SmileDirectClub Treatment Timeline

erica medical reviewer
Medically Reviewed
by Dr. Erica Anand
Pierce Willans
Written by
Pierce Willans
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Evidence Based
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7 sources cited
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How Long is SmileDirectClub Treatment?

On average, SmileDirectClub treatment takes 4 to 6 months to straighten teeth. 

This is on par for most at-home clear aligners (Byte is slightly faster). It’s significantly faster than both Invisalign and braces, which take 6 to 24 months and 16 to 24 months, respectively. 

What Determines Treatment Time? 

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:

  • Underbites
  • Overbites
  • Overjets
  • Open bites
  • More severe crowding or spacing issues (greater than 8mm)7

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.

Nighttime Aligners

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.

SmileDirectClub Treatment Timeline & Schedule

There are two ways to start treatment:

  1. Book an appointment at a SmileShop (physical studio) with a licensed dentist or orthodontist.
  2. Order an at-home impression kit.

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 Treatment

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.

During Treatment 

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.

After Treatment

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.

How Much Do SDC Aligners Cost? 

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.

Key Takeaways

  • On average, SmileDirectClub treatment takes 4 to 6 months to straighten teeth. 
  • It’s significantly faster than Invisalign and braces.
  • SmileDirectClub is mainly suited for minor to moderate crowding or spacing issues.
  • SmileDirectClub recommends wearing the aligners for 22 hours a day.
  • NewMouth recommends SmileDirectClub original aligners.
  • Treatment is monitored remotely.
  • SmileDirectClub guarantees treatment satisfaction.
  • The aligners cost $1,950.
  • Various insurance plans, payment plans, and HSA and FSA are accepted.

Related Pages:

Resources

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).

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