AS A CHILD IN BELGIUM, Frederick V. wore braces. But when his family moved to the United States, they stopped treatment—and never resumed it. “I ended up with teeth that were not horrendous, but not fixed,” he says.
Now 42 and working in Silicon Valley, Frederick’s demanding job leaves him little free time. When he found out that SmileDirectClub’s entire process—from making a mouth cast to sending progress photos—could be done at home, he signed up. “The cost was lower than the other alternatives,” he adds. “It was a no-brainer decision.”
An innovative solution
Before he started telemedicine, Frederick told his dentist his plans to straighten his teeth from home. He got a puzzled look. But Frederick, who works with machine learning at a startup, didn't have reservations about an entirely at-home, doctor-directed orthodontics experience. In fact, the cutting-edge tech made him feel much more comfortable. And because the process was gradual—teeth are slowly moving by a fraction of a millimeter—he knew that if problems surfaced, there would be plenty of time to course-correct. “That gave me the confidence to do it,” he says.
Because the process was gradual—teeth are slowly moving by a fraction of a millimeter—he knew that if problems surfaced, there would be plenty of time to course-correct.
Hi-tech at home
After Frederick sent his mouth impression to SmileDirectClub, he received a series of clear mouth aligners that gently moved his teeth. (His co-workers didn't notice them when he was giving presentations.) Every week, the SmileDirectClub platform or an email reminded him to switch to a new aligner. He sent photos through the SmileDirectClub platform, where his doctor closely monitored his progress.
If any issues cropped up, he could connect with his dental care team 24/7 by phone, video call, chat, or email. But he only reached out once, when he had a question about how the tray was supposed to feel. After sending photos through the app, his team helped with the fit and the problem was resolved.
After seven months, Fredrick’s treatment was complete. At his regular cleaning, his dentist agreed his teeth looked good. “I was super happy, and I'm all for telemedicine," he says. "It enables people to do things that otherwise they couldn’t do because of time or cost. I got what I needed. I wanted to be efficient with my time. For me, it was perfect.”