ClearCorrect: America's fastest-growing health company

Inc. magazine just released their annual list of the fastest-growing companies in America, the Inc. 500

Guess who came in at number 17?

That's right, a little aligner company called ClearCorrect.

According to Inc., we're the fastest-growing health company in America, and also #1 among companies run by black entrepeneurs.

Very cool.

Radio interview about ClearCorrect

Our senior VP of public affairs, Anthony Penketh, recently sat down with Price of Business host Kevin Price to discuss ClearCorrect.

Here's the audio from that interview, conducted August 17, 2011 on 1070 AM KNTH.

Tech tip: What to do if you can't email photos

Today's tip is all about submitting photos to ClearCorrect.

Actually, before we start that, let me pass on an urgent request from Katrina, who receives all of our new case submissions:

Please remember: ALWAYS include a form when you send anything to ClearCorrect. If it's a new case, include a case submission form. If it's a midcourse correction, a refinement, or just impressions or photos, there are forms for that too. Even if you submit a case online, ClearComm can generate a completed case submission form for you: print a copy and include it in the box. Thank you!

Very good advice. OK. Back to photos.

As you probably already know, we need photos & x-rays for every case. There are a few different ways you can send those in to us:

  1. Upload them to ClearComm when you submit a case online.
  2. Email them to photos@clearcorrect.com.
  3. Include them in the box with your impressions.

Submitting online is going to be the preferred solution going forward, but you can still use whichever method works best for you.

If you choose to email photos, you should be aware that some doctors have had trouble sending emails with several large photos attached. This is not a problem unique to ClearCorrect. Modern cameras have way more megapixels than they need, and their photos take up a lot of space. If you try to attach 8 super high-resolution photos to one email, it's probably going to be too big to go through.

(For reference, we can accept up to 25 MB of attachments at a time. However, your email provider may only allow you to send 10 MB at a time, or even less. If you try to send more than your email provider allows, it'll fail before it even gets to us.)

If you run into this problem, don't despair. There are a few ways to work around it:

  1. As we already mentioned, you can submit your case on ClearComm or send prints along with your impressions. You can't upload photos for existing cases yet on ClearComm, but we're working on it.
  2. You can split the photos across multiple emails. Try sending 4 photos at a time instead of 8. If that doesn't work, try sending 3 or 2 or 1 at a time to find out what your email provider allows.
  3. You can reduce the size of your images. You can do this manually with a program like MS Paint, Image Resizer, or Preview. Or, most operating systems and email programs can resize photos automatically for you when you attach them to an email. Here are walkthroughs for a few:

Whichever method you use, don't forget to include your patient's name and/or case number in the subject of your email.

Next week, we'll start a new series of tips submitted by our account reps. Stay cool until then (and please don't forget your forms, for Katrina's sake).

Competent totem awarded to Carl Jonard

Meet Carl.

Carl is...well, he's my boss, so I'll have to be careful how I put this:

Carl's a stickler. There, I said it.

He's the creative director here at ClearCorrect, and he's an excellent designer. And if I had a dime for every mistake I've made that he has caught and corrected before it goes out the door, I'd be able to backstroke in them like Scrooge McDuck. But what makes Carl exceptional—and what makes him the winner of the yardstick of quality, the Competence totem—is not how many typos he catches, or how many mismatched colors he spots, or how many programming bugs he fixes. It's that he's a thinker. He has foresight and a sense of practicality that I've rarely witnessed anywhere else. He thinks so clearly and communicates those thoughts so succinctly, it makes you think that there's a right answer, a right course of action, in even the murkiest situations. This is what continually impresses us about him. And Carl doesn't just apply that clarity of thought to design and communication; he often shares really deep insights into how we can create a better overall experience for our doctors. He goes consistently above and beyond his duties to improve our company, and this is a value we hope one day will be instilled in each ClearCorrect employee: an uncommon level of competence.

Yes, if every ClearCorrector could somehow become Carlized, there's just no limit to what we could do.

Thanks Carl, for being so good, you're scary.

Seriously man, you intimidate the bejeezus out of me.

Playful & Fun totem awarded to Martin Gonzalez

Our vision for our doctors is that they would find in us a company that can exceed all of their expectations, especially in customer service. When they look at us, we want them to see a company they want to work with, who they feel they have a personal relationship with.

Our vision for our employees is for them to have a job that is fulfilling and fun. Ultimately, if we're having fun, then running a company that's personable and unique will be easier. In fact, it should be almost effortless.

One of the guys who "gets" it, who really works to make this vision a reality, is Martin Gonzalez, our estates manager.

Say Hi, Martin.

Don't get me wrong, when it's time for business, Martin hops to it. He's a very effective manager, but he's a manager you want to be around because he's always going to make your life just a little more fun. We all love him for that (that, and his dodgeball prowess), and we chose to thank him with a green squishy football. Mostly so we could see him do this pose:

Economical totem awarded to Paul Dinh

When you think of being economical, you probably think of money (it's okay; I do, too). But really, there's a lot more to it than that. At the core of it, being economical is about being conservative, careful, and effective. It's about doing more with less—maximizing output from a limited input. It's about limited time, space, labor and/or materials yielding the greatest quality and the greatest quantity of a product.

All that said, the totem is still a piggy bank, and it belongs to our Chief Technical Officer, Paul Dinh.

Paul started our company with Dr. Pumphrey way back in the day, and while Paul isn't making aligners in his garage anymore, the way he conserves resources, you'd think he doesn't know that. Paul is always studying the best way to do everything—making models, making aligners, moving teeth—he's made efficiency his biggest concern.

Flexible totem awarded to Melleny Penketh

Remember how we told you we're still a pretty small company? One of the best things about being small is you get to be flexible—the ship's not too big to change course. But being a flexible company means finding flexible people, and let me tell you, they don't exactly grow on trees. Lucky for us, we've got Melleny.

Mel—not unlike the gooey substance that fills the "be flexible" totem—will take any shape we need her to in order to help the company move forward. And she's proven it time and time again over the last few years: from gathering official documents and jumping legal hurdles to organizing schedules, Mel has been on-the-spot with everything we've needed. We can't thank her enough for being so adaptable, but this totem is a start.

Tech tip: A provider writes in

Today's tip comes from Dr. Harvey Mahler of Chicago, IL:

Thanks for the email. Although I only have one ClearCorrect case, I have completed hundreds of clear aligner therapy cases for patients over the last 9 years.

May I add a couple of hints to your tech tips??

We use a fast setting medium viscosity material from Parkell called Cinch. It sets in 2 minutes for minimal patient discomfort and distortion. It says 90 seconds, but we set the timer when the tray goes in the mouth. There is a wash material which can be used in conjuction with it for greater gingival margin detail.

In addition, we will modify trays as needed. I will heat the tray with a flame/lighter till I can "bend" the tray to fit over a buccal tipped second molar and cool with water to harden. We also add rope wax to extend the tray if needed or trim the tray on the lathe to shorten it.

We haven't tested that impression material ourselves, but thanks for the suggestion.

We have reshaped impression trays by heating them before to fit unusually-shaped mouths. It's always best to start with a properly-sized tray, but sometimes dentists have to get creative. :)

Keep your suggestions coming in. Until next time...

Tech tip: Submit your cases online!

The big day has finally arrived: you can submit new cases directly on ClearComm.

Screenshot of submitting a case on ClearCommClick on Submit a case, and you'll be able to fill out all of your patient's information and even upload photos and x-rays directly to our website.

When you're done, you'll be prompted to print a completed case submission form and a shipping label.

Include the form with your impressions (so we know who they belong to) and send them to us via UPS, just like you usually do.

We're really happy to roll out this feature, and we've got even more great improvements to ClearComm in the works. Stay tuned!

P.S. While you're on ClearComm, why not double-check your contact information by clicking My account? If we have an outdated e-mail address or phone number on file for you, you could miss important information about your cases. You can update the information yourself on ClearComm, or call your account rep for assistance. Until next time...

Tech tip: More helpful tips about impressions

I know we've talked about impressions before—and recently, too—but I thought it might still be really helpful to show all of our doctors a few examples of inaccurate impressions and the distortions they cause. Nobody's more familiar with impression problems than our prescreening department, so we asked them to share some models poured up from rejected impressions so you could see examples of common problems that can occur.

Take a look:


Common impression problems

All of the impressions in this document would probably lead to inaccurate aligners that simply wouldn't fit.

So please, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use plenty of PVS material. Too much is better than too little.
  • Use the right size tray. If it's too small, the teeth can touch the edges. Make sure your tray reaches beyond the most distal tooth in the arch without touching the front teeth.
  • Don't move the material while it sets. This can cause subtle distortions that are hard to spot until you get aligners that don't fit.
  • Leave the tray in long enough. You can add an extra minute to the recommended final set time just to be safe. Use a timer to make sure you never remove an impression early.
  • Don't wait too long to add the light body. Don't let the putty or heavy body harden completely before covering it with light body and finishing the impression.

And here are our nifty impression guides and videos again, if you'd like a refresher, or if you'd like to pass them along to someone else:

One-step PVS impressions (our favorite!)

How to Take One-Step Impressions

Two-step putty impressions

How to Take Two-Step Impressions

Bonus tip!

We recommend scheduling appointments with your patient after you receive an email notifying you that their aligners have shipped. Shipping dates on treatment plans are just estimates; your patients will be very frustrated if they show up at your office and their new aligners aren't there.

That's it for me this week. As always, contact your account rep if you have any questions.