Where Can I Get Aligners Since Smile Direct Club Shut Down?

Where Can I Get Aligners Since Smile Direct Club Shut Down?

SmileDirectClub, which gained popularity for offering clear dental aligners as a convenient and affordable alternative to traditional braces, is now closing its doors. The company has served over two million customers since its inception in 2014. Unfortunately, despite its initial promise, SmileDirectClub struggled financially, reporting losses of $86.4 million in 2022 and eventually filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Smile Direct Customers Left In State Of Uncertainty

Existing SmileDirectClub customers have been left in a state of uncertainty. The company’s telehealth aligner treatments are no longer available, and customer orders that still need to be shipped have been canceled. The “Lifetime Smile Guarantee” has also been discontinued, further adding to the confusion. SmileDirectClub suggests that Smile Pay customers should continue making payments, compounding the frustration for many.

Moreover, customer-care support is no longer provided. The company has advised customers to consult their local dentists or orthodontists for alternative treatments. Details about potential refunds are pending and will be determined as part of the bankruptcy process.

SmileDirectClub’s closure means they must liquidate their assets, raising concerns about whether customers will receive compensation. Unfortunately, those who signed up or made payments after the company’s bankruptcy filing in September will likely be prioritized, leaving many early customers without recourse.

Dr. Myron Guymon, President of the American Association of Orthodontists, speculates that tens of thousands of individuals could be affected by SmileDirectClub’s closure. Many of these individuals have invested time and money in their treatment, only to find themselves without ongoing care.

The Perils Of DIY Dentistry

Over the years, dental associations worldwide have raised concerns about direct-to-consumer aligner treatments, often referred to as “DIY” dentistry. These treatments do not require in-person visits to a dentist or orthodontist, potentially leading to overlooked oral health issues. Many former direct-to-consumer aligner patients eventually seek orthodontic care for reevaluation, often discovering problems like gum disease and bite issues.

SmileDirectClub is one of many direct-to-consumer dental aligner providers on the market, but concerns persist about the need for more direct supervision and patient-doctor relationships. This business model raises questions about patient safety and the ability to address problems promptly.

While teledentistry can improve access to dental care, it should be within established safety guidelines. Patients can benefit from remote monitoring between in-person treatments, but it’s crucial to maintain a patient-doctor relationship to ensure the best possible outcomes for orthodontic treatment.

Reliable Alternatives For Aligner Treatments

In light of SmileDirectClub’s closure, it’s crucial for individuals seeking aligner treatments to explore reliable alternatives. One such option is “Smile League Dental” in Joliet, Illinois, where you can expect personalized care and unwavering support throughout your orthodontic journey. 

At Smile League Dental, you’ll benefit from a team of experienced professionals who prioritize your oral health and well-being. They understand that orthodontic treatment is not just about achieving a straighter smile but also about maintaining your overall oral health. With their guidance, you can rest assured that your treatment will be carried out safely and effectively.

Your Journey to Confidence Begins With Smile League Dental

Choosing Smile League Dental means choosing quality care and a commitment to your long-term oral health. Don’t let SmileDirectClub’s closure deter you from achieving the smile you’ve always wanted. Your journey to a confident, beautiful smile begins with a call to Smile League Dental in Joliet, Illinois. Contact our dental aligner professionals in Joliet at 815-782-6243 to learn more about your options and take the next step toward your dream smile.

Why Preventive Dentistry Is So Important

Why Preventive Dentistry Is So Important

It can be all too easy to downplay the importance of preventive dentistry until it’s too late and you’ve lost a tooth or have to undergo a surgical procedure. Maintaining optimal oral health goes beyond addressing dental issues as they arise. It’s important to be proactive and prevent dental problems before they occur. Let’s shed some light on the importance of preventive dental care in preserving your teeth, gums, and overall well-being. Here are seven reasons that preventive dentistry is so important:

Early Detection of Problems

A big part of preventive dentistry is scheduling regular dental check-ups. This allows your dentist to detect potential issues in their early stages. Conditions such as cavities, gum disease, and oral cancers are more manageable when identified early. By addressing concerns at their inception, you can often avoid more extensive and costly treatments in the future.

Gum Disease Prevention

Gum disease is a common oral health issue that, when left untreated, can lead to serious complications. It’s important to brush and floss your teeth every day to remove plaque and tartar—the primary culprits behind gum disease. Professional dental cleanings further aid in preventing the progression of gum disease, ensuring your gums remain healthy and resilient.

Cavity Prevention

During your dental appointments, your dentist can identify early signs of tooth decay and provide interventions, such as fluoride treatments and dental sealants, to strengthen and protect your teeth. This proactive approach helps avoid the need for more invasive treatments like fillings or root canals.

Oral Cancer Screening

Preventive dentistry can include routine oral cancer screenings during dental check-ups, depending on your risk factors. Early detection of oral cancer significantly improves treatment outcomes. Your dentist is trained to identify suspicious signs and symptoms, and regular screenings contribute to the timely diagnosis and management of this serious condition.

Aesthetic Preservation

Beyond the functional aspects of your teeth, preventive dentistry also focuses on preserving the aesthetics of your smile. Professional cleanings, teeth whitening, and other preventive measures help maintain the brightness and attractiveness of your teeth.

Cost Savings

A preventive approach to oral health is a cost-effective strategy in the long run. Regular check-ups and cleaning, combined with early interventions, can prevent the development of more severe dental issues that could otherwise require extensive treatments. Investing in preventive care ultimately saves you both time and money by minimizing the need for complex and costly dental procedures.

Long-Term Oral Health Benefits

When you prioritize preventive dentistry, you are investing in your long-term oral health. Regular dentist visits and good habits contribute to a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. This enhances your quality of life and protects you from systemic health issues associated with poor oral health.

Preventive Dentistry in Joliet

Prioritizing regular dental check-ups is a critical part of maintaining your oral health. Smile League Dental is the top-rated dentist in Joliet. Our passion is making sure that each one of our patients has the healthiest mouth and the brightest smile possible. Contact Smile League Dental today at 815-782-6243 to make an appointment to visit us and talk about how to be proactive with your oral health.

What Do I Do if I Break a Tooth After Hours?

What Do I Do if I Break a Tooth After Hours?

Emergencies don’t follow a schedule, and a broken tooth can happen at any time. Breaking a tooth is never pleasant, but knowing what to do when it happens can make a huge difference in reducing stress and preserving your oral health. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do if you break a tooth after hours.

Remain Calm

The first and most crucial step is to stay calm. It can be scary to break a tooth, but panicking can hinder your ability to take the necessary steps for immediate care. Take a deep breath and approach the situation with a clear mind.

Assess the Damage

Examine the extent of the damage. Is it a minor chip, a fracture, or a completely knocked-out tooth? Inspect the tooth carefully so you can communicate effectively with the dentist when seeking assistance.

Rinse Your Mouth

Gently rinse your mouth with warm water to remove any debris or blood. Be cautious not to use hot or cold water, as your broken tooth can be temperature-sensitive. If there is bleeding, use a clean cloth or gauze to apply gentle pressure to the affected area.

Save Any Tooth Fragments

If the broken tooth has left fragments, try to save them, if you can. Place the pieces in a container with milk or your saliva. This can potentially aid in the dentist’s ability to repair or restore the tooth.

Use a Cold Compress

Apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth, near the affected area. This can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain.

Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relief

If you’re experiencing pain, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen according to the recommended dosage. Avoid placing aspirin directly on the affected area, as it may cause irritation.

Contact Your Dentist

Even if it’s after regular office hours, call your dentist immediately. Many dental practices have emergency contact information for situations like these. Explain the situation, and they can provide guidance on the next steps and whether you should seek immediate care.

Visit an Emergency Dental Clinic

If you cannot reach your regular dentist, consider visiting an emergency dental clinic. These facilities are equipped to handle urgent dental issues and can provide the necessary care outside of regular office hours.

Stay Hydrated

While awaiting dental care, it’s essential to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to maintain moisture in your mouth, especially if you’re unable to eat due to the injury.

Follow Post-Care Instructions

After receiving dental care, follow any post-care instructions provided by your dentist. This may include avoiding certain foods, taking prescribed medications, and attending follow-up appointments.

Contact Smile League Dental

If you’re looking for a reliable emergency dentist in Joliet, look no further than Smile League Dental. Our friendly professionals offer same-day care for emergency situations. Your oral health is our top priority at any time of day. Give us a call anytime at 815-782-6243. A broken tooth can be a distressing experience, but with the right steps and prompt attention, you can increase the chances of a successful outcome.

Does Medicaid Cover Teeth Whitening in Illinois?

Does Medicaid Cover Teeth Whitening in Illinois?

Teeth whitening is popular among many individuals who wish for a brighter smile. However, not everyone can afford the sometimes high cost of this cosmetic procedure out-of-pocket. If you’re a resident of Illinois and are covered by Medicaid, you might be wondering: Does Medicaid cover teeth whitening?

Dental Coverage Under Medicaid in Illinois

Medicaid is a state and federally-funded program that provides health insurance to eligible individuals and families. It is managed at the state level, which means that each state has some flexibility in determining what services are covered under their Medicaid program. Illinois has one of the best Medicaid coverage programs in the country. Illinois Medicaid coverage typically includes essential dental services, such as:

Preventive care

This may encompass routine check-ups, cleanings, and X-rays. Preventive care reduces your risk of developing serious dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease.

Restorative services

These include procedures like fillings, root canals, and extractions.

Emergency care

Medicaid can cover treatment for dental emergencies.

Oral surgery

Certain oral surgeries may be covered, particularly when medically necessary.

Cosmetic Dentistry and Medicaid

While Medicaid in Illinois prioritizes essential dental services to maintain and restore oral health, it does not generally cover cosmetic dentistry procedures like teeth whitening. Medicaid programs across different states typically adhere to this same principle, prioritizing necessary and medically required dental services over cosmetic treatments. As such, if you’re seeking teeth whitening or other cosmetic procedures, you may find that Medicaid will not cover the cost.

Alternative Options

If you are interested in teeth whitening but are not covered by Medicaid for this cosmetic procedure, don’t be discouraged. There are alternative options to explore.

Dental Insurance

Some dental insurance plans may offer coverage for cosmetic procedures, including teeth whitening, though it’s less common than other types of coverage. Check with your dental insurance provider to understand the specific provisions of your plan.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA)

If you have an FSA or HSA, you can use pre-tax dollars to pay for teeth whitening, potentially reducing your out-of-pocket expenses.

Dental Savings Plans

Dental savings plans are discount plans that provide reduced rates on various dental treatments, including teeth whitening. This kind of plan can help make cosmetic dentistry more affordable where dental insurance falls short.

Consult Your Dentist

If you are considering teeth whitening and have concerns about the cost, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist. They can provide you with information on the various teeth whitening options available, including the most appropriate treatments for your needs and budget. 

At Smile League Dental, we are proud to provide the best teeth-whitening services in Joliet. Our knowledgeable and experienced team is happy to give you guidance and recommendations to help you achieve whiter teeth within your budget and in the most effective and safe manner. We can help you figure out what procedures are included in your Medicaid coverage or assist you in navigating your dental insurance plan. Give us a call today at 815-782-6243.

Are Aligners Covered By Insurance in Illinois?

Are Aligners Covered By Insurance in Illinois?

Dental insurance coverage is a big factor when considering orthodontic treatment options. With the rising popularity of aligner treatments, the question of insurance coverage has become more relevant than ever. Are aligners covered by dental insurance in Illinois? What are your financial options for a straighter, healthier smile? Let’s explore some answers to these questions.

What Are Aligners?

An aligner, often referred to as a clear aligner, is a dental appliance that can sometimes serve as a less visible alternative to braces. It is a clear, plastic mold of your teeth that can be worn to gently straighten them. Aligners serve as a discreet, comfortable, and effective option for many patients seeking orthodontic treatment.

Understanding Dental Insurance Coverage

Dental insurance coverage can vary widely from one plan to another. Review your specific policy to determine the extent of your orthodontic coverage. In Illinois, as in many other states, dental insurance typically falls into two categories: traditional dental insurance and orthodontic insurance.

Traditional Dental Insurance

Traditional dental insurance usually covers preventive and diagnostic services, such as routine check-ups, cleanings, and X-rays, as well as restorative procedures like fillings and extractions. These plans may also cover a portion of orthodontic treatment costs in some cases, but this is not guaranteed.

Orthodontic Insurance

Orthodontic insurance is a separate type of coverage designed explicitly for orthodontic treatment, including braces and clear aligners. These policies provide more comprehensive coverage for orthodontic services.

Coverage for Aligners in Illinois

Illinois dental insurance providers often have specific coverage limitations for orthodontic treatments. Here are some key factors to consider:

Age Limit

Many dental insurance plans limit orthodontic coverage to individuals under a certain age. Typically, coverage is more readily available for children and teenagers.

Orthodontic Waiting Period

Some policies have waiting periods before they provide orthodontic coverage. You may need to wait for a specific period after purchasing the plan before becoming eligible for orthodontic benefits.


In some cases, insurance providers may require pre-authorization before starting orthodontic treatment, meaning you’ll need to obtain approval from your insurance company before proceeding with aligner therapy.

Alternative Funding Options

If your dental insurance doesn’t provide sufficient coverage for clear aligners, don’t worry. There are other financing options that you may be able to explore:

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA)

These accounts allow you to use pre-tax dollars to pay for orthodontic treatment, potentially reducing your out-of-pocket costs.

Monthly Payment Plans

Many dental and orthodontic providers offer flexible payment plans that can help you spread the cost of treatment over several months, making it more manageable for your budget.

Orthodontic Discount Plans

Some organizations offer discount plans that can provide substantial savings on orthodontic treatments, including clear aligners.


This is a healthcare financing credit card that allows you to cover expenses related to dental and orthodontic treatment, with convenient monthly payments.

Contact Smile League Dental in Joliet

At Smile League Dental, one of our primary missions is to make dental care more affordable. If you have questions about getting aligners in Joliet, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our knowledgeable staff is happy to help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile without breaking your budget. You can reach us at 815-782-6243.