SmileDirectClub Review

The biggest but is it the best?

Smile Direct Club
Last updated:
Reader Rating129 Votes
4.8

Providing dental aligners that are delivered to your door, SmileDirectClub is one of several companies that you can choose for dental realignment. More than 750,000 customers have used their clear aligners.

Could the SmileDirectClub help you to get the straight teeth you’ve dreamed of?

First Glance

SmileDirectClub offers several dental treatment options, for people that want a straighter smile. These options include clear aligners for all-day use and options for night-time only.

😁Get £75 off your purchase of clear aligners with Smile Direct Club. Click here to get your £75 discount.

Pros:

  • At home service supported by dentists and orthodontists
  • All cases reviewed by qualified dentists
  • Free teeth whitening for SmileShop visitors
  • Lower costs than many other dental aligner providers
  • Optional night-time-only aligners as an alternative treatment

Cons:

  • Payment needed before treatment is confirmed, although refunded if it’s not suitable
  • You’ll need to pay for replacement mould kits if you make a mistake at home

Who is behind SmileDirectClub?

Founded in 2014, the SmileDirectClub was created by Alex Fenkell and Jordan Katzman. Since launch, more than 750,000 people have used their dental aligners.

The company is based in Nashville, Tennessee though has a strong UK presence. In fact, there are more than 20 SmileShops across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. For anyone not near a SmileShop, SmileDirectClub offers a completely home-based option.

According to SmileDirectClub, their service has a high market share. In fact, they claim to provide 95% of the doctor-directed and doctor-prescribed clear aligners that are delivered as a teledentistry service. Or, to put it another way: 95% of people that get clear aligners delivered to their home, with input from professional dentists, use SmileDirectClub products.

There are more than 5,400 people working for SmileDirectClub, including staff at almost 400 SmileShops worldwide.

In the UK, SmileShops are available in Cardiff, Glasgow, Belfast, London, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol, as well as many other cities.

Who can use SmileDirectClub aligners?

SmileDirectClub offers aligners for mild to moderate issues.  You are likely to be eligible if some of your teeth slightly overlap, or you have spaces between your teeth. You may also be eligible if you’d like to fix an overbite or underbite. You may not be eligible if spaces between teeth are particularly large, or if too many of your teeth are overlapping.

Before you pay for any treatment, you can check if you’ll be eligible.

In some cases, SmileDirectClub may recommend that you get other dental problems resolved before starting your realignment treatment. You may receive a suggestion to get cavities filled or, in some cases, to have your wisdom teeth removed. Once you’ve taken action, you should be able to continue with dental aligners.

How are the dental aligners made?

Aligners are made using clear BPA-free plastic. There are two ways to order SmileDirectClub dental aligners:

SmileShops

First, you’ll visit a SmileShop, for a consultation and scan that should take no more than 30 minutes.

This is an opportunity to meet with the SmileDirectClub team, who will take 3D scans of your mouth. These 3D scans are sent to an affiliated dentist, who will confirm that you’re suitable for treatment.

A member of the team can use your 3D scans to help you look into the future. Computer software will shift your teeth, to show you the expected end results. You can decide, based on this, if you’d like to go ahead with your treatment.

Scans taken at a SmileShop are used to make moulds for dental aligners.

Your first aligners are delivered to your house. Every few weeks, you’ll receive new aligners to replace the ones that you’ve been using. Each set of aligners is slightly different, moving you further through your treatment.

If you visit a SmileShop, you will also receive a free teeth whitening service. Future teeth whitening kits will be delivered alongside your aligners.

Home

If you can’t get to a SmileShop, or don’t want to, then there is another option available. You’ll receive an impression kit in the mail and can make a mould of your own. Send the finished mould to SmileDirectClub and wait for your aligners to arrive.

Remote impression kits include easy to follow instructions, as well as details about how to take accompanying photographs. Your mould, and your photographs, will be used to create your aligners.

If aligners aren’t a suitable option, you’ll receive a full refund for the price of your impression kit.

If you make a mistake, you’ll have to order another home impression kit. If you then pay for treatment, SmileDirectClub will refund the price of the replacement.

If you choose the remote option, free teeth whitening kits aren’t included. These are only available if you’ve been to a SmileShop, where you will be trained in using them correctly.

What treatment options are available?

Customers have a couple of options when choosing their dental aligners. Most people will go for clear aligners that they’ll need to wear most of the time.

Dental aligners

The standard treatment option.

Dental aligners are worn all the time, except during mealtimes and tooth brushing. This is the quickest way to complete your realignment treatment.

You should wear your clear aligners for 22 hours every day. Always brush and floss, before putting your aligners into place.

Clear aligners are almost invisible, which means that many customers prefer the quickest possible treatment.

Night-time aligners

Even more discreet than the standard clear aligners, this treatment avoids daytime wear.

The aligners will only be worn for approximately 10 hours through the night. Put them into place before you go to bed, and remove them when you wake in the morning.

This treatment takes longer. Teeth are being moved for only 10 hours, instead of the usual 22.

How long does SmileDirectClub treatment take?

According to SmileDirectClub, most people see the results they want in approximately 6 months. Results may take longer in some cases, or if night-time aligners are used.

Are there any other steps to take?

You’ll need to check in every 90 days, by sending pictures of your smile. You can monitor your progress using the provided smartphone app.

A registered dentist will view your check-in, to make sure that you’re staying on track.

How much does SmileDirectClub treatment cost?

There are a few different costs, adding up to the total price of treatment with SmileDirectClub:

Impression kit

The remote impression kit costs £39. If your impressions show that you aren’t suitable for treatment, the cost of this kit is refunded.

If you make a mistake with your first impression kit, then you’ll need to purchase another. If this one goes right, and you return your impressions and start your treatment, then you’ll get a £39 refund.

Treatment

Treatment costs £1499 if you pay in full up front. The price is the same whether you choose standard or night-time aligners.

Replacements

A replacement tray costs £79, if yours is lost or broken.

A tray is just one aligner, for either the top or bottom teeth. If you lose your top and bottom aligners at the same time, then you will be charged a total of £158 for your replacements.

Retainers

At the end of treatment, a set of retainers costs £70. These will need to be worn day and night for two weeks, and only at night after this.

Retainers should be replaced approximately every 6 months, which means that you’ll have ongoing costs of around £140 per year.

Are payment options available?

Instead of paying £1499 upfront, you can choose to go onto a payment plan. You’ll pay a £199 deposit, followed by 12 monthly payments of £120. This brings the total price to £1639.

Is a warranty or guarantee available?

If you change your mind within 30 days, you’re entitled to a refund. Return your aligners and you’ll receive a refund of the money that you’ve paid for them.

If you aren’t happy with the results at the end of your treatment, you can ask for a free reassessment. You may be offered further aligners, as long as you have met certain requirements.

The guarantee is only valid if you’ve worn your aligners as required, and have completed your 90-day check-ins.

How old do you have to be?

SmileDirectClub offers clear aligners to customers aged 12 or over. All permanent teeth must be present, except the wisdom teeth.

Children under 16 must get written consent from a parent or guardian.

Where is SmileDirectClub available?

You can receive SmileDirectClub treatment in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.

What about customer service?

You can choose to visit a SmileShop for your initial 3D scans.

After your initial moulds, you can contact SmileDirectClub by phone (call 0800 047 8666).

You can also contact SmileDirectClub by email ([email protected]).

SmileDirectClub: The Verdict

Availability

If you live near a major city, then there is a good chance that you’ll have easy access to a SmileShop. Here you can get 3D imaging of your teeth, to create accurate moulds for your aligners.

Visiting a SmileShop is the cheapest way to start treatment but, though there are more than 400 locations around the world, only around 20 are in the UK. This means that for people a long way from a major city, there will be no easy access for an initial consultation.

Anyone can purchase a home kit, to create their own dental impressions, but this will add extra cost to your treatment.

Price

Though dental aligners are never cheap, SmileDirectClub prices are significantly lower than many of the company’s competitors. Other leading names can charge upwards of £2,500 for a service with similar results.  Meanwhile, SmileClubDirect charges a standard price of £1,499 per person.

If you’re paying in instalments, the total price does not increase too drastically.

This price represents good value for most customers. But, if you expect your case to be a simple one, you may prefer a company that offers a personalised quote. That way, you can be sure that you’re not being overcharged to subsidise those with more complex requirements.

Aside from replacements, and ongoing costs for retainers, there are no hidden charges for SmileDirectClub aligners.

You do have to pay for a home impression kit before beginning your treatment. But, this cost can be avoided if you’ll visit a SmileShop in person.

Ease of use

With a SmileShop in many UK cities, it’s easy to get professional dental impressions. This is a reassurance, for those that are worried about making their own moulds at home.

Taking impressions at home, using the moulding kit, is a valid choice if you can’t get to a SmileShop.

Dental impressions and photographs are reviewed by qualified professionals. So, even if you choose to make moulds at home, you’re not bypassing any proper dental checks.

But, you’ll need to be careful. Though the instructions are apparently easy to follow, extra kits come at a cost. If you make a mistake, you’ll pay £39 for another kit to try again.

SmileDirectClub offers a refund for your second kit, but only if you pay for full treatment. If you’re not eligible, you’ll only receive one £39 refund. If you choose not to go ahead, you’ll be responsible for the full cost of all impression kits that you’ve used.

Options

The standard SmileDirectClub treatment is a lot like the offering of any similar service. You’ll receive clear aligners that need to be worn for at least 22 hours a day.

Options are suitable for those with mild to moderate issues, including overcrowding and gaps between teeth.

What makes SmileDirectClub stand out is that they also offer the UK’s first nighttime aligner service. This option provides slower treatment but is more flexible for those that don’t want to wear aligners through the day.

Reassurance

If your treatment doesn’t work as well as you’d hoped, you can request a re-evaluation. If SmileDirectClub’s accredited dentists agree, then your treatment can continue at no additional cost.

SmileDirectClub also offers a full refund for your home impression kit, if you turn out not to be eligible for dental alignment treatment.

Got more questions about aligners? Check out our FAQ section

😁Get £75 off your purchase of clear aligners with Smile Direct Club. Click here to get your £75 discount.

Smile Direct Club
SmileDirectClub Review
Summary
As the biggest player in the 'at home', clear aligner market, SmileDirectClub is certainly the obvious choice. With multiple UK clinic locations and a great overall impression and treatment process, it's certainly one to consider. However, you may find that there are similar alternatives at a lower cost.
Reader Rating129 Votes
Pros
At home service supported by dentists and orthodontists
All cases reviewed by qualified dentists
Free teeth whitening for SmileShop visitors
Lower costs than many other dental aligner providers
Optional night-time-only aligners as an alternative treatment
Cons
Payment needed before treatment is confirmed, although refunded if it’s not suitable
You’ll need to pay for replacement mould kits if you make a mistake at home
4.8

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