We all know the ins and outs of Invisalign- initial radiographs, follow up appointments, impressions, photos, post op instructions, oral health education. This list goes on and on. And because of that, it can be pricey. And as we all know, patients love the cheapest options for their oral health.
In comes Smile Direct Club- an affordable option to Invisalign. Sounds perfect, right? Though it is cheaper and sounds like the dream treatment, it definitely is not.
First, the patient never has to set foot in a dental or orthodontic office. Sounds perfect, right? This can cause MAJOR problems for the patient since they never have to have their periodontal health checked, radiographs exposed and roots evaluated, or decay treated that could worsen with any kind of orthodontic treatment. Instead of going to an office, the patient takes their own photos with their phone and take impressions with a mail in kit. They do not require a bite registration with their evaluation.
Second, it is the same price for everyone. After the impressions and photos are sent to the company, they evaluate if the patient is a candidate for their treatment for a fee of $95. If the patient does qualify for the treatment, is it a flat fee of $150, no matter how many trays they need. Also, if only the maxillary qualify, it is the same price.
Third, occlusion and TMJ issues are not included in the treatment planning. This could cause major problems down the road, and cost a lot more money to fix the problems than the original price that an orthodontist would charge.
And fourth, the company does not directly work with insurance. The patient is responsible for all the upfront costs. Then, they are are to work with their insurance for reimbursement. Since they are a few company and not a typical way for orthodontic treatment, there is no guarantee insurance companies will pay anything for the treatment.
So, if a patient brings up an "teeth straightening procedure that they saw on Pinterest", you'll hopefully know a little bit more about how to educate your patients on this new company.
What are your patients talking to you about? Let us know below!