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Teeth Truths: Clear Aligner Trays

Welcome to another episode of the Bryn Cooper Show. Today is going to be a Teeth Truths episode that goes over some marketing claims from other companies. We will talk about what they are marketing and what we like about it and what we don’t and why we recommend what we recommend. 

Listen to the podcast here:

So, let’s go over some of the marketing that’s been out there about a really popular company called Smile Direct Club. There’s been all sorts of controversy in the past and the ADA even put out a statement saying that they did not support the Smile Direct Club. They thought that there were some claims that were made that were negated in the fine print. One of those claims that the ADA mentions is that patients may have recourse if treatment doesn’t go as expected but that in the small print it appears that each customer signs away their rights to have any recourse against the company. Now, the second thing that the ADA points out is that smile direct club claims that their aligners can correct overbite, underbite, crossbite, and other conditions that are a little bit more advanced. Then, in another document, they say that the aligners cannot treat those by condition and can only treat mild-to-moderate tooth alignment. Here is the difference, I think that they are walking a very fine line with marketing versus liability because clear trays with auxiliaries and the proper oversight and treatment planning can actually correct overbites, underbites, and crossbites. But, the clear trays themselves don’t have any magic powers and what I mean by that is it’s the doctor that’s prescribing them and the patient is wearing it.  The “magic” is in how they are programmed but Smile Direct Club does not do attachments or slits in the tray or auxiliaries that would then allow those advanced things to be corrected with their clear trays they sent the patient in the mail. 

So, we have to be careful about these marketing claims because they may not be untrue but they also may not actually tell you what that particular product can do. Smile Direct Club claims that a doctor is overseeing the treatment and that it’s the same level of care as going to your dentist or orthodontist in person. The ADA claims that it is not the same level of care and I would also say it’s not the same level of care. Even if a doctor programs the Clincheck at Smile Direct Club or any “aligner by mail” service, they’ve never seen the patient in person and they don’t monitor how the trays progress while the treatment is going on. Even if a doctor programs the tray it’s not monitored by anyone much less a doctor which is a different level of observation. So, there are concerns about what Smile Direct Club can and cannot do with their aligners. 

About five years ago I said that clear tray companies like Invisalign are going to eventually team up with the type of retailers that match their demographic. This is a case where this company has finally showed it’s true colors. They have teamed up with Walmart and Walmart is known as a high volume low price option that can provide some things that people need. At the same time you may or may not want to get your teeth straightened at Walmart! If what you’re looking for is the lowest cost option possible that has minor oversight by a doctor at the beginning but you don’t have major issues that need attachments, interproximal reduction, and auxiliaries then maybe this product is the right option for you. But you also need to accept any adverse effects that come from this treatment. For example, some people buy their pajamas at Walmart and other people will buy their pajamas at Neiman Marcus. Those pajamas are made for a different type of consumer just like SDC or any other aligner company that does not have doctors on-site is made for a different consumer than an orthodontist at a private practice. Because of this, I actually think it’s a great thing a Smile Direct Club has teamed up with Walmart because I think it shows the type of demographic and the target audience that they are going for and I think it helps the consumer understand what level of care they’re getting. 


So, this leads me into why we do our own clear liners in-house! Because we have done clear trays with other companies in the past we definitely think that you should get your clear trays done with us. This is because there’s a quick response time when you scan in-house and then we can make your trays in-house and the turnaround time is just a few days. In addition, I am programming it each and every time so we can go for one goal and then another instead of having to try and get everything into one set of trays. Our in-house made trays are also cost-effective because we have now cut out the middleman. We no longer have anyone creating the product and packaging for us because we do all the manufacturing and packaging right here at Cooper Orthodontics! We have more control over the lab set up because I don’t have a lab technician that is offsite that’s not trained by me setting up the teeth. I have trained my team members and I personally do every single lab set up at this point so if there’s a specific issue like you don’t like the color of a tooth- we can fix that quickly even if that means we need a new tray. The reason it’s a higher quality product is not necessarily because of the patents and the labels that are attached to it but it’s because of the customer care that we take with each aligner here at Cooper Orthodontics. One of our goals is to help create a product that can cost effectively deliver you a high-quality product and help reach your goals with your teeth. 

The really cool thing is we are now offering a product that is a limited treatment taking place within about six months. Because we don’t have anyone else that’s making the trays and we cut out the middleman it’s one of the best prices in town. We’re offering this limited treatment that can go up to six months and it is just under $3,000. Because of this, we hope that you’ll come and do a consultation and see if that’s the right option for you. We’d love to monitor your treatment and we would love to put attachments on your teeth. We want to help you get the smile you’ve always wanted!

Contact us today!

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