Updated on February 9, 2024
7 min read

What SmileDirectClub’s Closure Means for Its Customers

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Smile Direct Club (SDC) is ceasing its global operations “effective immediately.”1 How it affects you as a customer will depend on which stage of the treatment process you’re in.

Most SDC customers are concerned with their orders, the treatment process, and leftover payments. We’ll answer as many of these questions below and guide your next steps.

The company’s decision to shut down applies to all of its business locations, including:

If you have any concerns, it’s best that you refer to information specific to your location. We’ll continue to update this article as we get more details.

In the meantime, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on SDC:

What Will Happen to My Smile Direct Club Treatment?

Smile Direct Club has discontinued its clear aligner treatment. Here’s what existing and new customers can expect:

For New SmileDirectClub Customers

  • If you recently purchased SDC’s aligners, at-home impression kit, or other products on their website—and they haven’t been shipped out—you will no longer receive them.
  • If you took dental impressions and sent them back for evaluation by SmileDirectClub’s dental team, you will no longer receive a personalized treatment plan.
  • If you got an in-person teeth scan at a nearby SmileShop and decided to continue with SDC’s treatment, you will not get your custom treatment plan via email.
  • If you received all your SmileDirectClub aligners and haven’t started the treatment, do not wear them. Talk to a local dentist or orthodontist so they can tell you what to do.

For Existing SmileDirectClub Customers

If you received your prescribed aligners and have already started the treatment, you can:

  • Continue wearing your current tray as SmileDirectClub recommends (22 hours daily for daytime aligners and 10 continuous hours daily for nighttime aligners).
  • Keep wearing it until you get advice from a dental professional on the next steps.

The SmileDirectClub app is no longer working. You won’t be able to send progress photos, receive notifications when it’s time to switch aligners or get support from the dental team.

Continuing Smile Direct’s treatment without any guidance can ruin your smile. It can cause receding gums and bone loss, and worsen a patient’s oral condition.

If you want to straighten your teeth safely, you should consult a dentist or orthodontist.

Your treating doctor can help you explore other orthodontic treatments such as traditional braces and in-office aligners like Invisalign, and advise which ones work best for your condition.

Straighten your teeth at a fraction of the cost. Learn about clear aligners.

Should I Continue Paying for My SmilePay Plan?

If you opted for a SmilePay plan and have any questions about your monthly payments, you should contact Healthcare Finance Direct (HFD) through the following channels:

HFD is the provider of SmilePay. It’s a payment plan that divides SmileDirectClub’s treatment costs into affordable monthly payments so you don’t have to pay the full cost upfront.

SmileDirectClub’s website originally states that SmilePay customers are “expected to continue to make all monthly payments” until they’ve fully paid for their treatment.2,3

But as of this writing, the website says that you should get in touch with HFD for “questions regarding your financial obligations.”1

How Can I Get A Refund from Smile Direct Club?

Customers who are fully paid but haven’t received their orders need to wait for further instructions on getting SmileDirectClub refunds.

This includes any teeth impression kits, clear aligner kits, aftercare retainers, teeth whiteners, and dental care products you may have purchased from SDC’s website.

If you have a dental plan that provides coverage for clear aligners, a health savings account (HSA), or a flexible spendings account (FSA), SmileDirectClub won’t be able to assist you with reimbursement claims. 

As a result, you may not get reimbursed by your insurance company or your HSA/FSA account.

According to SmileDirectClub, the bankruptcy process will determine your next steps and provide “additional measures customers can take.”1

Find the best at-home clear aligners for mild misalignment. See our expert recommendations.

How Do I Cancel My Orders from Smile Direct Club?

All orders that weren’t shipped out at the time of Smile Direct’s shutdown have already been canceled.1 This means you will no longer receive your orders.

This includes orders that have been paid for, either partially (SmilePay payment plan) or in full.

What Should I Do After Completing My SDC Treatment?

Your satisfaction with Smile Direct Club’s clear aligner treatment will guide your next steps:

For Satisfied Customers

If you have completed the treatment and are satisfied with the results, you can use the last aligner tray as a temporary retainer. From here, you have two options:

  1. Order custom retainers online
  2. Get custom-fit retainers at the dentist’s office

Remember to follow the recommended wear time for your custom-fit retainers. It prevents teeth from shifting black and allows you to keep a straight smile.

You also need to care for your retainers and replace them every 6 months. This will help you maintain good oral hygiene and dental health.

For Unsatisfied Customers

If you finished Smile Direct’s treatment but aren’t satisfied with the results, keep using your last tray as a retainer and ask a dental professional about your next steps.

Customers who have completed the treatment cannot purchase SmileDirectClub retainers or get free touchup aligners (refinements) under the lifetime guarantee.

According to SmileDirectClub’s Customer FAQ, “the Lifetime Smile Guarantee no longer exists” effective immediately.

Straighten your teeth conveniently at home. Compare the best clear aligner brands.

Can I Still Buy Smile Direct’s Clear Aligners?

No. You can no longer purchase clear aligners on the Smile Direct Club website. If you want a convenient but affordable way to straighten teeth, consider other at-home clear aligners.

You also can’t buy other products that SDC used to offer on their website. This includes teeth impression kits, post-treatment retainers, teeth whitening, and other dental accessories.

It seems that you can still purchase its teeth whiteners and dental care products on SmileDirectClub’s Amazon Store and Walmart. However, their stocks are limited.

It’s also possible that any products sold online are no longer covered by the company’s guarantees such as returns and refunds.

Where Can I Book A Smile Shop Appointment?

SmileDirectClub stopped offering this service on its website. You can’t schedule a SmileShop appointment or get a free in-person teeth scan at a nearby SmileShop.

The company is expected to close its SmileShops in the following locations:

How Do I Reach Smile Direct’s Customer Service?

Smile Direct Club’s customer care support is no longer available. You can’t reach them via phone, email, mail, chat, or an online contact form. 

If you need help or support, here are a few things that you can do:

  • Talk to a dental professional for any concern about your teeth or the treatment
  • Contact HFD for any questions regarding the SmilePay payment plan
  • Check the Smile Direct Club website for updates on the refund process

Are There Alternatives to Smile Direct Club?

Yes. There are other teeth straightening treatments besides SmileDirectClub that can correct teeth alignment issues (malocclusions) and some bite problems.

You can choose from traditional orthodontic treatments. Some companies also offer in-office, hybrid, and at-home clear aligner kits. Below are examples of each:

Traditional Orthodontic Treatments

Clear Aligner Treatments

Why Did Smile Direct Club Shut Down?

Smile Direct Club closed its global operations on December 2023 after failing to secure a deal that would allow its founders to buy the company out of bankruptcy.4

Before SmileDirectClub announced the shutdown, its founders had been seeking bidders for the publicly traded enterprise over the past two months:5

SmileDirectClub will seek to recapitalize through a transaction where the company’s founders have committed to invest at least $20 million to bolster the company’s balance sheet and to protect its near- and long-term financial health.

The company attorney, Spencer Williams, said that SmileDirectClub was unable to find lenders that could provide the adequate funding needed to keep the business open.

Prospect creditors either lost interest and dropped out or had unworkable bids.

Smile Direct Club Bankruptcy

SmileDirectClub filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 2023. It was nearly $900 million in debt at the time of the filing.4

About $138 million of the total debt is to a credit facility under the HPS Corporate Lending Fund. Because of this, HPS has a claim to SmileDirectClub’s receivables and intellectual property.4

What’s Next?

Discover the best fit for your smile.

Explore top at-home clear aligner brands.

Last updated on February 9, 2024
5 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 9, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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