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.