Invisalign Creates Greater Profits for Orthodontists

Invisalign Creates Greater Profits for OrthodontistsIs Invisalign a smarter braces treatment for an orthodontist’s bottom line?

A new study suggests some truth to this by revealing that, while Invisalign clear orthodontic aligners cost more in materials than conventional edgewise braces, they require fewer patient visits and a shorter duration of treatment for dentists.

Researchers reported this finding at the recent American Association for Dental Research annual meeting, according to Medscape News.

Researchers evaluated the records of 150 dental patients with mild to moderate class I malocclusion. The types of orthodontic procedures were matched for the amount of initial malocclusion and the number of rotated teeth.

According to Medscape News, here’s what they found:

Conventional braces required a median of 13.6 minutes for a routine visit, whereas Invisalign required 9.9 minutes. Emergency, initial, and final appointments were all longer than regular visits.

Conventional braces required about 2.6 more visits than Invisalign, treatment for 2.4 months longer, 1.1 more emergency visits, 9.7 minutes more in chair time, 1.2 minutes more emergency doctor time, and 86.2 minutes more in total chair time.

However, Invisalign cost $500 to $1441 more in materials and required 5.9 minutes more doctor time than conventional braces.

Measuring profitability as fees minus the cost of materials, Invisalign was more profitable than conventional braces, the researchers found, 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.

Invisalign is clearly the profit-maker when it comes to adding value to an orthodontist’s practice.

For more on this story see: Study Shows Invisalign More Profitable Than Braces

What Do Dentists Say About Clear Aligners vs. Traditional Dental Braces?

Invisalign clear alignersOne of the most popular dental services that consumers search for online is braces, especially invisible aligners for adults and teens.

We decided to survey dentists about their experience with clear aligners.

Three-quarters of our respondents offer clear aligners. Only 5% offer traditional braces rather than aligners, and
20% refer out all braces patients.

We refer all braces patients to specialists. Overall, clear aligners burn up too much time [and the] profit margin is not there. We prefer to leave the ortho to the specialists.” Minnesota dentist

“I refer all cases to orthodontists. I have yet to see a clear aligner case finished that even comes close to acceptable for a braces case.” Canada dentist

Invisalign® is arguably the most marketed brand of clear aligners, and is preferred by 65% of the dentists in our survey. ClearCorrect came in second at 24%.

“[Aligners] are clearly here to stay. Invisalign® has reinvigorated my practice even in a down econmoy.” Iowa dentist

More than one-third (35%) of our dentists have worn clear aligners as an adult, and another 5% have worn traditional braces.

“[Aligners are] great when they do what they are ‘expected’ to do, can be costly compared to straightwire.” Missouri dentist, who had clear aligners as an adult

“I had clear aligners as an adult. They are good for many patients, but compliance is a huge part of success and timeliness…….treatment takes significantly longer on some patients largely because they aren’t wearing them 22 hours/day.” New Hampshire dentist

“Yes, I had clear aligners as an adult. Had Invisalign® done on me by an experienced orthodontitst. Does not achieve optimal results. Some crowding remained even with lots of interproximal stripping.” Washington periodontist

Although a 60% majority of the dentists responding to our survey have not personally worn braces, they have a wealth of clinical experience treating patients. And opinions vary widely!

An Arizona orthodontist was markedly critical of clear aligners: “While the clear aligner people won’t tell you this, as an orthodontic specialist I will: 95% of your clear aligner patients will have orthodontic failure within 5 years of treatment. Why? Root torque. Aligners cannot torque roots. Aligners cannot be designed (yet) to accommodate improper root torque. Only a fixed appliance (braces) can.”

An Illinois dentist expressed an opposite opinion: “As with anything else, the dentist’s attention to detail will determine the quality of the result with Invisalign®. I hear some dentists claim that “you don’t get as good a result” with clear retainers. Hogwash! One of these dentists confessed to “eyeballing” his interproximal reductions. You get out of it what you put into it. Wonderful results are achievable consistently. The system works very well, if the dentist does!

So what’s the dental marketing take away here?

Like it or not, Invisalign® and ClearCorrect are sucessfully creating consumer demand for their clear aligners — that’s built-in marketing for the dentists who choose to offer those brands.

For those dentists who dislike clear aligners, patient inquiries about them represent opportunities to educate and advocate for alternative methods of straightening teeth.

Dental Braces: Once Again Texas Makes News with Braces

Dental Braces: Once Again Texas Makes News with Braces What is it with Medicaid dental care and braces in Texas?

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which administers Medicaid in Texas for dental braces, has filed a request to be reimbursed for $7.5 million in alleged fraudulent claims it paid to Amarillo orthodontist Dr. Michael Goodwin.

Federal authorities also moved to seize the commercial and personal bank accounts of Dr. Goodwin and his wife as part of a probe linked to a Medicaid fraud scheme, according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

In 2008, Dr. Goodwin became an individual Medicaid provider, which allowed him to bill Medicaid only for services personally provided by the orthodontist.

Soon after the change, the Amarillo orthodontist was reported as scheduling up to 400 Medicaid patients a day and allegedly billing the government for orthodontic treatment he did not perform. The Globe-News further reports that patients and former employees likened the Amarillo Medicaid fraud scheme to “herding cattle.”

In 2009 the Texas Attorney General’s Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit was alerted to the fact that Goodwin was likely billing Medicaid for work done by dental assistants, who worked on dental patients that state law prohibits them from doing “at Goodwin’s direction and without his direct supervision while Goodwin was out of town, away from the office or even while present in the office,” according to an affidavit for the case.

The affidavit further states that Dr.Goodwin scheduled patients in 10-minute increments, “causing pressure for assistants to practice dentistry quickly” and eventually billed Medicaid for their work.

It goes on to outline the fact that Dr. Goodwin would fly from Texas to dental offices in Indiana almost every month, while billing Medicaid for orthodontic patient services in Amarillo on dates when flight records showed he was clearly in Indiana.

The majority of Goodwin’s patients were Medicaid recipients with some reporting that figure could be as high as 95% of his dental practice.

Unfortunately, this is not a new dental braces trend in Texas …

Last June, The Wealthy Dentist reported that in 2010, Texas spent $184 million on Medicaid orthodontics — more than the rest of the United States combined. Dentist Richard Malouf’s All Smiles Dental Centers of Texas collected $5.4 million from Medicaid orthodontics. Since that time, All Smiles’ Medicaid orthodontics billings nearly doubled to $10.2 million.

In September we further reported that WFAA-TV had uncovered that Texas taxpayers had spent $424 million on orthodontics for children under Medicaid. Taxpayers spent $100 million in 2008 and $140 million in 2009 — above the $184 million spent in 2010.

On March 1, 2012 Texas implemented a new managed care Medicaid dental program, only time will tell if this will stem the bleeding of taxpayer money on braces in Texas.

For more on this story see: Feds Link Orthodontist to Medicaid Fraud Scheme

Braces: Dentists Share Their Orthodontic Experiences (video)

Dental braces dentist survey video

Adult braces, Invisalign, and teen braces are all popular orthodontic treatments.
And dentists don’t just provide dental braces; they’re also patients.

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a dental survey asking dentists if they personally have had braces, if any of their children had them, and if they had any further thoughts on their personal braces experience.

“I had teen braces, and I had them as an adult too, and my teeth still moved,” said a Texas dentist.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss dentists’ experiences with braces and orthodontia in this video.

“They have become readily accepted and allow us to provide beautiful smiles and proper occlusions for patients of all ages,” declared a Michigan dentist.

“I wish I did not get them when I was younger,” said a Louisiana dentist. “Four bicuspids were removed, and it ruined my smile.”

“I had regular brackets and arch wire braces at age 40. Like many younger patients, I did not wear my retainer and had relapse,” said a Kentucky dentist. “I had Invisalign ortho at age 50 and loved it compared to brackets and arch wires. I continue to wear my Invisalign retainer going on 8 years now.”

What are your thoughts? Any personal experiences you’d care to share?

Dentists Report on Profits From Braces Patients

Dentists Report on Profits From Braces PatientsThe latest The Wealthy Dentist survey reveals that the average gross production of a new braces patient in the first 9 months of treatment in 2012 was $3,600.

The higher gross production numbers were by those dentists using Invisalign.

This supports a 2012 study that revealed, while Invisalign clear orthodontic aligners cost more in materials than conventional edgewise braces, they require fewer patient visits and a shorter duration of treatment for dentists, therefore making them the most profitable form of braces treatment for dentists.

In this survey, general dentists report average production profits between $1,000 and $3,000 for orthodontia work, while orthodontists report profits between $4,000 and $6,000.

However, a few dentists balked at the idea of looking at production profits, with one dentist responding, “We should be concerned about the quality and stability of the result, the experience enjoyed by patient and the net profit after completing and retaining the case. The big production numbers only after 9 months are very attractive but misleading so many dentists.”

What are your thoughts on your new braces patient gross production and the profits from braces for 2012?

Disclaimer

© 2017, The Wealthy Dentist - Dental Marketing - All Rights Reserved - Dental Website Marketing Site Map

The Wealthy Dentist® - Contact by email - Privacy Policy

P.O. Box 1220, Tiburon, CA 94920

The material on this website is offered in conjunction with MasterPlan Alliance.

Copyright 2017 Du Molin & Du Molin, Inc. All rights reserved. If you would like to use material from this site, our reports, articles, training programs
or tutorials for use in any printed or electronic media, please ask permission first by email.