Invisalign Alternatives

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Invisalign: Business Model

Some of the practice building model recommendations for Invisalign include using Invisalign's support team, offering Invisalign to teens, keeping the dentist practice open at times when the kids and their caretakers can attend, and pricing Invisalign reasonably.

Preliminary Practice Building

  • Invisalign is recommended for dentists due to its potential to vastly increase income due to high demand.
  • The market is considered untapped as research shows that nearly 75% of Americans could benefit from straighter teeth but less than 1% actually seek straighter teeth.
  • One of the first steps is to create an Invisalign culture in the office.
  • The doctors themselves need to ensure that the staff is kept up to date on Invisalign and its benefits. As many patients that need straighter teeth do not seek straighter teeth, the staff must sell patients on the benefits of straight teeth.
  • One such example is ensuring that the staff understands that teeth that are not straight lead to other dental problems.
  • Experts recommend that goals are set, such as handling a certain number of Invisalign patients per week or month.
  • Notably, plans must be set to ensure that patients actually know about Invisalign and that the dentist is offering it.
  • Experts have found that some practices build up a strong digital base that advertises Invisalign online while neglecting to inform patients of Invisalign in person.

Continuing Best Practices

  • Once a stable Invisalign presence is built at a practice, care must be taken to ensure upkeep.
  • Dentists practices must be open during reasonable hours in order to attract the most likely patients. For example, school children and their caretakers must have easy access to the dentists.
  • Weekend appointments are recommended as a result. (source 3).
  • Invisalign should cultivate the opportunity that teens represent. Experts found that some practitioners do not trust teens with Invisalign, but teens appreciate the offer and the boost in confidence in using Invisalign over braces.
  • Lab fees may be exorbitant, so the dentists should plan in order to balance the costs for both the patient and the practice.
  • Invisalign representatives offer help and support for their product. Dentist practices should make use of this support in order to offer the best possible care.
  • Invisalign also works to connect consumers to providers of Invisalign. Dentists should take advantage of Invisalign's support.
  • Invisalign should be priced reasonably close to braces in order to ensure consumers are more likely to use them.

Part
02
of four
Part
02

Invisalign: GP Dentists and Orthodontists

General dentists and orthodontists make money off Invisalign compared to traditional braces. Invisalign gives $1000 of profit per hour of chair time with the first $2750 in fees to the patient, rising to $3250 with $6000 in fees.

Invisalign

  • The average cost per patient ranges from $3,000 to $5,000.
  • Invisalign is a removable orthodontic appliance.
  • Invisalign is given in a group of one or two at a time. Each aligner must be worn in its specific order for about two weeks, during which time it moves the teeth in small increments. Although the aligners are removable (for eating, drinking certain beverages and brushing/flossing), they must be worn at least 20 hours a day in order to reposition the teeth successfully.
  • Treatment time is less than one year.

Clear Correct

  • The average cost per patient ranges from $4,000 to $5,500.
  • ClearCorrect aligners are worn all the time, except when eating and drinking, or while brushing and flossing.
  • ClearCorrect treatment involves four phases of aligner therapy. Each phase requires a new set of aligners that are worn for three weeks.
  • Treatment times vary from one to two years, depending on the specific alignment problem.

Traditional Braces

  • The cost of Invisalign is comparable to the cost of dental braces, with a national average ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 per patient.
  • Traditional dental braces are used to correct teeth affected by crowding, protrusions, alignment issues, irregular spacing and/or crookedness and are worn over a predetermined time.
  • Regular appointments are needed to replace the elastic bands, with adjustment appointments required every three to 10 weeks. Patients will experience tightness and mild discomfort after adjustments.
  • The duration of treatment varies from case to case, with some cases requiring less than six to eight months, and others requiring two or more years.

Cost Comparison

  • Measuring profitability as fees minus the cost of materials, Invisalign was more profitable than conventional braces, especially for Invisalign providers who are charged $899 in lab costs, a discount that the appliance maker, Align, offers to orthodontists who do more cases.
  • For these doctors, Invisalign provided about $1000 of profit per hour of chair time with the first $2750 in fees to the patient, rising to $3250 with $6000 in fees.
  • Doctors who are charged $1549 in lab costs by Align had a profit of about $500 with the first $2750 in fees, rising to $3000 with $6000 in fees.
  • Braces were less profitable overall, starting at $750 per hour of chair time with the first $2750 in fees, but reaching only $2000 with $6000 in fees.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Despite an extensive search, we were unable to locate the cost of Clear Correct braces.

We looked into the official website of the Clear Correct to find the cost of manufacturing the product plus an average of fees that the general dentist or orthodontist charges. We found the average price for the procedure that a patient pays.

Next, we searched for a dentist body such as yourdentistryguide to find a report on the cost of production regarding Clear Correct braces. We found an article on how it works.

Lastly, we looked up for profit margin articles on the three procedures. We hoped to find a precompiled report. However, we only found a report on Invisalign, Align, and traditional braces.
Part
03
of four
Part
03

ITero Scanner: Insights

An insight into the perception of the iTero Scanner by dentists and orthodontists revealed some notable areas in which the technology has improved their workflow including patient responsiveness/increased output, 3D imaging, speed of operation, improved precision and accuracy of work, and time management. A 2017 survey on the practice volume changes and economic impact of the iTero scanner showed that acquiring an iTero scanner had a direct correlation with significant growth in practice receipts within the first 12-24 months following the scanner's introduction. The attached Google doc contains all of the details below.

Patients Responsiveness/Increased Output

  • Dr. Stephane Reinhardt, DMD, opined that "The iTero Element with TimeLapse technology has helped me make huge leaps both in my chair-side treatment acceptance rate and in my practice as a whole. This is the way we now communicate with patients in our digital era."
  • A 2017 survey carried out by Michael M. Mackay, PhD, Robin Bethell, DDS, and Joshua Epstein, DDS on the practice volume changes and economic impact of the iTero scanner showed that acquiring an iTero scanner had a direct relation with a significant growth in practice receipts within the first 12-24 months following the scanner introduction.
  • Dentists believe that technology has a generally positive impact on chair-side acceptance as patients also get a clear view of the dental concerns and can make evidence-based inputs on the way forward.
  • The study found that "60% of patients who were shown Invisalign Outcome Simulator results with the iTero Element scanner started Invisalign treatment."
  • Through the simulation provided by the scan, a patient visualizes in real-time, a projection of their denture after the final is done.

3D Imaging

  • A good fit of the scanner is its ability to produce a three-dimensional image view of tooth wear, tooth movement, and gingiva changes, as well as the zoom-in feature which provides a more satisfying overall experience to both parties involved.
  • Some known benefits of the iTero technology include more efficient and capable practice, superior practitioner and patient experience, and better chair-side acceptance rates.
  • Practitioners believe that the scanners have ended the era of having to take first, second or even third impressions for crowns/Invisalign shells before treatment.
  • Now, dentists/orthodontists can take multiple initial impressions at will, grossly reducing the workload for back-room staff.
  • According to Perry Jones, DDS, "With high-definition video, a touchscreen, and 3D visualizations in real-time, we can provide our patients with a visual outcome to encourage them to proceed with treatment".

Speed of Operation

  • A side by side comparison of intraoral scanners by DentalCompare.com shows that the iTero scans 6,000 frames per second compared to other scanners while automatically saving captured data every 2 seconds to the system drive.
  • According to 123Dentist.com, a community dentist network, the speed of the iTero scanner at 6,000 frames per second is about 20 times faster than other intraoral scanners.
  • Dr. Keith's assistant testified to reduced time required for crown cementing when using the iTero scanner. The doctor further leverages the scanner for 3D optical impressions of teeth and gums and precisely placed implants.
  • "iTero states ClinCheck treatment plans submitted with its scans are usually posted to the Invisalign Doctor Site three times faster than traditional polyvinyl siloxane scans".

Precision/Accuracy of Work

  • Recent research by Akyalcin et al. revealed that measurements taken by the iTero were correctly interchangeable when placed side by side with manual measurements.
  • The study certified that the iTero scanner is worthy of use in the diagnosis and treatment of orthodontic cases.
  • With the help of the Invisalign aligners, orthodontists have 10 times fewer rejections and seven times fewer issues than before.
  • According to Dr. Cabal of Lake Country Orthodontics, with iTero scanners, practitioners can expect less stress, fewer trials, and more precision.
  • To become one of the best dentists in Irvine, California, Dr. Keith Tang acquired the iTero device because it improved the precision of the impressions and therefore the quality of dental care.
  • The doctor opined that since adding the Itero scanner to his dental care, he and his staff observed that crowns, often seamlessly, fit into place with little or no adjustments required.

Time Management

  • A combined iTero Scanner with time lapse technology aid enhances and streamline dental processes for both the patients and practitioners.
  • Time management research carried out on intraoral scanners showed that the scanners were about 23 minutes faster and helped save time, thereby, improving patient satisfaction through the improved workflow.
  • With the help of the technology, Invisalign aligners are created and sent back to orthodontists sooner (3 times faster) to commence treatment; with the traditional polyvinyl siloxane scan, which takes about 3 weeks.
  • The technology does a preliminary 3D model that shows the final smile within 15 minutes of scanning.
  • A team dental assistant said he was able to reduce his overall scan time by up to 15 minutes which was well-received by a patient through his expression.

Research Strategy

We started our search by going through medical publications, news articles, case studies, and research carried out concerning iTero scanner in an attempt to gain more insight into the perception of dentists and orthodontists of the technology. We also searched through the database of reliable medical/scientific literature sources such as SciCurve and PubMed for information pertaining to the use of the device since its launch. Additionally, we identified information on the testimonies of some dental experts and communities on the successes and outputs recorded since they began using the device. Through analysis, we were able to refine these result into five distinct categories of insight.
Part
04
of four
Part
04

Invisalign: Professional Reactions

An examination of clinics' and practitioners' reviews and newspaper articles show that clear aligners market is a blossoming industry, especially since 2017, when Align's, the producer of Invisalign's patents expired. However, Invisalign still has mostly positive reviews from experts, and these reviews can be gathered into five categories: quality, performance, cost, convenience, and competition.

QUALITY

  • Invisalign is designed by using 3D Imaging, CAD and CAM. This helps the treatment to be individual-oriented while making it more efficient with the technological advancements' support.
  • Invisalign has long been the market leader for clear aligners. The market actually saw new entries after Align's patents' expiration in 2017. Although reviews that were examined did not articulate being the first as being the best, they tend to emphasize the company's experience and its position as a front runner as a positive value.
  • Invisalign is made of SmartTrack®, which is produced solely for the making of the aligners. The patented material is thin and flexible and does not contain latex, which is an allergen for some people. It is also free of Bisphenol A and S, which have a lot of reported side effects.
  • SmartTrack® is also reviewed to be a durable material, especially compared to other products. A review/comparison on Invisalign and Clear Correct states that Clear Correct's thinner material is more likely to break and less durable.

PERFORMANCE

  • Invisalign is an individual treatment with every aligner being custom-made. Therefore, despite the ease of maintenance and fewer visits to dental offices, they are still deemed to perform well.
  • Some parents may be worried about the treatment's performance, not due to suspicion towards the product but because they fear their child may carry it less than necessary. Invisalign has a blue dot in teenager aligners which fades away with the usage. This may help the product to perform better with juveniles due to the ease of surveillance.
  • Experts from Dentaly analyzes reviews from users in their article. They report that, although patients usually report some discomfort, especially in the early phases of treatment, this discomfort would be present in any teeth-straightening treatment.

COST

  • At first glance, Invisalign seems to be more expensive than most of its competitors. But an in-depth analysis shows that advanced treatments don't have such a big price gap, and the perceived gap is a result of the advertisements.

CONVENIENCE

  • In the past years some new brands have emerged with a new operating scheme. Candid Co. and Smile Direct Club can be ordered easily and they don't require a visit to a dental office. However, this is highly criticized by experts in the industry for the threats that follow the lack of professional attention. Invisalign seems to have found a middle way; it invested heavily in Smile Direct Club and aims to ease convenience with professional care.
  • Invisalign is almost invisible. Therefore, it can be suggested to be a better choice for people concerning about appearance.
  • Compared to traditional braces, clear aligners, including Invisalign are easily removed for activities such as brushing and eating. They also require less effort for maintenance compared to the traditional braces.
  • In addition to being visually almost invisible, Invisalign is also felt very gently. The lack of self-consciousness that a patient may expect from such a treatment is considered to be the best benefit of Invisalign by some experts.

COMPETITION

  • Some competitors of Invisalign have received negative reviews due to the fact that they don't require a patient to see an orthodontist regularly. While this may seem like a plus on the side of convenience, experts warn that dental treatments require constant supervision and need to be updated if needed. While brands such as Candid Co. and Smile Direct Club have been sued for disobeying dentistry practice laws, Invisalign is still carried out by a dentist or an orthodontist.
  • Until its patents' expiration in 2017, Align enjoyed almost a monopoly in clear aligners market. It continues to enjoy a market dominance since a lot of experts place importance on its expertise and patented material.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

For the request, US-based clinics' reviews, experts' comments, and newspaper articles were examined. Although the data was robust, most of it was coming from or dependent upon patient reviews. After the elimination of such reviews, clinics and writers were researched to find the most reputable ones. If a clinic only seemed to apply Invisalign, the review was excluded since it would have an advertising aim. The remaining reviews were further examined to find the shared areas of focus and five dimensions emphasized in the article were found.

Sources
Sources