Straight Smile Solutions

How to Slash your Invisalign Lab Fees

Are you tired of lab fees for Invisalign®? Without volume discounts, a comprehensive case is almost $1900, and this doesn’t even include retainers. The great news is that now there are a couple of alternative options:
1. Utilize an off-label/white label aligner from a dental lab
StraightSmile Solutions® specializes in helping dentists find premium, non-branded IDB and aligner companies that manufacture the highest level of quality while charging much less than big name companies. By selecting and outsourcing to these smaller labs, you will significantly reduce your overhead and, consequently, your patients’ fees. By offering more affordable alternatives, your patient base will diversify, grow, and last, and your bottom line will skyrocket.
2. Develop an in-house lab within your own practice
Invisalign® cases take several weeks to design, print, and ship. For the pioneer-minded dentist, and even for those who aren’t, we strongly encourage investing in a small in-house lab. Our coaching expertise at StraightSmile Solutions™ includes tips and techniques on the best ways to assemble a small operation within your practice. Our consulting services keep the process simple for you, presenting you with affordable, innovative, top-notch vendors who supply cutting-edge technology that scans, designs, prints, and thermoforms aligner cases and IDB cases/braces almost instantly. We connect you with established companies that help with setting up treatment planning, guide you through details like case selection, and assist you with overcoming any obstacles that may arise.
Benefits of an in-house lab:
• A turnaround time of hours, rather than weeks
• Control over the manufacturing process
• Convenience for patients with minor tooth movement cases
• The potential of offering more appliances – like mouth guards and splints
• Happy patients
• Increased profits
• Instant gratification

3. A hybrid option
Many labs will work with you on a hybrid option of outsourcing parts of the in-house workflow to save on cost, labor, or equipment.

Which cases are appropriate for in-house aligners, and which cases are better for branded aligners? The answer comes down to both volume and biomechanics. As the original dental director of SmileDirectClub® and now founder of StraightSmile Solutions®, I’ve seen a lot of aligner treatment plans come my way. You’re fooling yourself if you think that Invisalign® technology is required for an ideal outcome in all cases. It’s not. The vast majority of cases can be treated either without attachments or with more simplistic attachments that are available in the in-house/non-branded aligners. You don’t need G5 or G6 technology for the average case.
The key to success is case selection. I would recommend treating only mild to moderate, adult dentition, Class I malocclusion cases with the in-house aligner option. If you need guidance on case selection, I always recommend that general and pediatric dentists have an orthodontic coach to help guide them through case selection and assist with some of the obstacles they may encounter through the duration of the treatment.
Setting your price point is also important. With the new Invisalign “brick and mortar” stores nationally selling the average case between $2500 and $3500, the sweet spot is $2999 and below.
For more information on becoming a StraightSmile Solutions® client, visit www.straightsmilesolutions.com.

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The 2018 Infestation of Invisalign Stores

Note: The opinions presented below are that of the author and have not been verified by Align Technology®.
As some celebrate the one-year anniversary of the flagship Invisalign Store® in San Francisco, I encourage you to look to the future and prepare for next steps. By the end of 2018, Align Technology® plans to have launched twelve pilot stores across the United States.
As an orthodontic consultant and the CEO of StraightSmile Solutions®, I am frequently asked to forecast Align Technology’s® next strategic move.
At the webinar on September 14th, they announced that they will be partnering with thirty doctors at each new store. These doctors can be general dentists or orthodontists, and priority is given to doctors who are high-ranking on the regional doctor locator. This is an abrupt change from the referral philosophy announced last year, which was clearly orthocentric. The albeit “low margin” referrals and financing flexibility are certainly a huge perk if you are chosen as one of these coveted doctors.
Ultimately, these “beta” stores are one more step in the direction of corporate cannibalization and will likely push many doctors toward 3D printing their own aligners.
Trying to compete with the $2,499–$3,499 price for a mild-to-moderate Invisalign case is very challenging. The biomechanical features provided in the Signature® or Signature Plus® cases are virtually identical to what you could do in-house anyway.
By 3D printing your own aligners, your overhead can be as low as $100 per case once you’ve purchased the initial equipment, which ranges from $25,000–$50,000. Depending on your volume, you can be in the black in just a month or two. You can also scan and deliver your aligners in just a few hours as opposed to waiting two–six weeks for shipping. If you are planning to do volume, this is the right direction to go.
If you are hesitant about purchasing the equipment outright or staging your own treatment plans, connect with me and the StraightSmile Solutions® team because there are many hybrid options.
If you have questions, visit my YouTube video library at www.straightsmilesolutions.com or connect with our team for a 20-minute complimentary consultation and a review of your orthodontic overhead and process flow.

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