Smile Direct Club Invisible Aligners Review – How it works, Advantages, Drawbacks and More

Invisible braces and retainers have become very trendy and popular these days, and that too for a good reason. They are said to be highly effective to straighten crooked teeth with the least amount of the impact visually. And they also provide a fast and reliable solution to getting beautiful teeth, as compared to conventional braces.

We see many celebrities, trainers and wellness influencers voicing their support of Smile Direct Club. Apparently, hundreds, if not thousands, of people from around the world are using them and many have also reported great outcomes.

Not too long ago, people who were facing such issues didn’t have a lot of options available to them and the only method to get invisible aligners was through a doctor who would make sure the new aligners would fit each individual, provide vital dental checks and continuing to follow-ups.

But times have changed quite rapidly with advances made in the field of orthodontics, where a number of organizations have begun manufacturing invisible aligners, and some even offer to deliver them directly to their homes without having to involve the doctor. One of the most popular invisible aligners is Smile Direct Club.

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How do Smile Direct Club Invisible Aligners work?

Smile Direct Club works just like most other mail-in aligner services. It uses 3D scans and prints to develop custom-made braces for each individual. The process usually involves the following steps:

  1. An impression of your teeth is taken that can be done either with Smile Direct Club’s at-home impression kit or one can also have a 3D scan of their teeth created by one of the company’s SmileShop outlets.
  2. A dental professional at Smile Direct Club will then examine the 3D image in order to work out a customized treatment plan according to each person’s individual specs.
  3. The company dispatches a set of invisible aligners that will help slowly move the upper and lower teeth into their respective places. Users with overcrowding or to some extent oversized teeth also get stripping papers, which are employed for reducing the size of the particular teeth and make space for alignment to take place.
  4. The aligners are worn by the user for the prescribed time period.
  5. Once the duration is complete, a set of retainers can then be purchased for maintaining the results. The duration a retainer is to be worn depends and is determined by the dental specialist.

There is a chance that some individuals, depending on the company’s analysis of their teeth scans, may be informed that they are not suitable candidates for invisible aligners.

Advantages of using Smile Direct Club

The main benefits of using Smile Direct Club are basically affordability and convenience. These features are discussed in more detail below:


Cost may not be the determining factor when it comes to dental care, but still price heavily influences one’s decision. Smile Direct Club outdoes others in this field and claims to cost 60% less than traditional treatment options, which is a big plus. The company also offers a payment plan, so the teeth aligners won’t put too much burden on your pocket.

Find out if there is a SmileShop near you


Unlike conventional aligners that require multiple visits to the doctor over a long stretch of time, these mail-in aligners allow users to realign their teeth directly from home by having Smile Direct Club delivered to the doorstep. Just a place an order and send your teeth scan, and a custom-made set of invisible aligners will be on your way.


These teeth aligners can help you achieve results in a very small period of time. Metal braces normally take about 24 months on average to straighten teeth, but the Smile Direct Club mail-in aligners can usually fix teeth in only six months. This is why Smile Direct Club is considered a viable and attractive choice for people who feel self-conscious when wearing traditional braces for a few years.

Drawbacks of Smile Direct Club

Although the advantages above mentioned are quite amazing, it is also worth noting here that there are some negative aspects of using mail-in aligners for straightening teeth as explained below:

  1. They may not be effective in treating some conditions

Invisible aligners depend on employing clear plastic to straighten teeth in a gentle way. And some believe they simply aren’t effectual due to the absence of metal brackets, rubber bands, and wires as found in conventional braces.

According to The American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, the following conditions should ideally be left to traditional aligners:

  • Tooth extrusion – a tooth is in part displaced from its place, usually caused by an injury.
  • Tipped teeth – bent at an incorrect angle of above 45 degrees.
  • Rotated teeth – misaligned by in excess of 20 degrees.
  1. Core dental issues may go undiagnosed

Using mail-in aligners for straightening teeth may develop a risk as it reduces the chances for a dental specialist to identify potential health risks before undergoing the treatment plan and also through the follow-ups.

One of the most serious drawbacks of these dental procedures is that no proper dental exam is carried out and patients may not be skilled to administer the treatment themselves. While the manufacturer recommends patients to see their dentist, there is a good possibility that patients skip their regular checkups that could lead to serious health issues.

A licensed dental specialist can identify problems that may not be visible to the unsuspecting eyes, such as gum disease, poor bone architecture, infection, and even oral cancer.

  1. Customer service is no substitute for a licensed dental expert

In case something goes wrong with the treatment or device, the user needs to have access to a dental expert who can diagnose the issue.

Smile Direct Club does offer a 1-800 customer support line, there is a possibility that the agent on the other side may be able to handle the call and provide correct analysis of the problem or offer an expert recommendation as to the way a licensed dental professional can.

Is Smile Direct Club safe to use?

The process that Smile Direct Club explains sounds great but being a new business in the dental world, it is necessary to check its pros and cons before using it. In a one-line answer of “is it safe to use it”, the answer is “yes, Smile Direct Club is safe to use”.  However, a practicing dentist or orthodontist may like to modify it as per an individual case.

The official website says that they ensure this product meets with state’s “Standards of Care”.

How Much Does Smile Direct Club Cost?

One of the main benefits of Smile Direct Club is the price of their aligners, which is set at $1,850, and there is an option available for 24 monthly payments of $80 along with a down payment of $250. This brings the price to a total of $2,170. Afterward, retainers can be bought by you for $99 a set to help maintain the teeth alignment. Also, there are no preset dental examinations or continuing checkups.

To get a perspective, the price of a set of conventional metal braces can be anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000, depending on individual requirement. And a set of invisible aligners that are prescribed by a medical expert would normally cost around $3,000 and $6,000.

When comparing these figures, Smile Direct Club’s claim to be 60% less expensive is bang on.

Final Thoughts

Smile Direct Club is an innovative dental care solution designed for people looking for other methods for straightening teeth. While these aligners are very cost effective when compared with traditional treatments, in-person visits with a licensed dental specialist could offer much-needed help. Be sure to speak with your orthodontist before buying any such product that can pose health risks.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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