With SmileDirectClub, Dentist Able to Give Her Patients “Celebrity” Smiles
Cosmetic dentist Catrise Austin, DDS, rose to fame in New York thanks to her working with celebrities like Cardi B, DJ Khaled, and Anthony Anderson. But it's her passion for treating the average patient that's fueling her latest partnership.
"I'm now spreading my time between New York City, Detroit, and Flint, Michigan, and I'm happy about that, because in Michigan I see a big need for oral health and straighter, whiter smiles," says Austin, who started VIP Smiles in 1998. "Michigan can use some ‘TLC' when it comes to dental access, and I've welcomed in SmileDirectClub to increase that access."
With SmileDirectClub, Austin says, she can help more patients reach their smile goals in an affordable, practical manner. "Not everyone has the financial means to do a smile makeover with veneers, so when my patients reach out to me via my website (vipsmiles.com), I have them upload their photos, and I offer a consultation-virtually or in the office-and then present them with various options to improve the appearance of their smile. My patients appreciate that SmileDirectClub is an affordable, accessible way to get that confident, beautiful smile."
Austin, who has written several consumer books and appeared on NBC's The Today Show, ABC, and TMZ, says her own personal experience with braces is a main reason she became a dentist in the first place.
"Growing up, my teeth were flared out, had multiple gaps, and I didn't feel confident about myself because of it. I hid my smile from the other kids," she explains. "Then when I got to high school, my mom worked and sacrificed so I could get braces. And when those braces came off, I felt like a million bucks! My entire confidence and the way people responded to me-I felt like the most beautiful girl in the school. And that's what led me to a career in dentistry."
Though she was in her teens when she got braces, Austin reminds patients that SmileDirectClub is a convenient and comfortable clear aligner option at any age. "I want more adults to know that this is something they can do no matter how old they are. I also stress the fact that this treatment is sometimes important for oral health, in terms of repositioning the teeth for cleaning and proper occlusion," she says.
Austin also notes how easy it is to work with SmileDirectClub, saying, "they give you all the tools you need to provide the services to screen for proper candidates." When she learned that offering SmileDirectClub could help people in, for instance, the communities of Detroit and other underserved areas attain a straight, bright smile at an affordable price, she knew it was the right opportunity, she says. "For a patient to pay $89 a month for a couple years and be able to afford it, I feel like I have the best kept secret! I really enjoy being able to offer this service to patients."
Catrise Austin, DDS
New York, New York, and Detroit and Flint, Michigan