Invisalign and SmileClubDirect Compared
The most important step you can take when considering braces whether traditional metal braces, Invisalign, or SmileClubDirect and other online companies is to see an orthodontist to get the correct diagnosis and a treatment plan. Orthodontic treatment is not a product, it is professional medical care rendered by Orthodontists who spend years in a post-doctoral residency program focused on providing orthodontic treatment to patients and considers not just the position of your teeth but also your overall oral health and well-being. At Sphinx Orthodontics you are our patient, not a customer.
The treatment and fee include x-rays of your teeth and jaws, a clinical examination to assess your jaw alignment, teeth and bite, and the relationship between your teeth and bones. The fee also includes taking face and mouth photographs so we can compare before, during and after treatment. The fee also includes state-of-the-art digital scans of your teeth and jaw bones.
Smile Club offers a free 30 second smile assessment that the patient fills out. An at-home impression kit is available for $79.00. If the customer makes a mistake and the impression is distorted, they will send you another kit for $49.00.
If you want a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, you would need to go to an orthodontist and pay for those services separately. What would that cost?
In January 2019 SmileClubDirect began what they call a SmileShop experience, which is a popup Smile Bus where their customers can talk to their team members and get a 3D scan of your mouth that will be used to create custom aligners, and for a limited time the scans are free.
2. Orthodontist visits:
As part of our fees you will see our Orthodontist on average once a month to check your progress, during the length of your treatment.
The SmileDirectClub website states that the entire process can be done from the comfort of your own home. Their goal is to remove the hassle of in-office visits. Their network of dentists and orthodontists review your photos, medical history and images of your smile before building your custom smile plan. Customers do not speak with a professional and if you have questions, they have customer care specialists that you can reach by phone, email or chat.
There is no in person evaluation or supervision of your treatment. Instead, dentists will monitor your progress by looking at your selfies.
Seeing an orthodontist to supervise your treatment is important because creating a healthy, beautiful smile involves more than moving the visible parts of your teeth. Orthodontics involves moving teeth in the bone, and if not done correctly can lead to tooth and gum loss.
3. What is the best treatment option for you?
Orthodontic treatment is a professional, medical service. At Sphinx you receive professional medical care. Your orthodontist can provide all the medical care you need to get the best results.
A co-founder of SmileDirectClub commented ” A lot of our customers at one point had braces, they forgot to wear their retainers, and their teeth shifted a little bit”…1
4. How long is the typical treatment process?
Invisalign treatment takes between 9-15 months.
Their website states that a licensed dentist or orthodontist assigned to the customer will determine the best plan for your needs, but most smiles can be straightened in 6 months.
1 Bloomberg News, The American Association of Orthodontists issued consumer alert warning this year, Published September 23, 2018.