SmileDirectClub Responds to Misrepresentations by the BBC

·4 min read
SmileDirectClub, LLC
SmileDirectClub, LLC

LONDON, Jan. 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  SmileDirectClub, the next generation oral care company with the first medtech platform for teeth straightening, issues the following statement in response to a BBC news report published today:

“SmileDirectClub is extremely disappointed that the BBC decided to publish a story which uses unnamed and unverified sources that we were not provided the opportunity to verify or comment on, despite requests for this information. Our telehealth platform has enabled successful treatment for more than 1.8 million people yet the reporter of this story refused to speak with any of the UK registered dentists who use our model to expand access to oral care for their patients, or to any of the overwhelming majority of our customers who have had an excellent experience, who have achieved a smile they love, and who have done so at a price they can afford.

SmileDirectClub requested on multiple occasions the opportunity to respond to the specific patient’s allegations in the reporting. SmileDirectClub asked for medical waivers from the BBC’s unnamed sources in order to examine their claims and provide the U.K. General Dental Council (GDC) registered orthodontists or dentists, who had overseen these specific cases, an opportunity to respond. The BBC refused to do so.

Further, facts provided to the BBC by SmileDirectClub but not included In the story include:

  • Every patient’s treatment plan is prescribed, customised, and approved by a dentist or orthodontist who is registered in the UK with the GDC. The treating dentist or orthodontist is solely responsible for the evaluation, diagnoses, and treatment of a patient.

  • The treating dentist or orthodontist reviews all of the patient information collected (including medical and dental history, 3D scans of the mouth, intra- and extra-oral photos, patient comments, and any additional records and/or clearances they deem necessary to assess, diagnose and/or treat the patient according to the standard of care) and will customise a treatment plan only if that dentist or orthodontist has deemed the patient appropriate for treatment using a telehealth platform.

  • Through the SmileDirectClub teledentistry platform, U.K. GDC-registered dentists and orthodontists have regular virtual check-ins with their patients. Some dental trade organisations claim an “in-person office visit” – which is often very expensive and highly inconvenient, if not prohibitive – is necessary for treatment. There is no clinical evidence that such an in-person office visit is necessary for there to be the same level of care. Research completed by Dr. Marc Ackerman at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine found that teleorthodontic treatment with clear aligners is just as clinically effective in correcting crowding or spacing as when it is conducted in an office setting.

  • There have been unfounded statements made by trade associations made up of market participants regarding the safety of treatment using the SmileDirectClub telehealth platform, but the aim of such statements is to maintain pricing control of the market. For example, the world’s oldest and largest dental specialty organization, the American Association of Orthodontists, was unable to substantiate advertising claims it made that treatment using SmileDirectClub’s telehealth platform is dangerous or risky or that there is a lack of doctor involvement in the treatment. As a result, the regulator recommended that it discontinue statements of this nature.

  • Certain dental trade organisations mislead consumers in to believing that additional diagnostic tools (such as x-rays) are always clinically necessary to determine clear aligner treatment candidacy. However, there are studies that have found that unnecessary radiographs in dentistry can cause increased rates of cancer. Twenty-one studies have found a correlation between dental diagnostic X-rays and overall health, with many finding a correlation between X-rays and brain/thyroid cancer. There are multiple mandates and guidelines from dental associations noting that radiographs should never be mandatory for treatment but rather that the determination of whether a radiograph should be taken should be made on a patient-by-patient basis. The clinical evidence is that radiographs are not necessary, and also that they are not determinative of the outcome of clear aligner treatment.

Our Customer Promise
SmileDirectClub and the dentists and orthodontists who provide treatment using our telehealth platform are committed to ensuring our customers receive what they signed on for -- a safe, convenient and affordable choice for teeth straightening. The licensed dentists and orthodontists who treat patients using our med tech platform adhere to the same regulatory guidelines and standards when using our platform as they do when practicing in a traditional brick and mortar setting. These doctors are responsible for all clinical decisions and are available to their patients throughout the treatment process. We ask any concerned customers to contact SmileDirectClub directly at”

About SmileDirectClub
SmileDirectClub, Inc. (Nasdaq: SDC) (“SmileDirectClub”) is an oral care company and creator of the first medtech platform for teeth straightening. Through its cutting-edge telehealth technology and vertically integrated model, SmileDirectClub is revolutionizing the oral care industry. SmileDirectClub’s mission is to democratize access to a smile each and every person loves by making it affordable and convenient for everyone. SmileDirectClub is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. For more information, visit

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