Malocclusion matters – why offer clear aligner treatment?


Malocclusion matters – the benefits of offering clear aligner treatment

Straumann explains how offering clear aligner treatment can prove a lucrative revenue stream for your practice.

If the recent demise of Smile Direct Club showed that aligners based on at-home moulding kits at a ‘discount’ price was always a recipe for disaster, it also showed just how in demand clear aligner treatment is. A reported 65,000 patients in the UK alone were left high and dry (BDA, 2023).

Indeed, the increase in the number of adult orthodontic patients has prompted an upsurge in the demand for aesthetic and comfortable alternatives to conventional fixed appliances (Tamer et al, 2019).

Aligner treatment is no longer the sole domain of the young. According to the British Orthodontic Society (BOS), 76% of orthodontists have reported an increase in adult patients seeking orthodontic treatment within the past three years and the majority of patients (83%) are in the 26-55 age bracket (BOS, 2023).

Many patients are interested in discreet and convenient alternatives to traditional braces, and aligners provide just that. The BOS says the rise of online working and video calls is a factor for seeking treatment, together with adult patients being impressed by the smiles of influencers and celebrities (BOS, 2023). By offering clear aligner treatment, dental professionals can position their practices as a modern and patient-focused option, appealing to a potentially larger demographic.

Diverse range of patients

Aligners are suitable for a wide range of orthodontic corrections (Baneshi, 2023). Their versatility enables dental professionals to attract a diverse range of patients, from teenagers seeking minor adjustments to adults looking for comprehensive orthodontic care.

Many adult patients ask for an orthodontic retreatment, due to an orthodontic relapse or unsatisfying previous treatments. A study in 1986 reported that 6-7% of adult therapies are retreatments and another in 2011 reported that 12.6% of adult patients declared that they underwent a previous treatment which was not satisfactory (Saccomanno, 2022).

Another advantage of incorporating aligner treatment into a practice offering is the treatment time. While the duration of treatment varies depending on the complexity of the case, on average, aligner treatment takes between six and 18 months (Buschang et al, 2014). This shorter treatment time – fixed braces have an average treatment time of 18 to 24 months – can be appealing to patients who want to achieve their desired results as quickly as possible (HD Orthodontics, 2024).

This can create a higher patient turnover and increase the number of cases who can be treated within a given period. Furthermore, aligner therapy requires fewer in-practice visits compared to traditional braces, which can also help a dental surgery maximise efficiency and reduce overhead costs (Saccomanno, 2022).

Revenue generation

When it comes to generating revenue, offering aligner treatment allows a practice to set competitive prices. The cost of aligners may vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the case and the number of aligners required. By offering aligner treatment, a practice can tailor its pricing to be competitive within their local market while still ensuring a healthy profit margin (Capital on Tap, 2023).

Offering aligner treatment can lead to increased patient satisfaction and positive word-of-mouth referrals. Aligners are known for their comfort and convenience, another factor in their popularity. When patients are happy with their treatment experience and achieve the desired results, they are more likely to refer friends, family and colleagues to a practice (Gray et al, 2021). This can result in a steady influx of new patients.

Incorporating aligner treatment into a practice can also enhance its overall treatment offering and patient experience. Many aligner systems come with advanced digital technology, such as 3D modelling and treatment planning software (Tartaglia et al, 2021).

These tools allow the dental professional to create virtual treatment plans and show patients their expected outcomes before even beginning their treatment. This level of technology and visualisation can impress patients and build trust in their dentist’s expertise (Szabó et al, 2023), leading to increased treatment acceptance rates and ultimately, revenue generation.

Training in clear aligner treatment

The ClearCorrect Accreditation Course from the Straumann Group is aimed at dental professionals who are new to clear aligner therapy. The course’s goal is to improve a clinician’s orthodontic knowledge and confidence to enable them to tackle mild to moderate malocclusion cases.

The course, which includes 90 days mentoring and the first three cases free, covers tooth movements, biomechanics, predictability, protocols, technologies and preferences which improve a dental professional’s understanding of how aligner therapy works. Featuring practical sessions and demonstrations, courses are both interactive and informal. Upcoming dates can be found on the Straumann website.

Adding aligner treatment to a dental practice offering can be a highly lucrative revenue stream. Demand for discreet and efficient orthodontic correction is increasing. This means providing aligner treatment allows dental professionals to attract a broader patient base and tap into a growing market.

The shorter treatment time, competitive pricing options, and potential for positive word-of-mouth referrals further contribute to the financial benefits of incorporating aligners into a practice. By embracing this innovative treatment option, dentists can increase their profitability while providing patients with a modern and convenient orthodontic solution.

For more details, please visit www.straumann.com/clearcorrect/gb/en/landing/clearcorrect-aligners.html.


References

  1. BDA www.bda.org/news-and-opinion/blog/smiledirectclub-collapse-what-you-need-to-know/
  2. Tamer İ, Öztaş E, Marşan G. Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners and The Scientific Reality Behind Their Marketing: A Literature Review. Turk J Orthod. 2019 Dec 1;32(4):241-246. doi: 10.5152/TurkJOrthod.2019.18083. PMID: 32110470; PMCID: PMC7018497. [Accessed December 2023]
  3. British Orthodontic Society bos.org.uk/news/new-stats-from-the-british-orthodontic-society-reveal-online-working-triggers-a-rise-in-adults-seeking-tooth-straightening-treatment/
  4. Baneshi M, School of Medical Sciences, Division of Dentistry, University of Manchester, 2023, Effectiveness of clear orthodontic aligners in correcting malocclusion research.manchester.ac.uk/files/274923494/FULL_TEXT.PDF [Accessed January 2024]
  5. Saccomanno S, Saran S, Laganà D, Mastrapasqua RF, Grippaudo C. Motivation, Perception, and Behavior of the Adult Orthodontic Patient: A Survey Analysis. Biomed Res Int. 2022 Mar 4;2022:2754051. doi: 10.1155/2022/2754051. PMID: 35281602; PMCID: PMC8916849. [Accessed January 2024]
  6. Buschang PH, Shaw SG, Ross M, Crosby D, Campbell PM. Comparative time efficiency of aligner therapy and conventional edgewise braces. Angle Orthod. 2014 May;84(3):391-6. doi: 10.2319/062113-466. PMID: 24749702; PMCID: PMC8667515. [Accessed January 2024]
  7. HD Orthodontics hdorthodontics.com/blog/long-will-braces
  8. Capital On Tap www.capitalontap.com/en/guides/posts/choosing-the-right-pricing-strategy/
  9. Gray L, McNeill L, Yi W, Zvonereva A, Brunton P, Mei L. The “business” of dentistry: Consumers’ (patients’) criteria in the selection and evaluation of dental services. PLoS One. 2021 Aug 6;16(8):e0253517. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0253517. PMID: 34358252; PMCID: PMC8345823. [Accessed January 2024]
  10. Tartaglia GM, Mapelli A, Maspero C, Santaniello T, Serafin M, Farronato M, Caprioglio A. Direct 3D Printing of Clear Orthodontic Aligners: Current State and Future Possibilities. Materials (Basel). 2021 Apr 5;14(7):1799. doi: 10.3390/ma14071799. PMID: 33916462; PMCID: PMC8038630. [Accessed January 2024]
  11. Szabó RM, Buzás N, Braunitzer G, Shedlin MG, Antal MÁ. Factors Influencing Patient Satisfaction and Loyalty as Perceived by Dentists and Their Patients. Dentistry Journal. 2023; 11(9):203. doi.org/10.3390/dj11090203 [Accessed January 2024].



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