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Inside Dentistry
July 2022
Volume 18, Issue 7

Offering the Most Comprehensive Treatment

SmileDirectClub’s Partner Network makes clear aligners more accessible

Tais Trevelin, DMD

Tais Trevelin, DMD, took a winding road to practice ownership, so when she and co-owner Alexander Rahimdel, DMD, opened Invictus Modern Dentistry in Carlsbad, California, she wanted it to be unique. "Even before owning a business, I had a vision of how I wanted to take care of my patients in a comprehensive way, including everything possible involving oral health," Trevelin says. "I provide patients with an enjoyable experience, so going to the dental office is not a chore. It may sound crazy, but I want my patients to actually look forward to going to the dentist."

Invictus features a sugar-free coffee bar, a refrigerator that is fully stocked with nonalcoholic beverages, a station with hair care and facial products, and more. "I even have razors in case someone wants to shave," Trevelin says. In addition to creating a custom playlist of soothing songs that play in all of the practice's rooms, she invested in a machine that generates pleasant smells throughout the office, and every patient receives a warm towel with essential oils at the end of his or her visit. "I want to create a spa-like feeling," she says. "My plan for the future is to actually have a spa within the dental office. In that manner, when patients come in for restorative treatment, they can also have a massage, facial treatments, and more. I want them to associate our office with a calm environment and a unique experience."

Like her vision for her practice, Trevelin's own experience has been unique as well. After graduating from dental school in Brazil 13 years ago, she practiced for 3 years there before moving to the United States in 2012. She eventually enrolled at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and graduated in 2020. "I had a lot of experience already, so I was able to do things that most students cannot do, including a lot of implant dentistry," she says.

Following graduation, Trevelin's passion for oral surgery led her to accept a position at Spokane County Detention Services in Spokane, Washington, where she estimates that she was performing more than 40 extractions per day on inmates. "I really enjoyed working there," she says. During that time, she also worked for a private practice in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and due to contractual obligations, she continued to work at both places for the first 6 months after opening Invictus. "My friend from dental school was ready to purchase a practice, and I was not quite ready to open one on my own yet, so he suggested a partnership," she says. "Every week, I was working 3 days in Idaho, 1 day in Washington, and 2 days in California." Currently, while she and Rahimdel build their patient base, she still works as an associate at another practice, but this one is much closer. "We are still building our practice, but we are making great progress," she says.

Considering Trevelin's professional trajectory, it should be no surprise that she wants to treat patients in a specific way at her own practice; however, that can be difficult due to financial factors. Therefore, when a few patients inquired about SmileDirectClub for minor to moderate crowding or spacing, Trevelin was intrigued and decided to contact the company to learn about their Partner Network. "Most of my patients care a lot about esthetics, and many have worn braces in the past, but without a retainer, their teeth move slightly over time," she says. "A few of these patients were unwilling to pay the prices for other clear aligner systems, which was understandable considering that their treatments would be so minor. SmileDirectClub turned out to be the perfect way to help them."

The SmileDirectClub Partner Network opens practices to the revenue-growing benefits of offering SmileDirectClub aligners to patients who present with mild to moderate malocclusion. The process starts with one short in-office visit to acquire an intraoral scan or to make conventional impressions, and then a state-licensed SmileDirectClub-affiliated dentist reviews the data to assess the patient's candidacy for clear aligners, approves the patient, and prescribes the treatment. Custom aligners are fabricated and shipped directly to the patient, and SmileDirectClub's telehealth platform keeps the treating doctor connected with the patient to monitor his or her progress from start to finish with regular, virtual Smile Check-ins. "Patients love that the price is less than half of what many other clear aligner options charge," Trevelin says. "And when they accept treatment, it helps me provide better care because teeth that are correctly aligned in the mouth improve oral hygiene and are easier to work on. I can provide comprehensive treatment less invasively."

The process is easy for Partner Network dentists. SmileDirectClub's affiliated network of state-licensed dentists and orthodontists handle all of the monitoring during the treatment. "That is my favorite part," Trevelin says. "I do not have much of a background in orthodontics, so when I have used other aligner services in the past, I have encountered challenges in certain cases when the treatments do not go as planned. With the SmileDirectClub Partner Network, this is a nonissue because the treatment is monitored by an experienced teledentist, and SmileDirectClub handles all of the administrative services, such as payments. They enable me to help my patients without adding to my responsibilities."

The treatments have gone so well and the overall experience has been so positive that Trevelin recommended the SmileDirectClub Partner Network to the owner of the other practice where she is an associate. "I told him that there is no reason not to be a part of this," she says. "It is only beneficial. It will help you provide more treatment to current patients, and it will also bring you new patients. You cannot go wrong with it." As Trevelin works to build her own practice to fulfill her ambitious goals, the SmileDirectClub Partner Network is proving to be a key part of that process. "Everybody is happy," she says. "It is going very well."

Key Points
SmileDirectClub’s hybrid aligner model uses teledentistry to minimize chair time and maximize the patient’s experience.
There is no cost to the dental practice to join.
The Partner Network integrates smoothly into an office’s workflow. SmileDirectClub handles all billing and collections.


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