Last month, SmileDirectClub made an announcement that they’re closing their business. Not only have they voided their lifetime guarantee, but they’ll no longer be servicing their customers. Here’s the kicker, though. Even though they won’t be helping patients, if YOU are on a payment plan, they expect you to keep paying. Good luck if you want a refund, because they filed for bankruptcy.
What Went Wrong With SmileDirectClub?
You may be wondering what happened. After all, they were cheaper than Invisalign and had good press. Their demise started in June of 2023. Previous to that, SmileDirectClub would squelch negative reviews by only offering a refund if patients would remove their negative reviews as well as sign a non-disclosure agreement. In June, a court ordered them to cease that practice. This court decision also released about 17,000 customers from the non-disclosure agreement and they were free to let people know about their negative experiences. By September they filed for bankruptcy. Unable to find someone to buy the business they had no choice left but to close.
So, what are those abandoned customers supposed to do? SmileDirect is telling them to see a dentist, which might be the first sensible thing they’ve done in a while. My concern is that patients, already having spent their money, will be tempted to go with another online service. The problem with that is they will have the same problems because patient treatment is not overseen by a dentist.
The human body is fascinating. However, it is also unpredictable. Sometimes, though the software plans out the perfect treatment plan for a patient, their body decides not to follow along with the plan and adjustments need to be made. If you are not under the care of a dentist, not only will you have no one to help you with the needed adjustments, but you may not even recognize there needs to be a change until it is very obvious, which is often too late to make simple changes.
If you’re stuck and don’t know what to do about the rest of your treatment, don’t feel embarrassed about seeing a dentist. They are more likely to feel compassion for your situation than anything else.
This blog is brought to you by Kalamazoo Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.