HomePARTNER ARTICLESSmileDirectClub: Revolutionising access to premium oral care

SmileDirectClub: Revolutionising access to premium oral care

Gone are the days of intimidating dentist chairs, paying thousands for braces, and waiting years for a result. With SmileDirectClub, those wanting a discreet and affordable way to straighten their teeth need to look no further.

As a telehealth pioneer, SmileDirectClub created the first direct-to-consumer MedTech platform for teeth straightening and the first end-to-end solution for your smile. 

The brand’s retail experience is super convenient, beginning with an in-person SmileShop appointment, followed by a remote treatment plan overseen by a registered dentist or orthodontist.

How it works?

There are two ways to get started either at a SmileShop or through a dentist directed at-home impression kit.

The first option is by booking a SmileShop appointment. Which is a short 30-minute consultation when a SmileGuide uses a highly accurate optical camera to capture a 3D image of a person’s smile, including their teeth and gumlines.

The second is to head to SmileDirectClub website to order a dentist directed at-home impression kit. This option is great for people who are in regional and rural New Zealand or are more comfortable within their own home.

From the impression or the scan, a  3D image is created and then reviewed by a registered New Zealand dentist or orthodontist to determine if the person is eligible for SmileDirectClub treatment. Once eligible, a custom treatment plan is created using SmileDirectClub’s recently launched SmartSculpt™ technology. This technology carefully plans the coordinated movements of every tooth, for a more precise, treatment plan that safely and efficiently delivers a great smile.

The SmileDirectClub Experience

Vice President of ANZ & Southeast Asia, Jason Coglan, says the reason for having SmileShops is to build brand awareness and give customers the retail experience they enjoy.

“We’ve found benefits from having some presence in retail locations, it gives us great brand awareness.

“Customers can find us easily and feel like the brand is part of something bigger than perhaps going to a dentist, which could be in odd locations, and hard to find.”

While the SmileGuides are listening to the customer’s main concerns, what they’re most interested in is what the customer will gain emotionally from straightening their teeth.

“It’s not just sit down, we’ll scan your teeth and off you go type of thing. We want the experience to be something memorable, and you feel like you’ve been listened to.”

The company recently opened a new SmileShop on Broadway in Newmarket, Auckland. It also has a SmileShop in Riccarton, Christchurch.

Jason Coglan.

Two treatment plan options:

For flexibility and convenience, to suit a person’s specific needs and lifestyle, SmileDirectClub offers two types of aligner treatments. 

  1. Standard clear aligners which are worn for 22 hours per day
  2. Night-time aligners that are worn for 10 hours at night while sleeping

SmileDirectClub has a flat fee of $3,335. Its aligner treatment costs up to 60 percent less than traditional braces which typically cost around $8,750. They also offer a convenient monthly payment option – SmilePay with a $299 deposit then $139 per month for 24 months ($3,635 total) which includes two sets of retainers.  

All of SmileDirect’s aligners are manufactured in the US and made from clear, BPA-free plastic. Comfortable and discreet, the trays are thin, lightweight, and nearly invisible when worn.

SmileDirectClub offers customers a Lifetime Smile Guarantee™ which protects a customers smile for life, complete with a 30-Day Money-Back Promise and free aligner touch-ups during treatment – or even long after it ends.

Treatment process:

A customer’s personalised aligners are sent to them in the post. From here, everything is virtual through SmileCheck.

SmileCheck is a proprietary technology system that connects customers to their prescribing registered New Zealand dentist or orthodontist. Through this system, they have regular check-ins to track their teeth straightening progress.

Coglan says customers can converse in any way that they like.

“We have text, we have email, we have a 24/7 customer care team that you can call and talk to at any point in time as well.

“It’s not just a standard call center. If you’ve got a dental question, you can ask them and they’ll put you through to the team. We want the customer to feel supported through the process.”

Clear aligners & treatment timeline

In the customer’s SmileDirectClub blurple box, they receive all of the clear aligners they will need for their treatment plan.

The clear aligners are made to be worn in a specific sequence prescribed by their treating NZ registered dentist. Each new aligner gradually shifts the teeth, and while every case is unique to each patient, the process usually takes around four to six months to complete.

Customers can keep track of their aligners by logging in to their account on the SmileDirectClub website. By clicking on their dashboard they can see when they are scheduled to change to their next set, which aligner they should be wearing, and how many days and aligners they have left in their treatment plan.

Customer response

Through research, SmileDirectClub found that 55 percent of Kiwis have admitted to neglecting their oral health over the last year. It also found that 51 percent of respondents said that straightening their teeth would give them a confidence boost.

“I think it’s really important now that telehealth and teledentistry as a whole starts to gain some traction, customers are ready for it to be part of their lives.

“We’ve had great feedback around satisfaction, customers getting that smile that they love and feeling super confident as a result,” says Coglan.

With these results, SmileDirectClub has gained more than one and a half million customers worldwide.

Newmarket store.

What’s next?

Looking forward, SmileDirectClub is looking to partner with dentists, so customers can go to a regular dentist and be offered SmileDirectClub treatment.

The company also aims to start pop-up style visits. Using a temporary SmileShop for a couple of days where customers around the country can visit and have a scan.

“We’re just starting to test pop-ups in some markets in Australia, but also around the world. They will come to New Zealand as we get through this year as well.”

Visit SmileDirectClub.co.nz or pop into the new SmileShop in Newmarket, Auckland, to book your free appointment and start your smile journey today.

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