Is Smile Direct Club Safe?

Are you considering clear aligners from Smile Direct Club but find yourself asking the question, Is Smile Direct Club safe?

For those who are not yet in the know, Smile Direct Club is the next-generation clear aligner company lead by chief clinical officer Jeffrey Sulitzer. In this article, we talk about everything you should be mindful of and consider before you go ahead with your Smile Direct Club teeth straightening treatment plan.

There are multiple great reasons for wanting to get your teeth straightened, from the desire to have a straighter and more appealing smile that will boost your confidence, to wanting to protect your dental and overall health (Misaligned teeth can cause all sorts of health issues, including gum disease and painful chewing). But while getting your teeth straightened if they need it is a no-brainer, deciding between different treatment plans, dental professionals and aligner companies can be a rather confusing task.

Once you start looking around and doing a bit of research, you will soon discover that there are numerous different ways of going about achieving a straighter smile, and that not all of them involve wearing cumbersome traditional braces for a year or more.

At this point in time, invisible aligners have become the most popular choice for minor to moderate dental misalignments, and a great number of clear aligner providers have come into the market in response to the growing demand. Some clear aligners are only available from orthodontists while other aligner companies are able to offer their their teeth straightening products at a fraction of the cost by cutting out the middleman and delivering their products directly to the consumer via mail order. Smile Direct Club belong to this latter category of transparent aligner providers, which comes with both pros and cons.

Weighing heavily on the pro side is the much lower cost of getting your teeth straightened without ever having to set foot in a dentist’s office, and the fact that results can be achieved in as little as six months.

Obviously, cutting out the middleman, which in this case are the dentists and orthodontists who used to act as gatekeepers for people wanting straighter teeth, places a lot more of the responsibility for the treatment on the individual patient. This is why it is important to read up on the aligner company and the treatment process you are considering, so that you have a realistic impression and a good idea of what to expect.

Providing you with as much accurate information as possible on the treatment plans and aligners available from SmileDirectClub is precisely what this article is all about, so without further ado, let us dig right in.

Things every Smile Direct Club patient should consider

Once you have decided to get your teeth straightened, the next important decision is which aligner company, dentist or orthodontist to go to for your aligner treatment. In this section of the articles, we have gathered all of the most important aspects that you should be weighing up carefully before deciding to go with SmileDirectClub, or any other mail order aligners for that matter.

Are you a suitable candidate for invisible aligners?

This information might surprise you, but not everyone is a suitable candidate for a Smile Direct Club treatment plan.

The reason for this is simple. Clear aligners are the best choice if your teeth are only slightly to moderately misaligned, so if you are dealing with a severe case of crowded, bucked or uneven teeth, a mail order aligner treatment is not going to do very much for you – in fact, it might do you more harm than good, but fortunately Smile Direct Club and all other reputable providers of mail order aligners are going to verify whether or not you are a suitable candidate ahead of treatment.

If your teeth are severely out of shape, there is no reason to despair – it simply means that you have no choice but to go to a dental professional, who will advice you on the best treatment plan given the state of your teeth.


Another important aspect of teeth straightening is your budget.

When it comes to accommodating small budgets, clear aligner companies, including Smile Direct Club, have a lot to offer. SmileDirectClub and other low-cost mail order aligner companies are able to provide their products and services at a fraction of the price that an orthodontics professional would charge for an equivalent product or service.

Having said that, as a rule of thumb, you should go with the highest-cost dental treatment that your budget will allow. Smile Direct Club and all other transparent aligner companies worth their salt are orthodontist-led and provide all of their patients with a dedicated treatment coordinator who overseas their treatment process sand progress. Still, a bigger budget tends to buy you a higher level of personalised service, such as the ability to talk with your orthodontist’s office for a face-t0-face appointment where they also take detailed x rays of your mouth and make moulds of your teeth.

Conversely, mail order aligner companies, including Smile Direct Club, often require patients to take their own dental impressions at home using an impression kit. While clear and detailed instructions are provided, you are not a dental professional with years of training and experience and are therefore more likely to make mistakes which could impact the quality, effectiveness and safety of your aligners.

Managing expectations

What are your expectations? Before you decide on mail order aligners, you should weigh up all of your expectations and priorities against each other.

If your dental misalignment issues are relatively minor, you are on a budget, and are confident in your own ability to follow the instructions that come with the home impression kit provided, Smile Direct Club is a great option. Certainly, having he ability to straighten your teeth even if you are on a budget makes teeth straightening available to so many more who would otherwise not be able to afford it if their insurance does not cover Invisalign or traditional braces.

All in all, you should make sure that you go into your Smile Direct Club aligner therapy with well-balanced expectations and priorities.

Research and reviews

Before you decide on Smile Direct Club or any other provider of clear plastic aligners, it is strongly recommended that you read as many reviews by customers as possible. TrustPilot is a great website for people to share their experiences with Smile Direct Club aligners (as well as literally thousands of other products and brands).

Smile Direct Club’s overall score on TrustPilot is a very respectable 4.4 out of a possible 5, calculated by averaging the score giving by over 7,000 reviews and counting. Reading unbiased reviews by real customers is the best way to gather information and get the inside scoop on what to expect from your Smile Direct Club clear aligner treatment.


While Smile Direct Club customer reviews are mostly glowing, there are people have reported negative experiences. Again, TrustPilot is among the best places read information, but you can also find people reviwing Smile Direct Club and sharing their personal experiences of the service on social media, including YouTube and Instagram.

The most common negative experiences people report in relation to their Smile Direct Club teeth straightening treatments are administrative in nature and tend to include delivery delays and a customer service that sometimes leaves something to be desired.

More serious complications relate to negative outcomes of the teeth straightening treatment itself, which usually comes down to the aligners not fitting or being fastened properly. This can lead to various problems including unpredictable teeth movement, problems with open bite and in some cases nerve damage, which can occur if your gum pockets are being disturbed as a result of your teeth shifting into new positions in your mouth. The American Association of Orthodontists has critiqued Smile Direct Club and services like it precisely because of this.

The higher risk of negative oral health outcomes is the obvious potential downside to going with a low-cost mail order transparent aligner service like Smile Direct Club. You are very unlikely to experience any of the more unpleasant complications if you go to an orthodontist to get braces or aligners, as licensed dentists and orthodontists are going to take a more thorough approach to ensuring a good aligner fit, by taking x ray scans and making professionally made moulds.

Smile Direct Club alternatives

If you are not sure whether Smile Direct Club’s clear plastic aligners are the best choice for you, there are plenty of other teeth straightening options available.

If your teeth misalignment is moderate to severe, you might want to consider visiting your local orthodontist doctor to get traditional braces installed. Traditional metal braces can seem cumbersome and unsightly, but dentists still swear by them for more sever teeth misalignment as they get the job done. In addition to their clunky appearance, the downside to getting traditional metal or ceramic braces installed and monitored by an orthodontist is the price tag, which is likely to be much higher than that attached to a pair of clear aligners.

If your teeth are only slightly or somewhat misaligned, transparent aligners might still be the right option for you. If you want the highest quality invisible aligners possible and are not too worried about the cost, Invisalign is the favoured choice among orthodontists.

Invisalign does not offer mail order aligners – you can only get them through an Invisalign-trained dentist or orthodontist. What this means is that Invisalign aligners are relatively expensive when compared to Smile Direct Club, but the quality of the service is also more thoroughly monitored as it is closely overseen by an Invisalign dentist or orthodontist throughout the duration of the treatment.

Who Smile Direct Club is perfect for

Smile Direct Club is a fantastic oral health choice for people who may not be able to access expensive orthodontics treatments, such as traditional metal braces or Invisalign aligners, both of which require multiple visits to the dentists office. In some cases patients might have dental or other medical insurance which covers the cost of orthodontist treatments, but this is not always the case.

Patients with only mild cases of bucked teeth, crowding or misalignment are likely to benefit the most from the Smile Direct Club experience. Finally, patients should be confident making their own teeth moulds using the materials and following the instructions provided in the home impression kit.

Smile Direct Club patients should also be aware that, when they choose Smile Direct Club or any other low-cost, mail order aligner company, they are foregoing x rays and the level of face-to-face dental care that Invisalign customers receive.

Is Smile Direct Club safe? FAQ

Is Smile Direct Club safe to use?

In most cases, Smile Direct Club aligners are completely safe to use.

Having said that, Smile Direct Club patients should be prepared to take on a greater degree of responsibility for their treatment, as they will have to make their own moulds using the home impression kit provided rather than seeing an orthodontist or dentist who will be doing it for them, using their years of training and experience to get the perfect mould. Getting the mould right is crucial for a positive outcome to your Smile Direct Club treatment.

Can Smile Direct Club ruin teeth?

In rare cases, where the dental mould was not taken properly and the clear braces therefore don’t fit as they should, Smile Direct Club braces might do more damage than good.

While most patients report being happy with their results, there are those who have had negative experiences due to the lack of in-person oversight by a trained orthodontist or dentist. Negative outcomes of using Smile Direct Club aligners include unpredictable and unintended tooth movement, open bite caused by ill-fitting braces, and even nerve damage where the root of the teeth have been disturbed in their gum pockets, which can be extremely painful.

Why Smile Direct Club is bad?

Smile Direct Club has received critics for cutting out the middleman, i.e. the dentist or orthodontist, in order to be able to provide a low-cost teeth straightening service.

By removing dentists and orthodontists from the equation, Smile Direct Club and other mail-order aligner companies are able to offer an accessible oral health service, but the downside is that getting your teeth straightened comes with less professional monitoring, which can lead to issues including unintended teeth movement in the patient’s mouth, open bite issues or nerve damage due to a bad aligner fit.

Is Smile Direct Club better than Invisalign?

Whether Smile Direct Club or Invisalign is better depends on your specific priorities and budget.

Smile Direct Club is by far the cheaper teeth straightening service (the company might even offer you a payment plan which allows you to pay for your new smile in instalments), while Invisalign offers the more comprehensive but expensive service, involving more monitoring by Invisalign-trained doctors than the Smile Direct Treatment does.

Is Invisalign the same as Smile Direct?

No, Invisalign and Smile Direct Club are two different companies, however, it is easy to see why some might get them mixed up.

Invisalign and Smile Direct Club both offer clear braces that address a variety of tooth misalignment problems in as little as six months. With that being said, there are plenty of differences between Smile Direct Club and Invisalign, including accessibility, insurance cover, price point and approach.

In brief, Invisalign is the higher-end option, and is a great choice of customers with good dental insurance. Invisalign is only accessible via specially trained and approved dentists and orthodontists. Smile Direct Club is significantly less expensive, and no visits to the doctor’s office are required. Instead, patients are required to make their own dental moulds at home and send them back to Smile Direct Club, who produce and send out their new invisible braces.

Which dental aligner is best?

The popularity of clear aligners has skyrocket over the past few years, and more and more clear aligner companies have set up shop in response to the large demand. Choosing an orthodontics provider can be difficult with so many options to choose from.

Which clear aligner provider is going to be the best fit for you depends on numerous things, including your budget, your expectations and the severity of your teeth misalignment problem.

If budget is not an issue or you have great dental insure that will cover it, Invisalign is the go-to top of the line provider of clear braces. Getting your teeth straightened with Invisalign follows a rigorous step-by-step process, which involves multiple visits to your dentists office, x ray scans and thorough aftercare.

If, on the other hand, you don’t have insurance and your budget is tight, there are still plenty of low-cost mail order aligner providers with great reputations and generally rave reviews, including Smile Direct Club and AlignerCo.

Does Smile Direct fix your overbite?

Yes, Smile Direct Club can fix a variety of teeth misalignment problems, including overbite, which is also sometimes referred to as bucked teeth.

Your Smile Direct Club aligners will be tail0r-made and monitored by one of Smile Direct Club’s 150+ professionally trained dentists or orthodontists and can be made to address your specific dental needs.

Does SmileDirectClub fix molars?

Yes, Smile Direct Club aligners are able to fix misaligned molars.

Which is cheaper, Smile Direct or Candid?

Smile Direct Club is a cheaper aligner therapy provider than Candid, and has also been around for significantly longer.

The great thing about choosing to go with an aligner company that has been around for a while is that there will be plenty of customer reviews for you to consume and consider before you take the plunge yourself, whereas a much younger company has not yet built up a track record of providing an excellent service.

Closing thoughts

There is much to take into consideration when choosing the best clear aligner provider to go with. One thing is certain – you should not let the teeth straightening therapy hold you back from pursuing a better, straighter smile.

Smile Direct Club is innovative, precisely because the company provides its patients with high-quality clear aligners developed and monitored from afar by trained dentist and orthodontists. However, all of the time-consuming and costly extras, such as x-ray scans and in-person dental visits, have been removed from the equation in order to provide customers like you with affordable dental care.

Of course, there are risks to consider when you remove face-to-face dental monitoring from the teeth straightening process, and you should clue yourself up on what these are before you decide to go ahead with the treatment. However, instances of open bite or worsened teeth misalignment after teeth straightening treatment with Smile Direct Club are extremely rare.

Overall, customers are raving about the new and better smiles they have been able to achieve with the help of Smile Direct Club aligners – just head on over to TrustPilot, or search social media to see and read for yourself what thousands of satisfied customers have to say.

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