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January

2024

The Whole Tooth: Goodbye Smile Direct & The Backwoods Wizard

By Dr. Robert Kelly, D.M.D.

The Whole Tooth: Goodbye Smile Direct & The Backwoods Wizard

A few months ago I wrote an article about the struggles of Smile Direct Club, a discount mail order orthodontic aligner company that straightened teeth similar to Invisalign. The company experienced rapid growth at first and made billions but then recently ran into serious financial trouble.
I reported that my own personal anecdotal experience with patients who used them was not good. So I guess it is with no surprise to report that they were not successful in making a last ditch effort to save their company. They did not find any backers to buy them out and hence, after filing for bankruptcy in September, they are now closing up shop for good.
Recently they announced that they were closing all of their operations world-wide which means no more customer support and all existing customers were urged to seek care elsewhere with a dentist or orthodontist for help. Unfortunately, this means their lifetime warranty guarantee is also disappearing with the demise of the company. And if that wasn’t enough, patients who signed up for a payment plan for their treatment are still being asked to continue their obligation and finish all of their payments. Ouch.
And, as promised, I must finish the tale of the Backwoods Wizard who fashioned his own dentures out of wood and deer teeth. I think we established last time that he was a true eccentric, no holds barred outdoorsman to the extreme. As reported in a 1960s magazine “Guns,” The Backwoods Wizard, Francis Wharton, fought off a bear in the remote wilderness of British Columbia and scared it off with a shot from his gun. This was after the bear took a swipe at him with its claws though. This inspired Wharton to fashion his own set of defense with massive guns that were like hand held cannons. According to the magazine article, Wharton ended up killing eight bears in revenge after one of them killed his pet ram. And of course, naturally ended up eating the bears…with his deer teeth. Couldn’t make this stuff up!

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