Straight Smile Solutions
1) Keep IN TOUCH with patients.
2) Keep the MORALE UP of our patients.
3) Keep their TREATMENT GOING as much as possible.
But most importantly:
4) Show the community/patients/parents that you are actively engaged in their wellbeing and that of their families.
5) Initiate virtual consultations. Consider sending out white-label “kits” like Smile Concierge Club to get patients started on Phase 1, Aligners and IDB. Phase 1 and Aligners could be mailed to existing patients of record who have already had an exam and x-rays.
6) Switch routing ortho adjustment appointments to virtual. One employee can manage a day’s worth of virtual patients. See my previous YouTube videos and blogs on the subject.
7) Create instructional videos for your YouTube channel. If you can’t film live ones, you can (as a doctor) go over what to expect for now.
Video 1: New Patient (Kid)
Video 2: New Patient (Adult)
Video 3: Bonding/Scan/Start
Video 4: Braces Adjustment (Kid)
Video 5: Braces Adjustment (Adult)
Video 6: Invisalign/White Label Aligner Adjustment
Video 7: Observation I (Kid on Recall Waiting for Comprehensive)
Video 8: Observation II (Kid on Recall Waiting for Phase 2)
Video 9: Retainer Check (Kid)
Video 10: Retainer Check (Adult)
Video 11: Phase 1 Appliance Adjustment
Mar 30th, 2020 8:15 am
Posted in Blog | Comments Off on How to Manage Your Ortho Patients in Covidland
Doctors who have active Invisalign cases right now while in Corona-Shutdown are having to be creative to manage their patients. Click on the link above to see the official statements from Align Technology.
The StraightSmile Solutions team has dozens of additional suggestions. We are glad to talk to doctors individually to assess your situation and give feedback.
Visit www.straightsmilesolutions.com to schedule a call today.
Mar 28th, 2020 8:55 am
Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Invisalign Tricks and Tips During Corona Shutdown
This coronavirus pandemic is clearly disrupting the dental industry. Patients and dental professionals alike are all suffering. Although it seems easier to hide, there are actionable steps that we can take to keep our businesses thriving despite being closed.
As the CEO of StraightSmile Solutions®, I have a 30,000-mile, birds-eye view of what dentists around the world are doing to survive. Sure, most are being over-compliant and burrowing in their rabbit dens, trying to do “their part to flatten the curve.”
Don’t get me wrong. I madly respect that, but remember that you also have dependents who are often hourly wage-earners and who are suffering right now. Now is the time to be more innovative and think outside the box.
Trust me, I am hurting too. I’ve temporarily lost over 50% of my clients to this slowdown. Instead of chilling and watching Netflix, I’ve chosen to help my fellow dentists with complimentary support.
I am not telling you to break the law or harm yourselves or others. Quite the contrary. My suggestions are clearly explained in the dozens of videos I’ve been publishing and posting on my YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZQDILf1sP5qR4p78673bzA?view_as=subscriber. I also have a PDF of suggestions that I can email to you if you contact me here.
Believe it or not, some dentists are thriving and following the laws and regulations, but it’s a small, innovative few. Align Technology® ran a great webinar last week on the launch of its VC system (virtual consult / virtual check-in). Other similar systems are also available, such as SmileSnap®, GP Ortho Tracking®, and Dental Monitoring®.
In this era of social distancing, it is still critical to maintain strong virtual relationships with our patients. There are many low- or no-cost virtual consult and check-in systems on the market. By implementing these systems, we can guarantee that we will return to healthy practices and continue to help people in the way we always have, one smile at a time.
At some point, business will resume as normal, so it’s important to spend this time preparing your practice for when the pandemic ends, and you can reopen your office doors. It is very likely that it won’t be a “fully normal” SOP. Now is a great time to focus on refining operations, updating project management systems, researching new technology, and growing your social media presence.
Additionally, even when we return, our ability to see patients in the way we did before will likely be limited for some time. We can use our time now to start preparing for these possible scenarios so that we have the technology, equipment, and personnel in place to move forward.
If you are closing your office doors or forced to cut normal business hours, you should certainly post a notice on your website. However, not having an alternative way to engage with your patients and not providing them with other ways to enter your funnel effectively eliminates the value of your site because it will no longer be driving leads.
As bad as the coronavirus pandemic is, it will eventually end. When it does, there will be pent-up demand for orthodontic treatment, and there will be a high demand for consultations, despite potential ongoing issues with the economy. Pre-qualifying patients will be critical to ensure that every patient who takes a consultation slot is motivated, well-informed, and ready to start treatment. Having a high consult treatment acceptance and conversion rate will be a necessity to recover months of lost starts and missing production.
Dentists and dental providers must return online assessments and treatment plans.
As an orthodontist, your most valuable time is your consultation time. In the rush to return our practices to “normal” when we return from the COVID-19 pandemic, this statement will be truer than ever. Providing a high-quality consultation that converts into a treatment start is the key to orthodontic practice growth. Virtual consultations are a way to pre-qualify your leads and create a pipeline of new patients who have already been educated about the benefits of being treated by your practice and been given an estimated treatment plan and fee.
Cutting lab fees on aligners and orthodontics is another way to use your time wisely right now. It is the wild, wild west in the land of clear aligners. StraightSmile Solutions® is the ultimate aligner matchmaker. We help doctors select the ideal cases for white labeling aligners to save 50–75% on average in lab fees and still obtain ideal outcomes. With price points as low as $15 per aligner, now is the time to lower your lab fees!
To schedule a complimentary consultation with our team, visit www.straightsmilesolutions.com.
Mar 24th, 2020 3:06 pm
Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Coronavirus and Dentistry- Long Term Solutions
As the CEO of StraightSmile Solutions, I have a 30,000 mile, birds-eye view of what dentists around the world are doing to survive. Sure, most are being over-compliant and burrowing in their rabbit’s dens trying to do “their part to flatten the curve”. Don’t get me wrong, I madly respect that but remember you also have dependents who are often hourly wage-earners who are suffering right now. Now is the time to be more innovative and think “outside the box”. Trust me, I am hurting too. I’ve lost over 50% of my clients temporarily to this slowdown. Instead of chilling and watching Netflix, I’ve chosen to help my fellow dentists with complimentary support.
I am not telling you to break the law or to harm yourselves or others, quite the contrary. My suggestions are clearly explained in dozens of videos I’ve been publishing and posting on my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZQDILf1sP5qR4p78673bzA?view_as=subscriber. I also have a PDF of suggestions that I can email you if you contact me here.
Believe it or not, some dentists are thriving and following the laws and regulations but it’s a small, innovative few. Align Technology® had a great webinar last week on their launch of their VC system (virtual consult/virtual check-in). There are other systems that are available such as SmileSnap®, GP Ortho Tracking® and Dental Monitoring®.
Mar 22nd, 2020 4:27 pm
Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Survival of the Fittest?- How Some Dentists are Surviving the Shutdown
Interested in learning more about myofunctional orthodontics?
We are glad to give you a copy of our proprietary My Phase 1 Smile® screening evaluation. Just message us.
Some of my favorite podcasts on the topic:
Feel free to buzz us at www.straightsmilesolutions.com to schedule a complimentary consultation to help you get started.
Mar 2nd, 2020 12:06 pm
Posted in Blog | Comments Off on How to Build an in-house Aligner Lab and Launch Phase 1
I have friends and family members who live in Asia and right now their life is being severely impacted by Coronavirus. They are unable to make a living, simply, because everyday life is shutdown. People are staying in their homes. The only people who are flourishing are those who have careers which can be sustained with telecommuting.
This is concerning for my own family and clients who have patient/people-facing jobs. It is just a matter of time before we are in the same situation. Unless you have already set-up some systems for tele-dentistry, you will be severely impacted.
Now is the time to get the systems started:
1. Virtual Consults
2. Removable Ortho (Aligners/Phase 1)
At StraightSmile Solutions we are glad to talk more to you about launching or scaling ortho in your practice. Just visit https://www.straightsmilesolutions.com/
Feb 26th, 2020 7:33 am
Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Coronavirus and your Dental Practice
I’ve been in Invisalign jail. I have family members currently in Invisalign Jail. I have clients in Invisalign Jail. Align technology has one of the most unfriendly financing policies and procedures. Once you get yourself in jail it can take years to get out of it.
This is one of the top three reasons doctors I work with switch to white label or other aligner companies. Now that other aligner companies are offering some of the once proprietary bells and whistles like bite ramps and precision cuts, it makes the leap a little bit softer.
If you’ve been in Invisalign jail, I would like to hear your story. Hopefully we can encourage Joe Hogan to change his policies. Please email me at [email protected]
Many doctors are interested in integrating Phase 1 Orthodontics in their practice. Early treatment with Phase 1 Orthodontics has life-long health and esthetic benefits.
We have several resources we recommend to get started:
3. Watch our YouTube videos:
4. Watch our archives webinars:
Feb 17th, 2020 9:30 am
Posted in Blog, Expander, Functional Appliances, HealthyStart, Phase 1 Tx, RPE, Sagittal, Schwartz | Comments Off on How to Get Started with Phase 1 and RPE in your Practice
Should you pick a removable or fixed expander?
Read more about expanders here: https://www.straightsmilesolutions.com/blog/rpe-2/
Benefits of Expanders in Phase 1 EARLY MIXED DENTITION:
Develops the arches to the ideal width. Hypothetically speaking usually when the arches are developed in the early mixed dentition to the ideal width, the teeth tend to come in straight/straighter, there is less risk of impactions, there is less crowding, less risk for orthognathic surgery, less chance of premolar extractions. Of course we are just “paving the road” for the future. We can’t always predict the future. We can just make it more likely to turn out better. It also decreases the chance that they actually “need” braces. You can do this in combination of an EG appliance (eruptive guidance) for retention and you should have a super-nice outcome. Most likely you’ll only need a few express/white label aligners for Phase 2. Again, no promises! It just just more likely.
SCHWARTZ VS FIXED:
Some patients/parents come in with a strong preference for fixed or removable. You should go over the benefits and risks of each one and still make a clinical recommendation.
REMOVABLE (aka Schwartz)-
* Can be done in upper or upper/lower. Look at the arches. If there is lower crowding do upper and lower. If there is posterior crossbite, do 2 turns a week on top and 1 on the lower. If no crossbite and just v-shaped arches or crowding, do 2 turns top, 2 turns lower per week.
* Sometimes when you “untrap” the lower arch you can get some growth of the mandible and some natural expansion of the lower arch. A lower schwartz is just for arch expansion. There is no suture in the mandible so you aren’t growing jaws there.
* Schwartz is WAY better from the patient experience. Hygiene is better, discomfort is better, they can eat whatever they want, they can pick colors and bling it out. Schwartz is “fun”. Most patients are very compliant. Give them a case with a necklace or clip so they don’t lose it at school or at lunch.
* Build in a compliance contract/agreement with the price if they do lose them or the price to upgrade to fixed if they elect to.
* Schwartz expanders also can be customizable to add screws/pistons to jump anterior crossbites, distalize molars or facemask hooks to help to bring a maxilla forward.
* You can add acrylic to the front plate to open the COS (fix deep bites) or to the posterior teeth to intrude the molars (open bite)
* You can also embed a tongue/thumb crib for habits
* It is easier to turn because you can take it out of the mouth
* Often parents like the idea of fixed initially but from a patient experience, it is pretty miserable. They are bulky, hard to talk, hard to eat and uncomfortable. They are also smelly and trap a lot of food and plaque. More often than not, parents who elect fixed tend to regret it in hindsight. It is also hard for the parents to turn because they need to do it intra-orally.
* If you have a severe thumb habit, a fixed might be better because they will take out the removable appliance.