Everyone wants to have healthy, straight, and white teeth. In addition to making us feel great about ourselves, we also understand that having an attractive smile has a huge impact on the way that others see us. It is no wonder that so many of us are interested in straightening our teeth by using clear aligners. This has taken away a lot of the concerns associated with either crooked and unattractive teeth or the use of metal braces. Many are excited when they learn about Smile Direct Club and the simplicity with which a person can use their services. However, before a person signs up, it is important to learn the truth about this organization and the services they offer.
What is Smile Direct Club?
This is an online service that offers to help individuals straighten their teeth without the need to visit a professional. The first step in the process involves a person making an impression of their teeth at home. The company will send them a kit by mail where they can make impressions themselves and then return it to the company. It sounds so easy. Just make the impression at home and begin your journey to having straighter and more attractive teeth. So far, so good, right?
The next step is paying for the service and receiving aligners in the mail on a regular basis. After a person sets up a payment plan or pays it all in one lump sum, clear aligners will be sent to them at their home. This is another thing that sounds so easy. No forms to fill out and no credit checks.
The third step is maintaining straight teeth and a healthy smile. Retainers can be sent to your home on a regular basis for another set price.
Each individual who signs up for the service will receive custom aligners that will shift over time in order to help a person have teeth that are straighter and more attractive. On average, it takes about six months for most people to reach their goal. Individuals who use these products do not need to visit a dental office in order to use the aligners. Sound too good to be true? You’re on the right track.
Smile Direct Club Versus Invisalign Versus Other Clear Aligners
It was back in 1997 when an alternative to metal braces appeared on the market. Clear plastic aligners began to be used to help an individual to straighten out crooked teeth without the need to wear embarrassing and often uncomfortable metal braces.
Most individuals are encouraged to wear these plastic aligners for at least 20 hours each day. When they eat, drink, or brush their teeth, they can remove them. Gentle force is used to correct crooked teeth, gaps, and crowding. In some cases, these aligners can correct an overbite, cross bite, or under bite.
The idea of using these clear aligners is awesome. Many people have had success using them and love the fact that they do not have to deal with the embarrassment or discomfort that comes with using metal braces. However, when a person is interested in using clear aligners, they need to determine which aligners they will use.
Smile Direct Club has basically cut out the middleman, which is an orthodontist or dentist. This remote teledentistry allows an individual to work directly with the company instead of working through a licensed professional. There is no direct interaction with any dental professionals. The company monitors a person’s progress from afar and determines the next mold that will be used to help them. While this sounds simple, there are many risks that are involved. It is important for individuals who are interested in correcting their teeth to know the truth about using this service.
There are many dangers involved in not working with a licensed dentist or orthodontist. Many licensed professionals feel that there are dangers and clear drawbacks to using a company like Smile Direct Club when it comes to straightening teeth.
Because of the lack of interaction between a person and a dental professional, there are many risks that a person could face. For example, the diagnostic process is not going to be the same when the dentist is cut out. A person may not have gums and teeth that are healthy enough at the moment for orthodontic treatment. In fact, clear aligners are not right for everyone. However, when a person uses a device to make an impression, sends it to the company, and makes their payment, they will be sent aligners.
Another issue is the supervision. While Smile Direct Club promises that they will supervise a person’s progress from afar, there is nothing solid that will help a person on their journey toward having straighter teeth. It is really the person who is responsible for gauging their progress. They do not have a clear understanding of if the trays are actually working as they should be or if they need to be adjusted.
And then there is the whole issue of problems with the aligners. A person could do more damage than good to their teeth, gums, and entire mouth if the product is faulty or they fail to recognize an issue with it.
It is important that people are aware of the fact that over 30 complaints have been issued with Smile Direct Club through the American Association of Orthodontists. Alabama and Georgia have actually put restrictions on the way that Smile Direct Club operates. Some individuals who have used this product have dealt with issues like losing teeth and other negative consequences. Because this club operates without appropriate training, licenses, etc., they have been sued by several dentistry groups and boards.
When it comes to cutting out the middleman through this club or working with a qualified orthodontist to use invisible aligners and other treatments that are overseen by licensed dentists and orthodontists, a person really will get what they pay for. Some have had success cutting out the middleman and using the Smile Direct Club service. Unfortunately, there are many who have faced serious consequences because of doing so.
Invisalign® and other treatments that are applied and supervised by licensed professionals are the clear winners. It is a more effective treatment and is much safer.
What to Expect with Invisalign®
If you are thinking about straightening your teeth using clear plastic aligners and want to use the safest and most effective route, Invisalign® is definitely the way to go. However, you may have questions about what the treatment process is like and whether or not it is right for you.
The first thing that you should know is that you are going to be working closely with a trained, licensed, and qualified dentist or orthodontist. The very first step that you are going to go through is an evaluation. The professional is going to be primarily concerned about your overall health. The professional wants to make sure that this is the right option for you and that you are in the best position at the moment to use this treatment.
If it is determined that Invisalign® is the right option for you, impressions will be made of your lower and upper teeth. We may use a tray that is filled with a putty-like compound in order to make a mold. Or an intraoral scanner may be used to create a 3-D image. It is also likely that we will take x-rays of your teeth in order to have a thorough understanding of the structure of your bones and the shape of your teeth.
The impressions will be sent to a lab, where a technician will create aligner trays that are designed in order to fit your specific needs. The goal is to use aligner trays to gently push your teeth in a direction where gaps will be filled and teeth will be straightened.
Unlike Smile Direct Club, the professional is actually the one who gives the trays to the patient. When new trays arrive, the professional will make sure that they are the right fit and that they are safe for you to use. The trays should click into place with just a little bit of force in order to gently move the teeth. Throughout the entire process, the professional will be there to assist you and answer all of your questions.
Contact Us to Learn More
There are safe and effective ways to get healthy, straight, and attractive teeth. Don’t fall into the trap of going the “easy way” with Smile Direct Club. When the middleman is cut out, your health will be put at risk. You are warmly invited to reach out to the caring and experienced team at The Happy Tooth in order to work closely with a qualified professional who will help you get a smile you can be proud of. Contact us today to book an appointment at one of our offices in North Carolina. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you achieve your dream smile!