With nine out of 10 patients exhibiting some form of malocclusion, it’s no surprise that the teeth aligner market is on track to triple ($10.04 billion) by 2030—surpassing the total Crown and Bridge market. With a strong partner, general dentists can comfortably add clear aligners treatment to their practice. As you embark on this endeavor, there are a number of factors that contribute to a successful clear aligner business, including a sales process to establish case acceptance, and ongoing patient education to encourage treatment plan adherence.
Knowing when to utilize Clear Aligners is essential. Even more crucial are realistic and predictable treatment plans—this is the crux of providing excellent patient care. Clear Aligners are used on patients with mild-to-moderate orthodontic needs to correct crowding, spacing, rotations, and crooked teeth. In more severe cases of malocclusion, there may be a need to use traditional metal braces.
The advantages of Clear Aligners are that they are effective when used correctly, can easily be added to a general dentist’s repertoire, and patients are often more willing to adopt them than conventional braces.
Read on to discover best practices for case selection, treatment planning, and treatment acceptance so you can successfully and sustainably add Clear Aligners to your practice.
Case selection best practices
Clear Aligner therapy can be used to address various types of malocclusion. However as treatment scope and complexity increase, the predictability of movements—and therefore outcomes—also decreases.
To streamline your decision, it is important to identify predictable cases while you are with patients chairside. We recommend most general practitioners follow the Rule of 3 when evaluating cases to take on:
Rule of 3
- Avoid Class III cases
- Class III cases typically have a skeletal component and may need orthognathic surgery. These cases can be too severe and challenging to treat in this manner.
- Fewer than three teeth in crossbite
- Keep treatment goals at 3mm or less
By following the Rule of 3, you will increase the predictability of outcomes and drive better patient experience, leading to greater patient retention and overall profitability.
Knowing the Rule of 3 is paramount to your practice’s efficiency.
Treatment plan inputs
Once you have identified a predictable case and the patient has expressed interest, it’s time to ensure your treatment plan designer has the necessary information to create an effective and predictable plan.
It’s essential to work with a partner who has sound treatment planning protocols and who will adjust treatment plans to match your comfort level—as engineering more intense remediation often utilizes attachments, IPR, auxiliaries, and/or other procedures in combination with clear aligner trays.
Unlike other labs, Dandy does not charge for the creation of a treatment plan.. We make it simple to scope a treatment plan by collecting the following inputs from the doctor on each case via our digital workflow:
- Arches to treat (upper/lower/dual)
- Tooth movement restrictions (due to implants, crowns, veneers, bridges, etc)
- Attachment restrictions (due to implants, crowns, veneers, bridges, etc)
- *Optionally, doctors with more detailed preferences can also provide more detailed treatment plan specifications regarding:
- Spacing (ex. maintaining an diastema)
- Overjet and overbite
- Midline and posterior crossbite
- A-P relationship
- Bite ramps
*If not provided Dandy can still provide a sound treatment plan.
Our Clear Aligner team, including our U.S. trained and Board Certified Orthodontist, is always available to discuss questions or preferred treatment scenarios for a given patient case. This support is offered free of charge as our goal is to ensure case success for both practitioner and patient.
Treatment plan design
Taking a thoughtful approach to the creation of a treatment plan can boost clinical outcome and patient compliance—which are the biggest pain points for doctors post conversion.
Dandy’s team of experienced Clear Aligner treatment planners are trained to optimize plans for tooth movement efficiency, predictability, and reduced chairtime. Unless instructed otherwise by the doctor, our treatment planners only leverage IPR and attachments when necessary, and in as few steps as possible to decrease chairtime.
The key to successfully supporting dentists in cases of wide-ranging complexity (from 3-on-3 to 7-on-7) is high caliber treatment planning. Dandy partners with SoftSmile, a leading innovator in treatment plan design and visualization software, to give doctors the highest level of visibility into case sequencing as well as other procedures that may be required at each step of treatment for more complex cases, such as IPR or attachments.
VISION, the digital treatment planning software built by SoftSmile, empowers our treatment planners to more effectively communicate with doctors about the Clear Aligner treatment plan via high-quality visualizations, and invites doctors to collaborate on treatment plan design to ensure the plan meets the doctor’s specific preferences as well as the patient’s needs.
A well-designed Clear Aligner treatment plan that optimizes for effective, predictable movement and meets both doctor and patient needs is a major key to treatment success.
Treatment plan review and acceptance
The value of a high-quality treatment plan visualization tool isn’t limited to the design process. Patient-facing features like 3D renderings of the treatment plan are a fantastic tool for case acceptance. It provides patients with a tangible view of how their teeth will shift over the course of their treatment.
Dandy’s embedded Clear Aligner treatment plan viewer is powered by SoftSmile and provides patients with a dynamic, time-lapse view of the entire treatment plan, from start to finish, both with and without attachments, slits, and cutouts, so they can see exactly how their smile will evolve with clear aligners.
The viewer also gives doctors a valuable touchpoint to talk through the mechanics of Clear Aligners and how they will impact the patient’s smile from an oral health and cosmetic standpoint. A common, helpful example is showing how reducing crowding in the lower lingual anterior teeth will help with tartar buildup and lower the risk of gum recession and gum disease.
Initiation of Clear Aligner treatment
Once your patient has begun their Clear Aligner treatment, you can nurture their success through ongoing education and best practices during your aligners checkup appointments. This includes clear guidance on wear instructions, addressing any patient concerns, and discussing treatment progress.
Dandy’s Clear Aligner treatments come with a 3-in-1 whitening and cleaning solution. Many doctors choose to recommend using the whitening solution to help their patients see quick improvements in their smile, further motivating them to stay dedicated during the course of their treatment.
Putting it all together
Communication is critical for Clear Aligner case success. As the prominence of Clear Aligners grows, Dandy offers a simple way to add the service to your practice and will guide you through each treatment. To aid in your patients accepting the therapy we provide a 3D visualization tool powered by SoftSmile that can be viewed chairside. Throughout the journey, your chairside coaching, including utilizing visualization tools, will be key in ultimately achieving a good clinical outcome. The collateral results are an increase in your practice’s revenue and, more importantly, gratified patients.