The Missing Ingredient in Aligner Orthodontics Training

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StraightWay CDA closes the gap between aligner orthodontics training and implementation throughout the practice

The year 2001 brought great news for dentists: they were now permitted by the major manufacturers of orthodontic aligners to add the procedure to meet patient demand in an arena that was previously the sole province of orthodontists. Since that time, 36,000 dentists have received aligner orthodontics training. But it hasn’t taken off as one might expect. Only 40% of certified dentists have ever delivered a single case, and only 8 – 10% have actually incorporated aligner orthodontics into their practices and continued. What happened?

At the inception of the aligner orthodontics industry, only orthodontists could be trained to on the procedure. However, when the procedure was made available to general practitioners, the promise of straightening teeth with clear, “invisible” trays and the opportunity of integrating a very profitable service was instantly appealing.

Since then, thousands of dentists have received clear aligner training but are often left without the required confidence to implement the procedure throughout the practice. This could be due to a failure to address a missing piece of the puzzle: the certified dentist still has the responsibility for training his entire staff on the procedure and its benefits so the service can be promoted and sold throughout the practice. Without this piece, a majority of certified dentists attempt only a few cases and never reap the promised profits from the addition of the procedure.

Fortunately, one dentist has succeeded well beyond expectations. Since successfully incorporating aligner orthodontics into his cosmetic dental practice in 2001, Dr. Willis Pumphrey has delivered over 1100 cases (including a record high of 400-plus cases in one year), outperforming every general practitioner on record.

Dr. Pumphrey is now exporting his success through his company, StraightWay CDA (Cosmetic Dental Affiliates). He has taken his own best practices and laid out a precise step-by-step set of successful actions and operational systems on which an entire dental practice can be trained by a dental marketing consultant from the company.

In analyzing the situation, the first problem Dr. Pumphrey spotted was the aligner orthodontics training itself was designed by an orthodontist and assumed experience that a general practitioner wouldn’t have. In designing his training, Dr. Pumphrey took it from the viewpoint of a G.P such as himself.

Second, Dr. Pumphrey realized the problems dentists were having stemmed from being the only ones in their practices who had attended aligner orthodontics training. In his own practice, he had trained his whole staff on the subject.

The result of Dr. Pumphrey’s analysis was the launch of StraightWay CDA’s Full PowerHat(TM) program in which a dental practice management consultant team is sent to an office and trains not only dentists but the entire staff. This program closes the gap between clear aligner training and implementation of aligner orthodontics as a deliverable service within the practice.

Dr. Pumphrey’s goal is to assist member affiliates work up to delivering forty-four cases per year. This is accomplished through delivery of an intensive 2 ½ to 3-day aligner orthodontics training program by a dental marketing consultant from StraightWay CDA, in which the dentist and staff are run through every step of the program. The end result is 100% proficiency in aligner orthodontics.

For more information

Karen Randall

StraightWay CDA



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Karen Randall
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