I was doing some research on Smile Direct Club, which advertises itself as an inexpensive Invisalign alternative. I started by looking up reviews, but all the review sites seemed to be tied to the company’s sales. Interestingly, all the reviews were positive. Then, I came across this article by the New York Times that indicated the Smile Direct Club was squelching negative reviews.
Based on the article, it appears that Smile Direct Club keeps a close eye on their reviews. When a negative one pops up, they contact the customer and offer them a pro-rated refund in exchange for signing a contract. Part of that agreement entails removing any current negative reviews they have up as well as, “he/she will not make, publish, or communicate any statements or opinions that would disparage, create a negative impression of, or in any way be harmful to the business or business reputation of SDC or its affiliates or their respective employees, officers, directors, products, or services.”
That will make it very hard for potential customers to get a realistic impression of the experience actual patients have had with them. I decided to do a quick search on the Better Business Bureau, where it is harder to manipulate information. In the last three years, for my city alone, Smile Direct Club had 2,650 complaints. Compare that with Invisalign where I could not find any complaints for my area.
So, what is a patient to do if they want invisible braces? You have a couple of options. First, you can completely ignore this and get Smile Direct Club anyway. If it works out for you, you will have saved some money. Bear in mind that you will not be under a dentist’s care throughout the procedure so if something does go wrong, you are on your own. Your second option is to go ahead and get Invisalign. If cost is an issue, I would look specifically for a dentist who advertises himself as an affordable dentist on his website, but also offers Invisalign. They will be more likely to work with you on payment options.
I hope this helps protect patients who are hoping to have a good experience getting their teeth straight.
This blog is brought to you by Decatur, AL Dentists Drs. Drake and Wallace.