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Beware the Dangers of Mail-Order Clear Aligners!

December 28, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drstandrabik @ 6:43 pm
Close-up of clear aligner against multi-colored background

When it was founded in 2014, SmileDirectClub promised big things. It wanted to revolutionize clear aligner treatment, making it more convenient and affordable for everyone. Sadly, things did not go as the company hoped. In fact, in December of this year, they ceased operations! What happened to SmileDirectClub, and what can consumers learn about the dangers of mail-order clear aligners from its downfall? This blog post explains.

The SmileDirectClub Story

Millions of people turned to SmileDirectClub, lured in by the hopes that they could save money, avoid visiting their dentist, and achieve a beautiful, well-aligned smile in the process. Sadly, many of those people were disappointed by their results. Some of them even suffered serious harm to their teeth and had to pay thousands of extra dollars to correct the problems that occurred.

Even worse, SmileDirectClub seemed to be eager to sweep things under the rug. They were even accused of unlawfully using non-disclosure agreements to manipulate online reviews. They faced a number of other lawsuits as well.

Finally, after years of legal struggles and profit loss, the company filed for bankruptcy in September 2023 and ceased operations earlier this month. They urged customers to visit their dentist for further treatment, cancelled their Lifetime Smile Guarantee, and informed Smile Pay members that they are expected to continue making payments.

A Lesson for Everyone

SmileDirectClub has taken a hard fall, but other mail-order clear aligner companies are still around. Are they better than SmileDirectClub, or would it be best to visit a dentist for clear aligner treatment? Here are some downsides to mail-order aligners that you should keep in mind:

  • Patients are not directly assessed by a licensed orthodontist. Without this personal examination, some orthodontic or oral health issues could be missed.
  • The treatment may not be tailored to you. In some cases, orthodontic treatment plans require some adjustments. Mail-order systems may not be able to accommodate needed changes partway through treatment.
  • Treatment options may be limited. Some mail-order companies do not accept patients with dental implants or other oral health considerations that might affect their care.
  • You might end up paying more. If you start out with a mail-order treatment and end up dissatisfied, you will probably not get your money back. Rather, you may end up paying thousands of extra dollars to achieve your desired results.
  • They might use manual impressions. Some mail-order companies rely on manual impressions taken by the patients. These can be inaccurate and lead to problems with treatment.

Everyone deserves a healthy and well-aligned smile. Unfortunately, mail-order clear aligners are usually not the way to achieve that goal. It is best to rely on professional treatment from a dentist or orthodontist.

Meet the Practice

Drs. Drabik and Peres are proud to put their extensive orthodontic knowledge to work to serve patients in Rochester and Webster, NY. Our team prides itself on providing safe and highly personalized care to each and every individual. If you are interested in clear aligner treatment, we would be happy to consult with you. Contact us at 585-872-4660.

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