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.