Tax refund season is here, and orthodontists are getting ready for one of their most profitable times of the year. As the CEO of StraightSmile Solutions®, I am often contacted by consumers looking for honest advice about selecting the best doctor. The Invisalign® Advantage® tiered doctor program can often be confusing for prospective patients, so I am writing this blog piece to set the story straight.

1. Your doctor gets points for every Comprehensive® case he/she submits. He does not get points for “limited”/ “express” cases.

2. The more points your doctor accrues, the more discounts he/she receives on lab fees. Last I checked, private practice doctors can get up to a 38% discount on lab fees if they are diamond providers. This brings the lab fee for a Comprehensive case to about $1150.

3. That discount may or may not affect the fee paid by the patient, but it’s certainly something you may want to bring to the table when negotiating fees.

4. Orthodontists’ offices work like car dealerships. Everything is negotiable, and cash is king. If you are using insurance, you don’t have as much leverage to negotiate.

5. If your doctor is in a group practice or has multiple locations, he or she may be more likely to be a Diamond provider. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have the most experience; it just means they’re better at “playing the game”. It also doesn’t necessarily mean they will give you the best treatment.

6. The best way to get the best treatment from your Invisalign® provider is to ask to see your ClinCheck® before you contract to start treatment or start to pay for it. Ask to have a copy of it sent to you for your records, and ask the doctor to explain your treatment plan. Shop around for the best treatment plan.

7. A doctor who has an intra-oral scanner (not necessarily an iTero® brand) is a good indication of experience, as is a doctor who will sit down to explain your ClinCheck.

8. If your Clincheck® is between 14-25 aligners, ask if there is an option to get generic aligners. Now that many Invisalign® patents are expired, it’s often possible to use a generic brand of aligners, which might lessen the lab fee by $1000 for the doctor. The doctor may be willing to pass some of that savings on to you.

If you are interested in scaling orthodontics in your practice, please visit