Straight Smile Solutions

ALIGN PATENTS EXPIRATION

October 2017 is a special month in the aligner world; this is the date of the first batch of Invisalign® patent expirations. What does this ultimately mean? Nobody knows for sure, but it should mean lower lab prices as competition confidently emerges.
Straumann® took a huge step in the right direction with its acquisition of Clear Correct® several months ago, and now Straumann® has also acquired a 35% share of the 3D printing company, Rapid Shape. If you would like to hear more about 3D aligner printing, you can click here.
Try a Google® search on clear aligners, and you’ll be surprised by the outcome: dozens of companies all excited to get a valuable piece of the aligner pie with lab fees of $500–$1,000. Try comparing this to the average Invisalign Full® or Invisalign Teen® lab fee of $1,800! With StraightSmile Solutions monthly unlimited coaching fees as low as $499, you can afford your own orthodontic coach by just completing one aligner case a month! Given that every new patient, recall patient, or hygiene patient is a potential orthodontic opportunity from age two to age ninety-nine, it should be easy to start dozens of cases a day. Imagine your potential and profits! If you aren’t sure about the options in the early/interceptive orthodontic arena, do take a look at my previous blog post here.
Which cases are appropriate for in-house aligners or generic 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 and amazing outcomes come my way. You’re fooling yourself if you think that Invisalign® technology or even attachments are 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 with 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 or generic aligner option. I would also recommend learning some straight wire biomechanics. These can be taught by an orthodontic coach or at one of the many weekend orthodontic courses, like Six Month Smiles®. Want to hear more about their course? You can click here.
If you need guidance on case selection, I always recommend that general and pediatric dentists have an orthodontic coach help guide them through the case selection and assist with some of the obstacles they may encounter through the duration of the treatment. StraightSmile Solutions® is the first online portal to provide a customized orthodontic coaching solution for every practice. Visit www.straightsmilesolutions.com to get started.

Same Day Aligners—A Game Changer for the Orthodontic Industry

Instant gratification. Dental professionals are all too familiar with the benefits of this marketing strategy and the resulting benefits to their profit. However, the past generation, was unable to offer this opportunity to their aligner patients because Invisalign® cases take several weeks to design, print, and ship. In many geographic markets, aligners are surpassing braces as the preferred orthodontic treatment method. With regard to clear aligners, the unanimous criticism from dentists and patients alike, is related to the high cost of the product relative to that of traditional braces. With an average lab fee of around $1,800 for a full case, this overhead is often passed on to patients.

The response to my previous blog post on www.straightsmilesolutions.com regarding strategies to reduce your Invisalign® lab fees has been incredible. Why wait weeks to deliver aligners and pay exorbitant lab fees when there’s now innovative technology that allows you to scan, design, print, and thermoform your own aligner case in just a few hours? Same day aligners are a game changer in the orthodontic industry. How do you know if it’s right for you and your practice? Let’s have a look at some of the key points.

Invisalign® & In-house – Not Mutually Exclusive

To understand which selection can prove to be better for your business, you can start with offering both options, branded clear aligners and in-house solutions, and analyze the P&L and ROI. Evaluate both options according to the revenue they bring for your business and the usability in business operations.  Not sure if this would work for you? There’s a solution for that. Check out this ROI calculator.

By offering a more cost-effective aligner solution, suddenly your target market expands by opening up to a wider demographic. You can now introduce aligner therapy to those who previously could not afford it or were turned off due to the cost factor. However, keep in mind that not all cases are appropriate for in-house aligners, just as not all cases are suitable for Invisalign.

 

Case Selection is Key

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 the case selection and to assist with some of the obstacles they may encounter through the duration of the treatment. StraightSmile Solutions® is the first online portal to provide a customized orthodontic coaching solution for every practice. Visit www.straightsmilesolutions.com to get started.

 

Help is Readily Available

If you think setting up your own aligner brand sounds extremely complicated, it really is not. You have probably already purchased many of the necessary systems to streamline your office, like a 3D scanner and a thermoforming machine. From my experience, the biggest hurdle to overcome for general dentists is often the treatment planning. Luckily, you can partner with a company like eXceed® that will do the set up for you for a small fee.

As for 3D printers, Structo has an interesting blog post in this series that sheds light on the ideal 3D printing technology for aligner manufacturing. Or you can contact the Structo team and a representative will walk you through the entire process of setting up your manufacturing line.

 

New Revenue Stream – Dental Tourism

The dental tourism market is trending in many geographic areas. Another major benefit of opting for an in-house solution is that it will reduce the turnout time for the patients, who require minor tooth movement cases. While the turnaround time of Invisalign® is approximately two to three weeks, in-house solutions can be done only in a matter of hours, depending on the production capacity of your business. This creates an opportunity for the patients looking for convenience and the practitioners looking for increased profits.

 

Taking Control over Quality and Profits

With an in-house solution, you will be in charge of the manufacturing process; you will be able to control the final cost and the quality of the products. The process will require your utmost dedication, time, and effort, but all this will be worth the end result and the profits you will make . Moreover, having your own production line set up will enable you to start considering offering other appliances to your patients, which can include thermoforming mouth guards and splints.

If you want to learn more about adopting Structo’s dental 3D printers for your clear aligner line, you can contact the team online. A representative will help you install the machine, train your team, and guide you through all the steps. Don’t hesitate to contact StraightSmile Solutions® with any questions.

 

Healthy Start and Early Orthodontics

Pediatricians often overlook the signs and symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and fail to refer patients in a timely manner for necessary treatment. Kids can be screened for SDB as young as age two. Not only do SDB patients have more allergies and growth and development challenges, but also SDB can contribute to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder among children. You can read more about the risks of childhood SDB here.
The connection between SDB and orthodontics has been well established in the literature, but most general dentists, pediatric dentists, and orthodontists are cognizant of it. Oral habits and malocclusion go hand in hand with SDB. Diagnosing and treatment planning SDB early can minimize not only the outward symptoms but also the long-term systemic and oral health complications. Most orthodontists and pediatric dentists, however, lack the formal education and training to adequately diagnose and treat these conditions in children before age seven.
The best treatment to enhance both the oral and systemic health of SDB-affected children is the Healthy Start® System. Unlike other systems, Healthy Start® not only eliminates oral habits but also establishes and maintains the airway and, when started early, corrects malocclusion. Moreover, with early treatment, it also straightens teeth without the necessity for traditional braces and lifetime retention.
Let’s have a look at some of the major reasons why the Healthy Start® System is established to be the best treatment choice for SDB-affected children:
➢ The appliances used by the Health Start® System have intrinsic, myofunctional properties. These components ensure that myofunctional exercises are being completed even while sleeping.
➢ The Healthy Start Habit Corrector® is often the initial appliance in the system. This patented appliance can expand arches up to 4 mm. This often eliminates the need for painful, fixed, rapid palatal expanders.
➢ The Healthy Start Habit Corrector® also helps to keep the mandible advanced while sleeping to keep the airway patent. It ensures the proper tongue placement and trains the tongue to swallow ideally and to rest in the optimal position.
➢ Healthy Start® also uses the natural, healthy, eruptive forces of the teeth for expansion of the arches and alignment. When started early, it can help treat severe malocclusion cases like overbite, overjet, gummy smile, crossbite, open bite, and pseudo class III along with correcting crowding and spacing up to 12 mm.
➢ The Health Start® System supports growth and development in both arches and promotes mandibular growth, when indicated, up to 54% in a healthy downward and forward direction.
➢ Healthy Start® appliances have a built-in compliance indicator.
➢ Progress can be tracked, quantified, and monitored by the doctor through the Healthy Start® app and doctor dashboard. This is available in both Apple and Google Play stores at no cost to the patient.
In conclusion, oral and airway health are related to a child’s overall systemic health. The Healthy Start® System has treated over 3.5 million smiles to date globally with a lab fee that is only 30% of many aligner systems available today. This US-based company for SDB and orthodontics, when started early, offers a healthy, nighttime, hygienic, and removable treatment alternative to painful braces, jaw surgery, premolar extractions, and headgear.
General and Pediatric Dentists may need an orthodontic coach to help guide them through case selection and some of the obstacles they may encounter throughout the duration of treatment. StraightSmile Solutions® is the first online portal to provide a customized orthodontic coaching solution for every practice. Visit www.straightsmilesolutions.com to get started.

5 Surefire Steps to Slay your Invisalign® Lab Fees

What if you could live in a world where all your patients’ teeth could be aligned beautifully in-house and without lab fees? Imagine all the stunning smiles, happy patients, and robust business growth! This dream can be a reality for you with Structo® 3D Printers.

The fundamental philosophy at Structo is to empower the industry with their high throughput dental 3D printers to encourage the widespread adoption of digital dentistry. Structo’s high throughput printers allows dental professionals to bring down the overall cost of appliances such as clear aligners, increasing global access to care. At StraightSmile Solutions®, we support access to care to help create more healthy and happy smiles around the world.

As the original Dental Director of SmileDirectClub® and now the founder of StraightSmile Solutions®, I’ve seen a lot of aligner treatment plans. Invisalign® technology is not required for an ideal outcome in all cases. The vast majority of cases can be treated either without attachments or with an off-label aligner company. You don’t need G5 or G6 technology for the average case. The price point of 3D printers and treatment-planning software has come down significantly in the past few years. It’s now affordable for most Dentists and Orthodontists to own their own 3D printer and make aligners in-house for the majority of their cases. Not sure if this would work for you? Check out this Structo® ROI calculator: http://home.structo3d.com/roi-calculator.

If you think it sounds confusing, you don’t need to worry. You probably already have a lot of systems purchased and streamlined in your office like a 3D scanner and a thermoforming machine. Using a 3D printer is similar process flow. Visit this step-by-step guide here to learn how: http://blog.structo3d.com/part-2-5-things-you-need-to-start-a-clear-aligner-business.

STEP 1: First, you need to buy a scanner. This is a simple step that you’ve probably already completed. If you still have questions, check out my blog about purchasing a scanner here: https://www.straightsmilesolutions.com/blog/four-important-questions-to-ask-before-buying-a-dental-scanner/.

STEP 2: You can buy your own treatment planning software, or you can simply outsource for this service. Structo’s® printers are compatible with any variety of software that exports in STL format, like 3Shape® and Sirona®. You can also partner with a company like eXceed®, which will do the set up for you for a small fee of $175-$245: http://exceed-ortho.com/getting-started/.

STEP 3: After designing your treatment plan for your patient, you will need to translate that digital file into a series of steps in the form of models using a MSLA 3D printer. Structo’s® Ortho Form is the world’s fastest Orthodontic 3D printer. To learn more about MSLA 3D Printing, click here: http://www.structo3d.com/technology/.

STEP 4: Just like 3D printers, thermoforming machines come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. A good thermoforming machine will deliver aligners that are the perfect negative of the model used. You also want to make sure your thermoforming system is compatible with your 3D printer.

STEP 5: I always recommend that General and Pediatric Dentists have an Orthodontic Coach to help guide them through case selection and some of the obstacles they may encounter throughout the duration of the treatment. StraightSmile Solutions® is the first online portal to provide a customized orthodontic coaching solution for every practice. Visit www.straightsmilesolutions.com to get started.

If you want to learn more about becoming a Structo® Provider, you can contact their team atwww.structo3d.com/contact. A representative will help you install the machine, train your team, and guide you through all the steps. Don’t hesitate to contact StraightSmile Solutions® with any questions.

IDB for ME!

Need a fixed orthodontic solution? Over the years, I’ve coached hundreds of General Dentists on various aligner systems. All too often, finishing cases is a significant barrier to overcome and trying to educate General Dentists who have no knowledge of basic straight-wire biomechanics is a challenge.

IDB Solutions, like Six Month Smiles®, are excellent supplement for any General Dentist who offers Invisalign®, Clear Correct®, or any other alternative aligner product. The ability to confidently use straight-wire sectional mechanics to correct a stubborn canine rotation, premolar cross-bite, or tipped molar during finishing of aligner treatment would improve outcomes and standards of care.

Refinements, revisions, and additional aligners with various attachments are always an option, but for patients who are notoriously impatient, having these tools and tricks up your sleeve will improve your confidence, speed, and outcomes, and ultimately patient’s satisfaction and your subsequent referrals and bottom line.

There are a variety of IDB solutions on the market, so pick the one with the right support, features and price point for you and your team. If you have questions, feel free to give me a buzz.

StraightSmile Solutions is the future of orthodontic coaching. We are the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GPs and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert, in order to enhance information sharing and efficiency in problem solving. Visit StraightSmile Solutions to schedule today.

Dental Monitoring® (DM) to Maximize Ortho Profit

 

Orthodontics can be an extremely profitable addition to any General Dental practice, but in order to maximize your profit, it’s important to manage your chair time efficiently.

With the advent of new and more efficient plastics and metals, and the incorporation of Accelerated Orthodontics (AO) auxiliary systems like Propel®, Ortho Pulse® and AcceleDent®, the utilization of Indirect Bonding Systems (IDB) like 6MS® and eXceed®, chair time overhead can often be significantly reduced by managing your patients remotely and eliminating unnecessary office visits.

The patient’s smart phone is transformed to a remote monitoring and scanning device for just $10-$15 a month.

The following are key patient benefits of Dental Monitoring®:

1. Safety:
Patients are monitored at the frequency the doctor prescribes, often 5 to 10 times more than a regular office visit. Movement is tracked and quantified and reports are generated to the provider’s dashboard.

2. Comfort:
You can enjoy virtual office appointments that only take a few minutes from the comfort of your home and as a result the frequency of office appointments is decreased.

3. Compliance:
The doctor can send encouragement to the patient regarding aligner or elastic wear, emergencies, or treatment progress and hygiene.

4. Overhead Reduction
Unnecessary office visits are eliminated by the utilization of tele-dentistry for the majority of the treatment. The patient is scheduled for office visits only when prescribed by the doctor.

5. Increased Patient Satisfaction
Patients are overwhelmingly satisfied by the reduced office visits and increased communication with the doctor and team, this leads to new patient referrals.
StraightSmile Solutions® is the comprehensive choice for dentists seeking an orthodontic coaching solution. Visit www.straightsmilesolutions.com and click on the services page to subscribe at https://www.straightsmilesolutions.com/services/. StraightSmile Solutions® is the future of orthodontic coaching, offering the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GPs and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert.

How to Ensure Orthodontic Positive Outcomes

Here’s the latest stats, last I heard, on the future of orthodontics in the US:

52% of all orthodontic cases are being completed by GP’s.

82% of GP’s and Pediatric Dentists are offering orthodontic solutions.

Access to care is here, and patients are thrilled to have more convenient, local orthodontic options.

2017 brings upon the expiration of some of Align®’s patents, so now there are literally dozens of aligner, IDB (Indirect Bonding) and Pediatric Phase I Functional Appliance Solutions available in the US alone.

Lab fees are dropping and technology is becoming more simple and affordable. Every General Dentist should be offering BOTH an aligner and an IDB solution in their office.

Why both?

Patient preference- Options are a great practice-builder.
Patient compliance- Not all patients will be compliant with a removable appliance.
Better outcomes- Not all bio-mechanical movements are optimized with one solution alone.
What about kids? Does your Phase I Orthodontic solutions address habits? How do you, address habits in kids? Positive reinforcement? Negative reinforcement? Wait until the 6’s come in and make an appliance?

There are a myriad of different habits that can disrupt the outcome of a seemingly simple orthodontic case: digit-sucking, thumb-sucking, lip-sucking, mouth-breathing, abnormal-tongue resting position, tongue-thrust, reverse tongue-thrust and backwards-swallow, just to name a few.

It’s important to incorporate a habit solution into all your orthodontic cases to ensure optimal outcomes.
StraightSmile Solutions® is the comprehensive choice for dentists seeking an orthodontic coaching solution. Visit www.straightsmilesolutions.com and click on the services page to subscribe at https://www.straightsmilesolutions.com/services/. StraightSmile Solutions® is the future of orthodontic coaching, offering the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GPs and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert. We pride ourselves on lightning-fast service and responsiveness. We are filling the gap in the market for quality and insightful coaching by providing valuable solutions for doctors and their teams, and subsequent positive outcomes in the quality of patient care.

No Buts about Phase 1 and Habits!

Does your Phase I Orthodontic solutions address habits? How do you, address habits in kids? Positive reinforcement? Negative reinforcement? Wait until the 6’s come in and make an appliance?

There are a myriad of different habits that can disrupt the outcome of a seemingly simple orthodontic case: digit-sucking, thumb-sucking, lip-sucking, mouth-breathing, abnormal-tongue resting position, tongue-thrust, reverse tongue-thrust and backwards-swallow, just to name a few.

It’s important to incorporate a habit solution into all your orthodontic cases to ensure optimal outcomes.

StraightSmile Solutions® is the comprehensive choice for dentists seeking an orthodontic coaching solution. Visit www.straightsmilesolutions.com and click on the services page or schedule a complimentary coaching session. StraightSmile Solutions® is the future of orthodontic coaching, offering the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GPs and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert. We pride ourselves on lightning-fast service and responsiveness. We are filling the gap in the market for quality and insightful coaching by providing valuable solutions for doctors and their teams, and subsequent positive outcomes in the quality of patient care.

The Next Revolution in Orthodontics

Two decades ago, Align Technology® launched an innovative, new concept in the Orthodontic Industry that has revolutionized teeth-straightening around the world. Meanwhile, quietly in the background, Dr. Earl Bergersen and OrthoTain®/Healthy Start®, were launching their own orthodontic innovation. To date, over 3 million cases have been completed!
The Healthy Start® Early Orthodontic System, uses Eruptive-Guidance technology, to gently direct teeth as they erupt, as opposed to applying a heavy force once the teeth are in occlusion. These guidance-based mechanics eliminate risks of unhealthy side effects, such as root-resorption and discomfort, and in most cases retention is unnecessary past age 12! The appliance system is only worn at night and occasionally 2 hours during the day during screen and homework time, making compliance easy! In addition, with low lab fees (around 40% of comparative orthodontic systems), your ROI can make this system a successful addition to your practice.
If you have questions about becoming a Healthy Start® provider, feel free to contact me or attend one of my Orthodontic Study Clubs around the US.
StraightSmile Solutions® is the comprehensive choice for dentists seeking an orthodontic coaching solution. Visit www.straightsmilesolutions.com and click on the services page or schedule a complimentary coaching session. StraightSmile Solutions® is the future of orthodontic coaching, offering the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GPs and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert. We pride ourselves on lightning-fast service and responsiveness. We are filling the gap in the market for quality and insightful coaching by providing valuable solutions for doctors and their teams, and subsequent positive outcomes in the quality of patient care.

What is Six Month Smiles Confidex®?

Many General Dentists are using Invisalign® and the like the ease of use, but they struggle to obtain ideal outcomes. Orthodontists, like myself, know that not all adults are compliant and that not all patients are ideal candidates for removable appliance systems.

If you are looking for an esthetic, fixed appliance system with invisible wires and brackets, I recommend Six Month Smiles® to my StraightSmile Solutions® clients. If you aren’t familiar with the CONFIDEX® system, that was released Q3, 2016, you should take a closer look at the benefits.

Six Month Smiles CONFIDEX® Benefits

• Digital Space Analysis
• Angle Classification Analysis
• Case complexity Analysis
• Estimated Treatment Time Analysis
• Tooth Size and Bolton Discrepancy Analysis
• Wire Sequencing Recommendations
• IPR quantification, Staging and Sequencing Recommendations, If Indicated
• Bite Guard Placement and Localization Recommendations, If Indicated
• Power Chain Staging and Placement Recommendations, If indicated
• Esthetic and Gingival Re-contouring Staging and Placement Recommendations, If Indicated
• Button Placement Recommendations, If Indicated
• Extraction Recommendations, If Indicated
• Elastic Size, Staging and Localization Recommendation, If Indicated
• A Customized Monthly, Step-by-step Guide to Treatment
• Retention Recommendations
• Six Month Smiles Online Forum Support
• Digitally-Directed, Custom, Precision-Placed Indirect Bonding Trays
• Standard Patient Kit (PTK) with Wires and Ties.
• 3D Simulation
• Arch Wires
• Adhesive
• Patient Relief Wax
• Quick Ties (Single Ligature Ties)
• OptraGate® Retractor

If you are looking to become a Six Month Smiles provider, you can visit www.6monthsmiles.com or message me with questions. There are courses all over the world. Check out my past blogs on my website for more information about the certification courses!

StraightSmile Solutions® is the comprehensive choice for dentists seeking an orthodontic coaching solution. Visit www.straightsmilesolutions.com and click on the services page or schedule a complimentary coaching session. StraightSmile Solutions® is the future of orthodontic coaching, offering the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GPs and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert. We pride ourselves on lightning-fast service and responsiveness. We are filling the gap in the market for quality and insightful coaching by providing valuable solutions for doctors and their teams, and subsequent positive outcomes in the quality of patient care.