The Nashville, Tenn.-based company’s announcement follows the Dec. 31, 2019, expiration of its exclusive supply agreement with Align Technology (NSDQ:ALGN). After yesterday’s announcement, shares of SDC are up 16.24% at $13.60 per share in midday trading today.
SmileDirectClub said it plans to support its new distribution channel through its existing clear aligner manufacturing facility in Antioch, Tenn., which it touts as the largest 3D-printing facility in the U.S. Later this year, the company is adding a new manufacturing center in Kyle, Texas, to help meet the expected increased demand for its products.
The clear aligners are designed to correct mild-to-moderate malocclusion. They are FDA-cleared and produced using BPA-free materials, according to a news release. The new option to sell in-office is set to allow dentists and orthodontists to easily customize plans and manage patients from initial diagnosis through the treatment’s conclusion.
“We have seen increasing demand from the dentists and orthodontists in our network who wish to provide SmileDirectClub clear aligners to their in-office patients, and with our agreement with Align Technology now expired, we are no longer obligated to stay in the direct-to-consumer channel,” SmileDirectClub co-founder Alex Fenkell said in the news release. “We’re excited to expand our offering and welcome new providers to add an important and needed offering to their suite of services.”
“Clear aligner therapy technology advances now enable patients who otherwise would not have been candidates in the past to avoid the discomfort and time commitment of traditional metal braces,” added SmileDirectClub chief clinical officer Dr. Jeffrey Sulitzer. “Of the more than 200,000 licensed dentists and orthodontists in the U.S., only an estimated 30% offer clear aligner therapy in their offices. We are looking forward to opening our network to providers who wish to join us in our mission to broaden access to premium care at an affordable price.”