Ensures no clear aligner competitor will be able to duplicate SDC unique model for 18 years
Company puts increased safety measures, social distancing in place to protect customers as locations target rolling reopening dates
NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SmileDirectClub today announced it has been issued a patent for its SmileShop intellectual property from the United States Patent & Trademark Office (”USPTO”). The patent, U.S. Patent No. 10,636,522, further strengthens the telehealth dentistry pioneer’s efforts to bring affordable, accessible oral care to more people through its unique and innovative teledentistry platform and direct-to-consumer business model. The patent ensures no clear aligner competitor will be able to duplicate SmileDirectClub’s unique model for 18 years.
“This patent designation is a significant validation of our unique customer-oriented care model, and expands our category ownership, including the manufacturing and retail experience,” said David Katzman, CEO of SmileDirectClub. “SmileDirectClub is continually seeking to improve the affordability and accessibility of oral care for consumers. As the industry pioneer and inventor of the SmileShop concept, this patent is recognition that SmileDirectClub offers an innovative way for consumers to access oral care that is safe, doctor-directed and convenient. We look forward to welcoming customers back to our SmileShops at the earliest and safest possible time.”
The patent encompasses the unique SmileShop concept and process, including scheduling of an appointment at a SmileShop, sending the scheduling confirmation to the customer, conducting the intraoral scan, generating a treatment plan, receiving approval of the treatment plan by a licensed dentist or orthodontist, producing aligners in accordance with the treatment plan, and sending those aligners to the customer. SmileDirectClub’s clear aligner therapy platform has helped more than 1,000,000 customers achieve a straighter and brighter smile.
Katzman continued: “We are focused on the entire teeth straightening and care process, and we now own the manufacturing process of our clear aligner products, the customer experience via our teledentistry platform, as well as the retail experience for clear aligner therapy. This patent is another step in our process as we continue to grow and protect our business.”
The company also announced it is making plans to slowly reopen its SmileShops beginning in May in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland as local governments begin to lift business restrictions. After its shops temporarily closed in March, SmileDirectClub, one of North America’s largest 3D printing manufacturers, dedicated some of its capacity to producing 3D printed personal protective equipment (PPE) to help in the fight against COVID-19. The company has shipped more than 40,000 face shields to medical organizations, elder care facilities, dentists and orthodontists during this time, and will supply all of its SmileShop team members with face shields and other PPE along with staggered appointment times, temperature scans and other social distancing measures to ensure a safe, sanitary experience upon reopening.
The patent protection of SmileDirectClub’s retail experience comes as the company has made its clear aligner therapy solution available to dental professionals to use in their in-office practices. The SmileShop patent allowance is the latest in a string of innovations as SmileDirectClub grows from a DSO (dental service organization) platform to an end-to-end oral care company.
SmileDirectClub, Inc. (Nasdaq: SDC) (“SmileDirectClub”) is an oral care company and creator of the first direct-to-consumer medtech platform for teeth straightening, now also offered directly via dentist and orthodontists’ offices. Through our cutting-edge teledentistry technology and vertically integrated model, we are revolutionizing the oral care industry, from clear aligner therapy to our affordable, premium oral care product line. SmileDirectClub’s mission is to democratize access to affordable and convenient care, unleashing the power of a person’s smile to positively impact their place in the world. SmileDirectClub is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and operates in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit SmileDirectClub.com.
Contact: SmileDirectClub Media Relations: Press@SmileDirectClub.com