Last month I wrote about some reviews customers of SmileDirectClub posted to illustrate potential concerns with using mail-order orthodontics. Today, I would like to look at an accusation levied against SmileDirectClub in a New York Times article. You can read the article in total here.
Does SmileDirectClub Hush Its Critics?
One of the concerns posited by the article is that for some clients to get a refund from the company when their treatment didn’t work, they had to agree not to post anything negative in addition to removing any negative posts or reviews on social media. According to the article, “When some of the customers requested refunds, SmileDirectClub asked them to sign the confidentiality provision. The agreement prohibited the customers from telling anyone about the refund and required them to delete negative social media comments and reviews, according to a copy viewed by The Times.”
Often potential patients rely on reviews to help them make a decision on whether to make a purchase, therefore the more complete the information the more likely the patient is to make the decision that is best for them. However, when some of that information is being suppressed, it makes it difficult for patients to see the whole picture.
While no dentist is perfect, after all, we’re human, when a dentist gets a bad review, their concern should be making things right with that patient, not hiding the review. One of the ways you can know when a practitioner cares is in how they handle problems. Any company, no matter what the field, if they have an occasional bad review but address the issue in good faith, then you know they care about their customers, or in a dentist’s case, patients. On the flip side, if you see bad reviews that are never even addressed you can know they don’t seem to care about making things right.
Why hide the reviews if they make things right? I can’t answer that on their behalf. One thing that makes me wonder, though, is out of the seven customers interviewed by the Times, more than half of them found the treatment made their bite worse and they had to seek outside treatment to get it fixed.
A second concern the article brought up was how litigious the company is. In addition to suing Lifehacker over an article they published about the risks of using SmileDirect, they have also sued several dental boards for what they perceived as steps to make it harder to use their services.
Yet, while they seem very willing to jump into court themselves, they make each potential customer sign a form that they would not sue the company for any reason.
I will always stress the importance of doing any type of dental work whether traditional braces or invisible braces, such as Invisalign, under the care of a dental professional. Orthodontic treatment rarely goes as planned from start to finish and the dentist or orthodontist will make adjustments throughout the treatment for you to get the optimum results.
This blog is brought to you by East Cobb Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.