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.



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.



Imagine a world where you could go to the dentist and instead of waiting anxiously for the verdict of whether or not you have cavities, you could simply relax in the dental chair and know that new artificial-intelligence-based dental technology would be able to detect them for you. That future is now a reality with Pearl. 


This new and innovative technology uses artificial intelligence and machine-learning algorithms to detect cavities and other dental pathologies with an incredible accuracy rate so you can spend less time at the dentist and more time enjoying your life. That means that patients can be confident that their dentist is using the best possible technology to detect problems with their teeth, and dentists can be confident in the results that they are getting from this new technology. 

How Pearl AI Dental Technology Works 

Pearl is a new breakout in the world of artificial intelligence based dental technology that uses the usual X-rays taken during dental appointments and then sends them to a computer for analysis. The computer then uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to identify any potential cavities, infections, and even bone density.

The Benefits of Pearl AI Dental Technology

The benefit of this technology is that it is non-invasive and is lightning-fast. Not only will this speed up your visit, it will also give you peace of mind knowing that the latest and greatest technology is guiding your dentist’s treatment plans. And even better, this technology is great for patients of all ages, including children!


Another benefit of this technology is that it is much more accurate than traditional methods of cavity detection, such as visual inspection of x-rays. This means that your dentist can be that much more confident in the results they are getting from this new technology.


The future of dentistry is here at Midtown Dental Group thanks to Pearl AI Dental Technology. This new artificial-intelligence-based dental technology offers a number of benefits for both patients and dentists so come see it for yourself! At Midtown Dental Group, we’re dedicated to staying at the forefront of dental technology so you can receive only the best care. It’s what you deserve!

Want to schedule an appointment and see this technology in action firsthand? Schedule your appointment today!

Watch Dr. Markelle Smith On HBO’S 12 Dates of Christmas

Watch Dr. Markelle Smith On HBO’S 12 Dates of Christmas

For all the single people out there, you know that the holidays can be a bit of a bummer when it comes to showing up to the family function without a significant other by your side. Questions like “Are you dating anyone?” and “Will you ever settle down?” run rampant from the mouths of well-meaning family members, but actually finding someone you can connect with in this day and age can seem like an impossible task. Thankfully, HBO’s 12 Dates of Christmas is back for a second season to help three lucky contestants do the impossible – find someone to bring home to meet the family on Christmas.

And while that may be exciting, we have some even more exciting news… Our very own Dr. Markelle Smith is one of the contestants this year! But here’s the big question: will he find love?

Midtown Dental Group’s Very Own Dr. Markelle Smith

Markelle Smith on 12 Dates of christmas holding a cocktail

We’re so excited to announce that Dr. Markelle will be starring in season two of HBO’s dating reality show, 12 Dates of Christmas. For those looking to get to know a little bit more about Dr. Markelle, here are the details.

Dr. Markelle Smith has always been interested in medicine, science, and art which is why cosmetic dentistry was a no-brainer for him! After receiving his dental doctorate from UAB School of Dentistry in Alabama, Dr. Markelle Smith completed his residency at the Hospital for Veteran Affairs which is located in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Markelle’s artistic touch and focus on oral health make him one of the best dentists New York has seen in a long time, and we’re so happy to have him on our team. When he’s not in the office creating beautiful smiles, Dr. Markelle practices yoga and enjoys other hobbies such as reading, traveling the world, and discovering amazing new eateries across the New York area.

When Will 12 Dates Of Christmas Be On TV?

For those of you chomping at the bit to stream 12 Dates of Christmas, you may be asking, “When will 12 Dates of Christmas be on TV?” or “Where can I watch 12 Dates of Christmas?” Well, we have the answers for you right here.

Season 2 of 12 Dates of Christmas will premiere tomorrow on Thanksgiving, November 25, 2021, on HBO Max, an American subscription video-on-demand streaming service. Are you going to be tuning in to see Dr. Markelle find love?

Visit Dr. Markelle at Midtown Dental Group

What’s cooler than watching your dentist on an HBO dating show? Visiting Dr. Markelle in person at one of our many Manhattan locations. He’ll be happy to fill you in on the show (no spoilers though!) and make sure your smile is ready for cuffing season!

Book Now

Check out the trailer for Season 2 of 12 Dates of Christmas!

The Bright Sun Helps Make a Bright Smile

The Bright Sun Helps Make a Bright Smile

cosmetic-dentist-manhattan-vitamin-d-and-your-teethI have spent many years as a cosmetic dentist in Manhattan, New York and every sunny day I see the effect a sunny day has on the city.  People from all five boroughs flood the parks to take in the rays, work on their tan, and enjoy the weather.  Little do these sun worshippers know, but they are also extending the life and health of their teeth!  That’s because vitamin D, sometime referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” is made by the body through casual exposure to the sun.  Vitamin D is just as essential as calcium for forming and maintaining strong teeth and bones.

Vitamin D and Calcium are both equally necessary to counteract bone deficiencies and reduce the weakening of bone tissue.  If one does not obtain the proper amounts of vitamin D and calcium, they will most certainly encounter bone loss and inflammation of many of the tissues in the body.  Findings show that inflammation is a major symptom of gum diseases, which draws the conclusion that a deficiency of calcium and vitamin D may be a major risk factor for periodontal disease.

Many hours of research have been devoted to finding the best means of obtaining the required amount of vitamin D.  So far, basking in the sun is at the top of the list.  In fact, during winter months when the sun tends to hide away, researchers record huge drops in the levels of vitamin D in their patients. Ten to 15 minutes of sun exposure at least two times per week is usually sufficient to provide adequate vitamin D.  During those winter months, when the sun tends to hide away, it is advised to eat foods fortified with vitamin D such as milk, eggs, sardines and tuna fish.

Now, it is not advised to forego sunblock or reduce the amount of times you brush your teeth if you are hitting the beach regularly.  In fact, the amount of sun you are currently soaking in is probably up to par with the recommended level.  Sunblocks will allow the proper amount of vitamin D to enter the body.  Exposure to the sun is not a cure to periodontal disease, it is simply is a valuable tool to combat a stubborn and rampant danger to our bodies.

If you feel that you are not receiving adequate levels of vitamin D and calcium, it is very important to talk to your dentist or physician about the possibility of taking supplements or providing other means to put you on the right track.

Daniell Mishaan, D.M.D. is a Cosmetic and Restorative dentist in the Garment District in midtown Manhattan. He serves patients from all over New York City and is open Sundays for all patients including emergencies.

The Effects of Stress on Oral Health

The Effects of Stress on Oral Health

effects-of-stress-on-teeth-nyc-cosmetic-dentistNew York City is a great place to live, work, and play.  As a leading dentist in one of the world’s busiest cities, I know all too well the stress that my patients undergo.  If stress is allowed to plague the body long enough it can cause severe damage to an individual’s physical and mental health.  As a society, the dangers that stress poses to the body are fairly well known.  Unfortunately, not many people are aware of the effects that chronic stress has on oral health.

Chronic stress can have many significant effects on oral health.  For instance, emotional stress is believed to be related to the practice of tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, jaw and facial pain, and headaches.  Increased tension in the muscles of the face are a major side effect of stress.  This tension can cause an individual to inadvertently grind upper and lower teeth during their sleep or even while awake.  This can lead to sensitive teeth, cracked or chipped teeth, or a change in their bite.  Bruxism is usually treated with a mouth guard that is worn at night to stop grinding, however, when brought on as a result of stress, patients are encouraged to treat this symptom by focusing on reducing stressful triggers and relaxation.

Stress is also known to significantly affect the immune system, leaving the victim more susceptible to infections.  Oral health suffers greatly, as the risk of periodontal disease almost doubles.  The gum tissue cannot fight off the ever-present bacteria lurking within the mouth and is also more vulnerable to mouth sores, dry mouth, burning mouth syndrome, and TMJ disorder.

Finally, its has been found that someone under a great deal of emotional stress is more likely to develop certain coping habits to help reduce anxiety, but in the end have negative effects on oral health.  Such habits include ignoring proper oral hygiene practices, engaging in desctructive behaviors such as smoking and alcohol abuse, and eating foods full of sugar.

If you are experiencing any of the following and lead a stressful lifestyle, you may be diagnosed with chronic stress:

  • Upset Stomach
  • Headaches
  • Backaches
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger

If you feel you have chronic stress, it is very important to speak with your dentist about ways you can avoid causing harm to your oral health.  Your dentist will likely advise a variety of methods to control chronic stress, including exercise, healthy eating habits, stress management and relaxation techniques, adequate rest, and relaxing hobbies.

Daniell Mishaan, D.M.D. is a Cosmetic and Restorative dentist in the Garment District in midtown Manhattan. He serves patients from all over New York City and is open Sundays for all patients including emergencies.

Accessibility Toolbar