Meal delivery kits and monthly subscription boxes have made ordering essential goods and services online a normal occurrence in 2019. But have services like instant delivery braces taken this concept too far?
Smile Direct is an online service that creates a series of corrective aligners based on an impression or 3D scan of your teeth. This business also has some brick and mortar locations where customers show up once for 30 minutes for a 3D scan to receive their kit and complete the rest of their treatment at home without any checkups. Is this kind of service right for you? What are the pros and cons of Smile Direct Club, and what should you ultimately choose for the teeth straightening best results?
- There’s little time commitment. Smile Direct is great for busy people who don’t have time for regular checkups. After the initial impression/3D scanning phase, customers receive their kit and get right to wearing their aligners without lengthy or frequent visits to the dentist.
- Treatments are quick. The average wear time is 6 months. This is because Smile Direct deals with minor imperfections that don’t require much time to rectify.
- You get experts to help. A licensed orthodontist or dentist guides the impressions in your kit, so you are getting help from a medical professional, even if it’s remotely.
- The all-in-one kit is convenient. Your kit comes with all the trays you will need for the entire duration of treatment, and it even comes with a whitening treatment and a preview of the intended final results.
- There are fun bonus buys. They offer touch-up whitening treatments for easy smile boosters on their website.
- Smile Direct costs less than treatments like Invisalign and traditional braces. A typical Smile Direct treatment costs around $2,000 while Invisalign can cost $3,000 to $6,000. The retainer at the end of the treatment is just $99, which costs less than the typical retainer at $300.
- The communication is infrequent and all remote. Remote teledentistry assigns you a dentist or orthodontist who checks on you every 90 days through your customer account. They will also check on your progress remotely, but there is no in-person visit, which means there is no hands-on approach throughout the entire process.
- You get what you pay for. The cheaper price tag is due to the fact that there isn’t much communication with your dentist or orthodontist, so they’re not doing as much work as a hands-on orthodontist that you would see regularly in the office. This means that technical errors and imperfections can slip by, affecting the end result.
- Errors can happen in the initial impression. If you can’t come to a Smile Direct Shop and get a 3D scan, you have to take an impression of your teeth on your own. At the dentist’s office, only a licensed professional performs this task. The data in the tray can greatly affect how your aligners are shaped, so it’s important that a professional takes these impressions for the most accurate aligners to be made. If you make a mistake with your impressions, your aligners will not reflect your true orthodontic needs.
- They aren’t as secure. Smile Direct Club has clear retainers that aren’t noticeable, but they don’t snap into place and stay secure like Invisalign. This is because Invisalign also uses attachments that your dentist places on your teeth that fasten securely to your aligners. Smile Direct club retainers don’t have these anchors, so they slide around during the day. This will inevitably cause improper shifting.
- They don’t have your records. Smile Direct doesn’t know your dental history, while your dentist knows your medical history and takes that into account while planning your treatment.
The Big Picture
If you want the best results, we highly suggest getting Invisalign or braces at a local dentist or orthodontist. Though these procedures cost more, you get the most accurate and professional results possible. You can’t leave out consistent checkups in the office by a licensed dentist and expect great results. Don’t risk errors with DIY tooth impressions or be forced to call a 1-800 number during a Smile Direct emergency. Orthodontic care simply has better results when you have an in-person doctor who can track your progress and alter the course of your treatment if deemed necessary.
Professional Dentists in Los Angeles
If you have more questions about why we recommend Invisalign or want to learn more about our practice, contact us at 213.342.6041.