Smile Direct Club Is Closing Down, Now What?

What Happened to Smile Direct Club?

In September 2023, SmileDirectClub took the significant step of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, revealing a staggering debt of nearly $900 million. After two short months, Smile Direct Club confirmed the gravity of the situation, and in December 2023 it announced the termination of its operations after almost 10 years. This decision was prompted by the inability to secure a partner willing to provide sufficient capital to rescue the company from its unstable financial position, as well as the non-stop accumulation of debt. 

Will My Clear Aligner Treatment Still be Completed?

Based on information provided on Smile Direct Club’s website, the discontinuation of aligner distribution and customer support services for its customers has ceased, regardless of the stage of their treatment. 

Do I still need to pay for my plan even if it wasn’t completed?

As stated by the company, it is anticipated that customers will fulfill their payment commitments, implying that existing patients with payment plans are still obligated to settle their outstanding balances regardless of how far in their treatment they were in.

Is the Lifetime Guarantee still valid?

Smile Direct Club’s Lifetime Guarantee ensured “customers would never have to pay again to straighten their smile”, however, the termination of this guarantee was included in the company’s last statements to the public, stating that the Lifetime Guarantee no longer exists, effective immediately.

Can claims for refunds be filed?

The Bankruptcy Court has officially announced the following deadlines for filing proof of claims against Smile Direct Club, for those trying to seek compensation for the troubles this situation has put them in, or those who have the right to a fair solution, since the company did not provide or fulfill their promises or agreements. 

  • General Bar Date: November 27, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. (CT)
  • Governmental Bar Date: March 27, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. (CT)

For more information on what the next steps are to file a claim, visit restructuring.ra.kroll.com/SmileDirectClub/ .

What is the Difference Between In-Office vs At-Home Clear Aligner Treatments? 

One significant difference between at-home and in-office clear aligners lies in the level of supervision and customization. In an in-office setting, a trained orthodontist is directly involved in designing and overseeing the entire treatment plan. This hands-on approach allows for adjustments to be made in real-time, ensuring that the treatment progresses smoothly and effectively.

Moreover, in-office clear aligner treatments typically involve the use of more advanced and specialized technologies. Orthodontic practices often utilize advanced 3D imaging, intraoral scanning, and other cutting-edge tools to create highly detailed digital models of the patient’s teeth. This precision enables the orthodontist to craft aligners that are tailored to the individual’s specific dental needs, leading to a more efficient and targeted treatment process.

While at-home clear aligners offer convenience and cost savings, the comprehensive supervision and personalized attention provided by in-office clear aligner treatments contribute to a higher likelihood of successful outcomes. The in-person guidance from a qualified orthodontist can be crucial in achieving the desired results efficiently and with optimal oral health benefits. 

What Are the Next Steps To Continue My Treatment?

If you’ve already started your teeth-straightening journey and still have a ways to go, we suggest you see your local orthodontist for next steps. In the wake of Smile Direct Club’s closure, Central Virginia Orthodontics have stepped in to assist affected patients. After recognizing the uncertainty and disruption caused by the sudden shutdown, our orthodontic practice has extended a helping hand to those seeking continuity in their orthodontic care. 

With a commitment to providing comprehensive and compassionate treatment, Central Virginia Orthodontics are dedicated to accepting patients previously enrolled with Smile Direct Club in the Kentucky area,  by welcoming them to schedule a free consultation to discuss their ongoing treatment and explore better orthodontic options tailored to their needs.

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