People often have difficulty believing that we can really move teeth to create a more beautiful smile in only 6 months. Here’s a case to show just how well it works – Lynn has only had her almost invisible braces on for 2 months, and look how far the gap between her front teeth has closed already!
Wow! That’s about all I can say at the moment with the response we are getting to our WBT radio ad and better positioning on the Internet for Google searches. Here’s a fun little thing: go to Google.com and do a search for “braces charlotte,” and guess what – my website www.SmilesbyPayet.com is right there on the first page! Yeehah! LOL And boy can we tell – the number of people calling us almost every day is amazing. Some days I feel like I’m becoming an orthodontist!
I figure it would be good to highlight a couple cases that we’ve recently started and follow them through so you can actually see the progress. If you like what you see, Make an Appointment for a Free Consultation today!
Mike has been a patient for several years, but somehow we had never asked him if he was interested in straightening his teeth. With our new Six-Month Smiles posters around the office, he decided to ask what it was about and if he was a good candidate. Turns out, even though he has some pretty crooked top and bottom teeth, he really is a good candidate. He was NOT interested in a full 2-3 year, comprehensive orthodontic plan – he just wants to feel good about his smile.
Stephanie found us through a Google search even before moving from the Midwest for a job transfer. She’d been ready to start Six-Month Braces with a dentist there, but with the move she chose to wait until she got here, and we started her braces just a few days after Mike’s. Her braces should go a bit faster than Mikes, but that can be a bit unpredictable.
We just put their brackets on last week, and it will probably be 1-2 months before we see any significant change, so stay tuned to see what happens on…….”As the Teeth Turn.” LOL
It has been an interesting couple of weeks when it comes to Six-Month Braces and Short-Term Ortho in general in our office……
We had planned on attending InvisAlign certification in Raleigh on Friday, June 12th so that we could start offering this service to our patients. Personally, I”m not that big a fan of those clear aligners at all, because they cost more (we have to pay a hefty lab fee, which is why your fee is higher than for brackets), they don’t work in as many cases (quite a few limitations), and they take longer – ESPECIALLY if you lose 1 or more aligners and have to get some remade. However, so many people are interested, we figured…..why not? We can offer it for the situations in which it is a good option and offer the “invisible brackets” for everyone else.
On June 1st, Align Technologies (the company that actually runs the operation) sent an email to all of it’s providers in conjunction with a Press Release to the public with some major news. Since we had just signed up, we weren’t even on the list of people who received the emails, so fortunately I found out about this through an online forum for dentists, and oooooooh boy, looks like they stepped in it this time!
Here is the link to the Press Release: InvisAlign Makes a Huge Mistake in Doctor Relations! (BTW – that’s not what they call it, that’s what most of us dentists think)
Simply put, by the end of this year, an enormous percentage of dentists will no longer be “qualified” (HA!) to offer InvisAlign to their patients simply because they don’t do 10 cases per year. Heck, even Board-certified Orthodontists who don’t do 10 cases per year won’t be “qualified” according to Align Technology. An Orthodontist wouldn’t be “qualified?” Hmmmmmm, can you tell what I think of this scenario? And what about all the dentists who have done 5-9 cases per year for many years and have other extensive orthodontic training? If all of those doctors have been qualified for all these years, what makes them suddenly “unqualified?” It’s not like quantity automatically equals quality.
Let’s see…..last year we did a total of about 15 cases of Six-Month Braces. Only 4 of them would have been good candidates for Invisalign – if that many. This year, with the current economy, we’ve only started 4 cases total. So do I think it likely I’d be doing 10 cases by the end of this yea – unless I suddenly started “pushing” it on my patients? NO, I DON’T THINK SO! That’s not the way I treat patients though – they trust me to make the best recommendation for them, not to toe some arbitrary company line.
But did Invisalign actually inform me of this when I signed up for the course or even bother calling me after they sent out the Press Release? Does that sound ethical to you? To take someone’s money and then tell them afterwards that I might not even be able to offer the service in 6 months? Through professional Internet forums, I know that many doctors who recently took the certification course are so upset that there is talk of a class-action lawsuit for breach of contract.
If you haven’t noticed, there has been a sudden and steep decline in Align’s stock price over the last 2 weeks, too. Probably not a coincidence, as there are rumors that as many as 10,000 dentists and orthodontists will no longer be able to offer Invisalign after Dec. 31st, 2009. Many are already quitting on their own, and we are looking for alternatives, and the good news is that there are alternatives!
Look for more announcements on options we offer for Adult, Cosmetic Braces for Smile Makeovers with no drilling!
Needless to say, I am only 1 of MANY dentists who has cancelled our “certification” course reservations, who are calling for refunds of our money, and who have decided, “Hey, there are other options to InvisAlign for my patients, and they’re less expensive and work better, too!”
There are several factors that can make a Smile Makeover much more difficult to look good or great, and this was an instance in which pretty much ALL of them were in place, so this was quite a challenge for me; fortunately, I had the distinct pleasure of working with a terrific patient and an amazingly good dental lab to create a pretty beautiful smile in the end.
When Kat first came to us in August 2006, she’d always taken good care of her teeth, but she was ready for some real changes and improvements to her smile and wanted someone with experience in fixing real problem smiles. During my initial exam, I quickly realized there were several complicating factors that had been overlooked for years that had directly contributed to the problems she recognized. She knew about the significant gum recession, was unhappy about the dark metal lines around her dental bridge, and wanted to brighten/straighten her whole smile.
What I recognized as problems that she didn’t:
- Crowded lower front teeth that were banging against the back of the upper dental bridge
- She clenched her teeth intensely, pushing the lower front teeth powerfully against the back of the upper dental bridge
- A history of chronic migraines that did not respond to conventional treatment, and as she’ll tell you in a heartbeat, she tried EVERYTHING.
- The 2 teeth holding up the bridge had cracks in the roots deeply below the gum level.
- A very high smile line, meaning that – when she smiles big – her lip rises way up high so that even the gums show (most people don’t do this)
We spent quite a while talking about how all these things fit together, as well as discussing the possibilities to give her a beautiful smile she felt good about. Ultimately, we decided on extracting the 2 cracked teeth, placing 2 dental implants, Six-Month Braces to straighten the lower front teeth so they wouldn’t bang against the top ones, using the NTI-tss for resolving the chronic migraines (resulting from the incredibly intense muscle clenching), and finally a dental porcelain-to-metal bridge to replace the upper missing front teeth, supported by the 2 dental implants. The entire process took just under 2 years, but even Kat will tell you – it was worth it! She recently got married and says she felt so good smiling for her wedding photos with total confidence.
You know — this is the kind of thing that makes dentistry really enjoyable. We get to help people LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD, AND EAT THE FOODS THEY WANT. 🙂