It has been over a year since I initially ordered my impression kit and began the process with Smile Direct Club. As always, consult with your dentist before beginning any kind of treatment & in full disclosure, I am not a dentist, nor do I pretend to be one. I’m just a satisfied customer with much straighter teeth a year after beginning my treatment with SDC!
So, I was originally given a 6 month treatment plan, as referenced in my (really lengthy and detailed) Smile Direct Club Invisible Aligner Review. On June 25th, 2016 I purchased my aligners and waited almost a month to receive them! This company will test your patience, that is for sure.
Between aligners 4 and 5 I had a procedure called IPR done that SDC no longer offers with their treatment plans. (IPR is when a dentist shaves down some of the enamel in between your teeth to make room for movement. It is popular with other invisible aligner treatments provided by orthodontists.)
Below is a graphic of my progress from start to finish! Who would have thought that within a year I would have (nearly perfect) straight teeth?! Every time I look in the mirror, I am amazed that this is my smile.
You might be wondering what turned a 6 month treatment plan time into a yearlong treatment. Here’s the scoop.
Things that extended my treatment time:
Refinements (two times)
- First refinement was 2 months extra, second refinement was 1 month extra
- Waiting on impression kit review & plan creation for 1st refinement
- Getting approval on refinements via email communication for 2nd refinement
- Waiting for new sets of refinement aligners to get shipped to my house
If SDC deems your teeth don’t match up with the projected outcome, they will approve you for new aligners (refinements) FREE OF CHARGE. $0 EXTRA. Included in your original purchase price.
I love that they offer this service, and will do what they can to make sure you are happy with your investment. Could my one lateral incisor have used just a little more push to be in line with the rest? Maybe. But I’m more than happy with my progress over the past year and can’t wait to retain these results with my retainers.
As with any orthodontic treatment, I’m sure there are benefits and drawbacks from this type of treatment. I hate making dentist appointments, and find that they always throw my schedule out of whack. Having aligners shipped directly to me cut out the waiting time and frustration that comes with having to physically be present in an ortho’s office. I also love that it’s an affordable option for people/families that can’t afford $5,000+ for braces per person. I wrote two posts on behalf of SDC last year, How to Get Straighter Teeth without Going Completely Broke and a post on my awesome results at the time.
At the time of this posting, I see that SDC is obviously a growing company and seems they can’t always handle the influx of new customers as well as they would like. This usually results in late shipments and overall delays in responding to emails/messages/etc. I never had any late shipments, but as I referenced in the later dates of my Smile Direct Club Invisible Aligner Review, I had a bit of rough time trying to get approved for a second refinement after my first refinement failed to get the job done. Things got ironed out quickly, but it threw me for a loop that I wasn’t prepared for.
If you’re looking for bi-weekly updates (give or take) of how my treatment went, you can head on over to my first review post of SDC. It goes into (possibly too much) detail of the pros/cons/overall thoughts on life with aligners.
If you’re waiting on your aligners in excited anticipation, make sure you check out what’s in my aligner to-go bag that I take with me everywhere so I can keep these pearly whites, well, pearly white.
Overall, would I recommend Smile Direct Club to friends/family/strangers? Absolutely. If their business model appeals to you and you’d prefer to save money and skip the in-office appointments, you have nothing to lose by ordering an impression kit from their website using my referral link (thank you!!).
In January 2018 I added an "old school" wire Hawley retainer to my teeth straightening arsenal. Check out my most recent post on how I ordered one from a lab online in a similar way to the SDC impression process.
Feel free to drop me a line in the comments if you have any questions whatsoever that weren’t answered in this post or any of my previous Smile Direct Club collection of posts. I’m also on Twitter and Instagram, if those are more your style and you want to connect.