CVS Health and SmileDirectClub have announced plans to open SmileShops that will provide orthodontic clear aligner therapy in hundreds of CVS Pharmacy locations. According to the companies, their pilot program was successful, and the upcoming expansion will more than double SmileDirectClub’s current physical footprint. Additionally, SmileDirectClub will be added as an in-network healthcare option for Aetna Dental members.
“CVS Health and SmileDirectClub are aligned in the mission to put the customer at the center of their care by providing easier access to more affordable, more convenient health solutions with proven outcomes,” said Kevin Hourican, president of CVS Pharmacy and executive vice president of CVS Health. “SmileShops at CVS Pharmacy support our dedication to enhancing the customer experience with innovative and convenient health and beauty solutions.”
“Our collaboration opens the door for millions of CVS Pharmacy customers to be one step closer to getting a smile that they love and can afford,” said Alex Fenkell, cofounder of SmileDirectClub. “CVS Pharmacy understands that quality and convenience are what customers crave when it comes to their health, wellness, and beauty needs. We are excited to extend our footprint and access to straighter smiles with a customer-first organization.”
“Aetna is committed to making dental care easy and affordable, which is why we offer coverage for a wide range of orthodontic solutions, in order to ensure that we’re meeting the needs of each patient,” said Karen Lynch, president of Aetna and executive vice president of CVS Health. “Our collaboration with SmileDirectClub is exciting because it will enhance and simplify the coverage experience for Aetna members that are candidates for their innovative, low-cost solution.”
SmileShops are currently open in 19 CVS Pharmacy locations in eight states, with plans to expand to hundreds more in 2019 and thousands in the next several years. SmileShops at CVS Pharmacies feature SmileGuides to assist customers, including a free 3-D digital image of their teeth, teeth whitening kits, and information about the convenience and affordability of clear aligner therapy, the companies report.
A member of SmileDirectClub’s digital network of more than 240 state licensed dentists and orthodontists will approve and manage a custom clear aligner treatment plan. Upon the treating doctor’s and the customer’s approval of the plan, aligners are sent directly to the customer. Through SmileDirectClub’s proprietary teledenistry platform, customers can check in with their doctor every 90 days and more frequently if necessary.
SmileDirectClub says that its clear aligner therapy works best for people age 12 and older with all of their adult teeth and mild to moderate crowding or spacing issues. Customers can walk into a SmileShop at a CVS Pharmacy or schedule a visit. The company says its clear aligner therapy costs, on average, 60% less than traditional orthodontic treatment and works three times faster. SmileDirectClub also says that it has helped more than 560,000 people in North America achieve a straighter smile.
Additionally, SmileDirectClub says, 60% of counties in the United States have limited access to orthodontist offices. Its remote treatment management via its digital network of state licensed orthodontists and dentists alleviates the requirement of scheduling multiple in-person appointments.