Smile Direct Club: Get the Full Scoop + Reviews

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Smile Direct Club: Get the Full Scoop + Reviews

What is Smile Direct Club?

Smile Direct Club (formerly known as Smile Care Club) is a service that allows customers to order custom-created teeth aligners that can be used to straighten teeth at a fraction of what it would cost at the dentist.

smile direct club

You simply send an impression mold of your teeth to Smile Direct Club, who create your custom dental aligners and mail them back to you.

After wearing the series of aligners for 4-8 months, you’ll find yourself with a new smile.

Similar to Invisalign, Smile Care Club’s invisible teeth aligners are subtle and difficult to notice, making them a desirable alternative to traditional braces.

How Does Smile Direct Club Work?

So how exactly does Smile Direct Club work? We’ll walk you through the process.

smile direct club how it works

Step 1. Take Impressions + Get Your Teeth Assessed

The first step is to get assessed, which allows Smile Care Club to evaluate if you are a good candidate for their service. Some individuals will require more extensive work that Smile Care Club can’t help with, and in this case, they will not take you on as a client.

To get assessed, you’ll need to get an impression of your teeth.

To get an impression of your teeth, you can have Smile Direct Club send you a kit that will allow you to make a mold of your teeth. The impression mold is then sent to Smile Direct Club labs, where they’ll evaluate your teeth and l create a custom treatment plan for you and your mouth.

Alternatively, you can make an appointment for a digital teeth scan at one of Smile Care Club’s SmileShops, (only available in some cities), and bypass the impression mold process.

The cost of the impression is $99. While this may seem frustrating as a first step, having an impression of your teeth is essential for Smile Direct Club to evaluate and plan your teeth treatment.

When you sign up with Smile Direct Club through Life Health HQ, you can get your impression kit for 50% off – just use this link with code LIFEHEALTHHQ!

Step 2. Get Your Teeth Aligners

Next, a licensed dental professional will review and assess your teeth and create a treatment plan. Labs and dentists work together to create custom invisible aligners for you, with both upper and lower teeth aligners.

Once you receive your aligners, you’ll need to wear them every day. You can remove them for meals or beverages other than cool water.

Smile Direct Club also send you a pack of 5 premium teeth whitening treatments as a little added bonus.

Step 3. Switch Out Aligners & Document Progress

You’ll switch out your teeth aligners periodically, as directed through your teeth treatment plan. You’ll also need to submit photos online so that Smile Care Club can keep an eye on your progress and make sure that your teeth are moving as planned.

Step 4. Your Smile is Complete!

Within 4-8 months (depending on your teeth alignment needs), you’ll have your new smile!

Step 5. Get Your Retainer to Maintain That Smile

If you’ve ever gotten braces as a kid, you know how important retainers are. Many a child has ruined thousands of dollars in expensive dental work after abandoning their retainers.

Retainers prevent any shifting or movement that may occur once your new smile is in place. We highly recommend them, as they are essential for putting all that time, effort, and money on your smile to good use. If you don’t have a retainer, your teeth can (and most likely will) shift, ruining all your hard work.

Smile Direct Club doesn’t include retainers – they cost an additional $99 after your treatment, but we think they are well worth it.

Interested? Go ahead and give Smile Direct Club a try!

Smile Direct Club: Pros and Cons

Trying to decide if Smile Direct Club is right for you? Here is the breakdown of the pros vs. cons of Smile Direct Club.

Advantages:

  • Cheaper Than The Dentist. Since you’re cutting out the dentist appointments, co-pays, and inflated treatment costs, Smile Care Club can give you the dental results you’re looking for at a significantly lesser cost than visiting a traditional dentist.
  • Monthly Payment Option. Smile Care Club offers a monthly payment option, allowing you to spread your payments across time, if you desire.
  • Attractive.  The invisible aligners are very thin and light, with most people having no idea that you’re wearing them at all. This allows you to show your smile with pride while your teeth are being adjusted and straightened.
  • Licensed Professionals. Smile Direct Club works with remote licensed dental professionals to create your treatment plan and oversee your progress. This allows them to save costs and pass on savings to the customer, while still maintaining a high quality of care.
  • No Office Visits Needed. Usually with teeth straightening, many annoying visits to the dentist’s office are required. With Smile Care Club, you don’t need in-office visits – you can do it all from home and at your convenience.
  • Risk Free. Smile Care Club evaluates your teeth and provides a 3D custom treatment plan. If they determine that their invisible aligners won’t work for your teeth, your evaluation is free and you get the full refund.

Bonus: If you pay for your invisible signers with one single payment, you’ll also get a free teeth whitening gel to brighten your teeth.

Disadvantages:

  • Customer Service is Questionable. While reviews vary, there have been some complaints that customer service is not always very attentive.
  • No Guarantee of Outcome. Smile Direct Club doesn’t take responsibility for the outcome of the treatment. The responsibility is on you to stick to the treatment, and while keeping to the plan should provide positive outcomes, there is no promise of 100% satisfaction.
  • No Retention Assistance. With traditional orthodontists, you’ll receive regular check ups as part of your retention plan, making sure that you are staying on track. You won’t have this added help with Smile Direct Club.
  • Problems If Things Go Wrong. Using Smile Direct Club poses some other potential issues if plans go awry. For example, imagine that you lose one of your trays. You would need to re-order a tray from Smile Direct Club, which could take some time. At a traditional orthodontist’s office, they could provide you with an emergency piece to wear until a formal tray could be made. Going without any kind of tray or mouth piece for several days could threaten your entire treatment plan and derail your progress. Traditional orthodontists are also well equipped to identify any issues and change course if things are going wrong. While Smile Direct Club checks in to make sure you are progressing, they won’t be able to provide the same kind of attention and care that a traditional orthodontist can.
  • No Relationship With Doctor. While this won’t matter to everyone, it’s worth noting that some individuals feel more comfortable in the hands of a professional, trusted orthodontist with which they can form a relationship. You’ll have very minimal communication with Smile Direct Club’s team.

Smile Direct Club Reviews: Does It Work?

Of course the big question everyone wants to know is – does Smile Care Club work?

Our Take: Smile Care Club does seem to be a solid option for minor relapse or non-major tooth movement. However, more extensive teeth work will likely need to be done with the help of an in-office orthodontist. It’s worth remembering that tooth movement can affect many areas of your oral health, and there is always some risk taking this process into your own hands.

The good news is that there is really no risk in at least getting diagnosed by Smile Direct Club. You can get assessed by Smile Direct Club and at least see what they have to say before you commit to treatment (this service is $99 if you are eligible for treatment, but is absolutely free if they decide you aren’t a good candidate).

Smile Care Club only takes on cases that they believe they can successfully treat. Real doctors are evaluating your photos, medical records, and impressions to ensure that your needs will be compatible with virtual check-ins. If they find that they can’t help you and you’ll need to seek dental help elsewhere, they’ll refund the evaluation fee.

To be completely safe, it’s recommended that you meet with a trusted local orthodontist beforehand and get their opinion. If it seems that the dental work you need done is a matter of simple alignment, than Smile Care Club may be the way to go. However, extensive work is still best done in-person.

Smile Direct Club Reviews: What Customers Say

For what I paid (a little over $1000), the lack of communication and consistency was still worth it. It was within my price range, and it fixed the problems i would have had to pay over $6000 for from Invisalign.

-Real Self Review from User HansofEd

I am so happy that I found Smile Care Club as an affordable option to straighten my teeth. I wore braces as a teenager but ditched my retainer as soon as I could. Every time I smiled in the mirror I regretted that decision. I never thought their would be a solution that fit my budget. I’m already on my 5th set of aligners and seeing a huge improvement, the customer service is outstanding, and being able to email with my patient care specialist fits my lifestyle well. Highly recommend!!

– Real Self User Reeves_Smith

My experience with SmileCareClub has been amazing. I have completed all 5 sets of my aligners, top and bottom, and I am now wearing the retainer. The results were incredible. I had braces earlier in life, but never wore my retainer. SmileCareClub allowed me to fix what had changed and for a reasonable price! I just needed a few minor corrections in my front teeth, upper and lower, and that is exactly what the aligners corrected.

The customer service has been incredible, and the company has gone out of their way to make sure I am pleased with my experience and know everything I need to know about the process. They take feedback very seriously and go above and beyond to make sure you, as a customer, have the best possible care. SmileCareClub is very professional and knows what they are doing! Highly recommended.
– Real Self User Jodieschram

“What an easy, convenient, and affordable way for straighter teeth! Highly recommended” – Joanna, Virginia [Smile Direct Website]

“I am very satisfied with my results, feeling confident, and no longer hiding my smile” – Melissa, Florida [Smile Direct Website]

Smile Care Club Before and After Results

Smile Care Club has shown some pretty good results with before and after progress. It’s important to keep in mind that these results come from the official Smile Direct Club website, so they aren’t completely objective. Still, these photos show some impressive progress!

smile care club before after

smile direct club before after

smile direct club results

Smile Care Club: Cost & Deals

Here’s how pricing works at Smile Direct Club:

  • Assessment: $95. Your assessment costs $95, but is 100% refundable if it turns out that you are not eligible for treatment.
  • Treatment: $1,850. Your treatment costs $1,850 (or $2,280 if you choose to do the installment plan at $95/month for 24 months).
  • Maintenance: $99. You’ll also pay a $99 maintenance fee for the custom made invisible retainer that you’ll continue to wear at night to keep your teeth in position. This is standard for any teeth moving, as a nightly retainer is always needed to ensure teeth don’t shift back.

This results in a total cost of about $2,044 – significantly cheaper than the same process at the dentist or more expensive services like Invisalign.

smile direct club cost

Can My Insurance Cover or Discount Smile Direct Club?

Good news – in some cases, your existing dental insurance may be able to help cover the cost of your Smile Direct Club treatment.

Smile Direct Club doesn’t take payment directly from your insurance company – you would need to purchase the aligners and get reimbursed afterward. Smile Direct Club can walk you through the process and provide the necessary forms.

In addition, Smile Direct Club also qualified for FSA and HSA, which can help further offset the cost of your teeth aligners.

What Are Smile Direct Aligners Made Of?

Aligners are crafted from comfortable BPA-free plastic, similar to materials used in Invisalign braces and other dental guards.

Is Smile Direct Club For You?

If you’re in need of teeth straightening that isn’t too extensive, Smile Direct Club could be a good choice for you. You may want to try getting a Smile Direct Club assessment, reviewing the treatment plan, and then visiting an orthodontist to get their opinion.

Have you used Smile Direct Club? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

Disclaimer: The information listed here is not intended to be dental advice. Always seek out the advice of a dental professional before moving forward with treatment.

Smile Direct Club

$2,044
8.5

SmileDirectClub

8.5/10

Pros

  • Affordable
  • No Office Visits
  • Attractive & Easy

Cons

  • Questionable Customer Service
  • No Outcome Guarantee
  • Lack of Relationship
  • Noel says:

    I love love love SDC – I just got started. I was going to have to pay $7,000 for braces. This was a life saver!!

    • Mandy says:

      Totally worth it, I am so happy with the results. I got quoted $5,600 for invisalign and now have an amazingly straight smile for $1700. I’m still in disbelief.

    • Mandy says:

      Same here. My dentist quoted me close to $6000. Now I have an amazing smile through smile direct for only $1700. BEST DECISION I EVER MADE!

  • Katie says:

    I was wondering when I go for the assessment, will I see a licensed dentist?

  • Tra cy says:

    Considering using Smile Direct Club but have a question I can’t seem to get an answer to. In some scenarios on their site they mention that your teeth could be aligned by 5-8 months. If that’s the case and you pay $95 a month, wouldn’t it cost much less than $1700? For me, I highly doubt it will take 15 months to make the small adjustments I’m looking for. If anyone can provide feedback on this, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

    • CiCi Elle says:

      You continue to pay after you complete the treatment plan. I’ve received all 16 sets of my aligners and have about 4 more months of $99 payments.

  • CiCi Elle says:

    I started SDC in August of last year and I’m currently on tray 11 of 16. I’m very happy with my progress so far!

  • Sara Hurst says:

    I have gotten good results with the product, but customer service through the procedure has been THE WORST. One star out of 5. Emails are answered with “canned” responses that don’t really answer the question. Expect to wait 5-10 days for a return email or phone call (if it is returned at all). Each email or phone call is returned by someone different. Very frustrating and only delays the procedure. If I had it to do over, I would spend the extra $500 to use an orthodontist for this.

  • Sandy GG says:

    Smile Direct is a SCAM!!!! This company is the worst I have seen in a long time! All they are concerned about is how to acquire money with false advertising and empty suggestions! DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!!!! You will be swiped for hundreds of dollars!!!!

  • I’m on tray 3 of 10 and no complaints so far. Customer service does take a few days to get back to you, and it took a while for my first set of trays to arrive (close to 2 months), but other than that I really have no complaints for the price. The extended pay plan is great and you can use your HSA which makes it very affordable at only $99 per month. I’m confident this will provide the same result as Invisalign at 1/3 the price.

    Lucy Benjamin
    http://www.bergamotco.com

  • Melanie says:

    What if I have a permanent retainer bonded to the back of my lower teeth? Can I just do the upper teeth? Or is it the same price no matter what?

  • Chuck says:

    I am a customer and the biggest problem I have with Smile Direct Club is that it is not covered by any insurance. I have premium dental insurance with Cigna but it was a huge pain to get Smile Direct Club to respond to my reimbursement request before they told me that I need to contact Cigna and figure out reimbursement myself. Also, they ask you to bite into a mud mold whereas most of the dentists now use laser, which is more accurate and convenient.

    • Stacey says:

      Chuck, I’m a dentist. I wanted to address a few of your comments just to clarify and help others who read your post..
      1. This is an elective procedure, so there are no benefits from insurance. Even if you have legitimate malocclusion problems requiring orthodontics to correct, dental insurance doesn’t cover it for patients over 19 IF at all.
      2. Biting into “mud” as you call it (using impression material and an impression tray) is still the most common way to make a dental impression. We do NOT use lasers, that’s impossible. We do have the technology to use an intra oral scanner (no laser in this) to make a digital impression, but this technology is still prohibitively expensive for most solo, private practice dentists, and the use of such a machine would be included in a higher cost of treatment.
      Bottom line is that you get what you pay for.

      • LifeHealthHQ says:

        Thank you Stacey, always great to get the opinion of a dentist on these things!

      • Glenn says:

        Hi Stacey – thanks for your input. Would you personally
        Use smile direct to
        Fix teeth that have moved
        Over the years as my kids are now adults and have what they term “lower crowding”
        Since they wore metal braces before their wisdom
        Teeth grew in? We don’t want to waste money if this really doesn’t work
        Or the materials
        They use are not anything like invisiligns. Thank you Stacey.

  • Delilah A says:

    Smile Direct Club is a complete Sh*t Show!
    I decided to try straightening my lower teeth due to crowding that happened when my wisdom teeth came in. I thought it would be best to spend $1700 VS $6000 with Invisalign. What can I tell you….don’t both using Smile Direct Club to straighten your teeth. They have absolutely ZERO organization from one department to the other, ZERO customer service (it’s a scripted puppet show), ZERO customer service managers that own customer account issues, and ZERO success for mew to date.
    I started my Smile Direct Club treatment the first week of February 2017 when my MONTH ONE kit arrived and the 1st 4 weeks of the treatment seemed to run smooth. Each week you have a new aligner, on week 3 and 4 you get an aligner that you keep in your mouth for 2 weeks. When my MONTH TWO kit arrived, I threw out my old ones and I put the new MONTH 1 WEEK 1 aligners in my mouth and the bottom retainer was so loose I could pop it out with my tongue. It was at this MOMENT EVERYTHING went WRONG.
    I reached out to Smile Direct Club to find out what they could do to remedy this situation and they said we had to so a MID COURSE CORRECTION. I needed to redo my molds and then they would send an updated aligner back. WELL here we are. It’s now May 15th and I have now gone 10 weeks and I still do not have the replacement aligners. I had to do 3 at home mold kits, all of which were rejected. I had to go down to Boston twice (the first time the 3D scanning machine didn’t work). After 22 emails (and I am not kidding) from multiple customer service people (Vanessa, Mary, Shelby, Ronald and Marco) I still had nothing to show for my treatment. No one knew what was going on. Supervisor after supervisor told me they were going to “manage my case personally” and no one did. I have literally been running around after my plan and no one in this company gives a shit.
    I have just called today 5/5/17 (3 weeks to date after my 3D scan appointment in Boston) to see what on earth is going on (since no one –of course- followed up) and I got a rude Marco telling me that it takes at least 2 weeks more. The long and the short, by the time I get my aligners I will have gone THREE MONTHS with no progress, no apology, no one owning this. I am $600 out of pocket and they don’t give refunds.
    SO IF THIS CAN HELP ANYONE WHO IS DECIDING BETWEEN Smile Direct Club and Invisalign go with Invisalign – this experience has been SO BAD it’s not worth the saving you think you are getting. RUN RUN RUN!

    • keith says:

      Thank you for the heads up I’m about to go though the same BS with this company, I’m going to try a diffance route TN AG’s office.

  • Michelle Tafoya says:

    I have not finished the treatment yet so I cannot review if it works, however I can tell you I have had horrible customer experience service from them. My month 2 aligners came with 2 upper and no lower aligners. I called for a replacement and they said 5-10 business days. It has now been 15 days total since I reported the issue. For the past 3 days I have been calling/emailing them and they have told me I would have a shipping update by the end of the day. Their supervisor, Maurice, lied to me and said he would personally contact the lab to get it shipped. I still have not receive a call back from him as promised. This experience is delaying my treatment at least 3 weeks now.

  • A Rod says:

    I used smile care club 2yrs ago. All seemed well until I was on around my last 10 aligners and I can tell that my teeth were not completely straightened after 18 months of the planned treatment. For most aligners I even added more time before moving on to the next set of aligners when I I thought I may not have used the previous aligners as long as I should’ve just to be on the safe side. After the last set of aligners I wrote to SCC and received no response regarding my concern except to get me to buy the retainer. I would have like to have finished the treatment correctly but since I can no longer choose to straighten one arch only I cannot afford to go through the full treatment nor would I want to. I would recommend but only for minor cases.

  • Madeline says:

    What if I’m out of the country for 3 months during the alignment time? Would they send to Europe or would I have to wear the same aligner for 3 months?

  • Stay says:

    I am over the moon happy with my results. I cannot even believe that I was ready to spend nearly $6K for invisalign. I have straight…and white teeth. And only in 7mos. I HIGHLY recommend them. Read my full review on my blog

  • Jordan Spears says:

    WORST customer service in the entire world. It is really unbelievable how bad they have been for me.

  • Maggie says:

    Worse company ever! Scam! Have $450 of my money, haven’t received any trays and can’t cancel bc now one will assist me or call me back

  • Suzie says:

    I ordered my aligners in June before the price increase. I did not have a problem with the molds, and thought the 3D imaging was pretty cool. I was very skeptical after reading reviews, but put the whole thing on my CC and figured I would dispute the charge if I did not get my aligners.
    I have received all of my aligners on time and I have had pain with one, and someone called me and answered my questions and provided me with a solution.
    I am halfway through my treatment and my teeth look better!

  • Chandra says:

    Don’t commit to this service! I signed the contract, states 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. The company will not follow this!!!!

    Service was great throughout until the end. When it was time for my last set of retainers, I was mailed 2 bottom retainers and no top! When I called customer service, they were very apologetic and stated they’d fix the problem. When I got my new retainers, once again I received 2 bottom retainers and no top! Again, I called and was told they’d send a new impression kit because my teeth have shifted waiting for my retainers!

    I’ve waited for my “retainers or a new impression kit” for well over 10 months along with several calls to Smile Direct! I called wanting my money back because I’m going to my local dentist for help. Smile D. informed me they “are trying to help me” and would refund $100 and send me a new impression kit! That’s the problem…..I have been calling for almost YEAR with no help! Im still waiting for the help you offered 10 months ago!

    I am not one to write review nor give a business a bad review. Do not get these retains through this company! Go to your local dentist!

  • melissa says:

    BEWARE!! I’ve not received a response in months. They will take your money and run once you get the initial set up. Now I’m left in the lurch with no recourse. Check out local colleges for cheap orthodontics. These will result in permanent damage!

  • Marco says:

    I started SDC in September of last year and I’m currently on tray 9 of 16. I’m very happy with my progress so far! I was going to have to pay $8,000 for braces. I would recommend but only for minor cases.

  • Priyanka says:

    I Started SDC in last June, am not satisfied with their treatment plan and my teeth started smelling bad, i dont recommed this at all. it’s better to see dentist if you’ve any teeth issues. am really customer service is too worst.

  • mike says:

    my daughter has been using these trays for six months and has nothing but trouble and disappointment. they hurt her mouth. she went to a dentist and got a second set of them and no improvement and can’t use them. it has been a waste of time and money. she is 19 years old and overcrowding but nothing severe.

  • C Jn says:

    I heard about Smile Direct Club last year and liked the idea, especially since there was a chance we had to move to another city. I told them what my main concern is and that is my front upper teeth touching the lower ones and did the impression. They then came up with an eight-month treatment plan and I started in October. After wearing my last aligner in May, my concern was not addressed like at all so I requested for refinement and they scheduled me for their Smile shop in San Antonio. I met with a certified dental professional and when she saw my teeth and bite she said you have bite problem and remote aligners cannot address your concern. And she continued: Did they not mention this to you? You have cross bite and you need traditional treatment to resolve it. And of course no one told me that. Then she said let me talk to our team and will get back to you in two/three days.

    After two days, they provided another treatment plan!! I chatted with two different dental professionals through their website, and they also stated you have bite issues and we cannot address that! Then I asked why you provided a treatment plan then? And they said remote aligners does not fix bite issues but they do a great job aligning your teeth!! However, my main concern would not resolve by just aligning my teeth. So, I called them and asked for an answer! Seemed like from the beginning everyone at Smile Direct Club knew I have bite issues but they still provided a treatment plan. About a week later, they emailed me that your bite is occlusion class 2 and remote aligners are not an option to treat that but pictures show improvement with your teeth and since you wore all trays, and given you signed the agreement that Smile Direct Club cannot address such bite issues, we only offer you 30% refund. Which yes, I agree my teeth are aligned but my main concern has not been addressed. And they expect their customers to know about such technical terms!

    Yes they are cheaper but for a reason! They deceived me from the beginning and I am very disappointed with them. I do not recommend them as long as they treat their customers like this.

  • Lydia says:

    I never needed braces as a child, but now I am in my early 20s with progressively crowding teeth. I wanted to straighten them out before they got worse. I saw a great orthodontist who was not willing to use Clear Correct for my teeth because some top teeth require braces and rubber bands to pull them down. I didn’t care about having every tooth in the perfect textbook place–I just wanted to fix a couple teeth that were starting to stick out without having to go through 2 years of ugly, painful, and expensive braces. I was elated to find out that Smile Direct was willing to fix the crowding for me in just 6 months and a fraction of the cost! I know my teeth will not be perfect according to all of the orthodontist standards, but the problems I cared most about (teeth starting to stick out) will be fixed through the means I wanted (fast, cheap, and invisible).

  • dana says:

    I just started using mine today. Went to a store for a free assessment, it was professional, painless, and informative. Got my aligners within a couple of weeks. They are uncomfortable today but I expect that since they are moving my teeth. I computer chatted with them about them rubbing my gums and they were very responsive to my concerns and gave reasonable answers about what to do. I have had really good customer service.

  • Armando Hernandez says:

    I’m starting my second month of treatment. My teeth weren’t terribly out of shape. I have a couple of gaps and my front teeth needed a bit of rotation. I can already see my front teeth falling into place. I now it’s early in my 6-month treatment, but I like the progress I’m seeing so far. I could actually feel (with my tongue) the rotation taking place from the first tray I put on.

    Like many of you, I was quoted 5,000+ for Invisalign. The price difference (and results, so far) it’s enormous.


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