The AAO offered guidance to patients impacted by the recent closure of SmileDirectClub or other DTC companies.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is offering guidance to patients impacted by the recent closure of SmileDirectClub and patients being approached by other “mail-order” teeth straightening companies. Given SmileDirectClub’s abrupt shutdown, patients have been left with questions and concerns about their ongoing orthodontic treatment.

“The best thing SmileDirectClub patients can do at this point is to book an in-person exam with a licensed orthodontist in their area,” said Myron Guymon, DDS, MS, president of the AAO. “Most SmileDirectClub patients have not had an x-ray or in-person exam, which are critical to ensuring an accurate diagnosis and safe and effective treatment plan.”

Patients of SmileDirectClub and others concerned about mail-order orthodontics should take the following steps:

  • Make an appointment with a local licensed orthodontist. For a searchable list of experienced orthodontists in every state, US territory and Canadian province visit
  • At the appointment, share all concerns and past treatments. Feel confident knowing that an orthodontist has specialized education and experience and has helped patients in similar situations.
  • If finances are a concern, when booking the appointment, ask about complimentary consultations offered by many AAO orthodontists.
  • Beware of other mail-order orthodontic companies feeding on SmileDirectClub’s failure. AAO emphasizes the importance of an in-person examination and x-rays before starting any orthodontics with a provider to avoid irreparable harm.
  • For patients with complaints, including those who may be unable to contact the dentist that was supervising their SmileDirectClub treatment, AAO recommends reaching out to state dental boards that have individual complaint processes for dental treatments.

At the AAO, the health and safety of patients are a top priority. AAO members, who are all highly trained orthodontic specialists, are dedicated to upholding the highest standards of care to protect a patient’s health and safety throughout their orthodontic treatment.

“We are committed to helping SmileDirectClub patients navigate through this challenging situation,” said Guymon. “Our members are available to provide the care and support patients need to achieve a healthy and confident smile.”