Straight Smile Solutions

Night Time Aligners- Do they Work?

Contrary to Align Technology’s claims, aligners are NOT invisible. Attachments and precision cuts can be very unsightly and often patients are looking for a night-time only aligner. Buyer be warned, though. The elusive “night time only” aligner is more of a myth or legend than an actual clinical fact.
That said, an important trade-off to keep in mind is treatment duration. Let’s say you have a very simple case, with a maximum of 2-3 mm of crowding. Normally, teeth can move 0.25mm per aligner so I can treat this case with less than 10 aligners or so if it is worn 24 hours a day. With weekly changes, this means it would be completed in a maximum of just 10 weeks.
If you want to go just the night time route, it doesn’t mean that you only wear them when you sleep; you need to wear them during the “night,” which means a minimum of 12 hours a day. Also, that 10 aligner plan would be slowed WAY down to probably 20 to 30 aligners to make up for the missed time. So in essence, you are paying double or more for something that could be done quicker by skipping the luxury of wearing it just at night. I have had success with my own patients doing night-time only aligners this way. There is nothing novel or special about this. Any aligner can be turned into a night time only aligner.
For the cheapest and most accurate night time only aligner, you should consider the “OG” custom positioner.
Positioners have been around for 50+ years and are the most overlooked but most effective retention solution. They can either be custom or semi-custom and have excellent retention, not only in the Phase 1 to Phase 2 period, but also long-term, comprehensive retention. Although they are bulky, they are very effective and can only be worn at night. If a minor relapse occurs, the positioner will correct it. Positioners also help to guide unerupted teeth between Phase 1 and Phase 2 (eruptive guidance) and encourage nasal breathing and proper airways.

Drawbacks to Nighttime Aligners
At this point, nighttime-only aligners might sound too good to be true, but they’re not without flaws. Before you make your final decision, it’s important to understand the drawbacks that come with this unique treatment schedule.

1) Treatment Takes Forever

2) The Pain!
The see-saw movement to night time only aligners isn’t healthy for your teeth. The instant you remove the aligners, your teeth start to shift back to their original positions. The longer you go without them each day, the more your teeth shift. Not only does this slow down treatment, but it also puts additional strain on your teeth, constantly shifting them in and out of their new position. This may carry a small, added risk of injuring your tooth roots. Since there has been no published clinical research on the risks for this, I don’t recommend it.
3) Only Suitable for Minor Cases
In general, at-home aligners are better-suited for milder cases of crowding and spacing. I would recommend less than 3 mm of crowding or spacing.
Plus, because of the additional back-and-forth wiggling involved with Nighttime Aligner plans, your teeth may be more likely to shift back to their original positions after you wrap up treatment. This is an especially big risk if you don’t consistently wear your post-treatment retainer – which is a good habit no matter which provider and treatment you choose.
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StraightSmile Solutions now Offers Custom , 1:1 Orthodontic Courses in Waikiki Hawaii!

Back by popular request, StraightSmile Solutions now offers custom, 1:1 Orthodontic Classes in Waikiki, Hawaii! Doctor provides the venue. Subject to mutual availability. Contact us at [email protected] for course options and pricing. We do not offer CE credits at this time but we do offer an itemized receipt for your tax preparation. Our most popular courses are our hands-on straightwire course and aligner Phase 1 consulting courses. VIP and Concierge doctors get 50% off any courses after 1 year of membership. This offer isn’t valid with any other discounts.

Byte™, OrthoFx® and ProAlign®: The Second Generation of DTC Aligner Companies

As an orthodontic consultant and the CEO of StraightSmile Solutions®, I am frequently asked to report on the pulse of the orthodontic industry. Three years ago, I was one of the first bloggers to report on the Invisalign Store® experience and franchise developments. As an initial team member of the SmileDirectClub®, a Bay Area native, and a citizen concerned about corporate cannibalization, I openly welcomed the opportunity to visit both the Candid Co® and Uniform Teeth® stores in San Francisco, learning more about the future of DTC orthodontics.

Since then, I’ve kept an eye on some of the newcomers in the DTC aligner space. Byte™, ProAlign® and OrthoFx® are all new companies on my radar. To learn more, please listen to my VLOG:

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How Dentists can Leverage Instagram to Drive Patient Referrals

Our team at StraightSmile Solutions, has been supporting dentists for years to launch and scale ortho in their practices and lower their lab fees, but that isn’t all we do.

You may be the best dentist in town with the most ideal restorations, but if nobody knows you’ll be unsuccessful!

Nowadays, just hanging a shingle isn’t enough but most dentists get little to no marketing education in dental school. When I first graduated, marketing was all about direct mail. Now it is all digital and guess what? It can be totally FREE!

Content, content content. Organic content. Don’t buy you content. That is for lazy people and it isn’t effective.

If you’ve watched my YouTube videos and read my blogs, you know a lot about content and how it can be shared amongst multiple platforms but Instagram and YouTube are where you should focus if you are a general dentist.
If your demographics are for the more “senior” population, add more Facebook. If you demographics are teens and kids, add TikTok.

Most of us need to “do the work” to grow our Instagram base. I’ll be honest, it’s initially like watching grass grow. You need to put in 10-15 minutes a day to get it to grow, not unlike a farmer or anyone who can appreciate long term appreciation of their investment.

Here are the steps:

1. Set up your Instagram account. Insta is paired with Facebook so create a business account that pairs with your FB business account.

2. Start creating content and bank it in the cloud as a library. Instagram content is either photos or videos less than 1 minute long. Personally, for the last 2 years since I started focusing on Insta, I aim for 1 piece of content a day.

3. Every day you need to spend 10-15 minutes connecting with your followers and growing your followers. I do this while I watch some trashy TV. It allows me to indulge my guilty pleasure while I grow my business.

4. Scroll through the posts in your feed and make thoughtful comments, not just likes.

5. Search relevant #hashtags in your business and connect with those that follow them. Try to follow at least 20-50 new people a day. Unfollow people who don’t follow you back after a period of time. Binge and purge and repeat. It is a bit tedious but over time you’ll see the ROI. When people like or follow you, thank them with an organic and thoughtful comment. Don’t cut and paste because Insta’s algorithm will catch it and put you in “Insta Jail”. I’ve been there more than I would like and I’ve learned the hard way.

6. Post several times a day. I use Buffer as a posting platform. It costs me maybe $200 a year but I can load up my content and have it post automatically for me. It saves me a lot of time.

7. Research every new follower to make sure they are a quality follower. If not, remove them. For example, if I was a dentist in Oakland California, I would only be looking for followers in the metro Oakland area. If they lived in Texas, I would delete them. This helps to teach the Instagram algorithm to suggest better followers for you and for others to find you as well. Also, if you decide to boost posts “like your followers” you’ll get more quality with the boosts.

Please connect with us at StraightSmile Solutions if we can help you launch and scale your ortho in your practice at

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Can you Put Braces on Teeth With Crowns?

It always surprises me when patients ask for braces when they have complex restorative work when they could have Invisalign or other clear aligner brands.
Below is my scripting and verbiage to explain the importance of why clear aligners are superior in these situations.

1. You’ll need to damage the crowns in order to get some adhesion which will lower the lifespan of her crowns and/or she’ll need to pay out of pocket to replace her crowns after treatment

2. You can put bands on the crowns but this will likely damage her periodontal tissue long term and add to the risk of needing periodontal surgery later and also it is very attractive (think pirate teeth) and they also collect a lot of bacteria which can cause an odor and are very uncomfortable. Tell her this is how ortho was done from 1900-1980 and you want her to have “new” ortho which means aligners.

3. Just tell her you have confidence that she’ll wear them.
We can also slow down the treatment plan and have her wear it at 2 week intervals which gives us some wiggle room for compliance.

StraightSmile Solutions® is a web-based, orthodontic consulting service that supports general and pediatric dentists, dental labs and the dental industry. We can support you to launch de-novo orthodontic operations or scale your existing orthodontic operations. Our team supports you with every aspect of the process: case selection, team training, operations, case support and treatment plans.

Most of our doctors who fully utilize the support with the Concierge Plan or VIP Plans, scale their cases 200-500% in just 6 months. This can bring an extra six-figures in revenue.

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Linkedin for Dental Practice Marketing

When you consider social media marketing for your dental practice, you likely think of Facebook, TikTok or Instagram. LinkedIn probably isn’t on your radar. For more than a decade, it has been regarded as little more than a job-hunting website.

I started using Linkedin back in 2015 and since then I’ve amassed almost 20k connections, all in the dental industry. It is a FREE resource to connect with professionals around the world and even connect with high caliber, educated patients in your local town.

There are millions of healthcare professionals active on LinkedIn, so it should come as no surprise that it is an excellent place for establishing professional connections and finding quality employees but it is also a free marketing opportunity.

LinkedIn demographics probably resemble your target market. Statistics show that people with higher incomes and more education are more health conscious. Additionally, career-oriented individuals tend to be image conscious, making them an excellent market for cosmetic dentistry and implant dentistry.

StraightSmile Solutions® is a web-based, orthodontic consulting service that supports general and pediatric dentists, dental labs and the dental industry. We can support you to launch de-novo orthodontic operations or scale your existing orthodontic operations. Our team supports you with every aspect of the process: case selection, team training, operations, case support and treatment plans.

Most of our doctors who fully utilize the support with the Concierge Plan or VIP Plans, scale their cases 200-500% in just 6 months. This can bring an extra six-figures in revenue.

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Why Dentists need a YouTube Channel

If you haven’t already, it’s time to set up a YouTube channel for your dental practice. You need a Google account to get started. Once you have your account set up, you can start adding videos right away. It may take a few weeks to get it verified before you can activate it.

1. Make videos yourself and your team answering frequent questions and FAQ’s that you get regularly.

All you need to get started making your own videos is a cell phone and a $20 tripod that you can get on amazon. I use Fiverr for a quick $5 editing hack. Feel free to buzz me and I can send you the links of the equipment and team I use.

2. Ask patients to share videos
Patient videos and testimonials are another great type of video to add to your YouTube channel. You can ask patients to send in video testimonials, for example, where patients talk about a treatment they received at your practice or why they like you as a dentist.
Patient videos are another great type of video to add to your YouTube channel.

3. “How-to” videos
This is a very popular type of video people like to watch on YouTube. You can do how-to videos for any type of dental-related topic, even something really basic like brushing or flossing or home care for various procedures.

4. Answering patient questions
This is a simple video where you just talk to the camera for a couple minutes to answer your most popular questions and concerns from patients.

YouTube videos will help any dentist build a following to expand their online marketing reach. This type of content is also great to share on other social media networks and can be posted to your website as well. Videos will also help your SEO

StraightSmile Solutions® is a web-based, orthodontic consulting service that supports general and pediatric dentists, dental labs and the dental industry. We can support you to launch de-novo orthodontic operations or scale your existing orthodontic operations. Our team supports you with every aspect of the process: case selection, team training, operations, case support and treatment plans.

Most of our doctors who fully utilize the support with the Concierge Plan or VIP Plans, scale their cases 200-500% in just 6 months. This can bring an extra six-figures in revenue.

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Is our Dental Profession’s Passive Attitude Towards the Corona-Closure Justifying the SDC Business Model?

“Yes Ma’am Can I Have Another?

Passive Dentist Professional’s Attitude Towards COVID-Closure

The Impact of Coronavirus on Dentists

The novel coronavirus has infected millions of people across the globe and this pandemic has left all dentistry practice around the world go for a toss.

Only a few states have allowed dental offices to be kept open due to the social distancing limitations and rest all are shutdown. However, the dental association is just accepting this fate and not advocating their businesses or is bothered about their patients.

Supporting the SDC Model

The SDC business model is a model where a patient can make a bite cast or impression of his teeth at home or in SDC’s retail locations. This cast is then used by a professional to start a treatment plan.

However, in Georgia and Alabama, this was opposed by the dental association and state boards of dentistry. They all claimed that such casts should not be made at home and a licensed professional needs to be monitoring the activity. So the point here is, Virtual Treatments and work from home attitude are like justifying and supporting this unethical SDC/Candid business model.

Why are other departments still open for business?

Though most of the orthodontic doctors are shut for business a lot of other businesses are up and running. Who gets to decide the definition of “essential workers?” Chiropractors, physicians, and other health care departments are all allowed to work. Pharmaceutical companies, blood banks, community health workers are all up and running. Some financial services and IT departments are also running. In fact in Georgia people can book a salon treatment but cannot get their cavity filled?

What are the problems related to Virtual Dentistry?

There are multiple problems of doing blind virtual treatments based on guesswork. Kids, women, old patients cannot be just be checked visually through a skype or video call. We need to have Xrays and proper clinical examinations to not damage any teeth or cause any other health issues.

Months of treatment without proper checkup is unethical and can cause severe damage to the patients.

What should we do about this?

Dental professionals must start advocating proper practice and fight this virtual work culture. If that is not done then lawsuits from patients claiming patient abandonment and bad treatments may get filed. It is important to share this blog and reach out to your governor, dentist associations, and president.




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A Dentist’s Guide- Post Covid Restart

This is Dr. Amanda and I work with StraightSmile Solutions. Today, I want to discuss how dentists can stand together and deal with the effects of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Eventually, it will all calm down and you will see your self after a few years telling this story to your kids and grandkids.
Since the pandemic has left our dentist practice across the globe go for a toss, let me give you some personal tips on how we can go about it wisely and steadily.
• Screening your patients for symptoms before the checkup
A few of the basic symptoms of COVID-19 are runny nose, fever, cough or difficulty breathing. You should not allow your staff or patients with such symptoms to come into your office without testing. It is important to put a sign up on your front door or your reception desk to let patients know that they will be subject to this screening process.
• Be Accommodating of your Cancellation Policy
Although some people might take advantage, however, do not be strict about your 24-hour no-cancellation policy. You may get people with a request for last-minute appointments, so it will all balance out.
• Schedule a Waitlist for Patients
This trick will help you keep your schedule filled. You can move your patients based on your waitlist. You can look accommodating to your patients if you move them up when someone is sick or has canceled. You can also request some to wait in cases of emergency. People appreciate honesty and are generally very understanding at such times.
“Hello, this is [name] calling from Dr. [name]’s office. May I speak with [name] please” “Hello, [name]. How is the family doing with the new turn of events Is everyone doing ok”
“Dr. [name] asked me to reach for your convenience because he/she noticed that we do not have a future appointment setup for [patient name]. With the current events, we know that summer is going to be crazy busy for us after this dies down and wanted to go ahead and get you scheduled for an appointment to save you a slot. Do you have a moment to get that scheduled now”
• Always Be Available on Phone or Email
In such times you must be available for your patients on phone, email or text. Be prompt on answering phone calls and replying to emails and chats.
You can have chances of new patients calling you and old patients wanting advice. If you have a VOIP provider, quickly learn how to download the app and answer calls from your cell phone or computer.
If you have a landline, have one staff member attend and take appointments for all calls during open hours. If that is not possible let them attend calls from home.
• Online Consultations
I suggest that you completely enhance your virtual and social media presence. You can do ortho and online consultations for patients.
Patients only need to come to the clinic for scans and get your treatment virtually.
• Make use of Social Media Marketing
Social Media is a great way to market yourself. Send emails and virtual newsletters to existing patients to be in touch.

• Facebook and Instagram
Facebook and Instagram are also a great place to start. You can also hire a freelance digital marketing person to develop dentistry content. You can ask your patients to sign a social media release and blog about their experience.
• Content Schedulers
You can use content schedulers like Hoot suite and Buffer to load your content and schedule it every week or two.
• YouTube
You can start your own YouTube Videos as a doctor and share your expertise. With YouTube and social media, you will have a wider audience and become a more trusted doctor.
You can also use a freelance website service like Fiverr where it will cost you as little as $5 to hire someone to edit your video and even add nice touches like logos or watermarks to it. Hold office hours for patients to have discussions like in college. Your professors had office hours, and you could go in and pick their brains.
• Zoom Platform
Zoom is an intuitive platform that allows you to hold a video conference with your new patient.
You can integrate this with Calendly to automatically send the patient a link to a custom Zoom meeting for their appointment.
• Calendly
You can use an app called Calendly, for patients to have a quick 10-minute conversation by meeting over Skype. Calendly is an online scheduling platform that allows patients to book their appointments in specifically assigned available time slots.
• DocuSign
You must get contracts signed immediately, the same way you would do a same-day start. DocuSign allows you to send a contract to the patient for them to complete digitally.
● Work from Home for your Staff
Occupy your staff with social media marketing. It is not advisable to cut their hours or salaries so they might as well put their time to good use. Let them put posts on social media and market your clinic and practice.
Virtual Treatments by Straightsmile Solutions
We at StraightSmile Solutions help to support dentists to provide virtual consults. All you have to do is as follows.
● Ask someone to take a series of 8 photos of you using a smartphone or digicam.
● Submit all 8 photos of you using the form given to you and list your concerns.
● Someone from our team will assess your photos during the virtual appointment.
● You need to perform these steps 48 hours before the appointment for proper reviewal.
I hope that my tips on how to jump-start your practice as a dentist are useful to you. I will also be glad to get in touch with you if you want to contact me. You can visit my website at, and I will be more than happy to help you.

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