer of doctor-directed, remote invisible aligner therapy. We provide an option to people searching for affordable access to a straighter and more confident smile for a cost that is much less than traditional treatment methods—and without having to visit the orthodontist or dentist. Founded four years ago, SmileDirectClub is revolutionizing the process for getting a straighter smile. Today, the company is valued at $3.2 billion, employs more than 4,300 people and has helped more than 500,000 people achieve their best smile.
We remember having braces (and, ugh, headgear!) as kids; how does SmileDirectClub differ from a regular orthodontist’s service offerings?
Using a teledentistry platform, SmileDirectClub connects customers with a duly licensed dentist or orthodontist in their area who remotely creates a personalized SmilePlan and monitors their treatment process from start to finish. The invisible aligner system is designed to address minor to moderate teeth misalignments, including space between teeth, crowding, rotations, etc. SmileDirectClub straightens smiles for 60 per cent less than traditional straightening methods and the average treatment plan works three times faster than braces. The teledentistry model eliminates the need for customers to go into the office for time consuming checkups. SmileDirectClub is providing a convenient and affordable way for anyone to achieve a beautiful, confidence-boosting smile.
In what ways is SmileDirectClub the same as seeing an orthodontist?
A duly licensed dentist or orthodontist oversees the customer’s entire smile journey. The service is doctor-prescribed and doctor-directed, each customer’s overseeing dentist or orthodontist monitors the smile journey from start to finish through the brand’s teledentistry platform, with check-ins scheduled every 90-days at a minimum. Patients are treated within the same standards of care as our affiliated doctors follow within their traditional brick and mortar practices.
What can customers expect from the service?
A straighter, more confident smile in about six-months time! Customers have two ways to get started: book a free in-person scan at a SmileShop location or order an at-home Impression Kit from SmileDirectClub.ca. A duly licensed dentist or orthodontist will then review each customer’s photos, medical and dental history, the chief complaint and 3-D images of their smile before creating their custom SmilePlan. Using innovative technology, SmileDirectClub creates a personalized invisible aligner kit for every customer, tailor-made to their unique needs. The customers follow the simple directions of wearing their aligners, and check in on their progress remotely with their treating doctor as needed. After a customer completes their smile journey, they can order retainers to wear at night to preserve their new smile.
Is anyone ineligible for this service, and what is the average treatment time and cost?
SmileDirectClub is appropriate for mild-to-moderate misalignments. This can include space between teeth, crowding, rotations, etc. Ultimately, the affiliated dentists and orthodontists determine whether or not a customer is a candidate for aligner treatment, but the more severe cases may not be eligible for this service. For a one-time low cost of $2,350 (CAD), customers will receive a full set of aligners. Alternatively, customers can choose to pay $300 (CAD) down and $99 (CAD) per month for 24 months. Customers can also visit any one of our SmileShops to receive an 3-D scan or receive an at-home impression kit for $65(CAD). The average length of treatment is 6 months.
What benefits does invisible aligner therapy offer (over regular/traditional braces)?
SmileDirectClub straightens smiles for 60 per cent less than similar treatment methods like traditional braces and eliminates the need to go into the dentist’s office for checkups. Also, our affiliated dentists and orthodontists continue to use SmileDirectClub’s platform and our products to treat our customers because they know it works. Now people can receive the smile they’ve always deserved in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost.
How does SmileDirectClub benefit Canadians living in remote or small towns?
SmileDirectClub believes everyone deserves a smile they love—and it shouldn’t be too difficult or expensive to accomplish. Many times, people don’t have access to an orthodontist, especially in rural remote or small towns. SmileDirectClub is closing that gap and is providing affordable access in these underserved areas across Canada. Those living in remote areas can order an at-home Impression Kit from SmileDirectClub.ca to begin their smile journey.
Finally, what are the top reasons for straightening one’s smile?
Having a smile that you’re proud of is life-changing—it significantly improves a per-son’s self-esteem, confidence and overall happiness. Studies have found a genuine smile can help land you a job, close a sale, and excel in your career. SmileDirectClub is providing life-changing technology to address consumers’ most prized possession: their smile (and self-confidence).
Win! A SmileDirectClub Prize Pack!
We have a winner! Congratulations Carol C. of St. John's, NL, who won SmileDirectClub’s doctor-directed remote invisible aligner therapy!