My eighty-seven-year-old mother-in-law now knows what a clear aligner is. That is because SmileDirectClub has done in the last three years what Invisalign failed to do over the past twenty years – create global brand awareness of their product.

With this in mind, I have a hard time understanding the victim mentality displayed by the dental profession towards SmileDirectClub. The consumer’s ability to recognize or recall a brand is central to his or her process of making a purchase decision. Purchasing cannot proceed unless a consumer is first aware of a product category and a brand within that category. Thank you, SmileDirectClub, for creating this awareness on your dime. It’s our turn now – let’s capitalize on this instead of playing the victim!

This is where OrthoFx comes in. I’ve had my eye on OrthoFx for a number of months. I wanted to share what I learned in a blog post for my readers. When my incessant requests for interviews with their exec team went unanswered, I even went so far as to visit their headquarters in Fremont last summer – but nobody answered!

Finally, after 6 months of trying, I was invited to meet with the team. We met today, and once I understood the business model and opportunity, I was really blown away.

Many doctors enroll in the Invisalign Clear Fundamentals course. Unfortunately (for them), very few successfully integrate aligners into their practice. I attribute this to the fact that the quality of Invisalign’s onboarding experience greatly deteriorated as they scaled. OrthoFx is looking to change this.

OrthoFx understands that not all patients are interested in a referral to a traditional orthodontist. It is inconvenient and unfamiliar. For this reason, many patient’s oral health needs are unaddressed if their general dentist doesn’t offer orthodontic services. However, general dentists are uniquely qualified to provide limited orthodontic treatment because they truly understand the oral health of their patients and they follow their patients for life. As we all know, malocclusion causes more than just cosmetic concerns: the collapse of arch width, loss of guidance, tooth wear, deepening bites, fremitus and bone loss all come as a result of continued tooth movement. Malocclusion is a progressive disease.

OrthoFx believes in the “hub and spoke” model of interdisciplinary care. Few general practitioners can carry out a proper facial, skeletal and dental orthodontic assessment and diagnosis. In order to provide true quality of care, we need to collaborate with local specialists. OrthoFx hopes to both educate dentists correctly and provide a platform for mentorship from specialists.

This is not at all a “ship and forget” model. The team at OrthoFx allows the doctor to just be the clinician, without the stress of marketing, billing, case presentation and collections. They partner with the doctor to create a happy patient journey through and beyond treatment.

Many doctors are also unaware of the importance of orthodontic aftercare, both from a care perspective and from the standpoint of an additional revenue center. OrthoFx will also be providing this resource to their providers.

In conclusion, I have my eye on this tech start-up. They are a progressive company looking to level the playing field and support interdisciplinary care all while providing an excellent patient experience and high-quality orthodontic products.

Orthodontic sleep, airway, tele-medicine and aligner companies are the hottest tech startups and StraightSmile Solutions® has the experience to help you scale! We offer anyone currently in the dental industry a 20 minute complimentary consultation. Visit to schedule your phone call by clicking in the top, right corner. Venture Capitalists, our rates start at $600 an hour for a phone call up to 50 minutes long. Email us to schedule at [email protected] .