The problem? Tate visited her dentist for traditional teeth-straightening options and the quote came in at more than $5,000! “I thought that was way too expensive,” Tate says. She decided not to move forward.
So when Tate saw an ad for SmileDirectClub on Facebook a few months later, it felt like kismet. “I didn’t know if I was going to be eligible, but it was really affordable and the advertisement said I would get my money for the impression kit back if I wasn’t a candidate. It seemed so low-risk that I decided to give it a try. The kit was easy to use, and the directions were clear. It only took about 30 minutes to complete, and then I dropped it in the mail to send it back.”
SmileDirectClub lead dentist, Jeffrey Sulitzer, DMD explains that the at-home kit includes two impression trays, eight containers of putty (four base putties and four catalyst putties), a pair of gloves, a smile stretcher, and a helpful instructional guide. “Customers mix one container of the base putty with one container of the catalyst putty for 30 seconds until completely blended. Then, the blended putty is rolled into a cylindrical shape and placed into one of the impression trays. The tray is placed into the customer’s mouth, either on the top or the bottom, and pressed firmly in place for 3.5 minutes, capturing the teeth and gum line, until the putty hardens and a complete impression is captured. The customer repeats this again on the same arch, and then twice more on the other arch until two impressions of the top teeth and two impressions of the bottom teeth have been captured. Once complete, customers seal their completed impressions in a pre-paid shipping box and drop it in the mail to return to SmileDirectClub for review. SmileDirectClub’s affiliated doctors use these impressions to build each customer’s custom smile plan.”
After the returned impressions are evaluated, all customers receive a custom smile plan designed by a dental professional licensed in their state. “The smile plan is delivered digitally and shows the customer how their teeth will move month by month throughout their treatment. Through the plan, the customer is able to see how their teeth are expected to look at the completion of their aligner treatment,” explains Dr. Sulitzer.
“The 3-D rendering of my smile plan was really impressive, and the price was also right,” says Tate. “It was less than half the price of traditional options, and I loved that I could pay month to month. I was also impressed that I never had to see someone face to face. That was a huge help, because I have a busy work schedule. I have friends who also got their teeth straightened and had great results as well, but they had to go in for an appointment every few weeks. That would have been hard on my schedule, so I’m grateful for SmileDirectClub‘s ability to do everything virtually.”
“SmileDirectClub aligners are great for correcting mild-to-moderate teeth spacing and crowding issues,” says Dr. Sulitzer. “The aligners gently move teeth as prescribed by the affiliated state-licensed orthodontist or general dentist with the goal of increasing arch space without affecting the patient’s bite. They gradually move teeth without requiring attachments or buttons, which helps the aligners remain discreet in customers’ mouths, and allows for better oral hygiene.”
Tate’s treatment plan lasted 10 months. “I tend to be someone who starts a lot of things but doesn’t finish them all, so some of my friends were concerned that I wouldn’t be able to stick with it for 10 months. But I proved them wrong! I’m pretty goal-oriented, so having a picture of what my teeth were going to look like in 10 months inspired me to keep at it. It was also inspiring to look back every month and see the visible difference in how far my smile had come. When I would start a new set, my teeth would hurt for about two days while my teeth were moving, but that was about it. I have some really funny stories about forgetting my aligner case, leaving the aligners in a napkin, them getting thrown out on accident, and me rescuing them. But overall, the treatment flew by, and I couldn’t believe it had been 10 months.”
Not even a year after she started her treatment, Tate’s smile is straighter and has even given her a leg up at work. “I’m much more confident when I’m public speaking. I’m thankful for SmileDirectClub and how they are using innovative technology to disrupt the industry, which makes beautiful smiles more accessible to everyone.”