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Is Smile Direct Club Better Than Braces?

How does a service like Smile Direct Club stand up to professional orthodontist treatment?

What Is Smile Direct Club?  Professionally supervised​ ​invisible teeth aligners, such as Invisalign, are an effective and appealing alternative to traditional braces in some cases. Smile Direct Club and similar services are different from proven aligner treatments in one major way: they bypass the dental professional and sell the service directly to consumers.

How Is Smile Direct Club different from traditional orthodontist work? 

Smile Direct Club doesn’t immediately say this, but they cannot make major changes that many users are often looking for. The company uses a vetting process that you have to pay for, to make sure they’re able to correct clients’ specific teeth misalignments. But, it’s important to note: their services do not have the ability to do what braces, or professionally supervised aligner treatments, can do.

  • Smile Direct Club uses a vetting process to determine if they can solve your case.
  • They cannot do what braces or professionally supervised aligner treatments can do.
  • Orthodontists offer personal assessments and create individualized treatment plans to address your

specific needs regarding time, cost and involvement.


Do I need professional orthodontist work or a minor adjustment? 

Many orthodontists provide a free consultation to assess your needs. Understanding if your situation is minor enough to be corrected by clear aligner treatment is your first step.

How do direct mail invisible retainers work?

  • Clients apply and send in photos taken at home to be approved
  • They’ll send back trays for the client to make their own molds at home. This step may take time if they send trays that do not fit well.
  • They’ll use the molds clients made at home as the basis for making the aligners to mail back to the client every month. This step may take time because they have to create each retainer.
  • Clients wear the aligners as instructed for 24 months, paying on average $2,300

What about the cost? 

On average, you’ll end up paying $2,300 for the basic package. According to Smile Direct Club, you pay $250 down and then $85/month for 24 months. In the end, it’ll total up to $2,300 or more after shipping, taxes, and fees.

Many orthodontists have developed similar aligner packages at similar costs with the following advantages:

  • An experienced orthodontist is making the initial assessment, not a technician
  • An experienced orthodontist is following the progress of the treatment
  • If things don’t go as planned, there is an office of people determined to help
  • Insurance can sometimes be filed to help with the cost

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