Smile Arts of NY

Comparing Invisalign vs. Smile Direct Club

Which option is better for Teeth straightening?

Many people dream of correcting their misaligned teeth by having them straightened.  Smile Direct Club offers a do-it-yourself option for orthodontics for less cost than what a dentist would charge for Invisalign.  So what are the benefits for each? And which option is better for you?  We’ll discuss the pros and cons for each when comparing Invisalign with Smile Direct Club.

1. Interproximal Reduction (IPR)

Invisalign Severe teeth crowding
Correcting Severe Crowding with Invisalign

Interproximal Reduction or IPR, simply means the crowded teeth are polished on their sides to make a bit of room for them to shift.  This is normally done by the dentist at routine follow-up visits during the Invisalign treatment.  Which is typically every 6-8 weeks.   

There’s no dentist oversight with Smile Direct Club, thus IPR does not happen.  Unfortunately, this causes most cases of crowding to fail with Smile Direct Club.

2. Attachments for Aligners

Invisalign Attachments
Teeth with attachments (top) Wearing Invisalign aligners with attachments (bottom)

Attachments are tooth colored filling material that a dentist with place on front and/or back of teeth during the Invisalign treatment.  Each attachment is placed in a precise position on the tooth to create a controlled movement to move the tooth to its new position.  These attachments help move stubborn teeth that are hard to shift.  The Invisalign aligners can hold on to teeth better with these attachments.  

Without these attachments the teeth may not move into the desired position.  The Smile Direct Club is limited in the cases that will have the desired outcome since attachments are not being used. 

3. Dental X-rays

Bone loss
X-ray shows severe bone loss on lower incisors. A contraindication for orthodontic movements.

Prior to starting treatment with Invisalign a dentist will evaluate the patient fully to make sure the patient’s teeth are healthy enough to undergo treatment.  The dentist will consult the patient’s x-rays to check for cavities, periodontal disease, oral hygiene, the health of bone and oral health in general. 

Smile Direct club involves no dental supervision.  Patients with SDC aligners may attempt to shift teeth that are periodontally involved and unable to safely handle the pressure of being rotated.  

We’ve also seen patients who have active tooth cavities proceed with the Smile Direct Club.  Performing procedures to remove cavities by placing dental fillings during orthodontic treatment can jeopardize the outcome of treatment since trays are made to preciselly fit the patient’s teeth. This really doesn’t serve the patient because their oral health is being jeopardized. 

4. Complexity of Cases Treated

Invisalign for crowded teeth
Invisalign for crowded teeth. This case would not work too well with SDC

As discussed prior SDC doesn’t involve IPR, attachments, or a dentist’s supervision.  For these reasons the cases Smile Direct Club can be used successfully to treat very minor cases.  Possibly a limited case of too much spacing can be handled by SDC’s aligners.  For most patients going with the SDC route will cause frustration and wasted time.  

5. Supervision by a Licensed Dentist or Orthodontist

There are no actual dental visits with Smile Direct Club.  While there’s Teledentistry online with SDC, the dentist is unable to touch and feel, perform IPR or add attachments. 

With Invisalign your dentist will follow-up every 4-8 weeks depending on the specific situation.  Your dentist will perform IPR, check that the attachments are still there, and make sure the trays are fitting correctly on your teeth.

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About Dr. Peter Mann

Dr. Peter Mann

Having completed NYU School of Dentistry and a General Residency program in Kings County hospital.  Dr. Peter Mann has trained with some of the top world renowned dentists.  Being recognized in 2009 with a fellowship award from the (ICOI) International Congress of Oral Implantology and in 2012 with a fellowship award from the (AGD) Academy of General Dentistry.   

In 2009 Dr. Peter Mann decided it was time to achieve his vision by opening his dental office to provide outstanding dental services to NYC residents.  Smile Arts of NY is located  in the heart of Manhattan on E. 40th between Madison and Park ave.

Originally born in Ukraine, when iron curtain of communism collapsed his family took the opportunity to pursue the American dream by moving to New York. Dr. Peter Mann has lived in New York ever since, for over 33 years. His goal is to provide excellent dental experience for his fellow New Yorkers.

Dr. Mann lives minutes from the office. Patients undergoing treatment have his cell phone number and can always get in touch with any questions or concerns. It’s not unusual to see Dr. Mann arriving after hours to help a patient with an emergency.