Dental startup SmileDirectClub provides custom-made invisible aligners to clients in a new convenient way that has customers saving money. The cutting-edge company started by childhood friends Alex Fenkell and Jordan Katzman, takes teeth moldings from clients to make the custom aligners using dental 3D printing technology.
Using a home dental impression kit, clients simply make their own impressions rather than making an appointment at a dental clinic. Although, clients can have a dental professional do it for them. Customers then send the impressions into SmileDirectClub along with digitally uploaded photos.
In no time, the company's dental professional technicians can build a perfect invisible aligner for the client. Customers can then have their custom dental aligner sent back to them through the post. Dental business partners Fenkell and Katzman met as teenagers, and like others that have joined the dental industry, experienced the discomforts of wearing braces.
It was through this inconvenient experience that the two were set on the path to work in the dental industry. It also made the business partners look for ways to eliminate the same discomforts they experienced as teens for others.
“Later, as business partners we reflected back on that early incident, and figured there had to be a better way to go about this,” Fenkell explained to Digital Trends. The business partners explored invisible aligners for dental patients and the use of 3D printing.
The two also looked into “telehealth”. The new industry is the meeting point of both health care and telecommunications, and is rapidly changing the world today.
The dental experts hoped to use the two ideas to create a better solution for patients that would take away the discomforts of braces and other dental corrective implements.
Despite 3D printing and telehealth becoming such important sectors, the cost of both have prohibited many from further exploration.
“This is an industry that’s been so expensive for so long,” Fenkell said. “There are 50 million people in the United States who are looking for a better smile. That was the thesis behind this work and why we got into the industry.”
SmileDirectClub offers clients 3D-printed invisible aligners. The aligners are made from BPA-free plastics and give wears oral comfort they would otherwise not enjoy. SmileDirectClub has created the world’s “first digital brand for your smile.”
The company's website offers customers the chance to play 70% less than other invisible aligner brands. Pricing is rather straightforward with impressions costing $95. Treatments will set customers back $1,500 or $99 per month; while the retainer will cost $99.
For less than $1,700, customers will receive custom-made invisible aligners. According to Colgate's website, invisible aligners can cost anywhere between $3,500 and $8,000.
Not only is SmileDirectClub creating high-quality invisible aligners for a fraction of the price, they are revolutionizing the industry. With invisible aligners now being produced for less by the company, it may be just a matter of time until other companies do the same. That is definitely something worth smiling about.