Happy Thanksgiving!

No tip this week.

We just wanted to let you know that our account reps will be home for the holidays until Monday, November 28. (Hopefully, you will be too.)

Until then...

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Tech tip: Smörgåsbord of helpfulness

You might call this week's tech tip "a random mish-mash of helpful tidbits."

Keep in touch!

First, if you've been visiting our YouTube channel or this blog recently, you'll notice we've posted lots of new stuff over the past month or so. This blog is a great place to see all sorts of news and tech tips, from the very-recent to the relatively-old (while we're thinking about it, our Facebook page ain't half-bad, either).

Lately, we've been talking to some of our hometown doctors to see what they think of our product and our service. The latest of these was Dr. Annette Murphy of Smile Dental Arts. (Spoiler alert: Marvin's true identity is revealed.)

Completing cases

When you get to the last aligner in the last planned phase of your patient's treatment, it's time to evaluate the patient's dentition.

If you or the patient aren't happy, you'll probably want to request a refinement. If you have unused phases remaining, there's no extra charge for refinements (although you will be responsible for the cost of shipping any new impressions to us). Just send us a refinement form to let us know what needs to be changed.

If you and your patient are satisfied with the treatment, please let your account rep know so we can send you the final retainer and close the case. If you never request a retainer, the case might just hang in limbo indefinitely.

We're working on streamlining this process, but for now, if your last phase is finished or about to finish, please contact your account rep and let us know whether you're ready for the retainer.

Also, please let us know if your patient gets behind schedule so we don't waste your phases delivering aligners that you're not ready for. We can put your case on hold and start it back up whenever you're ready.

Marketing: kicking it up a notch

Finally, we've recently had a couple of doctors tell us that they have dozens of case submissions coming up. We looked into it, and those doctors had recently run very successful Groupon promotions.

We've seen doctors run Groupon promotions before that didn't turn out so hot, so we thought you'd like to know what worked in this instance:

  • One doctor offered limited cases (with some tubes of tooth whitening solution) for 50% off.
  • One doctor offered full cases for 55% off.

That's about it. They were simple offers and they seem to have worked well for these doctors.

We don't have any relationship with Groupon, so we're not endorsing them specifically. (Honestly, I can't even get anyone at Groupon to answer the phone. They need some Katys & Marvins over there.)

We're just passing along something that seems to have worked well. If you do decide to run a promotion with a site like Groupon, make sure they get the product details right. We've seen some descriptions that barely resemble what you get in a Full or Limited case. You can always double-check the descriptions on the Product List.

That's it for this week. Until next time...

Happy Veteran's Day

To all who serve, and to all who have served, we thank you.

On this Veteran's Day, We'd like to recognize a few of our own ClearCorrectors who answered the call:

Daniel Cantu
Daniel Cantu, U.S. Marine Corps

Marvin Chan
Marvin Chan, U.S. Air Force

Reuben Dudley
Reuben Dudley, U.S. Army

Brian Feldman

Brian Feldman, U.S. Coast Guard.

 

Dr. Pumphrey
Dr. Willis Pumphrey, U.S. Army

 

We appreciate your selflessness, and again we thank you for your service.

Happy Veteran's Day.

Movember at ClearCorrect

These days, a clean-shaven guy coming in to apply for a job here at ClearCorrect might feel a bit out of place. Lately, it’s looking a little like all our male staff are working round the clock, with no time to shave. Some of our guys are looking like they’re growing playoff beards.

But there’s an explanation for this aside from how work and personal grooming habits collide: it’s Movember.

To raise awareness for men’s health issues, each of our guys started this month clean-shaven and vowed not to shave again until November 30th, when they’ll unveil some of the greatest facial hair ever witnessed. In just a couple weeks we’ll post some photos so that you can be the judge: which ClearCorrector will have the fullest, most manly, most creative moustache of all? Stay tuned, and you can help us decide!

To learn more on what Movember's all about, visit Movember.com.

Tech tip: Bad handwriting? Why not submit online?

Today's tech tip comes from our team of diagnostic technicians.

They asked me to pass along a message... how can I put this delicately?

Your handwriting stinks.

Well, maybe not yours specifically. (This is a blog post, after all.) For all I know, your prescription forms look like they were illuminated by a Benedictine calligrapher.

Some of the forms we receive, though--well, they look more like they were scratched onto a wall by a drunk pharaoh. When the techs have to guess what doctors are asking for, all kinds of confusion can ensue.

Fortunately, there's a simple solution: just submit your cases online.

It's easy: just log on to ClearComm and choose submit a case.

The website will walk you through each step of the submission, and when you're done, you can print a shipping label along with a nice, legible copy of the case submission form. 

A case number will be assigned immediately, and the data you enter will be stored directly on our servers, with no delays or confusion caused by transcription errors.

Our technicians thank you in advance.

That's it for this week. Until next time...

Tech tip: Documents & how-to’s now on ClearComm

Thumbnails of documents on ClearComm

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve assembled a library of helpful documents and videos on ClearComm. Just visit dr.clearcorrect.com and click on Documents.

You'll find the latest versions of all the documents from our starter kit and more, including:

We hope you find it useful. Until next time...

Interview with Dr. MaryKaren Matt

Thanks to Dr. MaryKaren Matt for sitting down with us recently to chat about ClearCorrect.

Tech tip: How Phase Zero virtually eliminates rejected impressions

It's been just about a month since we introduced Phase Zero™. We've gotten all kinds of feedback since then, and most of it has been enthusiastic.

A few doctors have expressed concern, however, that it seems like a waste of time to call their patients in for Phase Zero, since the teeth won't start moving until phase 1.

Rest assured: Phase Zero is not a waste of chair time, and it's not just a gimmick to make our turnaround time seem faster.

In fact, today I'm pleased to announce that Phase Zero has made it possible for us to announce a policy change that will save you and your patient a whole lot of wasted time:

No more rejections for "bad impressions"

If you've been with us for any length of time, there's a very good chance that you've had a case delayed by the dreaded "unable to complete submission" email.

Our team of diligent technicians has painstakingly prescreened every impression that we receive, analyzing it carefully for any flaws that could possibly result in an poorly-fitting aligner.

Of course, there's no way for us to be 100% certain whether an impression will work without actually making an aligner and trying it out on your patient's teeth.

So our standards have always been very high. We've had many frustrating conversations with doctors explaining that a case will be delayed and they'll need to call their patients in for another impression, even if they think the impression should be good enough.

That experience sucks for everyone involved, and it runs contrary to our belief that doctors should be in charge of the treatment they prescribe. We're just a dental lab; we're not here to tell you what to do.

Here's the beauty of Phase Zero: now we can make an aligner and you can try it out on your patient—just a short time after taking impressions, and without wasting any of the regular phases included with the treatment.

Why should we waste our time trying to outguess doctors and predict the future? From now on, doctors will be solely responsible for making sure that the impressions they submit are well-formed and accurate. And they'll receive an actual 3D model and aligners to confirm the results. We'll only reject impressions if they're completely impractical to use.

So it's more important than ever for you and your staff to take great impressions and inspect them carefully for mistakes. We've added our latest how-to documents and videos to ClearComm, so if your assistants need a refresher, please encourage them to check it out.

As part of this new emphasis on letting doctors be responsible for the treatment they prescribe, we've also decided that x-rays are now optional. We still recommend that you take & submit x-rays to help our technicians set up the treatment, but we won't delay your case if you decide not to include them with your submission.  

Phase Zero is a treatment setup you can hold in your hand

You should receive Phase Zero and the treatment setup around the same time. The aligners and dental model included with Phase Zero are made from the exact same 3D model that's labeled "Before" on your treatment setup.

Phase Zero and the treatment setup are two sides of the same coin. 

When you approve the treatment setup, you're also verifying that the Phase Zero aligners fit well on your patient, and that the dental model looks accurate.

Within a few weeks of submitting your case, you can show your patient their projected goal on the treatment setup, verify the accuracy & fit of the aligners, give your patient their first set of passive aligners, approve the treatment setup if everything fits well and looks right, and take new impressions if anything doesn't.

This is all at one appointment, at no additional charge, with no delays or extra appointments for retaking "bad impressions". Many doctors schedule an appointment around this time anyway, just to sign off on the treatment setup.

That's not even taking into account the other benefits of Phase Zero, like the more gradual acclimation to aligners, the retention of current dentition, the earlier product delivery, and the potential for shortened treatment time thanks to performing procedures like IPR at the very first phase 1 appointment.

Hopefully, this makes it more clear why we think Phase Zero is far from a waste of time.

As always, we welcome your feedback. Until next time...

Tech tip: What to expect when you submit a case (Phase Zero™ edition)

We recently started shipping Phase Zero at the beginning of cases, so it seemed like a good time to update our timeline showing what to expect when you submit a case.

Seriously old & busted · Slightly out of date · New hotness

As you'll see, Phase Zero doesn't delay your shipment of phase 1 at all--in fact, we've shaved a week or so off of our average turnaround time.

Stay tuned next week: we might have some interesting news related to Phase Zero to share with you.

Interview with Dr. Dale Brant

Dr. Dale Brant was kind enough to sit down with us earlier this month and chat for a few minutes about ClearCorrect.

We shot this video with our Nikon D3100 digital SLR instead of our usual professional video camera, and we were really impressed with how it turned out.

On a completely unrelated note, if anybody's interested in buying an awesome and totally not obsolete Panasonic AG-HVX200AP camcorder with tons of accessories, please let us know in the comments.