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Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Downfall of Smile Direct Club: Thousands Left With Incomplete Dental Treatments

Smile Direct Club’s recent filing for bankruptcy has stranded countless patients in the midst of their dental treatments, posing a risk of irreversible harm to their dental and bone health. Board-certified orthodontist Dr Guilherme Xavier from Dulwich Dental Office had long predicted such an outcome.

Dental professionals have consistently called for more stringent oversight of these unlicensed, makeshift dental clinics offering economical teeth straightening services. The old adage that if something appears too good to be true, it often is, rings true in this case – a crisis that was bound to happen.

Smile Direct Club did manage to deliver on their promise of affordable teeth straightening to a select group, typically those with minor dental issues and good oral health. Yet, even these patients now find themselves in a tough spot, having paid for services with no avenue for reimbursement or certainty about future orthodontic care.

The dental community isn’t surprised by this development, having sought stricter regulation from the General Dental Council without success. Smile Direct Club had devised various methods to avoid any punitive measures. As is often the case with inexpensive alternatives, numerous patients are now facing potential gum disease, a relapse of their treatment progress, or in the worst cases, tooth loss.

Legal action against Smile Direct Club appears unlikely due to the extensive disclaimers in their initial patient agreements.

Affected patients should first avoid panicking and consult a specialist orthodontist for an assessment and a revised treatment plan. This might involve starting over or adapting the previous treatment.

Depending on the case, either aligners or traditional braces might be recommended. Consulting with a board-certified specialist orthodontist is the best course of action. Dr Xavier is offering legitimate consultations at Dulwich Dental Office, Dental Care Centre, and Camden High Street Dental in London.

Consultation bookings are available at:

Dr Guilherme Xavier is a board-certified specialist orthodontist registered with the General Dental Council and has held a position as an Academic Clinical Lecturer and honorary specialist registrar in Orthodontics at King’s College London.


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