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Direct-to-consumer clear aligner provider SmileDirectClub (SDC) will now offer its teeth straightening system through wholesale channels, providing dentists and orthodontists an in-office option beginning this year.
The announcement comes after the company’s exclusive supply agreement with Align Technology, Inc. expired on Dec. 31, 2019. SDC will now expand access to its clear aligner therapy solutions and open its network to dentists and orthodontists in search of a premium and affordable teeth straightening solution for their patients, the company said in a statement.
“We have seen increasing demand from the dentists and orthodontists in our network who wish to provide SmileDirectClub clear aligners to their in-office patients, and with our agreement with Align Technology now expired, we are no longer obligated to stay in the direct-to-consumer channel,” said SDC co-founder Alex Fenkell. “We’re excited to expand our offering and welcome new providers to add an important and needed offering to their suite of services.”
SDC will support this new distribution channel through its existing manufacturing operations in Antioch, Tenn. The company recently announced plans to add a second manufacturing facility in Kyle, Texas later this year.
“Clear aligner therapy technology advances now enable patients who otherwise would not have been candidates in the past to avoid the discomfort and time commitment of traditional metal braces,” said Dr. Jeffrey Sulitzer, SDC chief clinical officer. “Of the more than 200,000 licensed dentists and orthodontists in the United States, only an estimated 30 percent offer clear aligner therapy in their offices. We are looking forward to opening our network to providers who wish to join us in our mission to broaden access to premium care at an affordable price.”
With this new expansion, licensed dentists and orthodontists can consult patients in-office and easily customize treatment plans and manage patient care, from initial diagnosis through to the conclusion of treatment. The average treatment plan for SDC aligners is six months.
Founded in 2014, SDC has helped roughly 750,000 people transform their smiles through remote doctor-directed clear aligner therapy. These aligners can be used to correct mild to moderate malocclusion.
The ADA filed an FDA petition against SDC in April 2019 for “placing the public at risk by knowingly evading the FDA’s ‘by prescription only’ restriction the FDA has placed on teeth aligning materials,” the ADA has said. That petition is still before the FDA awaiting a ruling.
For more information on their new offering, visit smiledirectclub.com/office-direct.