SmileDirectClub, the direct-to-consumer aligner company, announced that it will start selling its aligners directly to dentists and orthodontists through its wholesale channel. This comes on the heels of the expiration of the company’s exclusive supply agreement with Align Technology, which expired on December 31, 2019.
“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 SmileDirectClub 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.”
According to the company, it will use its existing clear aligner manufacturing operation in Antioch, Tenn, to support this move. The company recently announced that it will add a second manufacturing facility this year in Kyle, Tex.
“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, SmileDirectClub Chief Clinical Officer. “Of the more than 200,000 licensed dentists and orthodontists in the United States, only an estimated 30% 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.”
Through this plan, licensed dentists and orthodontists consult with patients in-office, customizing treatment plans and managing patient care, from initial diagnosis through to the conclusion of treatment. According to the company, the average treatment plan for SmileDirectClub aligners is only 6 months.