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Is SmileDirectClub A Scam? FAQ & Reviews From Real Users

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SmileDirectClub was founded in 2014 with the aim of helping people to straighten their teeth and have more beautiful smiles. Since then, it’s become a very popular company, with over 1 million customers and even going public on the NASDAQ. So is it worth it? I dug into the company and tried them out to answer that very question. Here I’ll answer the most common questions about SmileDirectClub, talk about my own experience, and finally comment on whether I recommend them or not. If you just want to hear the cliff notes, SmileDirectClub is definitely not a scam, and it works for the majority of people, including myself, who tried it. There’s just several things you should consider (see below) before starting.

How much does SmileDirectClub cost?

At the time of writing, if you want to pay for everything upfront, it’ll come to $1,895 USD. Otherwise, it should cost $250 down + $85/month over 24 months. You should check with your insurance to see if they’ll cover any of this cost (it varies between insurers).

There are no discount codes or coupons available for SmileDirectClub to the best of my knowledge.

What are my tips for using SmileDirectClub? What was my experience like?

There are a few things to take note of with this product, based on my research and own experience. Your experience may differ:

Week 1 

  • It can be a bit difficult to get your aligners on for the first time, especially the ones for your bottom teeth. I recommend putting them on at night time right before you go to sleep, rather than any time before you’re about to eat.
  • The aligners stick to your gums and teeth pretty good, so it can be hard to get them off, just like it’s hard to get them on. They give you a tool for that but it’s still a bit of a challenge for the first time.
  • You’ll want to take the aligners out whenever you eat or drink.
  • It also gets easier to put your aligners in and take them out after you’ve done it once.
  • Once you’ve had the aligners in for a little bit, they didn’t hurt for me, though they just stuck to my lip for a bit. Fine overall.

Week 2

  • The aligners felt much tighter around my teeth by now.
  • Take the aligners out from the side of your mouth, and use the tool.

Week 3

  • By now I was totally used to the aligners, and often forgot I even had them in. I had to remind myself to even take them off before eating!
  • There was slight progress, though not too noticeable yet.

Week 4

  • I definitely know that my teeth are moving and am happy with it so far.

Month 2 and onwards

  • One of the trays I tried (week 11) cut into my gums a little bit. Otherwise, no issues and I was totally used to it. By day 90 you take several photos and a dental professional at SmileDirectClub will take a look at them to make sure there are no issues (if there are no issues, things will go on as usual).

Final result

  • Much, much better and I’m happy with how it turned out. I may upload photos of my before/after progress later. 🙂

Should you use the at-home kit or go into a SmileDirectClub location?

You have two options for getting started with SmileDirectClub: go to one of their locations to have your teeth looked at, or have them send you an at-home kit (“Impression Kit”) you can use to capture your impressions yourself. I personally recommend the at-home kit. It’s only $49 USD and has overnight shipping, and has pre-paid shipping included so it’s easy to send back after doing your impressions.

Will SmileDirectClub fix an overbite or an underbite?

No. SmileDirectClub is a teeth straightener, nothing else. While we’re on this topic, it’s worth mentioning that a handful of people had issues where they developed an overbite or underbite as a result of SmileDirectClub, when they didn’t have any issues before.

What about teeth whitening?

SmileDirectClub comes with a whitening tool, though you can’t use anything that’ll stain your teeth within 24 hours after using it (that means coffee).

Should I be under the supervision of a dentist while using SmileDirectClub?

That is definitely recommended, especially if you start to feel some pain while you’re on it.

Does SmileDirectClub have good customer service?

You’ll get conflicting reports on this, but for me, yes – SmileDirectClub was always extremely responsive and friendly, and you can easily reach your local one at any time.

What competitors are there to SmileDirectClub?

Invisalign is definitely the biggest one and that’s a well-established monster of a company that’s been around for a long time. SmileDirectClub, by comparison, is the new kid on the block. However, it’s easy to see the benefits SmileDirectClub has over Invisalign: the treatment is cheaper (Invisalign costs between $3,000 and $8,000), it can be quicker (SmileDirectClub is done in as little as 6 months – Invisalign takes an average of 12 to 18 months), and with SmileDirectClub you can order online and take your own molds with their at-home kit, which is convenient and appealing in a time when people are used to being able to do everything from home.

Does SmileDirectClub give refunds?

Yes. SmileDirectClub offers refunds every step of the way, and I’ve been able to confirm that people who wanted a refund have gotten in. You can get a refund for their $49 at-home impression kit if it’s determined that SmileDirectClub won’t be a good fit for you, you can get a refund for any aligner if you return it within 30 days of it being delivered, and even at the end of the treatment you can get a full refund if it’s determined that you haven’t gotten satisfactory results.

Is there a SmileDirectClub near me?

Quite possibly – just go to Google Maps and search “Smile Direct Club”. All their locations are listed on Google Maps. But if there isn’t one near you, you can still order the at-home kit and get started with it yourself without ever having to walk into a location.

Can you trust the reviews on SmileDirectClub.com?

You may have seen the page on the SmileDirectClub.com website here full of thousands of glowing, verified reviews. I don’t doubt that these are genuine and that many people, like myself, have gotten a great result from SmileDirectClub. However, there’s a curious lack of any negative reviews whatsoever on SmileDirectClub.com, and if you look at other review pages like this one on consumeraffairs.com you’ll see mostly all negative reviews. So know that there are people on both sides of the spectrum! Most people clearly like SmileDirectClub, but not everyone gets a good result from it.

Are there horror stories about SmileDirectClub? What do I have to watch out for?

I don’t know if you can call them horror stories per se, but there are a number of negative reviews for SmileDirectClub that primarily complain about 1 thing: the pain. Personally, I did not have any issues with pain when using SmileDirectClub, and I believe (please comment below if you disagree!) that any pain you experience with SmileDirectClub would only be similar to what you’d get with braces. Your teeth are moving, after all.

What’s my overall verdict on SmileDirectClub?

I like it and can recommend it, but it’s definitely not a perfect experience for everyone. It seems to me that the vast majority of people who had a bad experience with SmileDirectClub had very bad teeth to begin with and that’s why they ran into issues. You want to make sure you’re healthy prior to aligning teeth! If you have tooth decay before starting with SmileDirectClub, it could end badly for you. Gum disease, infections etc. are also a problem. So I strongly recommend seeing your dentist for a check-up before starting. If your teeth are in reasonable condition, then SmileDirectClub should work for you.

Karen Green

Based in Wisconsin USA, I am a stay-at-home mother of 2 beautiful children and help contributors on OutwitTrade with spelling, proofreading and fact-checking, as well as reviewing various health and fitness products.
Karen Green

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