Straightening Teeth By Mail: Not a Good Idea

SmileDirectClub™, the company that markets online dental aligners to straighten teeth, is under fire, and we’re not at all surprised.

According to one of our trusted online dental sources, nine congressmen called on the FDA to investigate SmileDirectClub. The American Dental Association (ADA) already has several regulatory actions against the company, saying that SmileDirectClub is circumventing FDA rules which require dentist-issued prescriptions and that patient self-reporting doesn’t meet proper standards of dental care. SmileDirectClub reportedly faces nearly 1,800 complaints with the Better Business Bureau for issues such as poorly-fitting or constructed aligners, long waits for refunds and unresponsive and incompetent customer service.

Patients who are enticed by the price tag must consider the long-term ramifications of “do-it-yourself” teeth straightening directed by non-dentists. The company reportedly makes customers sign nondisclosure agreements if they demand their money back when the aligners don’t work as promised.

At the Pennsylvania Center for Dental Implants and Periodontics, we’re especially concerned since in the presence of non-diagnosed periodontal disease the patient can become significantly worse if not treated prior to any form of braces being applied. Individuals with non-diagnosed periodontal disease may experience severe gum issues such as greater tooth mobility, gum recession or even additional bone loss around their teeth. These individuals should NOT be contemplating straightening their teeth without first seeing a dental professional.

If your periodontist can get your periodontal disease under control, he or she will give you the thumbs up to proceed with orthodontic treatment. You can guarantee that your orthodontist and periodontist will work closely together while you are in treatment in order to give you the best long-term results.