Clear aligner tooth straightening therapy by SmileDirectClub reaches UK
Clear aligner tooth straightening by tele-dentistry innovator SmileDirectClub officially opens for business today in the UK. The US company will open nine SmileShops in London, Manchester, and Birmingham, with the first opening in Hammersmith, Oxford Circus and Tower Bridge in London, and Crossway in Birmingham.
SmileDirectClub is also working in partnership with Well Pharmacy, the UK’s third-largest pharmacy chain, who will pilot the opening of four additional SmileShops within its locations in Cambridge, Newcastle, Cardiff, and Leeds.
Since launching in 2014, SmileDirectClub has become one of the fastest-growing health technology companies in the US, with over 650,000 customers.
In 2019 it increases access to its network of over 240 affiliated dentists and orthodontists to reach new customers in Canada, Australia, and now the UK.
"We believe everyone deserves a smile they love," says co-founder Alex Fenkell. "Our mission is to help people unleash the power of their smile and positively impact their place in the world. The confidence that comes from having a great smile is transformative to every aspect of your life.
“Through our ground-breaking tele-dentistry platform, we’re giving more people access to affordable smile care. The time is right to expand our mission to the UK to give more Britons the confidence that comes from a straighter, brighter smile."
Kay Oswald, President of International at SmileDirectClub, agreed: “With the UK known globally for its forward-thinking approach to technology, innovation, and healthcare, we are committed to investing into the UK market and have ambitious and exciting plans for our future here.”
London’s Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal said: “We’re delighted SmileDirectClub has chosen London for its first locations in the UK. With access to international markets, growth capital and world-class talent, London is a great place to grow and scale a business. This is further evidence that London is open to talent and investment from the US.”
John Nuttall, CEO at Well Pharmacy, added: “Well Pharmacy is delighted to partner with SmileDirectClub. We are committed to giving our customers choice and access to safe and effective healthcare solutions that they can trust.
“There is a gap in the market for more affordable, convenient, and innovative teeth straightening solutions, and we’re excited to pilot this service in four key retail locations.”
In a statement, SmileDirectClub claims its tele-dentistry platform: “Connects customers with an affiliated network of UK-based registered dentists or orthodontists who direct all aspects of clinical care. They customise each patient’s treatment plan and manage their care from initial diagnosis to the conclusion of treatment.”
Standards of care
Visitors to the SmileDirectClub website will be offered the option to schedule a free visit to a SmileShop in their area to have their smile captured using 3D photography, or they can order an impression kit, prescribed by a UK-registered dentist or orthodontist.
A highly accurate 3D optical camera captures 6,000 photographs per second to create an interactive 3D image of each customer’s teeth and gum lines, which, SmileDirectClub says:
“Enables the network of registered dentists and orthodontists to determine if a customer is eligible for treatment – and allows the lab to create a personalised treatment plan that is evaluated and prescribed by a registered UK dentist or orthodontist.
“The ‘new smile’ plan corresponds with the standards of care established by the GDC and the UK’s dental professional community. Registered dentists and orthodontists only prescribe clear aligner therapy to customers with mild to moderate crowding or spacing of the teeth.”
All customers are encouraged to maintain regular dental check-ups before, during and after their treatment plan. However, this is not due to the treatment process, which is monitored remotely every 90 days.
The statement concludes: “SmileDirectClub clear aligners are doctor-prescribed and custom-made from BPA-free plastic, thermoformed onto personalised 3D-printed mouth moulds.
“Each customer’s clear aligner treatment plan is shipped in an ‘all-in-one’ box, directly to the customer’s door, and has an average treatment length of six months, although individual results may vary.”
For more information, go to www.SmileDirectClub.co.uk.