(RTTNews) - SmileDirectClub, a direct-to-consumer teeth straightening company, announced its plans to sell clear aligners directly to dentists and orthodontists through a wholesale channel.
In a statement, the teledentistry company said its exclusive supply agreement with Align Technology, Inc. expired on December 31, 2019. Following this, SmileDirectClub will now expand access to its clear aligner therapy solutions and provide an in-office option to dentists and orthodontists in 2020.
With the move, the company will be competing directly with Align Technology, which owns market leader Invisalign.
According to the company, the decision was after seeing increasing demand from the dentists and orthodontists in its network to provide SmileDirectClub clear aligners to their in-office patients.
The company's existing clear aligner manufacturing operation in Antioch, Tennessee, which is the largest 3D printing facility in the United States, will support the new distribution channel.
As announced earlier, SmileDirectClub, which went public in September, would add a second manufacturing facility located in Kyle, Texas in 2020 to meet increased demand for its products.
SmileDirectClub, founded in 2014, offers remote doctor-directed clear aligner therapy with FDA-registered clear aligners that are produced at certified U.S. manufacturing facilities using BPA-free materials. SmileDirectClub's aligners can be used to correct mild to moderate malocclusion, and priced at $1895 or $85 per month. This is in comparison to traditional braces' pricing of average $6,000 to $8,000.
Till now, due to its agreement with Align Technology, SmileDirectClub was offering aligners only directly to consumers online and through certain outlets.
Jeffrey Sulitzer, SmileDirectClub Chief Clinical Officer, said, "Clear aligner therapy technology advances now enable patients who otherwise would not have been candidates in the past to avoid the discomfort and time commitment of traditional metal braces. Of the more than 200,000 licensed dentists and orthodontists in the United States, only an estimated 30% offer clear aligner therapy in their offices."
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