Bee Cave SmileDirectClub
SmileDirectClub™ is an at-home orthodontic system for people who want clear aligners. Our concern is that the company claims you can straighten your teeth with their aligners at a lower cost than in-office systems like Invisalign® or Spark Clear Aligners™ because you don’t need direct supervision by a dentist.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile for SmileDirectClub reveals that the company opened its BBB file in 2014. From 2020 to 2023, more than 2,000 consumers filed complaints. By comparison, Invisalign has had only five complaints in its over 20-year history.
Concerns About Orthodontics Without Supervision
Consider five reasons to be concerned about receiving unsupervised orthodontic treatment.
- Importance of an exam – Orthodontists begin with a complete exam and panoramic X-ray of your jaw. The X-ray reveals the condition of your gums, teeth, and jawbone. If the orthodontist were to skip the X-ray or any other part of the exam, pressure from your aligners on loose or weak teeth could weaken your teeth.
- Issues with crowding – Crooked and crowded teeth need more space during orthodontic treatment. Dr. Tostado may create space by shaving the sides of teeth or removing them as a last resort. However, at-home orthodontic systems do not offer a way to make room for your teeth as they move to the correct position. The results can be a wider arch with straight front teeth and back teeth with crowding or other issues.
- Treatment intervention – Supervised orthodontics includes checkup appointments to ensure your teeth move correctly. For example, if a tooth must rotate more, with Invisalign or Spark Aligners, Dr. Tostado would then bond a small composite button to the tooth for aligners to grip and move it. Treatment intervention is not available with at-home orthodontics.
- At-home dental impressions – Dentists and orthodontics take highly accurate images of your tooth. The distortion of do-it-yourself impressions can limit the positive effects of treatment.
- Aligner wearing time – SmileDirectClub suggests that you can wear the aligners 22 hours per day or ten hours nightly. But if you only wear the aligners at night, you will be moving your teeth back and forth each day. This isn’t healthy for your teeth.
Weigh the Risks
We encourage you to weigh the risks of choosing SmileDirectClub to straighten your teeth.
The American Dental Association has issued warnings about SmileDirectClub’s method of moving teeth without knowing all aspects of a patient’s oral health. Patients can experience oral health problems like these:
- Bite problems
- Bone loss
- Jaw pain
- Receding gums
- Tooth loss
You can search online for consumer reviews and news articles about the brand. You will find scores of articles about customer complaints and lawsuits. Other articles explain how SmileDirectClub aligners have harmed some patients’ oral health, requiring intervention from an in-person orthodontist and costly treatment to correct the damage.
Get Reliable Results with Clear Aligners
Dr. Tostado offers two clear aligner brands, Invisalign and Spark Clear Aligners. He will perform a comprehensive exam and take full-mouth digital X-rays and impressions of your teeth before your treatment begins. If you are a candidate for Invisalign or Spark Clear Aligners, he will work with either company to create your customized treatment plan and a series of aligners.
Orthodontist-supervised clear aligners move your teeth precisely. Every four to six weeks, you will have follow-up appointments with Dr. Tostado to check your treatment progress and adjust your aligners or treatment plan as needed.
Are you interested in safe, predictable results with clear aligners? Please call Lake Travis Orthodontist to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Tostado or complete our Request an Appointment form.