How Align Technology® can Survive their Slump

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As an orthodontist and dental consultant who has been around the block a few times, most people know me as someone who speaks the truth about the orthodontic industry. I pride myself on throwing punches on where they are due and standing-up for the little guy. Inexplicably, I find myself actually feeling sorry for Align Technology and I wanted to write this blog piece to throw them a small bone.

Joe Hogan, if you’re reading this blog, I truly do like your product and I enjoy having it in my portfolio of services for StraightSmile Solutions®. Nobody holds a candle to the ease of use of your platform or the rapid turn-around times.

There are two main reasons that people doctors are turning away from your product:

1. The culture and snotty attitude of your team

2. How you invoice your lab fee

If I can subscribe to Amazon Prime® yearly and get small shipments on demand, why can’t I pay for my Invisalign® case the same way? The reason why Invisalign® is losing its market share is because of that $1800+ lab fee that has to be paid upfront. Doctors are having to give the average, middle-class patient a personal loan in order to close the case and get it started. The average American doesn’t have $1800 to put down for a deposit. This seems like a no-brainer for Invisalign® to change its billing policies and procedures and allow doctors to start cases with just a set-up fee of $99 and pay for the aligners as you go along. The aligners could be shipped in smaller, more frequent packages on demand and the case could be cancelled at anytime without penalties. A DSO would love this new fee structure because it would allow them to charge the same way they do for braces and would also allow more control over non-compliant patients.

You’re welcome Align Technology®.

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