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Inside Dentistry
February 2022
Volume 18, Issue 2

A Proven Aligner Service for Any Practice

SmileDirectClub continues to innovate through its popular Partner Network

SmileDirectClub created its Partner Network to provide a way for dentists to off er affordable, convenient, premium clear aligner therapy to their patients through a hybrid approach, and now more than 735 dental practices across the country have come aboard. “That is likely just the beginning,” predicts Riddhi Gangolli, BDS, PhD, SmileDirectClub’s senior director of professional education and marketing. “Our partners do not have to choose between offering SmileDirectClub or other aligner solutions,” Gangolli says. “It is simply a matter of integration. Many of these practices use other aligner products. SmileDirectClub is designed to easily fit into your model, regardless of the size of your practice or how many aligner options your practice offers.”

Indeed, the Partner Network includes organizations of all sizes, from small private practices to large dental support organizations (DSOs). Since joining the Partner Network, Smile Brands, a prominent DSO, has had more than 1,000 new patients scheduled for a visit to their practices through its partnership with SmileDirectClub, averaging more than $400 in dental revenue for each visit. “These patients did not fit into the traditional aligner category,” Gangolli says. “If these practices had not offered SmileDirectClub as an option, they would have likely missed out on these patients.”

Chief among the many benefits that SmileDirectClub offers are its vertical integration—everything from manufacturing to financing and customer relationship management is handled in-house—as well as its aligner and treatment planning innovations, such as Comfort Sense™ technology and the SmileOS™ software.

All SmileDirectClub aligners are engineered with Comfort Sense, which features the company’s patented laser technology that precision-cuts aligners for a smoother fit. “We spent approximately 18 months inventing this technology, and it provides a consistently smooth edge that fits comfortably against the patient’s gums,” says John Dargis, vice president of research and product development. “Several of our other smile advancements, such as variable aligner thicknesses designed to help ease patients through treatment, have been focused around patient comfort as well.”

With clear aligners, esthetics are always important, and SmileDirectClub believes that the matte finish on their BPA-free aligners better matches the appearance of natural teeth than the glossy options on the market. “When your patients wear our aligners,” Dargis says, “they do not get any glare or the look of plastic in their mouths—our aligners are discreet.”

SmileOS, SmileDirectClub’s proprietary treatment planning software, provides more accurate and predictable tooth movements and better visualization of patients’ treatments for doctors when compared with other options. “Dentists and patients alike benefit from our SmileOS treatment planning software, enjoying the peace of mind that the treatment plan reflects the projected final outcome of their SmileDirectClub clear aligner therapy,” Gangolli says. “We are so confident about our outcomes that we offer a Lifetime Smile Guarantee.”

The next developments in SmileOS will include the addition of virtual geometry for treating teeth that have not erupted yet, which will further increase SmileDirectClub’s viability for orthodontia’s largest segment—teens. “This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Dargis says. “We are fully committed to material innovation, treatment planning optimization, comfortable treatment solutions, and partnering with doctors to bring this unprecedented hybrid telehealth solution to more people.”

According to Gangolli, beyond the innovations that enhance the patient experience, many members of the Partner Network have seen their orthodontic cases increase overall. “SmileDirectClub’s marketing not only helps bring a more convenient aligner service into practices but also elevates the awareness of oral care and teeth straightening in general, enabling hygienists, assistants, and front desk staff to become more comfortable talking about orthodontics,” she says. “We train offices to understand that assessing the need for orthodontics, whether through SmileDirectClub or a traditional approach, should be a part of all patient evaluations because straighter teeth result in a healthier smile.”

As the aligner market continues to grow by double digits, Gangolli believes that dentists will be able to best serve their patients by offering multiple aligner options. With its recent innovations and more to come in 2022, SmileDirectClub wants to be one of those options in every practice. “The rapid growth of the clear aligner category represents a huge opportunity for everyone in the dental field,” she says. “The beauty of the Partner Network’s hybrid telehealth model is that it makes sharing in category growth an easy and turnkey process. We help practices expand through a new service offering, attracting more patients to offices so dentists can provide care to more people.”


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