Have you seen the Commercials for the "Do it Yourself" aligners? I watch those commercials and in my head wonder "how can they do that?"
Being in the dental field for 20 years (yes, I just aged myself) I have seen just about everything. I have worked in Dental Clinics to Upscale Dental Boutiques. I have seen beautiful dentistry and I have seen horrible dentistry. When it comes to moving your teeth, there is a science to it, if you stray from the science, disastrous consequences can occur.
I did do my research on the Smile Direct Club. In order to find out if you are a candidate you would Buy an impression kit or go into a "Smile Shop" and get your mouth scanned. Then you would have a Teledentistry visit with either a General Dentist or an Orthodontist to go over whether or not you are a candidate for Aligners. In New York, you need a Dentist that must be licensed by the Board of Regents to practice. Which means, Smile Direct Club needs to have a Dentist that is Licensed within New York, even though you are doing everything via video.
Once it is determined you are a candidate you can choose from 2 Options: Aligners that you can wear all the time or just at night. With my knowledge of dentistry, my brain has a hard time wrapping itself around this concept of nighttime Aligners. I know that you should wear your Aligners a MINIMUM 22 hours due to the fact that you are putting constant pressure on the teeth to move them. You take your aligners out to eat, drink, and brush, that's it. Your teeth have memory and will want to go back to their original position. My thoughts are if you wear the aligners for 10 hours and have them out for 14, that's a lot of back and forth that your teeth are doing. I can't imagine that would be good for your teeth.
Price points: Smile Direct Club is considerably less, but I feel that you don't get the attention you would get at an actual office. If something were to go wrong or if you weren't getting the results you were looking for, you and your Dentist could sit down and come up with a new plan, where I don't see that with Smile Direct Club. According to BBB there are over 1800 complaints against Smile Direct Club, granted a small number due to the many cases that they do, but still significant.
In our office, in Roslyn, we use Invisalign (https://invisalign.com). Either a New Patient or an Existing Patient comes in for their cleaning appointment. Our Hygienist, Michelle Lopez or Dr Steven Talerman, will start the conversation about tooth crowding usually because it is an oral health nightmare. Tooth crowding in Adults is one of the major reasons for gingivitis, bone loss, tooth decay, and eventually tooth loss if you are not diligent in taking care of your teeth.
Invisalign is simple and easy. You wear the aligners for up to 22 hours. You take the aligners when you eat, drink colored drinks, brush your teeth. The best part of the aligners is that they are nearly undetectable. Every 2-3 weeks you will change your aligners depending on the type of treatment you and the doctor have scheduled for you. Your case can also be anywhere from 10 weeks to 18 months depending on the severity of the case.
We are always with you step by step, we have you come in after every couple of trays to see how the movement is going. If you don't like something, then we work together as a team to get you back on track. Sometimes, in some cases, patients need a combination of Invisalign and Cosmetic dentistry, like Veneers.
Dr Steven Talerman Would sit down with you, as a patient and go over your whole treatment plan and make sure you understand each step before moving forward. I go over your financial options to make sure that you are able to afford it. For those people that need a little help, we offer CareCredit (https://www.carecredit.com), which is like a medical credit card. We can offer you up to 12 months interest free for your treatment.
I may be biased, but you should only seek treatment with a qualified dentist. I have seen too many times where teeth have fallen out or damaged from Orthodontics gone wrong.
Bottomline is - you can get something cheap, and easy, but buyer beware. You may just get what you pay for.