The Importance of Genuine Orthodontic Care: A Reflection on SmileDirect Club’s Closure

As we reflect on the recent closure of SmileDirect Club, it becomes evident that the promise of quick fixes may not always lead to long-term success and patient satisfaction. Our team of Dental Specialists at Morris Park Dental, a multi-specialty dental practice committed to providing comprehensive care to the Bronx community, believe this serves as a poignant reminder of the inherent risks associated with DIY orthodontics or any unsupervised dental or medical treatment.

SmileDirect Club, once hailed as a disruptor in the orthodontic industry, was recently forced to close following a series of patient lawsuits, as well as questions regarding patient safety. In the rapidly evolving landscape of dental care, innovative solutions in dental technology resulted in the rise of direct-to-consumer orthodontic services like SmileDirect Club, which aimed to revolutionize traditional approaches to teeth straightening. The company’s model of remote teeth straightening, where patients could bypass regular dental visits and receive clear aligners through mail-order kits, seemed appealing and convenient, however, multiple problems arose concerning standard of care as well as patient outcomes.

The absence of in-person consultations with qualified dental professionals meant that underlying dental issues often went undetected. Orthodontic treatment is not one-size-fits-all, and a personalized approach is crucial to achieving optimal results. SmileDirect Club’s remote model lacked the necessary oversight and customization integral to successful orthodontic care.

In addition, the lack of direct supervision by dental professionals raised concerns about patient safety as unforeseen complications such as misalignment, bite problems, and damage to existing dental work went unnoticed without the expertise of a trained orthodontist. In worst case scenarios, this resulted in patients who were left debilitated and with greater oral health problems as a result of the treatment they received with SmileDirect Club.

At Morris Park Dental, we emphasize the importance of genuine orthodontic care provided by qualified dental professionals. Unlike remote services, our Orthodontist, Cosmetic Dentists and other Dental Specialists conduct a thorough assessment for each of our patients to identify underlying dental issues, ensuring that patients are qualified candidates for orthodontic treatment, before receiving a tailored treatment plan that aligns with their unique needs and goals. Regular in-person check-ups throughout their care allow us to monitor progress, make necessary adjustments, and address any concerns promptly, fostering a relationship of trust and confidence between the patient and their orthodontic team.

Choosing to receive your orthodontic treatment with an Orthodontist ensures improved treatment outcomes, as well as improved oral health, as improved teeth alignment promotes other benefits such as improved hygiene access, reducing risk of periodontal disease, as well as potential improvements in TMJ dysfunction or Sleep Apnea which can be exacerbated by misaligned teeth or lack of ideal jaw relationship. Orthodontic treatment is an investment in one’s oral health, and the guidance of a qualified professional is invaluable in achieving ideal and lasting results.

The closure of SmileDirect Club serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of choosing genuine orthodontic care. Patients seeking orthodontic treatment should prioritize their oral health and well-being over convenience and choose a qualified Orthodontist for their treatment. Morris Park Dental remains committed to providing comprehensive, personalized orthodontic care that goes beyond just straightening teeth, as we prioritize our patient’s health and well being, in addition to their smiles!