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Is SmileDirectClub safe? Teeth-straightening service slams NBC report


Is SmileDirectClub’s teeth-straightening service medically sound?

NBC News called that into question with a report Thursday citing dozens of Better Business Bureau customer complaints about the clear-plastic aligner treatment, saying it has led to “painful problems for some people.”

Now, SmileDirectClub is slamming the NBC News report, saying it was not accurate or balanced and fails to recognize the more than three-quarters of a million people who have undergone the treatment safely.

Investors appear to be unsettled by the report. SmileDirectClub’s stock fell 4.8% in pre-market trading to $14.60 on Friday.

The spat comes amid a nationwide boom for clear-plastic removable teeth aligners, which offer an alternative to traditional braces. SmileDirectClub is a rapidly growing competitor to the more established service, Align Technology’s Invisalign.

The biggest difference between SmileDirectClub and Invisalign is that Invisalign customers are required to visit a dentist or orthodontist in person to get their treatment plan launched and administered. Most SmileDirectClub customers get their mouths scanned through a 3D system in person or an at-home putty impression kit, after which they receive aligners in the mail and have their progress monitored remotely.

The clash also marks the latest dramatic chapter in an intensely competitive industry defined by lawsuits, patent disputes, aggressive marketing, allegations of greedy interest groups and accusations of law-breaking.

NBC’s report quoted Richmond, Virginia, customer Anna Rosemond saying she followed the SmileDirectClub treatment plan but began experiencing pain after a year. She was diagnosed by an independent orthodontist with a crossbite that was “possibly caused by the aligners,” NBC reported.





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