I keep seeing advertisements all over my facebook page for Smile Direct Club. I have always wanted to straighten my teeth but haven’t had quite enough money to jump on the Invisalign train. I looked into the smile direct cost and it is enough cheaper that I could do it. I do worry about safety with these do it by mail medical things though. Have you by any chance looked into Smile Direct or had patients that used them? If so, what impression did you get?
I am glad you wrote. I’ve actually looked into Smile Direct Club quite extensively. I want to be up to date on as much as possible. This treatment has worked for some people. For others, it has been a disaster. Let me go over the things that concern me about their process and then you can make a decision from there.
The first thing that worries me is that they are beginning orthodontic treatment without a complete exam. In order to safely begin orthodontics you need x-rays, a full dental exam, as well as careful checking for periodontal disease. Without that, you risk serious complications. If you have periodontal disease and start moving your teeth around they can begin to come loose. This is a basic safety measure.
Another issue is the impressions. When a dentist does these for a company, such as Invisalign, they have to be perfect. That means no bubbles, no tears, or any other type of defect. This is such an important part of treatment that most dentists do not even let their dental assistants do it. With Smile Direct, you’re just given a home DIY kit and they make the best out of whatever you send them.
With Invisalign or another invisible braces brand, your dentist follows up with you every two weeks. This is important because the human bodies are as unique and varied as personalities. Things do not always go exactly as planned and adjustments have to be made to keep the treatment on track. You will not get that with Smile Direct, nor does the average customer of theirs even have the training to recognize if something is not following the prescribed protocol.
Most cases that need orthodontics are because of overcrowding in their bite. When that is the case, the patient will sometimes need an extraction in order to make space for your teeth to be in proper alignment. In some cases where not much space is needed, a dentist can carefully shave away some tooth structure to make the necessary room. With Smile Direct, there is no personal care and this process is short cut out.
If You Don’t Have Money for Invisalign
My suggestion is to wait and save to have this done right. You can also call around and see what brand of invisible braces other dentists use. Invisalign is not the only brand and some of them cost less and give great results all under the care of a dentist.
By the way, if you want to, your dentist can provide you with teeth whitening gel. The Invisalign aligners can double as bleaching trays allowing you to straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time.
This blog is brought to you by Duluth, GA Dentist Dr. David Marion.