Healthier, Beautiful Smiles for All Types of Patients
Catrise Austin, DDS, on SmileDirectClub’s Partner Network
I decided to become a dentist because orthodontic treatment changed my life. I went from being the target of jokes to being recognized for having the "prettiest smile" during my senior year of high school. I wanted to help everyone feel the power of having a great smile like that, so I built my career as a cosmetic dentist in New York City and ultimately became known for treating celebrity clients.
When I started my current New York City practice in 2018 after having sold my old one to a DSO, I opened a second office in my hometown of Flint, Michigan. Access to care is a concern there, and I wanted to help provide the residents with better oral health and straighter, whiter smiles. Last year, through my work with a mobile dentistry program in Michigan, I was introduced to SmileDirectClub's Partner Network. I was initially interested because I know that many people do not have the financial means to pay for porcelain veneers or are looking for a more conservative treatment option, and being able to offer orthodontic treatment with clear aligners during my esthetic consultations allows me to help so many more patients. I have worked with other clear aligner companies in the past, but SmileDirectClub's mission to serve the community and provide people in underserved areas with the opportunity to have a straighter smile for $89 a month really appealed to me.
From the dentist's perspective, working with SmileDirectClub has been very easy. They provide all of the tools that I need to screen for appropriate candidates, including tablets for patients to use to submit their information. With just a few intraoral photographs, we can submit a case and start treatment within just a few weeks. The aligners themselves, which feature SmileDirectClub's Comfort Sense™ technology, have not generated any complaints during the 6 months that I have been working with them. I have not had any patients say that an aligner does not fit or needs to be sent back for any reason.
Everything after that initial intake is handled behind the scenes by SmileDirectClub's team. With any clear aligner system, support for the practitioner is important, and in this regard, working with the SmileDirectClub team has been great. Any time that I have a question, they are just a call or text away. It has been a very pleasant experience for me.
I was so impressed with SmileDirectClub at my practice in Michigan that I incorporated the treatment into my New York City location where I do mostly cosmetic work. My goal is to make sure that adults know that they can straighten their teeth at any age.
Many patients immediately recognize and trust SmileDirectClub because of their excellent marketing. However, not enough dentists understand the extent to which joining the Partner Network can improve their practices. I feel like I have the best kept secret, and I am trying to get the word out so that it is no longer a secret.
• Only one short in-office visit is required to acquire a 3D scan or impressions.
• A SmileDirectClub-affiliated dentist reviews, approves, and prescribes treatment.
• The custom aligners are made and shipped to the patient all at once.
• SmileDirectClub tracks the patient's progress from start to finish with regular, virtual Smile Check-Ins™.