Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Toronto Invisalign Braces Specialist Provides Trip Report from Costa Rica Study Club

Outside Align Technologies in Costa Rica

At Markham Centre Orthodontics, we strive to be at the forefront of all aspects of care for our patients. As a Premier Provider of Richmond Hill Invisalign braces and Markham Invisalign Teen, Dr. Tam was fortunate to be invited to attend the Invisalign Study Club in Costa Rica for Top Invisalign doctors. This experience included a tour of the Invisalign tech centre, special lectures about Invsalign 1.5, details of the manufacturing and ClinCheck process, as well as clinical discussions with some of the top Invisalign providers in Canada and America. This entry will detail Dr. Tam's trip to the Invisalign centre.

Invisalign Reception Area

Prior to going into the facility, Dr. Tam was asked to sign a non-disclosure regarding proprietary information. Therefore, as much detail will be provided as possible, without infringing upon this agreement.

The tour began with an informational session about Invisalign in their impressive 63,000 sq ft facility, housing around 730 employees, including 543 different techs, 49 team leaders, 65 customer service reps, 48 in finance and IT, as well as 26 doctors, of which 6 are orthodontists. Any patient information is sent digitally from Mexico, and there is no physical data present in Costa Rica. All employees are eligible for complimentary Invisalign treatment in the Invisalign clinic, allowing them to straighten their teeth, while gaining a deeper understanding of the product they work with.

Invisalign on-site employee clinic

Invisalign has chosen Heredia, Costa Rica for its tech plant because of its political stability, solid IT infrastructure, high literacy rate of 96%, high level of education, and quality of dental schools. With no army, the country is able to provide free medical care, basic dental care, and college education for its citizens. Techs are selected from a large pool of applicants and if chosen, undergo 15 weeks of training before being allowed to work on patient cases. This training is known as “Treat University”, and involves using the “Treat” software, developed in Russia, to learn how to receive data, segment the teeth, set the bite, produce a tooth set up, and figure out the location of the gingival margins. There is some training about basic orthodontic principles and the new techs work with new Invisalign doctors, with the assumption that their cases are less complicated. This becomes a problem when these new doctors send in cases that are beyond the scope of a less experienced provider, and has lead to the development of Invisalign proficiency requirements.

One of the two rooms of Invisalign Techs

There is also a team of experienced techs who work with Premier Providers. They work with fewer different doctors, but tend to work with a higher volume of more challenging cases. These techs are supervised by a team leader, who has previously worked as a tech. Dr. Tam’s particular team leader works with with the top doctors from Canada, New York, and Texas. The team leaders are in turn supervised by a staff dentist who may or may not be an orthodontist. Important to note is that the techs have an understanding of basic English, but may rely on their team leaders to provide further clarification. This makes it even more important that the tech understand the preferences of the doctor.

Our Invisalign Technician Auxi working on one of our ClinChecks

Dr. Tam was very excited to meet his dedicated Invisalign technician, Auxi, and her team leader, Alex. They were able to sit down to talk about his preferences, facilitating a better understanding of Dr. Tam’s Invisalign treatment goals. This minimizes the amount of time required to approve a ClinCheck, provides more optimum treatment, and leads to an expedited production of the aligners. Together, they spent a few hours working with Dr. Tam on some new and existing ClinCheck simulations.

L-R: Team leader Alex, Dr. Tam, Invisalign Tech Auxi

Both Auxi and Alex are extremely talented at their work and were extremely friendly. However, they made a point to state that they are not allowed to make treatment decisions, and rely on the doctor’s expertise, prescription, and modifications to produce optimal treatment. This reinforces the concept that successful treatment requires an experienced provider who understands how to move teeth with Invisalign.

Overall, it was an extremely valuable experience to see how Invisalign works behind the scenes. Their software is constantly being developed, the employees are hard-working, and are in a world-class facility. Dr. Tam would like to thank Align Technology for selecting him for this elite Invisalign meeting.

Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in getting started on the way to a straighter smile without braces.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Markham Braces Team Member Megan in Montreal for Rosemary Bray

This past August, Megan flew up to Montreal to meet with orthodontic consultant, Rosemary Bray. They met at Korne Orthodontics in Westmount, the orthodontic office of Dr. Paul Korne. Joining her on the trip was Dawn from Scarborough Town Orthodontics. The goal of the one-day meeting was to learn ways to improve customer service, provide the best financial plans, and orthodontic treatment value for our patients.

At Markham Centre Orthodontics, we understand that there may be various challenges to obtaining orthodontic treatment. Whenever possible, we try to remove these barriers and deliver the best Invisalign and braces experience possible. We look forward to continuing to provide Unionville and Markham with some of the area’s best smiles!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Invisalign Braces... The Next Generation of Invisalign coming in October.

This is a breaking story on Invisalign`s next generation product. They have compiled research as to what makes treatment more predictable and successful, and are attempting to improve general outcomes. It is basically a revision of the best practice protocol, with data taken from some of the most successful offices.

If you are looking at Invisalign treatment, it`s advisable to seek an experienced Invisalign provider since every treatment is different, and requires the expertise of the orthodontist or dentist.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Align Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALGN) today introduced new and enhanced product features designed to provide improved results for everyday clinical demands, including extrusion and rotation of teeth, root movements, and interproximal reduction (IPR). The new features will help deliver the great outcomes doctors expect from Invisalign treatment.

"This continued evolution of our product line and our technology is based on extensive customer research and the treatment data and experience gained through more than one million Invisalign cases," said Sheila Tan, Align Technology's vice president, marketing and chief marketing officer. "We believe that these improvements will give doctors greater confidence in what they can achieve with Invisalign, and help deliver the outcomes doctors expect in more clinical applications."

The new product line features are designed to overcome barriers to treatment by addressing clinical issues that doctors have traditionally perceived as challenging in Invisalign treatment, such as extrusions and rotations, and by implementing improvements and best practices frequently requested by doctors:

-- New Optimized Attachments for extrusions and rotations are now custom designed to be patient-specific and tooth-specific to consistently deliver the correct aligner forces to the teeth, helping to increase predictability of the desired movement.

-- Power Ridges(TM), previously available only with Invisalign Teen(TM), are used in place of attachments to provide additional force in cases where certain types of movements, including lingual root torque, are prescribed.

-- Velocity Optimization provides more controlled movements for the entire tooth, including the root, and is designed to limit the speed of tooth movements to optimal ranges. Previously, doctors had to identify movements that might require velocity adjustments and request those changes as part of the treatment planning process. The velocity adjustment will now be accounted for automatically in the case set-up.

-- Interproximal Reduction (IPR) Protocol Improvements address a frequent doctor request regarding timing of IPR during treatment. IPR can now be set up in later stages of treatment when teeth are better aligned and contact points may be easier to access.

-- New Invisalign Attachment Kit and attachment material deliver greater bond strength, wear resistance, accuracy, and ease of use.

All new and enhanced product features are available at no additional cost and
are being released through a phased roll-out with full availability to all
Invisalign-trained doctors in North America by mid October.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Markham Invisalign Team Member Mandy Discusses “What is Invisalign Teen?”

While many Markham dentists and Unionville and Richmond Hill orthodontists have advertised this product, most patients still don’t know what makes Invisalign Teen different from regular Invisalign. Teen was introduced to the worldwide market in 2009. Dr. Tam and his team at Markham Centre Orthodontics was one of the offices selected to be in the pilot project to develop the product. To date, there are only 4 orthodontic practices in the Greater Toronto Area designated as Invisalign Teen Providers, in Mississauga, downtown Toronto, and us in Markham.

Watch as Mandy describes Invisalign Teen’s new features. Stay tuned to watch her undergo her own Invisalign treatment!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Markham Invisalign Orthodontist Presents Our Word Search Contest!

Markham Centre Orthodontics, your Invisalign Richmond Hill and braces in Markham, is happy to announce our next office contest. From now until the end of October, our patients are free to participate in our word search. It will be available in the office or you can print up a copy below.

Good luck and we look forward to your entries!