High Margins on Clear Aligners in a General Dental Office

Implementing a clear aligner solution in a general or pediatric dental office is an excellent revenue booster. Many dentists are concerned about high lab fees and low margins.
I recommend this basic algorithm to calculate the efficiency of orthodontic services:
1. Run a report of the last five orthodontic cases you’ve completed successfully (D8050-D8090). Calculate the collections and average them. Write the number here: _________
2. Calculate the overhead on each case. The overhead includes:
· The sum of lab fees for all the appliances, aligners, refinements, revisions and retention
· The sum of all supplies used
· The sum of the overhead on the chair time throughout the lifetime of the case (from consult to retention) for both doctor and staff chair time.
· Average the overhead on the 5 cases. Write the number here:____________
3. Subtract 2 from 1. Write the number here:______________
You should be profiting at least $1500-$2000 on each case. Below are a few suggestions to decrease aligner overhead:
1. Utilize an off-label/white label aligner from a dental lab
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.
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

3. Consider 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. 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.

StraightSmile Solutions® supports doctors with all orthodontic treatments, including but not limited to functional appliances, braces, hybrid treatment, habits, lab selection, airway and of course- aligners! Our goal is to find you the right solution for your case and your treatment philosophy and budget. We support you with everything you need: case selection, treatment planning, team training, staging, compliance, operations, outcomes, and retention. We also help to train doctors and teams with hands-on courses that are both digital and destination. For more information visit www.straightsmilesolutions.com. Disclaimer: StraightSmile Solutions® is unable to support any direct-to-consumer operations or doctors at this tim

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,