On average, SmileDirectClub treatment takes 4 to 6 months to straighten teeth.
The main factor affecting treatment time is your level of malocclusion (teeth misalignment).
SmileDirectClub is mainly recommended for minor to moderate crowding or spacing issues.
Issues SmileDirectClub treatment is less suited for include:
These issues should be addressed through alternative treatment options like Invisalign or braces.
The other factor affecting treatment time is user compliance.
As with all at-home brands, SmileDirectClub aligners are removable. This means treatment time depends to a great extent on the wearer.
SmileDirectClub recommends wearing the aligners for 22 hours a day. Anything less will extend treatment time.
Naturally, if you damage or lose the aligners, that will extend treatment time as you wait for replacements.
An additional factor to consider with SmileDirectClub treatment time is which aligners you choose. The most popular option is the original aligners, which are worn 22 hours a day.
SmileDirectClub also offers Nighttime aligners. These aligners are worn for 10 continuous hours per night while sleeping. The other difference to the original aligners is that treatment time takes 10 months instead of 6.
Because scientific evidence for the safety and efficacy of nighttime aligners is currently lacking, NewMouth recommends the original aligners.
There are two ways to start treatment:
NewMouth recommends booking an appointment at a SmileShop if possible. This is because your teeth can be digitally scanned by a trained professional.
SmileShops are currently available in 33 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington DC.
Before starting SmileDirectClub treatment, you’ll take a 30-second smile assessment on their website. This will determine if you’re a suitable candidate.
If you’re approved, SmileDirect will email you with instructions on how to get started. You’ll either visit a SmileShop or order an at-home impression kit.
After your bite is examined by a licensed dentist or orthodontist, a series of aligners will be created for you.
Each set of aligners is designed according to where your teeth are projected to be in the course of treatment.
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The aligners will then be mailed to your door within 4 to 5 weeks.
Once you receive your aligners in the mail, you’ll wear each set for the recommended amount of time. Every week, you’ll change them out for the next set.
Your treatment is monitored remotely via Smile Check-ins, SmileDirect’s telehealth platform.
Using their platform, you can contact SmileDirect’s dental team (overseen by your prescribing doctor) at any time.
Treatment generally lasts no more than 6 months but can be longer in some cases. SmileDirectClub states many customers start seeing results in as little as 2 months. Overall treatment duration will depend on your personalized treatment plan.
When treatment is complete, your final set of aligners will double as retainers.
You’ll wear them 24 hours a day for the next two weeks. After that point, you’ll wear them nightly while you sleep.
This is to prevent your teeth from reverting to their prior positions.
If you're not satisfied with your treatment, SmileDirect will make refinements through additional aligners.
These aligners, which are free of charge, will correct any issues to ensure your teeth align properly.
Both treatment options, SmileShop and the at-home kit, cost $59.
Pre-insurance, the actual aligners cost $1,950. This is significantly less expensive than Invisalign or traditional braces, which each can cost up to $8,000.
Insurance plans which cover orthodontic treatment may be able to reduce the cost of the aligners by up to 50%.
You can also pay through HSA, FSA, and monthly installments.
For more information about SDC aligners, read our full review here.
Dudney, Thomas E. “Invisalign – How it Works & What it Costs?” www.yourdentistryguide.com.
LaPonsie, Maryalene. “The Average Cost of Braces and How to Save.” money.usnews.com, 2021.
SmileDirectClub. “FAQ.” smiledirectclub.com.
SmileDirectClub. “How it Works.” smiledirectclub.com.
SmileDirectClub. “Pricing.” smiledirectclub.com.
SmileDirectClub “Treatment Process.” smiledirectclub.com.
Weir, T. “Clear aligners in orthodontic treatment.” Australian dental journal vol. 62 Suppl 1 (2017).