We want our teeth white and we want everything delivered to our door.
There are two basic commandments that citizens of the United States live by: we want our teeth white and we want everything delivered to our door.
Take these two ideas, combine them, and we’ve arrived at the inception point of Dentium Club, a startup business created by BYU students that is essentially Dollar Shave Club meets teeth whitening.
Now, in a normal teeth whitening scenario, you go to the dentist’s office, they take a mold of your mouth and create plastic trays, which are then filled with teeth whitening gel. You plop them in, let the gel work its magic, and start imagining all the beautiful selfies you can now take, post to Instagram, and make people jealous of your life. Only one problem: because you’re in a dentist’s office, the majority of cost is coming from paying for chair time — which is rather expensive — while the raw materials needed for teeth whitening represent only a fraction of that cost.
Dentium Club wants consumers to pay for what matters — materials, not time spent hanging out in an uncomfortable, wobbly, mechanical chair — and they’ve partnered with a local dentist manufacturer to make sure this happens.
“We mail you two types of putty that dentists use, you mix them, put them into a tray, and bite into it for about 30 seconds,” said Austin Harrison, co-founder of Dentium Club. “It hardens to take a mold of your mouth and there’s a prepaid envelope, you just put it right back in and that gets sent to us. We work with our local manufacturer and they take the trays, make the impressions, and print out the plastic trays that you need. We send those back and, depending on what plan you’re on, you get whitening gel every month or every three months.”
Dentium Club offers a basic subscription starting at $10 per month — paired with a one-time $125 cost for whitening trays — with other options available depending on your gameplan. And after launching roughly four months ago, they have begun accumulating customers within Utah and hope to expand into other states.
“We have a lot of really talented people who were able to lay the foundation and get this up off the ground pretty quickly,” said Harrison.
Marketing efforts have been relatively contained so far, with Dentium Club sponsoring different beauty blog conferences and beauty school events to help get the word out. Bloggers receive free product so they can experience Dentium Club first hand, then relay that experience to the world. Feedback has not only been positive, but helped to shape Dentium Club’s path moving forward: Dollar Shave Club meets teeth whitening.
“There has been a lot of pivots on what customers actually want, that’s something we’ve really had to realize,” said Harrison. “We’ve had to understand it’s much more iterative, we have to do one little tweak and see how customers like it. Much more customer driven, much more customer feedback than we thought would be necessary.”