SmileDirectClub Review

The biggest but is it the best?

Smile Direct Club
Last updated:
Reader Rating198 Votes
4.8
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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.

Standard day time 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

Gum moulds and putty
SDC 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 (CustomerCare@SmileDirectClub.co.uk).

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

Smile Direct Club FAQs

How much does SmileDirectClub cost?

The total cost of SmileDirectClub treatment is £1,499 plus £39 for your impression kit. You won’t need to pay anything else unless your aligners are lost and need replacing. Remember that you’ll have ongoing costs after treatment, with SmileDirectClub retainers costing an additional £70 every six months.

You can choose to pay for your treatment with a monthly payment plan. After a £199 deposit to get started, there are 12 monthly payments of £120 each. This increases the price of teeth straightening to £1,639 in total.

How does SmileDirectClub work?

With SmileDirectClub, you’ll go through teeth straightening treatment at home. Start by making your own dental impressions, or visit one of several SmileShops for a consultation and 3D scan. If you’re a suitable candidate for clear aligners, they’ll be sent directly to your door. You’ll get new aligners every couple of weeks and can switch to progress through your treatment.

SmileDirectClub’s service makes it possible to get straighter teeth at home. As well as wearing your aligners as directed, you’ll need to check in every 90 days by sending photographs through the app. You can choose to wear aligners 22 hours a day or get nighttime aligners that you’ll wear only whilst you sleep for a slower but more discreet treatment.

How to remove SmileDirectClub aligners?

A well-made aligner tray should fit securely in your mouth. In some cases, this will mean that it feels like it’s stuck in place. Don’t panic. There are several ways to remove your clear aligners even if they feel like they’re not budging.
To remove your aligners, start at the back of the mouth and slowly work your way forward. You need to break the seal around the gums, so carefully lift the edge of your aligners from your mouth. Rubber gloves can help, or a thin piece of fabric like a handkerchief.

For future removal, look for aligner or retainer removal tools that you can buy online for delivery. You might find these called aligner ‘outies’. These small hooks can fit under the edge of your aligners to help break the seal.

How long should I wear a SmileDirectClub retainer for?

Once you’ve completed your clear aligner treatment, you’ll need to keep using retainers. These will make sure that your teeth don’t ever move back to their original positions. For the first two weeks at the end of your treatment, you should wear your retainers day and night. Treat your retainers, during this time, like a final set of aligners.

After two weeks, your teeth should be set more securely into their final positions. This doesn’t mean you can stop using retainers, as there’s always a chance they’ll move back. Instead, wear your retainers every night for as long as you’ve got teeth in your mouth. Replace your retainers roughly every six months, to avoid any problems with plastic degradation, warping or lowering hygiene.

When do you pay for SmileDirectClub?

Before you start treatment, you’ll need to check that you’re suited to clear aligners. You’ll do this by visiting a clinic or making dental impressions at home. If you’re using a home impression kit, there’s a £39 charge that must be paid upfront to get everything delivered to your door. The cost of your kit will be refunded if you’re not a good candidate for treatment.

Once your treatment’s approved, you will need to pay before getting your first set of clear aligners. You can choose to pay upfront to cover the cost of your treatment, or start with a deposit and make monthly payments for a year. Your first set of aligners won’t be made until you’ve paid or handed over the deposit.

When to wear SmileDirectClub aligners?

When you wear your SmileDirectClub aligners will depend on the type that you’ve chosen. Standard aligners should be worn day and night, ideally up to 22 hours every day. They should only be removed when you’re eating or drinking and when you’re brushing your teeth. You should thoroughly brush your teeth after eating, before reinserting your aligners.
Nighttime aligners will only need to be worn whilst you are asleep. Ideally, aim to wear these for at least 10 hours every night. This treatment is slower, but some people prefer it as they don’t need to wear aligners at work.

Is SmileDirectClub legit? Who owns SmileDirectClub?

SmileDirectClub is a legitimate provider of clear aligners and teeth straightening treatments. Company founders are Jordan Katzman and Alex Fenkell. SmileDirectClub has been in existence since 2014. In that time, more than 750,000 patients have used their aligners to get straighter smiles.

If you’re worried about doing everything online, you can choose to visit a SmileShop. These physical SmileDirectClub clinics can help to put your mind at ease. There are more than 20 SmileShops in the UK alone, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a location that you can easily get to.

Is SmileDirectClub safe?

SmileDirectClub provides a safe way to get teeth straightening treatment at home. Your progress will be supervised as you check in with new photographs every 90 days. You should also keep to your usual dentist appointment schedule, which can offer extra reassurance so you know that your mouth’s in great condition.

Clear aligners are made using transparent BPA-free plastic. It’s safe for this to be in your mouth, and the aligners are sturdy but flexible enough to avoid any dangerous damage.

Is SmileDirectClub worth it?

Teeth straightening treatment is a cosmetic treatment but can have a more significant impact. Straighter teeth can help to improve speech, make it easier to eat and reduce jaw pain and clicking. Even without these added benefits, many people would consider treatment worth it just to get a straight smile that they’re proud of.

The costs of clear aligners can be a deterrent, but SmileDirectClub – like many competitors – will offer payment plans to help you spread the costs. As a result, a straight smile shouldn’t feel completely out of reach. If you have serious teeth misalignment than clear aligners may not do enough, but you’ll be told if you’re eligible for treatment or if you should consider other options.

😁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 Rating198 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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