Zendura FLX Helps True Dental Care Grow Clear Aligner Treatment Case

Zendura FLX Helps True Dental Care Grow Clear Aligner Treatment Case

Zendura FLX Helps True Dental Care Grow Clear Aligner Treatment Case

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Background: True Dental Care is a group dental practice comprising six GPs, three serving primarily pediatric patients and three serving mostly adult patients. Daniel Cohen D.D.S., the founder and primary dental care provider at the practice, opened the Jersey City, New Jersey practice in 2017 in an ultra modern Hamilton Suites office building in the Hamilton area of Jersey City. Together with his wife, Dr. Mila Cohen, they quickly grew the practice, adding four partner GPs.
Their mission was to provide high-quality, technologically advanced dental care for both pediatric and adult patients under one roof. To that aim, they broadened the range of dental services they offer to include clear aligner orthodontic treatment, initially via Invisalign® treatments. Four of their doctors are actively involved with their clear aligner treatment offerings.

Challenge: They became an Invisalign provider in 2018, and that part of their practice quickly started to gain traction. Dr. Cohen is pretty savvy with digital technologies and has really driven that part of their business. Their in-office lab tech started making post-treatment retainers to reduce their unit cost and allow them to get retainers to their patients in 1 or 2 days, rather than 2 or 3 weeks. That experience encouraged them to consider making aligners in-office so they could offer their patients a more affordable aligner treatment option and improve their treatment outcomes. The first step in that process was hiring Jared Friedman as their lab manager. Prior to joining True Dental Care, he had worked for two dental labs and was highly skilled at making a range of both dental and orthodontic appliances.

Solution: They contracted with Dr. Amanda Wilson’s Straight Smile SolutionsTM consulting service to provide guidance on how to set up and run an aligner production operation in-office. They now use Global Ortho DesignTM to handle their aligner treatment setups (about $90 per setup). Global Ortho is a Costa Rica-based aligner treatment design center comprising a team of professional orthodontic clinicians and technicians. Dr. Wilson reviews all of their setups and makes any necessary changes before turning them over to True Dental’s doctors for review and any additional changes to meet each patient’s specific needs.

Their production equipment:
Biostar thermoformer
2 Formlabs Form 2 SLA 3D printers
2 Anycubic Photon Mono X 3D printers
ATM-10 automated aligner trimmer
2 Trios intraoral scanners
1 iTero intraoral scanner

Their aligner material:
Zendura FLX

Their service providers:
Straight Smile Solutions (aligner treatment business consulting) Global Ortho Design (aligner treatment setups)
SWITCHED TO ZENDURA FLX: True Dental Care switched to Zendura FLX thermoplastic material for all their aligners about 1 year ago and are really pleased with its overall performance and durability. “It’s a very patient-friendly material and consistently delivers amazing teeth movement force for well over 10 days,” says Friedman. He added, “Many of our patients tell us they experience little to no pain wearing their FLX aligners, yet we still achieve up to 0.5mm of teeth movement per aligner in as little as 7 days wear time. This amazing patient friendliness has opened up all kinds of new and interesting treatment protocols, including shorter wear periods.” They used to prescribe 14-day wear periods, but thanks to FLX have transitioned to 7 days for many of their cases.
Friedman also noted that FLX is “a pleasure to work with” because it is so easy to thermoform, trim and polish into a finished aligner.
He is now fabricating 200-plus aligners per month and says that number is rapidly growing. They also fabricate all of their attachment templates and post-treatment retainers in-office.

CUTTING TREATMENT COSTS:  Friedman says they were paying a king’s ransom for their Invisalign treatments, and have now moved many of those dollars onto their bottomline. They now make 75% of their aligners in-office, but still use Invisalign for a few of their really complicated cases requiring a lot of
attachments. Their goal is to make 100% of their aligners in-office and think advancing their knowledge of treatment planning is the key to achieving that.

ADDING AUTOMATION: They took the plunge and added an ATM-10 automated aligner trimming mill to their in-office lab in mid 2021 and it has made a real impact on reducing their aligner production time. Costing about $18,550, the mill can trim a thermoformed FLX sheet into an aligner in under 2 minutes and has proved both reliable and a real time saver. Made by the Korean robotics manufacturer Robotics and Design Co., Ltd., it is distributed in the U.S. by their U.S. subsidiary Maxx Digm, Inc.

AN ESSENTIAL TREATMENT OFFERING: Clear aligner therapy now represents about 20%-plus of their total business and continues to grow in volume and complexity of cases they can handle entirely in-office. Offering clear aligner treatment has also proved key to growing their total patient base and keeping the patients they already have.