Ads for Smile Direct Club have become increasingly prevalent lately, appearing between scenes of our favorite shows, interrupting songs on the radio, prefacing the podcasts we listen to. The brand promises straight teeth for under $2,000 dollars in as little as six months. And the best part is, you can do it entirely from home. But the ubiquitous advertising for these at-home braces neglects to mention the inherent risk involved.
The idea of DIY braces is understandably appealing, and companies like Smile Direct Club rely on the fact that their service is a cheaper option than traditional braces to attract customers. But, in some cases, a drop in price also indicates a drop in quality. This is unfortunately true of many at-home braces services. A brief Google search will reveal customers telling nightmare stories of their experience with Smile Direct Club. Over 1,000 complaints detailing bad results with Smile Direct Club have been submitted to the Better Business Bureau. So, what is the truth? Are DIY braces an easy, affordable approach to dentistry, or are they a disaster waiting to happen?
Trust your instinct
One of the primary problems with services that provide at-home braces is that they do not offer any diagnostic x-rays or other bone scans. Though customers are asked to submit a 3D mold of their teeth, this process is not guaranteed to provide accurate insight into the best course of treatment. Furthermore, Smile Direct Club customers are, at no point before or during treatment, required to complete an in-person dentist appointment, which can leave significant issues undiagnosed and untreated.
Many people describe pain, disease, and even tooth loss following Smile Direct Club treatments. Several customers have commented that they regret trying the service and doing so resulted in a need for expensive corrective procedures. To make matters worse, when complications arose, most customers describe being unable to contact their assigned Smile Direct Club dentist. A dentist that contracts with Smile Direct Club admitted that he does not keep track of how many patients he has treated or their treatment outcomes, recommending that customers experiencing complications should see a dentist in person.
That doesn’t mean you need to go traditional either
It is clear that the trend of at-home braces, while attractive on paper, is not as beneficial as it may seem. It may even be costing you more money in the long run if you require traditional dental work following an issue with DIY dentistry. However, just because Smile Direct Club is off the table doesn’t mean you have to return to traditional metal braces.
There are plenty of modern invisible braces that are discreet and comfortable, much like the aligners provided by Smile Direct Club. Unlike Smile Direct Club, these braces are applied in person by trained professionals with positive reviews. An experienced Invisalign dentist is much more likely to produce happy customers than a mail order service. If you are interested in Invisalign aligners that are correctly fitted to your mouth and recommended by practitioners, visit Dr. Mario Paz Orthodontics for a consultation to discuss the specifics of your treatment.