E-Commerce Aligners Snubbed by Dentists Due to Associated Risks


Smile Direct Club (SDC) is the market leading firm for e-commerce transparent dental aligners, claiming to correct teeth more quickly and affordably than conventional braces.

However, dental professionals have voiced concerns about consumers being ignorant of the risks associated with using aligners that are not administered by a dentist in-clinic.

“dental professionals have voiced concerns about consumers being ignorant of the risks associated with using SDC aligners “

The generic route followed is where specialists fit braces and aligners following a face to face discussion.

Dentists use methods including X-rays to assess a number of key elements, including the condition of the teeth and gums, the hard and soft tissues within the region, and the ability of the teeth's roots to withstand movement.

The patients’ tooth progression can be tracked at routine appointments post-implementation, where dentists can also identify and treat any issues.

SDC claims to have shaken up the established dentistry industry with its offerings, even though a substitute clear aligner product, Invisalign, is supplied to patients by a large quantity of professionals in clinics.

The expense and extensive treatment period of Invisalign puts off a significant segment of the aligner market. This is where SDC comes in, with consumers raving about affordability and results based off the same product concept.

But many SDC users have reported bad experiences, and dentists have highlighted problems spanning from ill-fitting aligners to irreversible nerve injury, to actual loss of teeth.

Consumers might not realise how much pressure aligners impose on their teeth, according to dentist Dr. Victoria Sampson. There is a real danger of losing teeth if an examination fails to detect tooth decay or gum disease.

UK dentistry organisations claim that DIY tooth moulds and 3D scans that are a undertaken online are not an ideal or safe way to determine if someone is eligible for aligners.

According to the SDC website, consumers are entirely responsible for getting dental check-ups and ensuring they have healthy teeth and gums in the first six months treatment, although they are not required to produce documentation that they have visited a dentist. Their users "have regular virtual check-ins" with UK-registered dental professionals "remotely from beginning to end" but ultimately patients are totally accountable for any injury or impairment.

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