This Startup Wants To Straighten Your Teeth For $99 a Month, Without A Visit To The Orthodontist
Forbes.com--(OCT 31, 2016 @ 09:00 AM) - SmileDirectClub founders Alex Fenkell and Jordan Katzman are aiming to shake up the orthodontics industry with direct-to-consumer invisible aligners. The duo are using 3D tech and telehealth innovations to bring straighter teeth to more people are previously unattainable prices. While braces and Invisalign can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000, SmileDirectClub costs $1,500 for the total package or they offer SmilePay, which costs $250 up front, and $99 a month for up to 15 months. So far the response has been impressive, the company said they have completed 300,000 customer assessments within the last three months.
�I met my co-founder, Jordan Katzman when we were thirteen years old at summer camp and we both had full metal wired braces,� co-founder Alex Fenkell said. �It was truly a miserable experience. As we became best friends and business partners, we were reflecting back on that pain-point in our youth and we figured there had to be a better way to go about it. We started to really look at the market and we were shocked by how expensive invisible aligners were and how little of the market was being reached. We figured if we could bring an affordable invisible aligner to the masses in the comfort of their own home, we could really help people.�
SmileDirectClub offers a better smile without time in an orthodontists chair for select cases. To get started with SmileDirectClub, either receive an at-home impression kit ($95) or visit a SmileShop available in select cities and get an in-person 3D scan. Next licensed dental professionals remotely examine each customer make sure they are a good fit for invisible aligners. Then custom aligners are created under a remote doctors supervision using 3D printing and mailed directly to the customer�s door. The process eliminates office visits, instead consultations and 3-week checkups throughout treatment are done online and over the phone.
�We are really about increasing access to orthodontistry,� Fenkell said. �We are going after an audience of people who don�t have access to a better smile, it�s really about democratizing the process. But we are in no means replacing orthodontists, there are a lot of cases that we won�t take, which will always be reserved for in-office.�
Fenkell said SmileDirectClub�s growth has been tremendous so far this year.
�In the last six moths, we�ve added 150 employees,� Fenkell said. �The demand has been great, our revenue is up 550% since March. We�ve had 300,000 smile assessments in the last three months, that�s 300,000 people raising their hands saying �I want a better smile.��
The company plans to grow though adding more SmileShop locations in the coming months.
�There�s a roadmap to open more shops and grow volume. Since we started this business the goal has been to serve more smiles each month and that�s what we do.�
Neither Fenkell or Katzman have backgrounds in orthodontics or the dental industry, but that hasn�t stopped the best friends and serial-entrepreneurs from becoming unlikely orthodontic innovators.
�Jordan and I have been starting businesses since we were 17,� Fenkell said. �Right before this, we were selling an e-commerce widget that was a group payment platform. Our first business was a car detailing company at 17. We were always looking for trends in technology. The VC behind us, Camelot Venture Group, did 1800 Contacts and Quicken Loans, so it�s always been in the back of our heads, what�s the next billion-dollar industry that could be disrupted. A lot of those variables brought us to dental.�
SmileDirectClub is the first digital brand for your smile and the leader in remote invisible aligner treatment. By leveraging proprietary, cutting-edge technology they are helping customers get access to a smile they'll love by eliminating office visits, connecting customers with orthodontists and dentists across the country and cutting costs by up to 70 percent, because people shouldn't have to pay a small fortune for a better smile. Visit smiledirectclub.com for more information
Original contant can be viewed on Forbes.com