Try Smile Direct Club w/ an $18 Impression Kit (We Tried it & Here’s What We Thought!)

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We tried Smile Direct Club & think it’s a great deal compared to in-office dental work!

woman holding a box of impression trays from Smile Direct Club

Smile Direct Club makes it easy to smile more, worry less!

In the market for a new smile? Even those of us with generally well-aligned teeth probably wouldn’t mind the chance to have a new-and-improved smile. Whether it’s slight crowding or spaces that are a little too wide for your liking, chances are there’s a little somethin’ you wanna improve. Enter, Smile Direct Club!

This teledentistry service allows you to make noticeable improvements to your smile without ever having to step foot in a doctor’s office and right now they have a HOT offer to get you started on your new smile journey!

Score an $18 impression kit when you use promo code SAVE2SMILE

smile direct club putty and gloves on table

Score a discounted impression kit…

Smile Direct Club Impression Kit $59
Discount automatically applies
Or use code SAVE2SMILE
Score FREE Overnight shipping
Final cost just $18 shipped!

woman holding an impression kit from Smile Direct Club

There’s no smiling when it comes to corrective dental options- they’re pricey… like, SUPER pricey, which can be a huge deterrent for a lot of folks, especially those without insurance. So when the team heard about Smile Direct Club and their affordable aligners, our curiosity was piqued! We decided to try ‘em out and see if they’re a viable & affordable alternative to spendier dental corrective procedures.

So what’s Smile Direct Club and how does it work?

box of dental impressions and pamphlet on counter

First off, your interaction with Smile Direct Club can remain pretty much all online, which is super convenient for most (but maybe a downside for others…more on that later). Of course, if one of their facilities is close to you, you can definitely opt to visit and get your impressions made in person.

Once you find out if you’re eligible, you can order your impression kit and choose from one of two payment plans. After you’ve gone through the impression process, you pop them in the return package (included & paid for) and send them off! Smile Direct Club will contact you with a digital rendering of what you have to look forward to with your new smile.

And speaking of the impression process, it was pretty easy!

hand holding purple putty from smile direct club

The kit comes with a few things, including gloves, putties (don’t be intimidated, it’s like playing with Play-Doh), and dental trays. First, you put on the gloves that came in the box from Smile Direct Club. After you’re gloved up, you mix the two differently-colored putties together for a minute.

Once they’re well-mixed, quickly roll the putty into a cylinder shape and place it evenly in the dental trays.

woman wearing gloves behind counter with smile direct club kit on it

Then, you open wide and use your hands to press the tray with the putty to the top of your mouth until you can feel the bottom. You just hang out that way for a few as you wait for the putty to take the perfect shape of those pearly whites.

smile impression trays in box

When you take the tray out, you’ll be able to see your impressions and the putty should be nice and firm.

Repeat these steps three more times–one more top imprint and then two on the bottom–and then you’re almost done.

The last step is everyone’s favorite part… or is it? 🤣

woman wearing a smile stretcher

The weird plastic contraption you get with your kit is a smile stretcher. You pop it in on each side of your mouth, and then take three photos to send to Smile Direct Club so they can get the full picture of what your mouth looks like. We’d suggest doing this alone unless you don’t mind your friends and fam having a laugh… but we can’t blame them. 😝

When you’ve finished all the steps, you put everything back in the box with a prepaid shipping label and send it back- SO EASY!

The Smile Direct Club setup is super easy, and we really liked doing all this without leaving home, but what about the price?

woman holding open smile direct club kit on counter

Overall, purchasing an aligner from Smile Direct Club has the potential to be a lot cheaper than traditional corrective procedures.

If you have insurance, the type of insurance you have greatly affects the price of Smile Direct Club aligners vs. traditional braces. You can check to see your potential savings with the handy insurance tool on the Smile Direct Club website.

However, if you don’t have insurance, Smile Direct Club will almost surely be a cheaper option for ya. While we can’t exactly pinpoint the cost of braces or other aligners because they vary so much, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. And yikes, that’s a lot of money to pay out of pocket!

If you’re debating whether or not to give Smile Direct Club a shot…

woman holding a box from Smile Direct Club

After discussing the experiences & costs our team has had with traditional braces and weighing the pros and cons, we think Smile Direct Club is a great option for some folks!

Smile Direct Club might be a great option for you if:

  • You don’t have insurance. This is a biggie since Smile Direct Club’s single pay option is going to be hard to beat. Or, you can also choose to pay $89/month–pretty reasonable price for many people compared to traditional braces.
  • You do have insurance, but it won’t cover your desired dental corrections. This really all depends on each individual’s insurance provider, but it’s not always straightforward and unfortunately, some may not cover it.
  • You only need minor corrections. Now “minor” can have a lot of different definitions, but in this case, we mainly mean issues with spacing and/or crowding. If you or your child has a major over or underbite or other severe dental issues, it may be best to stick with traditional braces.
  • You don’t want to be hassled by going to the doctor. Some folks just aren’t crazy about going to the doctor’s office more than they have to, so Smile Direct Club’s teledentistry would be a major plus!

You might wanna consider other options if:

  • You have coverage. If cost isn’t a factor because your insurance covers most of, if not all, the cost of the procedure, you might be more comfortable just sticking with that.
  • Your insurance company is open to negotiation. My Hip teammates Lina and Krystal made a great point that you can negotiate coverage with your insurance provider and potentially save a ton! Ask your provider if they recommend an orthodontist as those are sometimes easier to bargain with.
  • You don’t want to have to worry about a retainer. Everyone, but teens especially, might have trouble keeping up with a removable aligner. Those are NOT cheap, so if there’s a chance it’ll get lost, it might be best to visit your orthodontist for a set of braces.
  • You need a major corrective procedure. Unfortunately, some dental issues will require a more invasive solution than Smile Direct Club can provide. When checking out their eligibility quiz, they only addressed crowding and spacing. It might be best to see a specialist in person for more serious dental work.
  • You prefer in-person help. While Smile Direct Club’s teledentistry is a major bonus for some, it’s also a pain point for others. If you’re more comfortable going to an orthodontist you know & trust, it’s better to stick with that.

All that being said, Smile Direct Club is an awesome option for a lot of people!

smile direct clubdental impression molds in box

So if you’re looking to try out this convenient, affordable alternative to traditional dental work, we have good news! You can score this deal and save a ton of $$$ while getting a straighter smile.

Use code SMILE2SAVE at checkout to get your impression kit for $18 shipped!

woman holding Smile Direct Club teeth impression tray

Have any of you Hip readers tried Smile Direct Club? If so, let us know all about your experiences and what you thought!

Find more frugal beauty deals this way!

About the writer:

Chelsey is a writer & photographer with both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree from Arizona State University. She holds 3+ years blogging experience not only for Hip2Save, but various other publications in the health, lifestyle, and education field.

Join The Discussion

Comments 8

  1. kevashell

    Heads up…we had a discussion with our orthodontist when 3 of our kiddos needed braces. He gave us all the available options and let us decide. The MAJOR downfall to these type of corrections is that they tend not to be permanent. So, when considering this as an option, I urge you to keep in mind the above info. Speak with a reputable orthodontist if you don’t believe mine. The above issue alone is the sole reason we opted for the full metal braces for our 2 (treatment done now)and the one that will start in the next 6 months.

    • Lisa

      An FYI as we, several years ago, my son’s orthodontist recommended braces, but it was put very bluntly to us and our son (a teen at the time), he said, if you do this (and put all of the money into it), you MUST be committed to your teeth for life…. as in you MUST wear a retainer for life (like at night for instance) or your teeth will naturally do their own thing. Our son now getting ready to turn 25 went with something similar to this Smiles Direct, and again, we (and the orthodontist) said the same thing years later, you MUST be committed to this for life and wear the retainer. So regardless if braces or something similar to this, a retainer must be worn like at night. I’m clearly not a dentist/orthodontist, but I do know people who were not committed and literally flushed money down the toilet because they really did not understand the lifelong commitment.


    I put both my kids through braces at the orthodontist office because they were still growing, however as an adult having gone through braces as a child, my teeth had shifted over the years, and I opted for Smile Direct in 2018 to correct the shifting. At the time, a Walgreens in my area had a Smile Direct hub inside their store, so I didn’t have to order the kit. They took 3-D pictures of my teeth. Once you order, they send you a full kit of aligners marked with the weeks to change them out. I was very pleased with the outcome. It took a little over a year. After your teeth are straight, you still have to continue with wear of night time retainers which cost $99. They sometimes will send you an offer for buy 2 retainers get 1 free and you need to change out every 6 months as they lose their tightness. They also offered a “referral” program at the time (they still may). I had a friend who referred me through a special URL link they received after ordering theirs. Then I ordered mine using that link. My friend got $100 Visa Card, and I got $100 off my initial order. At any rate, I found Smile Direct a successful process, however keep in mind just as if you went through getting braces or Invisalign, you will have to wear retainers at night to retain the alignment of your teeth once you are through the process.

  3. Sarah

    I did smile direct club a little more than two years ago. Overall, I was happy with the process and I’m happy with the results. It was a lot less expensive than what my cost would have been (even after insurance). My insurance wouldn’t cover smile direct club, but I know some plans do. I had my dentist guide me through the process. My local dentist has even made my retainers for me since I wasn’t happy with the ones from smile direct. My other advice would be to go get a scan done in person if possible, rather than doing the at home impressions. Your aligners will fit much better!

  4. Susan

    Another perspective: I had braces as a child and did SDC…I was okay with them.

    We had my daughter evaluated through her orthodontist for braces because of some other dental issues she has and we were told she has shallow roots and that is something that *should* be monitored closely by an orthodontist or else she could end up with a horrible mess and a lot of loose and/or lost teeth. Then it became a traditional braces vs. Invisalign conversation. At the time she was in middle school, so I would not have gone the SDC route, but had we not looked at orthodontia, I don’t know that the short roots would have been brought up to us. She’s had x-rays at the dentist and wasn’t a cause for concern until braces entered the question.

    Just food for thought.

    • AB

      Just to make everyone even more stressed about their teeth and this convo,…..I had my dentist ask me if I had braces when I was young. Yep I did. And the dentist said, “I can tell. Your roots are so shallow I bet I could wiggle your front teeth out right now.” Needless to say, I was not happy. But apparently traditional metal braces also have the potential to make your roots shallow. My dentist seemed to think it was the length of time they were on. I think by all these comments, I’m just getting the feeling that you’re going to have teeth issues no matter what you choose :(. I’m leaning towards Invisalign or Smile Direct with my kids because my traditional experience was not great.

  5. Natasha-ai

    So it seems a lifetime commitment is required for either braces or aligners… But aligners are cheaper. How are braces better than the aligners? Guess I’ll have to look into that.

  6. carrie

    DO NOT DO IT!!!! I went through 4 rounds of retainers with smile direct and my teeth are still not completely straight. I kept telling them and showing pictures and they would send another round of new retainers. I had perfectly straight teeth as kid. Never had braces. They started moving in my late 30’s early 40’s. My dentist told me Smile Direct moved them too quickly. They damaged the root. Two bottom are loose. Still waiting to see what will happen. Now I have to see a specialist!!!!

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