- Published: Thursday, 01 August 2019 07:39
- Written by News Editor
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USA teledentistry giant SmileDirectClub has opened for business in Britain to bring ‘affordable and accessible’ clear aligner therapy to the UK. It 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 says it has pioneered a unique teledentistry platform to connect customers with an affiliated network of UK-based registered dentists or orthodontists, who direct all aspects of clinical care using SmileDirectClub’s platform. These licensed dentists and orthodontists customise each patient’s treatment plan and manage their patients’ care from initial diagnosis through the conclusion of treatment, monitoring care along the way with remote check-ins every 90 days to allow patients to avoid the hassle of scheduling frequent visits to a doctor’s ‘office’.
The clear aligners are ‘doctor-prescribed’ and custom-made from BPA-free plastic thermoformed onto personalised 3D-printed mouth molds, powered by HP industrial 3D printers. Each customer’s clear aligner treatment plan is shipped in an "all in one" box directly to the customer’s door. They say that the therapy costs up to 60% less than traditional braces, with an average treatment length of six months3, saving time and money for customers throughout the UK.
Customers can start their journey with a free visit to a SmileShop in their area to have 3D photographs captured of their smile, or they can order an impression kit, prescribed by a UK registered dentist or orthodontist. The treating dentist or orthodontist will create the custom treatment plan and prescribe custom-made, clear aligners, which are then shipped directly to the customer. SmileDirectClub offers two options for payment – a single payment of £1499, or 12 payments of £120 per month with a deposit of £199, which includes two additional sets of retainers valued at £70 per set.
They report: “Since launching in 2014, SmileDirectClub has enabled over 650,000 customers to get a smile they love and has seen an up take in its customers visiting their dentists more regularly to take better care of their teeth and to maintain their improved smile. In 2019, SmileDirectClub expanded its reach, bringing access to its network of over 240 affiliated dentists and orthodontists to customers in Canada, Australia, and now the UK.”
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."
GDPUK News editor writes: “On the face of it this new venture raises regulatory questions that may be of interest to the GDC and CQC, as well as the evidence base of the therapy. The press release issued by SmileDirectClub does not fully address these concerns. UK based dentists and orthodontists may also be concerned as their long term complex and expensive training and research carried out, will be bypassed.”
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