StraightSmile Solutions®

The Tiny Ortho System That Makes Big Smiles

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If you’ve been in the dental community for some time, you’ve probably heard of Healthy Start®, the hybrid sleep-orthodontic system. The history of the evolution of Healthy Start® is as interesting as the founder, Dr. Earl Bergersen. It rebranded from Orthotain® to Healthy Start® in the 1970’s. Dr. Bergersen tells a compelling story about how he started noticing a fascinating correlation amongst young patients who wore his Orthotain® dental positioner: an improvement in sleep-disordered breathing symptoms (a.k.a. kids sleep apnea), bed-wetting, overall academic performance and focus.

Obviously, tonsils, adenoids, nasal obstruction and orthodontic habits like mouth breathing and thumb sucking can all contribute to sleep-disordered breathing so a plastic mouthpiece isn’t a cure-all for every child. However research and testimonies support that for many kids and families, it really is a life-changing orthodontic appliance.

I initially became interested in Healthy Start® because one of my StraightSmile Solutions® clients admired the system and recommended I review the research. Initially skeptical, I took the two-day certification class to learn more about it. The class was jammed-packed with Pediatric Dentists, General Dentists, Orthodontists and staff. Unlike other classes I’ve attended, this one had energy, music, friendship and collaboration. What we all had in common is that we loved kids and we were present to learn and help.

Over the next two days a variety of speakers presented, which brought fresh focus to the class. We heard from Orthodontists, GP’s, parents and local children. We even got to examine and screen real, prospective patients.

The evenings were not forgotten. The collaboration continued, as the Healthy Start Team® hosted the out-of-towers at a social get-together. We left the Healthy Start® course with a new found appreciation for a quiet orthodontic system that changes both lives and smiles. There’s not a lot of procedures in dentistry that can create raving fans, but Healthy Start® does! It’s a fun, interactive orthodontic system, when prescribed precisely, simply changes lives.

As a provider, not only will you be listed on their provider network, but the Healthy Start Team® will also support you, as they work with you to help you screen ideal patients. Your success is their success. They use innovative, mainstream, social-media to reach out to prospective patients in your area and direct them to your office. Within the provider portal is a myriad of provider education and support opportunities.

For more information about the Healthy Start® system, visit www.thehealthystart.com. To more successfully integrate orthodontics into your practice, visit www.straightsmilesolutions.com.

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I Might Do Phase 1 Tx On This Child, Would You?

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One of the biggest challenges and controversies in orthodontics is how and when to manage mixed-dentition, pediatric patients. Orthodontic trends are cyclic and Phase I is “out; it’s become fashionable again to delay treatment until the late-mixed dentition.

I often look back on my clinical orthodontic days and wish I could hit a rewind button to change my historical practice philosophy. I never saw kids under age 7. I refused. I told the front desk to reschedule. The AAO recommended no treatment before age 7, so I didn’t either. In hindsight, that was a mistake.

I wish I had knowledge of a fun and comfortable way to treat habits and malocclusion in younger pediatric patients. Correcting Class III and open-bites in the late mixed-dentition with the pubertal growth clock ticking is a nightmare for practitioner, patient and parent alike. Luckily, there is now a better, healthier and more efficient way. Why not treat an at risk patient to PREVENT a problem before it starts?

The OrthoTain Healthy Start® system is designed for children as young as 2, to slowly and comfortably correct habits and guide tongue position in children at risk so that resultant malocclusion doesn’t even form. Yes, you will not only treat the malocclusion, but you’ll also you’ll prevent it in at-risk patients, if you start early enough. Open-bites, cross bites, narrow maxillas, retrognathic mandibles and resultant malocclusions are often associated with sleep-disordered breathing. It’s critical for a young child’s brain to obtain the right amount of sleep quality and quantity. It’s a proven fact that sleep disturbances in children lead to subsequent cognitive and behavioral challenges. I was unaware that all of this was tied together and that I, as a dentist, had the ability to improve the quality of life in a young child and a family.

The OrthoTain Healthy Start® system can be used by General Dentists, Pediatric Dentists and Orthodontists. For more information on how to integrate this system into your practice visit the HealthyStart website at https://www.thehealthystart.com/ or contact me at the StraightSmile Solutions® team for more information.

StraightSmile Solutions is the future of orthodontic coaching. We are the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GPs and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert, in order to enhance information sharing and efficiency in problem solving. We hope to revolutionize orthodontic coaching. As compared to other orthodontic coaching service providers, StraightSmile Solutions is a full-time business. We are independent and not run alongside a clinical practice. We commit our full energy to coaching, and YOU reap the benefits! We pride ourselves on lightning-fast service and responsiveness. StraightSmile Solutions is time and cost-efficient. Our services are available exclusively online. Of the over 128,000 general dentists in the U.S., most have little to no formal educational training in orthodontics. Those who do seek training often have to resort to expensive and time-consuming weekend services. You learn on the job through trial and error, but those errors can be expensive and unfortunate for both patients and doctors. We aim to fill the gap in the market for quality and efficient coaching to provide valuable solutions for doctors and their teams, and subsequent positive outcomes in the quality of patient care.

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Why Is My ClinCheck® So Crappy?!

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I know this post is going to initially raise more than a few eyebrows in the dental community, but please do me a favor, have patience and read through the entire post before jumping to a conclusion about what I am or am not supposedly implying and whose team I am on today. I don’t pick teams. Simply said, my posts are created to educate a profession and create awareness. Orthodontics is changing….change with it, or become obsolete. Ultimately, my passion is to help the average American to have access a beautiful smile. If my posts help to encourage one more dentist to screen for ortho in every patient, then a little controversy with the world’s largest orthodontic company was worth the drama.

So, why not verbalize the proverbial question on every new Invisalign Provider’s mind. Why is my first ClinCheck® so crappy?! We all know that their technicians are gifted, skilled and talented. But I had to ask what my clients are always asking with my own spin: “I wanted chicken salad….why did I get chicken $^&*?!”

Simply said, the policy for Align Technology® is to give you a generic, no frills, treatment plan. There’s no bite correction, just straight teeth. It’s like a plain vanilla ice cream. You need to add your own topping to make it your own. Some doctors may want a hot fudge sundae. Some doctors might like caramel and nuts. If you want the right toppings, you need to know how to ask for it. You are the licensed doctor and Align Technology® is a service that helps doctors create beautiful smiles.

Align® is a global company working with millions of dentists around the world, all with a different fundamental training and treatment philosophy. Like a cherry on top, if you want ideal, you need to learn how to ask for it.

For me, ideal is a hot fudge sundae with nuts and a cherry. I want it all: cross-bite corrections, torque, vertical correction, A-P correction, ideal alignment to the 7’s…you name it! I know how to ask for the right elastics, auxillaries, bite tabs and IPR to get it ideal, the first time. Align Technology® never gives me plain vanilla ice cream (or chicken S^&* for that matter)! I get my ideal, perfect sundae every time because I’ve learned how to utilize all the exclusive features that only Align Technology® can offer both a doctor and a consumer.
They have an expansive menu of toppings, but you need to connect with your Territory Manager and visit the education tab within the Align Portal®. Only Align® has a local Territory Manager in every almost every major industrialized city in the world. On the portal, there are hundreds of webinars and advanced courses that are free for certified providers. Certification is only $1995 but you get you first three cases at almost a 50% lab fee discount, so in essence, you actually net money on the initial course through your lab fee discounts.

StraightSmile Solutions® is an excellent pairing for a new Align Technology General Dentist provider. We will not only teach you to make your perfect sundae but also to eat it too! StraightSmile Solutions® is the future of orthodontic coaching. We are the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GPs and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert, in order to enhance information sharing and efficiency in problem solving. Compared to other orthodontic coaching service providers, StraightSmile Solutions® is a full-time business. We are independent and not run alongside a clinical practice. We commit our full energy to coaching, and YOU reap the benefits! We pride ourselves on lightning-fast service and responsiveness. StraightSmile Solutions® is time and cost-efficient. Our services are available exclusively online. Of the over 128,000 general dentists in the U.S., most have little to no formal educational training in orthodontics. Those who do seek training often have to resort to expensive and time-consuming weekend services. You learn on the job through trial and error, but those errors can be expensive and unfortunate for both patients and doctors. We aim to fill the gap in the market for quality and efficient coaching to provide valuable solutions for doctors and their teams, and subsequent positive outcomes in the quality of patient care.
If you are interested in becoming a StraightSmile Solutions® client, visit our website at www.straightsmilesolutions.com to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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Four Important Questions to Ask Before Buying a Dental Scanner

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The scanning market is evolving quicker than Darwin’s tortoises on the Galapagos Islands. I’ve been hesitating to write this piece because I know the content will instantly be usurped by more current information. Simply said, if you’re a dentist, you need a scanner. The price-point is so low now that it’s readily affordable for every dentist.

To pick the right scanner, as yourself three primary questions:

1. Is portability important?

Check the unit weight specs on your scanner. They range from just a few ounces to up to 55 pounds. If you have multiple offices or if you’ll be moving it from room to room, portability is key. With some you can just plug and play.

2. Is grip important?

Buying a scanner is like buying a car. They cost about the same and although you may be able to trade-up in the future, there’s likelihood that that scanner will be a major part of you and your team’s lives for a few years. Take it for a test drive. For the ultimate test, head to the local, major, dental trade show. Some scanners let you swap out the grips and the wand weight and shape is equally important.

3. Are you doing ortho only or are you a GP?

If you are going to be doing more than just ortho, you’ll want to consider a system that easily lets you toggle through different platforms for implants or restorative treatment. If you are only doing ortho, an ortho simulation platform is key.

4. Is the system totally open?

Will you have to pay per scan or is the system totally open as an STL file that you can upload or send? As new labs open up with lower price-points, you don’t want to have to pay to play in the future.

If you’re looking to integrate scanning into your practice, StraightSmile Solutions® is available to support. StraightSmile Solutions is the future of orthodontic coaching. We are the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GPs and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert, in order to enhance information sharing and efficiency in problem solving. I hope to revolutionize orthodontic coaching. As compared to other orthodontic coaching service providers, StraightSmile Solutions is a full-time business. We are independent and not run alongside a clinical practice. We commit our full energy to coaching, and YOU reap the benefits! We pride ourselves on lightning-fast service and responsiveness. StraightSmile Solutions is time and cost-efficient. Our services are available exclusively online. Of the over 128,000 general dentists in the U.S., most have little to no formal educational training in orthodontics. Those who do seek training often have to resort to expensive and time-consuming weekend services. You learn on the job through trial and error, but those errors can be expensive and unfortunate for both patients and doctors. We aim to fill the gap in the market for quality and efficient coaching to provide valuable solutions for doctors and their teams, and subsequent positive outcomes in the quality of patient care.

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If Invisalign® is the “Kleenex”® of the Aligner Systems, Give Me Facial Tissue Instead…. Clear Correct®!

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2016 is ringing-out with a bang, especially for StraightSmile Solutions®. The aligner and short-term orthodontics markets are rapidly evolving and we are seeing more clients and prospective patients than ever requesting alternative aligner products.

Invisalign® is the fluffy and fabulous “Kleenex®” of the orthodontic industry, but it’s not for everyone. There’s a lot of pushback, especially relating to their latest pricing increase this past summer. Also, doctors are increasingly frustrated with the poor communication and customer support from the outsourced and off-shored Provider Customer Service Team. An increasing number of doctors and patients alike, are also frustrated that the Invisalign® product as a whole, is no longer made in the USA.

Invisalign® is recognized as THE expert-branded, high-value aligner product, but this is often an undesirable feature for many consumers and practitioners. They are simply looking for the best facial tissue. I often recommend the Clear-Correct® product as an alternative solution. It’s a simple, straight-forward, aligner product that’s fully fabricated and supported in the United States. The technicians are personable and easy to communicate with. Their aligners all come with retainers, so there is no additional lab fee accessed at the end of the case. With the Unlimited product, there are actually no hidden fees at all for lost aligners, revisions or additional aligners.

With a comprehensive savings at around $600-700 a case, once you factor in the free retainers, this is an enormous savings overtime. Their digital technology is similar to Invisalign®, but Align Technology® does have more efficient attachments and can more effectively, efficiently and ideally move the more complex extraction or malocclusion cases.

Given that most GP’s refer-out their orthognathic and complex comprehensive cases, most General Dentists should be able to ideally treat the bulk of their in-house patients with the ClearCorrect® system. The integration of a coaching system, like StraightSmile Solutions®, can ensure General Dentists with making the best selection for each patient and are able to obtain ideal outcomes on each case.

StraightSmile Solutions® is the future of orthodontic coaching. We are the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GP’s and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert, in order to enhance information sharing and efficiency in problem solving. I hope to revolutionize orthodontic coaching. As compared to other orthodontic coaching service providers, StraightSmile Solutions® is a full-time business. We are independent and not run alongside a clinical practice. We commit our full energy to coaching, and YOU reap the benefits! We pride ourselves on lightning-fast service and responsiveness. StraightSmile Solutions® is time and cost-efficient. Our services are available exclusively online. Of the over 128,000 general dentists in the U.S., most have little to no formal educational training in orthodontics. Those who do seek training often have to resort to expensive and time-consuming weekend services. You learn on the job through trial and error, but those errors can be expensive and unfortunate for both patients and doctors. We aim to fill the gap in the market for quality and efficient coaching to provide valuable solutions for doctors and their teams, and subsequent positive outcomes in the quality of patient care.

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Why Every Invisalign® Provider Needs to Become Certified in Six Month Smiles®

You may have seen my post earlier this week: I proudly became one of the few orthodontists to become certified as a Six Month Smiles® provider. Over the years, I’ve coached hundreds of General Dentists with various aligner systems. All too often, finishing cases is a significant barrier to overcome and trying to educate General Dentists who have no knowledge of basic straightwire biomechanics is a challenge at its core.

While taking the class this weekend, I concluded that the Six Month Smiles® class is an excellent supplement for any General Dentist who offers Invisalign®, Clear Correct®, or any other alternative aligner product. The ability to confidently use straight wire sectional mechanics to correct a stubborn canine rotation, premolar cross-bite, or tipped molar at the end of treatment concurrently with aligner treatment would improve outcomes and standards of care.

Refinements, revisions, and additional aligners with various attachments are always surely an option, but for patients who are notoriously inpatient, having these tools and tricks up your sleeve will improve your confidence, speed, and outcomes, and ultimately patient’s satisfaction and referrals.

If you are not familiar with the Six Month Smiles L1 course, please visit my previous posts and articles. It’s a rigorous 15-hour didactic, socratic, and hands-on laboratory class. You’ll interact with other classmates, mentors, and clinical instructors. Although the class certifies you in basic straight wire mechanics, all these mechanics are also applicable to aligners and aligner mechanics. The tricks, tools, and tips from the experienced clinical instructors are invaluable to any General Dentist offering Invisalign®, Clear Correct®, or any other aligner system on the market.

The provider forum is by far the hidden pearl of Six Month Smiles®. It truly is an incredible resource for certified doctors; dozens of approved Six Month Smiles mentors and clinical instructors moderate the HIPPA-Compliant forum and accurately answer clinical questions asked by the certified doctors. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to review a number of forums for various vendors and orthodontic solutions, but without giving out proprietary information, I can confidently say that this Six Month Smiles® forum is, by far, superior to any other forum.

StraightSmile Solutions is the future of orthodontic coaching. We are the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GPs and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert, in order to enhance information sharing and efficiency in problem solving. I hope to revolutionize orthodontic coaching. As compared to other orthodontic coaching service providers, StraightSmile Solutions is a full-time business. We are independent and not run alongside a clinical practice. We commit our full energy to coaching, and YOU reap the benefits! We pride ourselves on lightning-fast service and responsiveness. StraightSmile Solutions is time and cost-efficient. Our services are available exclusively online. Of the over 128,000 general dentists in the U.S., most have little to no formal educational training in orthodontics. Those who do seek training often have to resort to expensive and time-consuming weekend services. You learn on the job through trial and error, but those errors can be expensive and unfortunate for both patients and doctors. We aim to fill the gap in the market for quality and efficient coaching to provide valuable solutions for doctors and their teams, and subsequent positive outcomes in the quality of patient care.

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What It’s Really Like to Get Certified by Six Month Smiles in the L1 Course®

number-1019724_1920I did it–I successfully completed the L1 course from Six Month Smiles. As an Orthodontist with 10+ years of clinical experience with thousands of fixed and removable outcomes under my belt, this may by counter-intuitive. Truthfully, Six Month Smiles certification has been on my orthodontic bucket-list for years now. It’s a wildly successful brand, both nationally and internationally. Doctors rave about the services, support, and experience. I wanted to know the “secret sauce”.

Years ago, I realized that the orthodontic industry was changing. The technology was drastically evolving and tens of thousands of General and Pediatric Dentists were jumping on the bandwagon to provide esthetic and anterior orthodontic options to their patients. My referrals were dramatically dropping. I chose to re-invent myself to ride the wave of success instead of paddling upstream in an angry rage, like many of my colleagues. After three years of experience in management and consulting with major orthodontic companies and DSOs, I eventually established my own company, StraightSmile Solutions®: it’s a virtual orthodontic coaching company that caters to General and Pediatric Dentists, utilizing HIPPA-compliant communication platforms. Taking the Six Month Smiles® course was just one of the many goals I achieved to educate myself to support my StraightSmile Solutions® clients.

Quite honestly, the Six Month Smiles L1 Course was the most enjoyable and productive course I’ve taken in years, if not in decades. You should anticipate two solid days of lectures and hands-on workshops. Your brain will be totally exhausted by the end. The speaker, Dr. Brooks Haney, was a GP from Dallas; he was experienced, enthusiastic, and confident while gearing the material entirely towards restorative dentists. The content was en-pointe and current.

After three years almost exclusively in the aligner industry, it was a great refresher course for me, and it was jammed-packed with biomechanical and management tips that took me a decade to collect as a Clinical Orthodontist. I also agreed with everything the speaker said except, I am not a huge fan of running OCS on 16 Ni-Ti 022 slot and I also like to run my anterior power chain mesial to mesial. The construction of the clear brackets made this mechanic a bit tricky. Besides that, I was a fan of the content.

You can take your team, but some of the L1 course wasn’t applicable towards groups. In my opinion, in the future, it would be great if Six Month Smiles would establish some break-out sessions for teams.

Most of the attendees were young doctors and they were friendly and communicative; they came from all over world. I enjoyed meeting them, and in the evenings and breaks, they were social and collaborative. Many participants told me that they made new friends and connections. These professional connections continue as all attendees are given access to the provider forum upon successful completion of the course. I found the administrative staff to be friendly, engaging, and supportive. The catering, venue, and experience were superior and I appreciated that they booked a block of rooms at the Westin at a very reasonable rate. They also accommodated a variety of dietary preferences and restrictions. This was a first for dental conferences and was greatly appreciated by many attendees.

The provider forum is, by far, the hidden pearl of Six Month Smiles. It truly is an incredible resource for certified doctors. Dozens of approved Six Month Smiles Mentors and Clinical Instructors moderate the HIPPA-Compliant forum and efficiently and accurately answer the clinical questions of the certified doctors. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to review a number of forums for various vendors and orthodontic solutions; but, without giving out proprietary information, I can confidently say that this Six Month Smiles® forum was superior. I spoke to several L2 students at the concurrent course and they raved about this support network for their production and clinical outcome.

If you aren’t familiar with the Six Month Smile® product, the lab fee is less than half of other competitive aligner products on the market, but the outcome is the same. Overall, you’ll take home significantly more profit on a comparable case. Certainly, fixed appliances aren’t the best fit for all patients, but I can confidently say, for a comparable certification cost, that you’ll learn a lot more orthodontics at a Six Month Smiles® L1 course than you will at a 4-hour Invisalign® certification course.

Ultimately, I was very pleased by this course and would recommend it to all General and Pediatric Dentists. The 15 CE Units were well-earned, and it was a much more efficient and productive use of my time than attending ADA.

I look forward to connecting with many of my new friends and colleagues on the forum. Please message me to connect and I’ll see you at the L2 Course in Atlanta in May!

StraightSmile Solutions is the future of orthodontic coaching. We are the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GP’s and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert, in order to enhance information sharing and efficiency in problem solving. I hope to revolutionize orthodontic coaching. As compared to other orthodontic coaching service providers, StraightSmile Solutions is a full-time business. We are independent and not run alongside a clinical practice. We commit our full energy to coaching, and YOU reap the benefits! We pride ourselves on lightning-fast service and responsiveness. StraightSmile Solutions is time and cost-efficient. Our services are available exclusively online. Of the over 128,000 general dentists in the U.S., most have little to no formal educational training in orthodontics. Those who do seek training often have to resort to expensive and time-consuming weekend services. You learn on the job through trial and error, but those errors can be expensive and unfortunate for both patients and doctors. We aim to fill the gap in the market for quality and efficient coaching to provide valuable solutions for doctors and their teams, and subsequent positive outcomes in the quality of patient care.

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7 Reasons Why Every General Dentist Should Get an Intra-Oral Scanner

1. You’ll save time and time is money.

Depending on the model you purchase and the skill set of your assistant, an arch can be scanned in as little as one minute. Compare that to how long it takes to mix and take a PVS impression–about 10 minutes? If there are retakes, which happens often, then double that time.

2. It’s an optimal patient experience.

If you’ve never had a PVS impression, it’s a disgusting experience. It tastes like a hybrid between a tennis ball and sweaty gym feet. It’s not a positive patient experience. Retakes are inevitable and this further frustrates the client. Happy patients refer other patients. Referral means more production.

3. You’ll save money, lots of money.

Yes, the scanner will cost money, but do the math; the production you’ll net is even more. The scanner can be used on all your fixed and removable restorative work, plus your orthodontics. Take a look at your PVS and impression tray lab bills plus your postage to the lab. Many offices find out that their scanner is fully paid-off in just a few months. The rest of the savings is just pure profit. There is also value-add in their saved chair time. A procedure can now be done in five minutes instead of 20; this means that the chair is now scheduled more productively and even more patients can be scheduled.

4. You’ll save time. Saving time saves money.

Cases can be turned around in days instead of months. This is a marketable value-add for patient experience, and quicker turn-around on cases leads to less temporary failures and dreaded OVNC.

5. You’ll save on storage. Eliminating storage saves money.

Storage of impression materials and supplies and old models is also expensive. This can be eliminated since the impression is stored in the cloud, virtually.

6. Your appliances and restorations will fit easier. Fewer remakes save time and money, and increases overall patient experience.

7. One unit is needed instead of multiple units. This saves money.

Now, many scanners are just “plug and go” with a USB cable. They are so small they can fit in your purse or briefcase! This is convenient for anyone on the go or with multiple offices.

StraightSmile Solutions is the future of orthodontic coaching. We are the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GP’s and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert, in order to enhance information sharing and efficiency in problem solving. I hope to revolutionize orthodontic coaching. As compared to other orthodontic coaching service providers, StraightSmile Solutions is a full-time business. We are independent and not run alongside a clinical practice. We commit our full energy to coaching, and YOU reap the benefits! We pride ourselves on lightning-fast service and responsiveness. StraightSmile Solutions is time and cost-efficient. Our services are available exclusively online. Of the over 128,000 general dentists in the U.S., most have little to no formal educational training in orthodontics. Those who do seek training often have to resort to expensive and time-consuming weekend services. You learn on the job through trial and error, but those errors can be expensive and unfortunate for both patients and doctors. We aim to fill the gap in the market for quality and efficient coaching to provide valuable solutions for doctors and their teams, and subsequent positive outcomes in the quality of patient care.

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Are You an Aligner Pioneer?

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Your patients love aligners and so do you! Every day, someone asks me about cheaper alternatives to Invisalign ®. Yes, they do exist, but buyer-beware! The key to integrating these into your practice is simply case selection. With some of Invisalign’s ® patents approaching expiration, this market is exploding in the US and beyond. I believe you can be successful in selectively integrating these into your practice for select patients and cases.

Since the market changes weekly, I wouldn’t do this blog justice to compare pros and cons of products, but feel free to contact me via my website at http://www.StraightSmileSolutions.com for more information.

There are numerous reasons that a dentist may chose to select an alternative aligner company. In my experience, it comes down to three primary reasons:

  1. Lower lab fee
  2. Patient doesn’t want attachments
  3. Doctor doesn’t have a current account with Invisalign® or their account isn’t in good standing.

Before you jump into the wild-wild west of alternative aligner companies, remember, that Invisalign® often runs specials on their Express 5® and Express 10® treatments. Check with your Territory Manager so that you are comparing apples to apples. Also, it is possible to have attachments omitted on your Invisalign ® cases, if biomechanically possible. Just ask your technician. Remember Invisalign ® has spent a considerable amount of research and development into their product. They are literally the “OG” of the aligner industry. If you need support or hand-holding, and don’t have a coach or consultant like StraightSmile Solutions ™, they are the way to go.

If you feel confident that you have a relatively easy case, then try Clear Correct ® or another simplified, alternative aligner company. I recommend sticking with easy, Class I cases with mild-moderate crowding and spacing. Make sure your periodontal condition is healthy and stable. These alternative products may, or may not include revisions/refinements, so be prepared for possible additional, unanticipated lab fees at the end if the result isn’t ideal.

One idea to consider is creating a “compliance contract” with your patient. You may want to clearly disclose your terms and conditions for aligner treatment in your practice. What is included? What isn’t included? Often, practices access a fee for additional aligners, revisions, refinements or retainers. This can be a point of frustration for patients nearing the end of aligner treatment. It’s good practice to disclose your fees upfront and have patients agree to them.

Most importantly, have fun! Creating beautiful smiles is the reason we all got into dentistry in the first place! When you pick your cases wisely and treatment plan effectively, you will create success for your patients.

 

StraightSmile Solutions is the future of orthodontic coaching. We are the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GP’s and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert, in order to enhance information sharing and efficiency in problem solving. I hope to revolutionize orthodontic coaching. As compared to other orthodontic coaching service providers, StraightSmile Solutions is a full-time business. We are independent and not run alongside a clinical practice. We commit our full energy to coaching, and YOU reap the benefits! We pride ourselves on lightning-fast service and responsiveness. StraightSmile Solutions is time and cost-efficient. Our services are available exclusively online. Of the over 128,000 general dentists in the U.S., most have little to no formal educational training in orthodontics. Those who do seek training often have to resort to expensive and time-consuming weekend services. You learn on the job through trial and error, but those errors can be expensive and unfortunate for both patients and doctors. We aim to fill the gap in the market for quality and efficient coaching to provide valuable solutions for doctors and their teams, and subsequent positive outcomes in the quality of patient care. About the author: Dr. Amanda Wilson is an Orthodontist and the founder of StraightSmile Solutions. For more information, visit www.StraightSmileSolutions.com.

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The Key to Hiring a Dynamic Dental Assistant

 

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Staffing issues are the number one frustration in dentistry. Face it: recruiting, hiring, training and maintaining staff is challenging. Occasionally, you find yourself a “Maria”: the ideal, perfect, educated, loyal, punctual dental assistant. I met my Maria twelve years ago on my first day of work, fresh out of residency. Nobody else has ever measured-up since.

When Maria was assisting me, everything managed to turn out ideal; she always had my back. Many dentists believe staff members can determine, to a great extent, our day-to-day stress levels, as well as the practice’s ultimate success. Like it or not, we depend on these staff to support us in nearly every aspect of our practice. But, why can’t we make every dental assistant a “Maria”?

You can! To answer this important question, you must first understand the motivating forces common to all of the potential candidates for employment within dental practices. What would make your office the ideal place of work for them? Is dental assisting just a stepping-stone for another career, or are they willing to make a long-term commitment to the profession? Surprisingly or not, sometimes the algorithm is much more then just simple financial compensation. I’ve had staff who are looking for, just to name a few: work-life balance, flexibility to care for their children when sick, educational challenges, a positive culture, leadership and advancement options and travel opportunities.

You also need to identify what qualities would make you an ideal “Maria”. For me, it’s: punctuality, speed, education, friendly and consistent upbeat attitude, ability to adapt, and an inherent, intrinsic skill-set. Once you find your Maria, you need to keep her! Dentists often give up a lot for themselves in order to retain the right staff members, initially.

StraightSmile Solutions is the future of orthodontic coaching. We are the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GP’s and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert, in order to enhance information sharing and efficiency in problem solving. I hope to revolutionize orthodontic coaching. As compared to other orthodontic coaching service providers, StraightSmile Solutions is a full-time business. We are independent and not run alongside a clinical practice. We commit our full energy to coaching, and YOU reap the benefits! We pride ourselves on lightning-fast service and responsiveness. StraightSmile Solutions is time and cost-efficient. Our services are available exclusively online. Of the over 128,000 general dentists in the U.S., most have little to no formal educational training in orthodontics. Those who do seek training often have to resort to expensive and time-consuming weekend services. You learn on the job through trial and error, but those errors can be expensive and unfortunate for both patients and doctors. We aim to fill the gap in the market for quality and efficient coaching to provide valuable solutions for doctors and their teams, and subsequent positive outcomes in the quality of patient care.

About the author: Dr. Amanda Wilson is an Orthodontist and the founder of StraightSmile Solutions. For more information, visit www.StraightSmileSolutions.com.

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