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

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?

Who Is At Fault When Braces Are Not Removed for 11 Years?

Devin Bost Who Claims His Braces Were Not Removed for 11 Years -- image via FacebookCommon sense says there’s something amiss with an orthodontia story about an Oregon man who is suing his dentist after 11 years of wearing braces.

As reported by CBS News and the Oregonian, former orthodontia patient, Devin Bost, is suing orthodontist Dr. Brad Chvatal of Oregon-based Chvatal Orthodontics for $185,000 for allegedly allowing him to wear his braces from ages 7 to 18.

Bost says that he began seeing Dr. Chvatal in August 1997 when he lived in the Eugene, Oregon area.

Bost claims in his lawsuit against the orthodontist that he has suffered serious tooth decay and periodontal disease from all of the years his teeth were covered by braces.

But here’s where the story gets more strange, Dr. Chvatal has asserted that he couldn’t have treated Bost the entire time because he only became licensed as an orthodontist in 2002. The orthodontist really can’t divulge any more than this fact due to patient/doctor privacy laws.

According to news sources, Bost admits that he didn’t visit the orthodontist as often as he should, but that he did go from time to time.

But what constitutes “from time to time”? Every 2 years? Every 5 years?

Bost claims that the orthodontist didn’t do anything about the removal of his braces until June 2008 when he “received an urgent phone call from the orthodontist office that he needed to have the braces removed immediately.”

David Hollander, the attorney representing Bost in the lawsuit, told The Oregonian, “Some of Bost’s teeth will need to be yanked out and replaced with implants, but that may not be possible in some areas of his mouth because the teeth have rotted through to the jaw. He has racked up more than $35,000 in dental bills so far. He had to seek the expertise of one of the nation’s top dentists in Boston because the damage is so extensive.”

But if this story isn’t strange enough on its own, Bost’s mother is a medical doctor. Wouldn’t she have noticed something was amiss with her son’s teeth?

What are your thoughts as to what really happened?

For more on this story see: Rotten Teeth, After 11 Years in Braces, Lead Oregon Man to Sue for $185,100

Orthodontist Thinks Invisalign Destroys Braces Profession

Orthodontist Thinks Invisalign Destroys Braces ProfessionAccording to a recent The Wealthy Dentist survey, the average cost of Invisalign treatments is $4,823 from general dentists and $5,411 from specialists.

A year ago when we ran this same survey, the results revealed that Invisalign treatment costs an average of $4,622, when provided by a dentist, and $6.945 when treated by a specialist.

It would seem that Invisalign costs have come down in the past year.

In the 2011 survey, the dentists who responded noted that the higher cost for Invisalign braces reflected the lab fee that they pay for the Invisalign trays, and many dentists in the 2012 survey still feel the same, with one dentist saying, “The lab fees are $1,500 and up — way to much!”

Graph: The average cost of Invisalign treatments is $4,823 from general dentists and $5,411 from specialists

Florida and New York reported the most expensive treatment costs at $6,000 and $6,500 respectively, while California and Colorado reported some of the lowest at $2,900 and $3,800.

Invisalign costs are still higher when performed by a specialist with orthodontists reporting the highest cost of $6,900, while their dentist counterparts reported a high cost of $5,400.

Here’s what dentists had to say this year about the cost of Invisalign treatment:

“Without braces to back up the crap result, ethics and morals get trumped for a buck. Quit destroying my profession for a buck!” (Colorado orthodontist)

“Price may be more or less depending upon ease or complexity of the case.” (California dentist)

“Lab cost is too high at $1,600.” (Maryland dentist)

“Alignment costs are too high for getting this treatment mainstream to the people who are willing to have adult orthodontia.” (General dentist)

“Far too expensive. The general attitude and culture within the Invisalign company is hostility and arrogance toward general dentist.” (Georgia dentist)

“The lab fees are excessive and Invisalign could use some competition!” (New York dentist)

What are your thoughts on Invisalign treatment costs? Are lab fees too high? Are they worth the cost? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

Texas Medicaid Braces Dentist Builds Water Park at Mansion

Texas Medicaid Braces Dentist Builds Water Park at MansionAfter months of The Wealthy Dentist’s coverage of the ongoing story behind the Medicaid braces racket in Texas, WFAA-TV is now reporting that one of the dentists being charged with massive fraud is in the process of installing a water park on his mansion property.

The Wealthy Dentist began its coverage of Texas Medicaid orthodontics in June of 2011, when we reported that in 2010, Texas spent $184 million on Medicaid orthodontics — more than the rest of the United States combined.

Nowhere was the lucrative business of Medicaid braces more evident than with Texas dentist Richard Malouf’s mansion in Dallas.

It is a massive French chateau with a pool house big enough for the average American family of four to live in. The Maloufs also own the mansion next door. According to tax records, the combined value of the two properties is more than $14 million.

They are known in Texas as the house that braces built.

Now, as two lawsuits charge dentist Malouf with fraud, he continues to expand his mansion properties.

Real estate columnist Candy Evans told WFAA-TV, “There’s going be a gymnasium, a rock climbing wall and there’s plans for a bowling alley upstairs. There’s going to be exercise rooms.”

According to the WFAA-TV website –

Attorney Jim Moriarty is one of a consortium of attorneys in the action lawsuit, led by Waters & Kraus in Dallas. They say samples of Malouf’s records show that 100 percent of his Medicaid claims were false.

“Frankly, it borders on being obscene,” Moriarty said of the mansion expansion. “The taxpayers of the State of Texas paid to build that house, and are paying to expand that house for a guy who claims to have made his money treating the people of Texas.”

WFAA-TV originally uncovered that Malouf’s All Smiles Dental Centers of Texas had orthodontia billings of up to $10.2 million while under his control.

Since those days, Chicago-based hedge fund Equity Partners acquired All Smiles Dental for an undisclosed sum and is now involved bankruptcy proceedings in Texas.

For more on this story see: Dentist in Medicaid Suit Adding a Water Park to His Mansion

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