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!!).
Click here to get started with $100 off your purchase of invisible aligners!
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.
Hello! I have been trying to find anyone who has gone through the entire smile direct invisalign process. I have reached the end of my treatment, and I was told to wear my last set of aligners for two weeks and then my retainers for two weeks, They told me my retainers keep my teeth in the same exact position as the last set of aligners, so it was okay to just wear the last set of aligners for a month, and switch to my retainers just at night after that. The issue I'm having, is I can have my aligners out for just 4-5 hours and there is that dreaded pressure when I put them back in, so I've been afraid to take them out for all day and put aligners in only at night. I've been wearing this last set for two months now because of it. I'm just really afraid that if I only wear the retainers at night, the pressure will get worse and worse each passing day, like my teeth will shift back more each day. I finally reached out through the live chat with smile direct, and they told me that I should have stopped wearing them everyday as soon as that month was up, and only wore my retainers at night right away regardless, and that I need to start doing that now, but that if I have issues then I need to reach back out. Did you have any issues similar to this? I am just really scared I might cause damage to my mouth/teeth, and I really want to avoid that. I'm just trying to see if anyone had the pressure issue as well but they were just fine wearing only the retainers anyways.
Hey Alyciea! I know that awhile back they switched their recommended retainer wear time from 6 months around the clock (22 hours on and 2 hours off, just like aligners) to only 6 weeks full time like that, and then switch to night wear only after that. Personally (and I am not a doctor/dentist/orthodontist), I would definitely wear the retainers (or last aligners, or whatever you currently have right now) for longer than their recommended time. I tried to leave mine out for a few extended hours at a time back in the early days when I was just finishing up with my aligners and moving to retainer wear and they would hurt SO BADLY when I had to put the retainers back in at night. I figured it would be easier for me to just keep the retainers on for a longer period of time before switching to wearing them at night only. I believe I did do around the 6 months of wearing them full time (which wound up being "most of the time" - I would not be as strict on myself if I was going out to dinner with friends or forgot to put them in after lunch and didn't put them back on until after dinner). By the end of 6 months I switched to night time only and it worked for me.
My own personal opinion - your teeth are probably benefiting more from you wearing your retainers longer because the teeth should have more time to "set" into their places and won't "shift" around as much throughout the day if you're wearing retainers. Do what you feel is right, and if you're looking for a second opinion it's always a good idea to consult with your regular dentist on what they think might be best too. I hope this helps a bit, and let me know if you have any other questions!
Hiya. Just wondering if SDC do one arch?
Hey Divya, I'm not sure they do only one arch anymore. I believe they try to treat both because once you change one arch it kind of affects the other one, if that makes any sense.
Try sending their online chat a message on their website though to see if they'll do it on a case-by-case basis!
Can't help feeling like your hard selling sdc tbh. Periodically throwing in a mix of minor "issues" to save face. It's ok if you got a pay off or free braces, but just keep it 100. Thx
Hey there - never intentionally tried to "hard sell" SDC, just really liked the outcome. And before they reimbursed me for the price of the aligners, I paid for them in full with no expectation to get anything in return just like everyone else. I actually wrote my first review post before they knew I existed: https://citrusanddelicious.com/smile-direct-club-invisible-aligner-review/. There wasn't a lot of other information out on the internet when they were first starting (back in 2016) and I wanted to use my website to share information as it was happening to me.
I hope you don't think I was making up all the parts about sore teeth and cut up gums or how when I went to the Smile Shop in NYC they told me since I was late to my appointment they might not be able to scan me that day even though I traveled an hour to get there. Unfortunately, I'm just a regular person like everyone else who happens to have one of their blog posts show up on the first page of Google (which is presumably how you found this "falsified review").
When someone clicks my referral link and orders aligners, it's the same referral payout that anyone else would get for "referring a friend" with their referral program. You get a $100 Amazon gift card when someone clicks your link and actually orders the aligners.
If you'd like to actually see me "hard selling" SDC, you can check out the two posts they did pay me to write, which have a bunch of required language in them: https://citrusanddelicious.com/how-to-get-straighter-smile-without-going-completely-broke/ and https://citrusanddelicious.com/smiledirectclub-experience-awesome-progress/. This post you commented on wasn't sponsored and gets a lot more traffic than those, presumably because I "keep it 100" and that's what people want to hear. People aren't stupid and know when they're reading a sponsored post vs. something real.
LMK if you have any other actual questions I can help with 🙂
HI Ashley! This is a great review - but did SDC change your bite? I've been reading mixed reviews on how it changes your bite but for the worse.
Yea, I was wondering the same thing as well. How does it affect the overbite? I am planning on getting it this year.
Hey, Samira! I didn't have an overbite to start but I have heard of some people in the Smile Direct Club Facebook group have their overbites improve with treatment. If you aren't already in that group, I'd say go check out some of the posts there about overbites. Hope this helps!
Hi Jess! Thank you so much for being such a dedicated blogger! This has seriously been the most helpful information I’ve found during some pretty intense googling sessions, lol. I have two questions for you that fall into the “omg please tell me I’m not alone in this” category—if you’have the bandwidth:
1. Did you find that moving from twice daily brushing to brushing your teeth 4 times per day left your tongue and the insides of your cheeks feeling a little raw? I ended up switching to a sensitive toothpaste and the softest possible brush head after my buccal membrane kinda sloughed off and my tongue looked smooth instead of bumpy. I wanna say that was day 6... It’s fine now but I would love reassurance that this isn’t *that weird*, ya know?
2. Can we talk about your experience with compliance? Did you ever just have a day where it was closer to 17 or 18 hours in the aligners instead of 22? Do you think it would be worse to pop the aligners back in for a few hours with only a quick rinse and brushing them as soon as you get the chance or leaving them out for those few hours? What did you do during cake tastings and such for your wedding planning? Or at holiday parties? (Why did I start my treatment in November??? I have regrets! lol) Thanks so much for your time! Have a fabulous Friday!
Hi, Laura! Sorry for the delay in reply. Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂 I try to provide good info for people who might be looking for it. As for your questions -
1. I believe I brushed 3 times a day instead of 4 which was only one additional from my usual morning and night brush sessions. I did switch to super super soft toothbrush bristles because I am by nature a really rough brusher. My dentist said to just not brush as hard, but to me that means my teeth aren't getting as clean (which I know is ridiculous). Your mouth gets used to your new routine, eventually 🙂 and you can definitely make good habits out of it like learning to floss at least once a day (like I do now and totally didn't do before I got aligners from SDC.)
2. For the most part, I would try really hard to be on top of keeping them in for as long as possible, but life does happen and holiday parties and bagels at work and a coffee date with a friend...you get my drift. I would try to keep them in for as long as I could but if I knew I kept them out for longer than I should have, I just tacked on an extra day or so to the wear time of that particular tray to "make up for it". It seemed to work out fine and I had no issues 🙂
I hope this all helps a bit and let me know if you have any other questions!
Hi - how long do you have to wear the retainer for? Forever? Or just a year or two?
Hey, Nat! SmileDirectClub recommends every night for as long as you want to retain your straight smile. I'm alright with just nightly wear for forever so I pop my retainers in right before bed and take them out before breakfast and soak them in a cup with Retainer Brite for the day and it's been working well for me. Hope this helps 🙂
I'm so happy I found this! I was worried because I'm on my last month of my refinement plan and one of my teeth next to my front 2 teeth still isn't straightening out. It actually looks very similar to yours! I'm glad to know they'll do a second round if need be. If you don't mind me asking, why did you have to do two refinement plans? Just one stubborn tooth? Yours look great btw!
Hi Ashley! That's exactly what happened. I did two refinements because at the end of the first that one stubborn tooth still wasn't getting into line with the rest. I will say that the fit of the aligners was much more precise when I went to the SmileShop to get a scan as opposed to my first refinement aligners that came from impressions I took. If you have the option to go get a scan, go get one! It's so easy and the fit is unmatched in comparison to the aligners I got from doing impressions. My retainer fits really well from the scan too. Hope this helps! Hang in there, you're almost at the finish line!!