Align Technology vs. SmileDirectClub: 20+ moves in 2022

Align Technology and SmileDirectClub are two giants in the dental technology and clear aligner spaces.

Here are more than 20 big moves from the companies this year:

Align Technology

  • Align Technology introduced an artificial intelligence-guided virtual care feature to streamline practice workflow. 
  • Align Technology entered into an accelerated stock repurchase agreement in October with Goldman Sachs & Co. to repurchase $200 million of Align's common stock under Align's $1 billion stock repurchase program. It entered similar agreements with Citibank in May.
  • The company celebrated its 25th anniversary by making a $250,000 donation to Junior Achievement Worldwide, nonprofit organization that provides hands-on learning to 12 million young people each year.
  • Align Technology settled its patent infringement and antitrust litigation with dental supplier 3Shape.
  • Exocad, Align Technology's dental software company, launched an online shop for its CAD/CAM software.
  • Align Technology launched cone beam computed tomography as a new feature for its ClinCheck digital treatment planning software.
  • Align Technology launched a simulation tool that allows Invisalign patients to see the potential results of their treatments.
  • Align Technology entered a strategic partnership with Asana Smiles, a work management platform, to offer a new workflow to Invisalign-trained doctors in the U.S.
  • Align Technology ranked No. 461 with an absolute growth rate of 67.8 percent, on Financial Times' list of the fastest-growing companies in 2022.
  • Align Technology awarded $275,000 in grants to 10 universities worldwide to support research in orthodontic treatment.

SmileDirectClub

  • SmileDirectClub launched an artificial intelligence-guided platform that shows patients projected treatment outcomes. 
  • SmileDirectClub decided it would modify its advertising claims based on recommendations from the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau National Programs after being hit with challenges by Align Technology and Proctor & Gamble. 
  • SmileDirectClub appointed former Align Technology leader David Rodriguez as its vice president of professional relations and marketing. 
  • The company named former Lyft executive Azmat Ali its vice president of product.
  • The company was listed as one of the best companies for compensation by consumer rating company Comparably. 
  • In September, SmileDirectClub completed the transition to its newest manufacturing technology at its Tennessee facility to increase production of its retainers by 225 percent.
  • SmileDirectClub partnered with the National Dental Association to offer dental students and dental professionals of color tuition scholarships.
  • SmileDirectClub named Troy Crawford its permanent CFO in June. 
  • SmileDirectClub ranked No. 185 with an absolute growth rate of 350 percent, on Financial Times' list of the fastest-growing companies in 2022.
  • SmileDirectClub was included on Forbes' "Best Employers for Diversity" 2022 list.
  •  SmileDirectClub completed a $255 million secured debt facility for its SmilePay subsidiary. 
  • The company announced Jan. 24 that it was halting operations in Mexico, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand to support growth initiatives that produce the highest return on investment. It will instead focus its efforts on the U.S., Canada, Australia, France, Ireland and the U.K.
  • SmileDirectClub launched partnerships with three celebrity ambassadors for its Confidence Council to promote the link between oral health and confidence. The ambassadors are Jonathan Van Ness from TV show "Queer Eye," Peleton cycling instructor Tunde Oyeneyin, and "Love Island" host Arielle Vandenberg.

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