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What is the process of smile direct?

Straightening your teeth with clear aligners is a popular alternative to traditional braces. Aligners like those from SmileDirectClub are transparent and removable, making them comfortable and discreet. The process for straightening your teeth with SmileDirectClub is straightforward, though it does require dedication on your part. By following the program step-by-step, you can achieve the beautiful, straight smile you’ve always wanted.

Consultation and Impressions

The first step in the SmileDirectClub process is to get a consultation and impressions kit. You can request a free consultation online or at a SmileShop retail location. During your consultation, a smile guide will assess if you are a good candidate for clear aligners. They will look at things like the type of dental issues you want to correct and the complexity involved. Clear aligners are best suited for minor to moderate alignment issues such as crooked teeth or gaps.

If you qualify for clear aligners, the next step is taking your dental impressions. This involves biting into putty to get an imprint of your teeth. The smile guide will ship your impressions off to a dental professional affiliated with SmileDirectClub. Using the impressions, they will create a customized treatment plan just for your teeth.

Aligners and Check-Ins

Once your aligners are made, they will be shipped directly to your door. Most SmileDirectClub plans involve 10 sets of aligners shipped over the course of your treatment. You’ll start with the first set, wearing them for approximately two weeks before switching to the next set in the series. As you progress through each new set, your teeth will gradually shift into alignment.

In addition to the aligners, you will also receive BrightOn teeth whitening solution from SmileDirectClub. Keeping your aligners and teeth fresh is important for proper results. Aligners should be worn for at least 22 hours per day, only removing them for eating, drinking, and oral care. You will also need to attend periodic virtual check-ins with your affiliated dentist or orthodontist. They will monitor your progress through smile scans you upload online.

Treatment Length and Process

The total SmileDirectClub treatment process takes an average of 4 to 9 months for most people. However, treatment length can vary depending on the extent of alignment needed. Minor fixes may take only a few months, while more complex cases could take closer to a year of wear. Here is an overview of the basic SmileDirectClub aligner treatment process:

Stage Process Duration
Consultation Online or in-person smile assessment 15-30 minutes
Impressions Take dental impressions at home or SmileShop 10 minutes
Custom plan Licensed dentist/orthodontist reviews impressions and creates custom treatment plan 1-2 weeks
Aligners shipped Full set of custom aligners shipped directly to your door Varies
Treatment Wear aligners 22+ hours/day, changing to new set every 2 weeks 4-9 months average treatment
Check-ins Virtual check-ins every 90 days with your affiliated dentist/orthodontist 5-15 minutes per check-in

As shown in the table, the start of treatment involves getting your impressions and custom treatment plan created. Aligners are shipped in one batch but worn in succession every two weeks. Remote check-ins allow your dental professional to monitor progress and address any issues. Overall treatment represents an easy, convenient process compared to traditional orthodontics.

Cost and Financing

The cost of SmileDirectClub treatment covers the custom aligners, whitening solution, and licensed dental professional oversight. Their clear aligner therapy costs $1,950 total when paid upfront. Alternatively, they offer a $250 down payment and $85 per month for 24 months. The exact cost varies slightly depending on your specific treatment needs.

SmileDirectClub also provides financing options through partners like Affirm. Approved customers can finance their treatment with low monthly payments. They accept FSA and HSA accounts to help offset the costs as well. Here is an overview of SmileDirectClub payment options:

Payment type Details
Upfront $1,950 one-time payment
Monthly plan $250 down, $85 per month over 24 months ($2,440 total)
Affirm financing 0% APR with monthly payments as low as $38/month with qualifying credit
FSA/HSA Use tax-free savings accounts to pay

Using monthly payments, financing, or tax-advantaged accounts can help make SmileDirectClub aligners more affordable. Their overall cost is already typically 60% less than traditional braces.

Pros and Cons

Like any orthodontic option, SmileDirectClub aligners have both advantages and disadvantages to consider:


  • Less expensive than braces/Invisalign
  • Convenient home impressions and aligner delivery
  • Transparent and removable for discretion
  • Shorter average treatment length
  • Financing available
  • Reduced in-office visits


  • Not suitable for complex cases
  • You do some impressions yourself
  • Requires discipline to wear aligners 22 hours/day
  • Still some in-office check-ins required
  • Results may relapse if retainers not worn

SmileDirectClub offers clear advantages in cost, convenience, and discretion compared to traditional orthodontics. However, aligners require diligent wear and are not effective for every case. Checking with a dental professional first can help determine if clear aligners are right for your needs.

Am I a Candidate?

So how do you know if SmileDirectClub treatment is right for you? In general, aligners work best for minor to moderate alignment issues. Good candidate cases include:

  • Gapped teeth
  • Crowded or crooked teeth
  • Overbites/underbites
  • Crossbites

More complex cases involving severely crooked teeth, rotated teeth, or jaw alignment may require traditional orthodontics instead. During your free SmileDirectClub consultation, a smile guide will assess your case to determine if aligners are appropriate. If not, they may recommend seeing an orthodontist for braces or other alternatives.

Getting Started

Starting your SmileDirectClub aligner treatment is simple. First, request a free consultation online or schedule an appointment at a retail SmileShop. Consultations are quick and painless, involving just a smile assessment. If deemed a good candidate, you can then have dental impressions taken at home or the SmileShop.

After your impressions get sent to a dental pro, you will receive your full set of custom aligners by mail in 1-2 weeks. Treatment involves changing aligners every two weeks, following dental check-ins, and keeping your teeth and aligners clean. By sticking to the program, you’ll be on your way to a stunning new smile.


SmileDirectClub offers a convenient and affordable way to straighten your teeth from the comfort of your own home. Their clear aligners are an appealing alternative to old-fashioned braces. With benefits like transparency, reduced cost, payment plans, and fast results, SmileDirectClub makes it easy to achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of.