SmileDirectClub Bites Back at Critical NBC Nightly News Report

SmileDirectClub responds to NBC Nightly News, saying a critical report misrepresents the teledentistry platform.
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SmileDirectClub (SDC) - Get Report on Friday responded to a critical NBC Nightly News report, saying it misrepresented the teledentistry platform and did not provide viewers with a "fair and balanced" story.

Shares of the Nashville provider of direct-to-consumer teeth-straightening equipment at last check were down 7.2% to $14.23.

"We are disappointed that though we provided NBC with the opportunity to obtain all relevant facts as to the safety and efficacy of teledentistry for the provision of clear aligner therapy, NBC failed to provide its viewers with a balanced and fair news story reflecting those facts," the statement said.

The report, the company said, "misrepresents SmileDirectClub and the quality of care provided by the over 250 state-licensed dentists and orthodontists across the country who use our platform to treat their patients.

"We are surprised by the journalist's blatant disregard for the facts and failure to include all of the accurate information we provided," the statement continued. 

"Notably, the almost five-minute report and online story does not include one interview or statement from the more than 750,000 satisfied customers who have used our products to improve their lives. [Nor] does it include a single interview with any of the hundreds of dentists who have publicly supported our technology."

The report included an interview with a woman who said she had a bad experience after using the company's aligners.

It also said that the Better Business Bureau had more than 1,800 complaints nationally involving SmileDirectClub. 

Most concerned customer-service issues, NBC said, such as broken aligners, delivery issues and payment problems. But dozens describe concerns about treatment results and include complaints like broken teeth and nerve damage.

Last month, nine members of Congress asked the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate SmileDirectClub “to ensure that it is not misleading consumers or causing patient harm,” the NBC report said.

"There is no investigation into SmileDirectClub by the [FDA] or the FTC, and SmileDirectClub is in full compliance with FDA regulations, including its 510K manufacturing certification," the company statement said. 

"Of the nine congressmen who signed this letter, five are dentists, an interest that should be noted by an organization such as NBC Nightly News."

NBC Nightly News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.