U.S. teledentistry giant SmileDirectClub officially opens for business today to bring affordable and accessible clear aligner therapy to the UK. SmileDirectClub will open nine SmileShops in London, Manchester, and Birmingham, with the first opening in Hammersmith, Oxford Circus and Tower Bridge in London, and Crossway in Birmingham.
SmileDirectClub will continue its rapid expansion in partnership with Well Pharmacy, the UK's third-largest pharmacy chain, who will pilot the opening of four additional SmileShops within Well Pharmacy locations in Cambridge, Newcastle, Cardiff, and Leeds.
With a mission to democratise access to safe, affordable, and convenient teeth straightening solutions through doctor-directed remote clear aligner therapy, SmileDirectClub has become one of the fastest-growing health technology companies in the U.S. Since launching in 2014, SmileDirectClub has enabled over 650,000 customers to get a smile they love and has seen an up take in its customers visiting their dentists more regularly to take better care of their teeth and to maintain their improved smile. In 2019, SmileDirectClub expanded its reach, bringing access to its network of over 240 affiliated dentists and orthodontists to customers in Canada, Australia, and now the UK.
"We believe everyone deserves a smile they love," says Alex Fenkell, Co-founder of SmileDirectClub. "Our mission is to help people unleash the power of their smile and positively impact their place in the world. The confidence that comes from having a great smile is transformative to every aspect of your life. Through our groundbreaking teledentistry platform, we're giving more people access to affordable smile care. The time is right to expand our mission to the UK to give more Britons the confidence that comes from a straighter, brighter smile."
With 40% of Britons unhappy with their teeth, it is no surprise that UK household spending on dental services has nearly doubled in the past year.
"We're confident consumers in the UK will embrace the ability to have access to affordable oral care," said Kay Oswald, President of International at SmileDirectClub, confirming the company's commitment to expanding its UK business. "With the UK known globally for its forward-thinking approach to technology, innovation, and healthcare, we are committed to investing into the UK market and have ambitious and exciting plans for our future here."
London's Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal said: "We're delighted SmileDirectClub has chosen London for its first locations in the UK. With access to international markets, growth capital and world-class talent, London is a great place to grow and scale a business. This is further evidence that London is open to talent and investment from the US."
John Nuttall, CEO at Well Pharmacy, comments: "Well Pharmacy is delighted to partner with SmileDirectClub. We are committed to giving our customers choice and access to safe and effective healthcare solutions that they can trust. There is a gap in the market for more affordable, convenient, and innovative teeth straightening solutions, and we're excited to pilot this service in four key retail locations."
HOW IT WORKS
SmileDirectClub has pioneered a unique teledentistry platform to connect customers with an affiliated network of UK-based registered dentists or orthodontists who direct all aspects of clinical care using SmileDirectClub's platform. These licensed dentists and orthodontists customise each patient's treatment plan and manage their patients' care from initial diagnosis through the conclusion of treatment, monitoring care along the way with remote check-ins every 90 days to allow patients to avoid the hassle of scheduling frequent visits to a doctor's office.
SmileDirectClub clear aligners are doctor-prescribed and custom-made from BPA-free plastic thermoformed onto personalised 3D-printed mouth molds, powered by a groundbreaking fleet of HP industrial 3D printers. Each customer's clear aligner treatment plan is shipped in an "all in one" box directly to the customer's door. As a result of the innovations across the supply chain, SmileDirectClub's direct-to-consumer clear aligner therapy costs up to 60% less than traditional braces, with an average treatment length of six months, saving time and money for customers throughout the UK.
Customers can start their journey to a straighter smile at SmileDirectClub.co.uk, where they have the option to schedule a free visit to a SmileShop in their area to have 3D photographs captured of their smile, or they can order an impression kit, prescribed by a UK registered dentist or orthodontist. The treating dentist or orthodontist will create the custom treatment plan and prescribe custom-made, clear aligners, which are then shipped directly to the customer. SmileDirectClub offers two options for payment – a single payment of £1499, or 12 payments of £120 per month with a deposit of £199, which includes two additional sets of retainers valued at £70 per set.