Quip is moving into the dental aligner market with an approach that balances professional oversight with direct-to-consumer convenience.
Billing the hybrid offer as “the sweet spot for a straighter smile,” it hopes its hybrid concept will give it a bite of the massive orthodontics market, which some predict may reach $10 billion in global sales by 2026.
Competitors include the Smile Direct Club, which promises straighter teeth entirely from home, and Invisalign, sold through dentists’ offices.
“Our aligner service is differentiated from a lot of the other players because it is truly a hybrid model,” says Simon Enever, founder and CEO of Quip, in an email interview with D2C FYI. “We’ve worked hard to create the perfect mix of at-home virtual consultation and remote monitoring, with in-person professional scanning and setup.”
Enever says the new offer, starting at $1,995, provides the benefits of professionally administered orthodontics with both the convenience and affordability of at-home care. “It allows us to ensure the product was accessible while maintaining the right amount of professional oversight,” he says. “No one else in the space has yet to achieve that balance.”
Initially, marketing will focus on the six million consumers that already subscribe to Quip’s dental products, which include electric toothbrushes, refills and flossing devices. The company's research has found that at least a third of subscribers have expressed interest in aligners. And 33% of those customers have already undergone some type of orthodontic treatment.
Enever believes the market is much bigger, citing research that as many as 120 million people in the U.S. have a malocclusion that could benefit from orthodontic treatment.
He says the launch might benefit from the rapid acceleration of remote health options brought about by the pandemic. As it has in broader healthcare, telehealth has reduced “office visits for those that did not need in-person treatment,” Enever says. “With that said, we are not yet at the point where at-home technology can fully replace clinical assessments such as 3D scans and x-rays. The dental office will remain a critical part of maintaining good oral health.”
Quip launched Quipcare dental services in 2019. The aligner launch uses that professional care platform, which links patients with dental providers, making it easy to find, book, and pay for dental treatment, either online or in real life.
To get started, users upload a photo of their bite to estimate the cost and length of treatment. They then make an appointment with a local dentist, where they get scans to make sure they’ll benefit from aligners. Remote monitoring then makes sure teeth are responding to the treatment.
The company expects the program, currently testing in New York, to roll out nationally this year.