Smile Direct Club vs Invisalign: Which is Better?
For some time now, Invisalign has been the gold standard when it comes to straightening teeth with clear aligner trays. But these days Smile Direct Club keeps popping up here and there. Is it the same as Invisalign? If so, which is better? And which is best for you? Here’s what you need to know:
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that’s used by millions of people to straighten their teeth and correct a range of dental issues, including overbites, underbites, crowding, and spacing. The process involves first a trip to the dentist or orthodontist for an examination and x-rays in order to determine whether Invisalign is the best way to improve your smile. If you are a good candidate, your dental practitioner will create an impression of your teeth, which will be used to make a 3D model and design your treatment plan.
The Invisalign treatment plan consists of a set of clear aligner trays, each of which is worn at least 22 hours a day for two weeks and then swapped out for the next one. The trays are customized for you and designed to gently move your teeth into alignment over time, ultimately enhancing your smile and optimizing your oral health.
After the lab creates your custom aligner trays, we’ll call you in for a visit so we can make sure the first tray fits comfortably and make any adjustments that may be needed. Dr. Hage will provide you with a set of instructions for moving forward as well as a schedule for exactly when to swap one tray for the next. We’ll also take this time to answer all your questions and schedule your next followup visit. In order to be effective, the trays must be worn at least 22 hours a day, taken off only to eat, brush, and floss.
Depending on your particular situation, we may want to see you in our office every so often during the course of treatment to ensure that everything is progressing on schedule.
What is Smile Direct Club?
Smile Direct Club is, essentially, DIY teeth straightening with the help of clear aligner trays and some (distant) oversight by an affiliate. It works similar to Invisalign, but instead of coming into your dentist’s office, you order a kit, which you use to make an impression of your own teeth at home. You’ll send the impression to the company by mail, and they’ll make the 3D images of your teeth and create a treatment plan designed to straighten your teeth. This treatment plan is approved by an affiliated licensed dentist or orthodontist, and the trays are then sent to you by mail. Like with Invisalign, the trays must be worn 22 hours a day. Oversight is done virtually, by phone, chat, email, or video.
Why we believe Invisalign is the better choice
Millions of people use clear aligner trays to straighten their teeth. While Invisalign is the highest rated and most popular option, there are others that work effectively. Smile Direct Club is well-known and well-liked among those who need minor cosmetic improvements but don’t want to visit a dentist or orthodontist. But the DIY approach is not the most effective way to straighten your teeth.
During the global pandemic, when most people were wary of going anywhere, including to dentist appointments, many people found the DIY approach a welcome one. And for those who remain unable to leave their homes, or who do not live near a reputable dentist or orthodontist, Smile Direct may be a better choice than doing nothing at all.
But at University Dental, we stand strong in our conviction that virtual visits cannot compare to in-person office visits. When it comes to oral health, we believe it’s always better to attend in-person visits with a professional dental practitioner who is trained to perform thorough evaluations and to notice nuances that may not be visible during virtual visits or even noticeable by the patient.
Of course, virtual dentist visits are certainly better than avoiding the dentist altogether, so if Smile Direct is your only option for whatever reason, we encourage you to do whatever you can to tend to your smile and optimize your oral health.
Thinking about Invisalign? University Dental Can Help.
At University Dental in San Diego, we’re committed to providing all our patients with first-class dental care in a friendly, comfortable, and caring environment. For more information about Invisalign, orthodontics, or any of our other dental services, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hage, please give us a call at (619) 582-4224 today.