If you are one of the existing Smile Direct Club customers who have been left in limbo following the company’s shutdown of operations, you are not alone. Smile Direct Club – which once promised to revolutionize the oral-care industry with its direct-to-consumer approach to teeth-straightening clear aligners – has recently filed for bankruptcy and ceased all treatments for existing patients who have already paid for services. 

Smile Direct Club Logo with a curious emoji face that appears concerned

With few answers and no customer care support available, existing customers are understandably frustrated and uncertain about what comes next. In this post, Midtown Dental Group aims to provide valuable information and guidance to those of you affected by Smile Direct Club, including details about what led to the company’s closure, the implications for existing customers, and possible next steps for finding a solution to complete your treatment.

What Happened To Smile Direct Club?

Smile Direct Club Goes Bankrupt

Smile Direct Club was once an up-and-coming entity in the direct-to-consumer dental appliance  industry, claiming to revolutionize the clear dental aligner industry via telehealth and a direct-to-consumer model that did not require a dental office visit. 

However, multiple factors contributed to its downfall. To begin with, Smile Direct Club faced a barrage of criticism and legal disputes over the quality, effectiveness, and safety of its products. The company’s business model – which eliminated in-person dentist visits – raised serious concerns about patient safety among dental professionals, including us at Midtown Dental Group.  

The final blow came when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, causing a significant decrease in sales. Coupled with mounting legal fees and declining customer trust, Smile Direct Club found their financial stability in a precarious situation which eventually led them to filing for bankruptcy.

How does it work?

Customer’s had two options to submit records of their teeth: They could receive an at-home kit to take an impression of their teeth and submit the molds via mail or they could walk-in to a Smile Direct Club location to have an intraoral scan taken by a sales associate. However, no dentists were present on-site at the locations to perform an examination or to ensure the accuracy of the molds.

Instead, customers were required to attest that they had a recent dental exam and were free of cavities, gum disease, and loose teeth. These claims were based on an honor system, and patients didn’t have to submit any records, photographs, or X-rays to confirm the state of their oral health. The case was then accepted by a telehealth dentist who created a treatment plan.A series of clear aligners were sent to the patient, and the treatment was overseen remotely via an app.

The American Dental Association and other organizations issued warnings about the risks of using Smile Direct Club’s products without proper dental supervision. Despite the risks, many patients found this model appealing due to the low cost of treatment but reported unsatisfactory results and even damage to their teeth and gums.

Implications for Existing Smile Direct Club Customers

The abrupt closure of Smile Direct Club has left its customers in a state of anger and uncertainty. Those midway through their treatment are left with incomplete results and no clear path to completion. With the company’s customer care support non-existent, there is a significant lack of guidance on how to proceed.

Now, customers who have made upfront payments for their treatment are now in a difficult position. With the company filing for bankruptcy, it’s uncertain whether refunds will be possible. The financial loss can be severe for many, especially those seeking to complete their teeth-straightening treatment

Smile Direct Club customer dissatisfied with their lack of customer service upon their shutdown

Even before the bankruptcy, there were health implications to consider. Some Smile Direct Club customers reported discomfort or problems with their aligners. And now without any support from Smile Direct Club, they are left to seek solutions independently. This can lead to additional costs and inconvenience as they scramble to find a dental professional who can help resolve their issues.

It boils down to this; the fallout from Smile Direct Club’s shutdown is not just financial; it’s a significant disruption to their patients’ oral health journey, causing distress and confusion during an already complex process.

Next Steps for Patients Affected By Smile Direct Club

Evaluating Alternative Dental Treatment Options

Though the situation with Smile Direct Club is unfortunate, it’s crucial to remember that there are alternative dental treatment options available. For those left stranded in the midst of their teeth straightening treatment, it’s essential to consult with a dental professional to evaluate the progress and determine the best treatment plan moving forward.

One popular alternative to consider is Invisalign. Like Smile Direct Club’s aligners, Invisalign provides clear aligners to gradually adjust your teeth. However, Invisalign treatment involves regular in-person check-ins with a dental professional to monitor progress and make necessary adjustments, ensuring a safer and more effective treatment.

Traditional braces are another option. Though less discreet than clear aligners, braces have been around for a long time and have reliably straightened teeth for millions of people. 

Invisalign clear aligner therapy at Midtown Dental Group

While it may seem more cost effective to consider other direct-to-consumer clear aligner companies, this may not be the best option for you or your oral health. Though options are available, you run the risk of the same issues popping up including potential bankruptcy, unfinished treatments, products and treatments lacking in quality, and more. Effectiveness and safety of the treatment are important things to consider and should not be disregarded for the sake of saving a few dollars.

Deciphering the Smile Direct Club Refund Process

Navigating the refund process in the wake of Smile Direct Club’s shutdown can be challenging. As the company has filed for bankruptcy, it is unclear whether refunds for undelivered services will be issued. However, it’s crucial not to lose hope or abandon efforts to reclaim your funds.

Start by reaching out to your bank or credit card company. Depending on the payment method used, you may be able to dispute the charges for services not rendered. This procedure varies between financial institutions, so it’s best to contact them directly for information.

If you have insurance, it could be worth contacting your provider. Depending on your policy, some of the costs may be recoverable.

For those who used a payment plan through Smile Direct Club, you may want to consider halting any further payments until the situation is resolved. However, we are unable to give out financial advice on these matters, some affected individuals are filing complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission.  

Lastly, keep an eye on any communications from Smile Direct Club or a bankruptcy court. There might be instructions on filing a claim as a creditor in the bankruptcy proceedings.

Remember, while the process may seem daunting, it’s important to explore all possible avenues to mitigate the financial impact of this unfortunate situation.

Why Direct-to-Consumer Aligners Aren’t the Best Option For You

Red Flags of Direct-to-Consumer Aligners

The Smile Direct Club situation highlights some red flags associated with direct-to-consumer aligners. One of the most glaring issues is the lack of personalized, in-person dental supervision. Without regular check-ups, potential problems or unexpected teeth movements can go unnoticed, leading to ineffective treatment or even harm to your oral health.

Another concern is the quality of treatment. Direct-to-consumer aligners often use a one-size-fits-all approach. This doesn’t take into account the unique aspects of each person’s oral health. This could result in aligners that don’t fit correctly or a treatment plan that isn’t appropriate for your specific needs.

Furthermore, the customer support from direct-to-consumer aligner companies can be unreliable. As seen with Smile Direct Club, when things go wrong, customers may find themselves with no support or guidance from the company. This situation can be particularly distressing during a complicated process like teeth straightening.

Lastly, the financial aspect can also be a red flag. While these direct-to-consumer aligners might seem cost-effective upfront, the potential for hidden costs, such as those associated with correcting treatment issues, can make them a less economical choice in the long run.

Need for a Reliable Patient-Doctor Relationship

A reliable patient-doctor relationship is a crucial element in any healthcare journey, including teeth straightening treatment. This relationship ensures that your treatment plan is tailored to your specific needs and that any issues are addressed promptly and effectively.

With direct-to-consumer aligners, this patient-doctor relationship is often missing or significantly reduced. Without regular, in-person consultations, it’s difficult to build a relationship of trust and understanding. This lack of personal interaction can result in a less effective treatment plan and potentially even harm your oral health.

A reliable patient-doctor relationship also ensures that you fully understand your treatment process. Your doctor can explain each step, answer your questions, and address your concerns. This understanding can help you feel more confident and comfortable throughout your treatment.

Furthermore, having a local dental professional means you have someone to turn to if issues arise. As seen with the Smile Direct Club situation, having a reliable patient-doctor relationship can provide a safety net that protects you from abrupt disruptions to your treatment.

In conclusion, while the convenience of direct-to-consumer aligners might be appealing, the importance of a reliable patient-doctor relationship should not be overlooked.

Introducing Invisalign® from Midtown Dental Group as a Potential Solution

Understanding Invisalign

Invisalign is a reputable teeth straightening treatment that uses clear aligners, much like Smile Direct Club. However, the Invisalign method incorporates a level of professional oversight and personalized care that sets it apart.

The Invisalign treatment begins with a comprehensive dental exam and consultation. A 3D scan of your teeth is taken to create a precise treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. This plan visualizes the step-by-step transformation of your smile, giving you a clear understanding of the treatment process.

Invisalign aligners are custom-made to fit your teeth perfectly. They are made of a proprietary, FDA-approved plastic that is free of BPA, BPS, latex, or gluten. The aligners are comfortable, virtually invisible, and easy to wear.

Dentist Dr. Daniell Mishaan at Midtown Dental Group demonstrates the commitment to cutting-edge orthodontic care by using advanced iTero scanning technology to create a precise digital impression for a patient's Invisalign treatment.

During your treatment, you’ll have regular check-ins with your Invisalign-trained doctor to monitor your progress. These check-ups ensure that your teeth are moving as planned and allow for any necessary adjustments to your treatment.

In short, the Invisalign method combines the convenience of clear aligners with the safety and effectiveness of professional dental supervision, offering a reliable solution for those affected by Smile Direct Club’s shutdown.

How Midtown Dental Group Can Help

At Midtown Dental Group, we understand the confusion and frustration that Smile Direct Club customers are dealing with. As a team of dedicated dental professionals, we’re here to help guide those affected through this challenging situation and offer reliable solutions for their teeth straightening needs.

As certified Diamond-level Invisalign providers, we can help you transition smoothly from your current situation. We’ll start with a comprehensive dental exam and consultation to evaluate your progress, discuss your goals, and create a personalized treatment plan with Invisalign.

Throughout your treatment, we’ll provide regular check-ups and professional support to ensure your teeth are moving as planned. We’re committed to making your treatment as comfortable and effective as possible.

If you’re worried about the financial aspect, we offer a range of payment options to help make your treatment more affordable. We’re here to work with you in finding a solution that fits your budget while providing you with the high-quality care you deserve.

At Midtown Dental Group, we prioritize patient care and satisfaction above all else. You can trust us to guide you through this process and help you achieve the beautiful smile you’ve been working towards.

Schedule your Complimentary Consultation

We want to assure all Smile Direct Club customers that there is a solution for your teeth straightening journey. To help you navigate this situation, we are currently offering a complimentary consultation for all affected individuals.

We invite you to schedule your complimentary consultation today. Let’s work together to ensure your teeth straightening journey continues smoothly, and you achieve the beautiful smile you’ve been working towards. You’ve dealt with enough uncertainty—it’s time to take a positive step forward with a team you can trust.



Invisalign® is a revolutionary orthodontic treatment designed to seamlessly fit into your lifestyle. The process involves clear and removable aligners that are worn for 22 hours each day, only being removed for meals and cleaning. Each new aligner makes incremental changes to your smile until you achieve the perfect result. With Invisalign®, you can achieve a functional and aesthetically pleasing smile without the hassle and discomfort of metal braces.

Advanced Technology for Accurate Treatment

Say goodbye to the traditional and messy dental molds. Our state-of-the-art iTero scanner creates digital models of your mouth in just a few minutes. This advanced technology also allows us to show you an interactive three-dimensional view of your current mouth structure and a preview of your smile post-Invisalign® treatment.

Dentist Dr. Daniell Mishaan at Midtown Dental Group demonstrates the commitment to cutting-edge orthodontic care by using advanced iTero scanning technology to create a precise digital impression for a patient's Invisalign treatment.
alt text for an invisalign clear aligner next to a diamond to note that we're Invisalign diamond-level providers

Our Expertise in Invisalign® Treatment

We’re not just providers. We’re Invisalign® Diamond-Level Providers, meaning our team has undergone extensive clear-aligner therapy training and have performed thousands of successful cases. We’ve helped countless satisfied patients attain their dream smiles using Invisalign® technology. Schedule an Invisalign® consultation with us and witness the transformative power of clear-aligner therapy firsthand.

Real Stories: Alex’s Invisalign® Journey

Meet Alex. As a kid, he dealt with the hassle of traditional metal braces in order to straighten his teeth. After several years without using his retainers, his teeth shifted back out of alignment. So when he came to us looking for a solution, we suggested Invisalign®. With Invisalign® clear aligner trays, he regained his straight teeth without the inconvenience of metal braces. His journey is a testament to the efficacy and ease of Invisalign® treatment.


Want to bring in the New Year with a brand-new smile? We are thrilled to announce that we are now offering $500 off Invisalign cases until the end of 2023. Don’t delay your journey towards a straight smile any longer. Start your treatment today and benefit from this offer!

Family and Friends referrals

Did you know you can get a $100 gift card when you refer friends and family via the Invisalign® app? If you’re a patient undergoing treatment, download the Invisalign app wherever you get your apps!


As the summer holiday nears its end, we at Midtown Dental Group are thrilled to announce our latest community initiative – the School Supplies Summer Drive! 🌞📝

Education is the foundation of a brighter future, and we believe in supporting young minds as they embark on a new school year. From now until August 31st, we invite you to be a part of this heartwarming cause by donating essential school supplies.

How Can You Contribute?

You can drop off your school supply donations at any of our locations during our business hours. If you’re coming in for an appointment, you’re more than welcome to bring the supplies then. And if you don’t have an appointment scheduled, you’re still welcome to stop by. If you happen to be in need of an appointment, you can always book online here.

Quick note: please check the office hours online before stopping by as they vary by location.

What We’re Collecting:

We’re seeking clear water bottles, pencil cases, pink wedge erasers, crayons and markers, marble composition notebooks, scientific calculators, and lunch boxes. For more specifics, please see the photo.

Why Donate?

Your generosity can make a significant impact on the lives of local students. By ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed, you’re fostering a love for learning and helping them achieve their goals. Plus, everyone who donates will be entered to win a raffle where five lucky winners will receive both a Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush and an Opalescence Go at-home whitening kit!


Midtown Dental Group’s Contribution

In addition to your contributions to this amazing cause, Midtown Dental Group will be matching all donations! Together, we can ensure no child in need is left without the school supplies that are integral to their education.


Spread the Word

If feel inclined, we invite you to forward this announcement regarding our Summer School Supplies Drive with friends, family, and colleagues! Not a patient of ours? No problem! You can still enter to win prizes and help a child in need.


In Conclusion

Let’s work together to make this upcoming school year a fantastic one for all students. Your support means the world to us and those we aim to help.

Thank you in advance for being a part of our Summer School Supplies Drive!

Need to book your next appointment? Reserve your time with one of our talented team members using the button below! We invite you to discover the difference.



It’s that time of year again – Prime Day! This is the BEST time of year to get deals on some expensive dental items so I put together a list of my top-four Prime-Day Picks that you’re not going to want to miss.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean electric toothbrush


My first love: Sonicare Diamond Clean – average savings of 40% (~$100!!!!) off depending on the model. There is a connected app to help you improve your brushing and a super cute glass to rinse that doubles as a charger and looks great on your counter. Holds a charge for a long time, so also great for travel.
You can get it here on Amazon.
Oral-B iO Series 8

Oral-B iO Series 8

For those who love connectivity, apps, and coaching: Oral B IO Series – average savings of 30% off depending on the model. – also has a pressure sensor to protect gums, offers live coaching to ensure you reach every surface of your teeth, and personalized brushing focuses (gum care, daily clean, etc):
You can get it here on Amazon.

Oral-B iO Series 8

For those who love connectivity, apps, and coaching: Oral B IO Series – average savings of 30% off depending on the model. – also has a pressure sensor to protect gums, offers live coaching to ensure you reach every surface of your teeth, and personalized brushing focuses (gum care, daily clean, etc):
You can get it here on Amazon.
Oral-B iO Series 8
Waterpik Cordless Express Portable Water Flosser Oral Irrigator, White


Not as many deals on the cordless ones that we’d like to see, but may be worth picking one up if you’ve never tried it. Great for that extra clean feel, and especially for those with gum recession, or those who get a lot of build-up or who feel like food is always stuck in between your teeth. Waterpik is the classic brand and there are some deals on the countertop models.
You can get it here on Amazon.


I’d recommend the Crest White Strips (with or without light) or the Colgate Optic White Pro Series LED. Tried and true! I’ll be picking up the Lumineux as an impulse buy for a test drive, since I’ve had a lot of patients get Instagram ads about it and ask about it, but there aren’t any ingredients in this product that should actually work to whiten one’s teeth. I will try it and let you know what I think.
You can get it here on Amazon.
Colgate Optic White Pro Series Teeth Whitening Pen and LED Tray, Professional-Level Set, Rechargeable
Colgate Optic White Pro Series Teeth Whitening Pen and LED Tray, Professional-Level Set, Rechargeable


I’d recommend the Crest White Strips (with or without light) or the Colgate Optic White Pro Series LED. Tried and true! I’ll be picking up the Lumineux as an impulse buy for a test drive, since I’ve had a lot of patients get Instagram ads about it and ask about it, but there aren’t any ingredients in this product that should actually work to whiten one’s teeth. I will try it and let you know what I think.
You can get it here on Amazon.
Let us know if you take advantage of any of these Prime Day deals! We’d love to hear your input on how these products improve your oral health.
Why People Have a Fear of Dentists

Why People Have a Fear of Dentists

The dentist from Little Shop of Horrors working in Bill Murray's mouth

Since it’s that special time of year when things get a little spooky in celebration of Halloween, we decided to make our weekly dental blog post about something a little controversial: the fear of dentists! (cue scary music) *bum, bum, buuuuuummmmm!* Fitting, right?

People have always had a fear of dentists, but why? We have answers for you, and who knows? Maybe we’ll even teach you how to overcome your fear of dentists along the way!

What Is the Fear of Dentists Called?

The fear of dentists is usually referred to as dentophobia but is officially known as odontophobia. For those curious about the etymology of the word odontophobia, “odonto–” comes from the Ancient Greek word for tooth while “-phobia” is Ancient Greek for “fear.”

Why Do People Have Such An Extreme Fear of Dentists?

Interestingly enough, teeth and the field of dentistry have always been associated with fear. And while that may seem a little silly to us in 2021, in the 1600s, teeth were one of the top-six leading causes of death.

Yup, you read that right. People actually died from something as simple as an untreated cavity. And trust us when we say that you don’t even want to know about what they passed for dental tools back in the day (but here’s an old painting anyway).

An old painting of old fashioned dentistry tools

When you see a tool like that, it’s not difficult to guess what question is running through your mind: how did they manage pain back in the good ole’ days?

Well, between 2250 BC and the 1500s, they used all sorts of options to help manage dental pain from a Babylonian clay made of henbane seed and gum mastic to wine to a synthesized compound commonly referred to as ether. These were more or less effective so it’s no stretch of the imagination as to why people might have some inherited trauma associated with dental work.

How to Overcome Your Fear of Dentists

Luckily for us all, modern science and dentistry have come a long way since then. Here at Midtown Dental Group, we want to make sure your experience with us is an enjoyable one. Our offices aren’t just equipped for state-of-the-art dental treatments; they’re equipped for your comfort, too!

But we understand that some patients may still have reservations or fears when it comes to dental visits. So here’s some advice from the experts:

9 Tips and Tricks to Help You Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist

1. Find a Friend:

If you’re feeling frightened or anxious about your next dental visit, bring a friend or family member who’s going to help you through the process.

2. The Practice Makes Perfect:

Just like no two smiles are the same, no two dentists are the same, either! Finding a friendly and supportive dentist you can trust is important.

3. Transparency:

We get that your previous experiences with other dental offices may have felt alienating or even unnerving. That’s why we do our best to be transparent with you about all processes, costs, and treatments.

4. Modern Amenities:

Gone are the days when going to the dentist was boring. Now, we provide music, TV, and even blankets to make sure you feel comfortable every step along the way to a perfect smile.

5. Breathing Techniques:

When dental professionals are working near your face, it can be easy to forget to breathe. We recommend ​​”4-7-8 breathing” which is taking a deep breath to the count of 4, holding that breath to the count of 7, and then exhaling to the count of 8. It’s very soothing!

6. Timing Is Everything:

We offer options for you to fill out your paperwork online so you don’t have to arrive too early and sit in the lobby, shivering with anticipation!

7. Pressing Pause:

The last thing we want is for you to put on a brave face. If you’re ever uncomfortable, please let us know and our team will give you a break whenever you need it.

8. Book Your Next Appointment Before You Go:

We do our best to book your next dental cleaning while we have you in the office so you don’t have to stress about scheduling it yourself. We’ll even send your reminders! Goodbye, anxiety!

9. And Lastly, Sedation Dentistry in New York City:

Some people can’t get over their dentophobia, and that’s ok – we don’t take it personally! But just because you have a fear of the dentist doesn’t mean that you should miss out on receiving quality care from dental professionals. That’s why we provide nitrous oxide or oral sedatives to qualifying patients. Now there’s no need to stress through a procedure.

Here Are Some Fear of Dentist Reddit Stories We Just Had To Share

User, u/DrMackDDS2014, asked: “Redditors who are terrified of the dentist, why are you afraid?” and the answers they got were pretty interesting. Below, you’ll find a quick selection of what people had to say.

  • “Been scared as a kid. It’s the equipment that scares me I think. Needles too. Noises…” – u/throwyoworkaway
  • “…the anticipated pain associated with the sound of the drill.” – u/cosmickornik
  • “The pain is nothing, it’s the thought of the pain. I don’t like being in the waiting room, I don’t like the drive there, I don’t like waiting at all. I don’t like the first needle. But the actual work done doesn’t hurt.” – u/[anonymoususer]
  • “The pain I can take, the bill is tough.” – u/I_miss_geocities

No Pain For You Or Your Wallet

Don’t fear. Unlike Reddit user, u/I_miss_geocities, you won’t have to experience any pain – physical or monetary. At Midtown Dental Group, we understand that getting the quality dental care you and your family deserves is a priority. That’s why we accept insurance, CareCredit®, HSAs and FSAs, and all major credit and debit cards. We also offer flexible payment plans. Not sure which option is best for you and your budget? Call one of our team members today. They’ll be happy to help!

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