Meyer Orthodontics in Brookings Blog

Is SmileDirectClub an Alternative to Your Local Orthodontist?

braces in your mailbox, is this a good idea?

It seems like you can get a subscription for everything these days! You can get Netflix or HBO on TV, Spotify for your music. There are even options for eyeglasses, contact lenses and…orthodontics!

So, what’s the story with the SmileDirectClub? Are they the real deal?

SmileDirectClub — First Impressions

SmileDirectClub is an online service advertising teeth straightening and alignment by mail only, no orthodontic visits and at a fraction of the cost of other brands.

Sound too good to be true? Let’s break it down to what you get, and what it costs you.

First of all, is SmileDirectClub a cheap alternative to professional orthodontic care? No, and they don’t claim to be. SmileDirectClub is for minor adjustment and alignment. Their primary customers are people who have had braces, but didn’t wear their retainers and their teeth have moved back out of alignment.

The real question about SmileDirectClub is whether they’re a good option, and if they’re a good option for you.

The first thing SmileDirectClub does is have you take a quick test to screen you for compatibility. If you need more than minor adjustment, they’ll disqualify you as a potential customer. The next step is purchasing a $95 impressions kit that they’ll use to determine if they can work on your smile. If you qualify, they’ll use that to make your retainers.

Over 12 to 24 months, they’ll send you a series of “invisible aligners” to wear to adjust your teeth for $95 a month, or $1,850.

So, Is This a Good Deal?

Braces are a big investment, everyone knows that. $1,850 is a lot less than you’d pay for full orthodontic treatment. But with SmileDirectClub, you’re not getting major orthodontic work done.

For minor adjustments like they are able to provide, you would probably only pay a few hundred dollars more to have it done locally by a board certified orthodontist.

Advantages of Having a Local Orthodontist

SmileDirectClub would probably be a little cheaper than Invisalign (brand) for minor adjustments. That is pretty much the only advantage to going with them.

On the other hand, your local orthodontist can probably make aligners for not much more money. And that includes an orthodontist actually looking at your teeth and being available if you have questions or lose your aligner and need a replacement right way.

We find it funny that it would cost you $95 dollars for a self-administered impression, when you can come in to our office here in Brookings or in Madison for a free consultation.