Monday, June 8, 2009

ClearCorrect Tries to Woo Doctors Unhappy with Invisalign Proficiency Requirements

There has been a lot of talk about Invisalign's new proficiency requirements for their doctors. Your Markham Invisalign and Richmond Hill Braces orthodontist broke the story for you last week. It seems perfect timing for another company, ClearCorrect, to come out and try to take some market share. Currently, they have FDA approval, but are still waiting to get into the Canadian market.

Here is an email that was forwarded to me by a colleague:

ClearCorrect is based in Houston, Texas and according to the company, was founded by some of the biggest users of aligners. They offer two products. A two year treatment of up to 64 aligners, or a limited treatment of up to 12 aligners. The mid-course correction and refinement are included, as long as the treatment stays within the number of allotted aligners. Refinements of up to 4 sets are available for an additional cost. Their price point for doctors is about 70% that of Invisalign. Another difference to orthodontists or dentists is that one set of retainers is provided in the lab cost (may or may not make a difference to the patient cost). They are also provided with a model in case they wish to fabricate additional retainers in-office.

Although there is no literature or video published on the manufacturing process, they claim to have a similar process compared to Invisalign. All work is done in-house in Houston. They claim to cut costs by not requiring field reps in each territory. They also claim that their aligners are more clear. Online certification is available for doctors to discuss the process, and like Invisalign, does not show doctors how to move teeth. Other than that, it does not appear that there is any online continuing education. Invisalign now has over 200 hours of CE online as a part of their pathways to proficiency.

This is the second major company that has tried to compete with Invisalign. OrthoClear, started by the one of the founders of Invisalign, was bought out by Align within a very short period of time. They had promised lower prices, better service, etc for doctors unhappy with Invisalign. It caused a tremendous problem for doctors and patients who were left stranded in the middle of treatment. Invisalign took the high road and offered to continue treatment for these patients after the buyout. It is far too early in the game to see if ClearCorrect will be able to survive in this market dominated by Invisalign. From our standpoint, Markham Centre Orthodontics will not use ClearCorrect unless it is proven to be superior to Invisalign, and shows longevity in the market. Our patients deserve to be treated as over one million Invisalign patients, rather than with a company we cannot yet vouch for.

Invisalign does not seem too worried about ClearCorrect. The goal of their proficiency requirements was to prevent less experienced doctors from using their product, often incorrectly. This includes both orthodontists and GPs, resulting in claims by both doctors and patients that "Invisalign doesn't work". Many of the doctors who are upset with Invisalign are those that wish to offer it as a "bait and switch", but usually tell patients they will need alternative treatments. Invisalign seems happy to let these doctors who treat one or two patients annually, work with another company.

Remember that proper treatment planning and diagnosis is the key to successful Invisalign in Markham and braces in Unionville. To schedule your complimentary examination with your Richmond Hill orthodontist, call 905-477-7750. We look forward to the opportunity to meet you!

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