The British Dental Association has warned against online dentistry, as a US firm launches £1,500 invisible braces you can order on the Internet.
The SmileDirectClub is offering consumers the chance to benefit from cheaper braces by ordering online. The product, which retails at £1,500 is a significantly less expensive alternative to professional systems offered by dentists, including Invisalign. Invisalign treatment usually costs in the region of £3,000 to £5,000. As well as offering discounted prices, the company is also giving patients the chance to spread payments over the course of a 12-month period.
The SmileDirectClub claims that customers can benefit from personalised, 3D printed braces and whitening treatment, as well as access to a British dentist online. The process would involve the individual visiting a high street pharmacy to undergo a 3D scan of the mouth. The braces would then be manufactured based on the mould.
The US company is undoubtedly trying to capitalise on the popularity of a perfect smile, and this venture follows in the footsteps of cheaper contact lenses and glasses sold by cut-price online opticians. Although it may seem great on the surface, experts from the British Dental Association have reservations.
Vice chair of the BDA, Eddie Crouch, urged patients to think very carefully about pursuing online treatment. Orthodontics is a complex field of dentistry, and the best way to go about achieving a beautiful, straight smile is to see a trained orthodontist, or a dentist with advanced training in orthodontics, for a consultation. This will be followed by tailored treatment planning and close monitoring throughout the treatment stage.
The US company already provides products for patients in the US, Australia and Canada, and it has plans to launch stores in cities across the UK, having teamed up with Well Pharmacy.