Smile Direct Club(l), Man looking shocked(r)

rblfmr/Shutterstock @drbodenslagledmd/Tiktok (Licensed)

Dentist calls out SmileDirectClub for ‘scamming’ customers

"This is the biggest modern scam."

 

Jackie Ibarra

IRL

Posted on Dec 12, 2023   Updated on Dec 12, 2023, 2:26 pm CST

A dentist has used his TikTok platform to call out SmileDirectClub for a scam— the Internet agrees. 

With over 2.1 million views, the video stars popular TikTok creator Dr. Boden Slagle (@drbodenslagledmd) sitting on his couch, shaking his head. Slagle, known for making funny content about his work as a dentist, is seen walking around his room, shaking his head to the popular TikTok sound “Oh no, this can’t be.” 

“When Smile Direct Club (a scam company) shuts down overnight abandoning their patients (more scam) but still expects those payment plans (major scam),” Slagle wrote in his video’s text overlay. 

@drbodenslagledmd Rare at home filming location 🤝🤝 Hit me up if you need someone to fix your teeth now 🫡🫡🫡 #bodenslagledmd #smiledirectclub #seattledentist #fyp #fypシ ♬ original sound – Kenayo Frederick

SmileDirectClub, a telehealth orthodontics company, filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 11. The company made waves in 2014 for promising straight teeth via do-it-yourself molding kits you can get in the mail. The “at-home” aligners were supposed to be a cheaper and easier alternative to seeing an orthodontist, or undergoing traditional braces. 

Despite announcing that they will no longer be providing aligners, patients financing their treatment via the company’s “SmilePay” program are still expected to complete payments, as stated in the company’s contact page. SmileDirectClub also announced that their previously advertised lifetime guarantee “no longer exists, effective immediately.”

Slagle is among other medical professionals who have taken to TikTok to call out SmileDirectClub. In another viral video, a TikTok creator and dentist known online as Joyce the Dentist (@joycethedentist) also talks about how the company left customers in the dark following the bankruptcy, leaving them to figure out treatment and payments on their own. 

“Justice for Smile Direct Club patients!!!! This is the biggest modern scam. Dentists who have spoken up have gotten cease and desist letters. The real victims are the patients who are left stranded,” Joyce wrote in her video’s caption. 

@joycethedentist They are always just making up rules and they continue to even while in the grave. Justice for smile direct club patients!!!! This is the biggest modern scam. Dentists who have spoken up have gotten cease and desist letters. The real victims are the patients who are left stranded. #smiledirectclub #dentist #scammeralert ♬ original sound – Joycethedentist

Current patients who are on a treatment plan from SmileDirectClub have also shared their experiences with the company on TikTok. In one video, a woman shares that she showed up to a check-up appointment, only to be greeted with a cleaned-out office. 

Commenters on Slagle’s video have voiced their appreciation to him for speaking up about SmileDirectClub, and cited their own experiences and stories with the company. 

“I did smile direct and it destroyed my teeth and my dentists did a seminar about it,” one user wrote.

“The moment I heard ‘fix your teeth only online’ I thought about all the X-rays and measurements I had to take to ya know, make my braces *work*,” another commented. 

Another shared their dentist’s strong feelings toward SmileDirectClub— “My dentist said she’d rather I do my own ortho in my garage than order from them & boy was she right,” they wrote.

The Daily Dot reached out to Slagle via TikTok direct message and SmileDirectClub via email. 

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*First Published: Dec 12, 2023, 2:17 pm CST