NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On Thursday, October 26th, attorneys for SmileDirectClub, the leader in consumer access to teledentistry for straight teeth and healthy smiles, filed suit against the Michigan Dental Association (MDA) in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan for "false light" and "trade libel" with regard to an August 2017 article published by the MDA in the Journal of the Michigan Dental Association.
The article made several unsubstantiated claims regarding SmileDirectClub, and was exceptionally dishonest in its characterization of the company. As stated in the Complaint, it "recklessly impugned the competence and maligned the reputation of SmileDirectClub."
SmileDirectClub will not sit idle while false claims are made in an effort to shut down innovative, consumer-friendly teledentistry services. Over the last three years, SmileDirectClub has enabled hundreds of dentists and orthodontists to transform tens of thousands of smiles bringing significantly more access and affordability to care.
"The inaccuracies and misrepresentations in the MDA article are egregious," said Alex Fenkell, SmileDirectClub co-founder, "we're committed to fighting back against this type of anti-competitive activity because we believe people deserve an accessible and affordable option for obtaining a better and healthier smile."
The MDA article is the latest in a series of anti-consumer activities aimed at limiting access to affordable aligner treatment. SmileDirectClub's web-based teledentistry platform and SmileCheck system are both innovative and disruptive by nature, and the affordable and accessible tenets of the company's business model challenge the business interests of more traditional orthodontic delivery models. As a result, the company has, unsurprisingly, generated anti-competitive and protectionist opposition.
"The medical industry has been here before," said Jordan Katzman, co-founder of SmileDirectClub, "products like hearing aids, contact lenses, and dialysis supplies faced resistance at first too. We are confident in our product, as well as our process and independent providers, and will not let the opposition keep us from providing more accessible and affordable services."
SmileDirectClub was founded on July 16, 2014 on a simple belief: everyone deserves a smile they love. SmileDirectClub is the first digital brand for straightening your smile, created after the realization that recent trends in 3D printing and telehealth could bring about disruptive change to the invisible aligner market by matching licensed professionals, a quality clear-aligner product, and customers together. By leveraging proprietary, cutting-edge technology, SmileDirectClub affiliated dentists are providing greater access of care to consumers who couldn't otherwise afford orthodontic treatment to get a better smile. SmileDirectClub is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and has dentists that are licensed in the significant majority of the states using its platform. In July 2016 Align Technology (NASDAQ:ALGN), owner of Invisalign, entered into a supply agreement with SmileDirectClub, acquired a 19% stake in SmileDirectClub and gained a seat on its Board.