2012 Townie Choice Awards: Vote and WIN!

The voting deadline for the 2012 Townie Choice Awards is fast approaching.
Vote before the September 4th deadline and be eligible for a chance to win $1000 from Dentaltown!

Here are a few reasons ClearCorrect is on the ballot for three awards in the "Orthodontic" category:

  • VOTE NOW because ClearCorrect is the doctor-friendly alternative.
  • VOTE NOW because our cost is up to 40% less than the other guys.
  • VOTE NOW because treatment planning is flexible with phase-based delivery.
  • VOTE NOW because our doctor’s portal makes case managment simple.
  • VOTE NOW because our treatment setup is interactive and easy to use.
  • VOTE NOW because there are no case revision fees as long as you have phases.
  • VOTE NOW because retainers are included with every case at no additional cost.
  • VOTE NOW because you can make replacements on the spot with included models.
  • VOTE NOW because you can make retainers for life with included models.
  • VOTE NOW because ClearCorrect is manufactured in the USA.
  • VOTE NOW because we have super service account reps.
  • VOTE NOW because you can help those in need through the Phase Out program.
  • VOTE NOW because we offer convenient online courses.
  • VOTE NOW because there is no course required for those with experience.
  • VOTE NOW because there are no yearly CE requirements.
  • VOTE NOW because there is no minimum number of case submissions required.

Please note, this ballot is open to dental professionals only, therefore Dentaltown requires you register with them before voting. If you aren't yet registered with Dentaltown, it's a snap to do so. Simply visit Dentaltown's registration page.

Laser-marked aligners

We're constantly improving our process to make sure that we're creating the best product and providing the best service possible. Recently, we've began thermoforming our aligners on a new, custom-built machine that ensures less waste and precise, consistent aligners.

Marked Aligner

Now, it's time to step up to the next level - with lasers!

We're implementing a new laser-marking system, and very soon, each and every ClearCorrect aligner will be clearly marked with a unique code identifying the case number, step, and arch.

If you hate mixed-up aligners as much as we do, you'll understand why this is good news!

It's just another example of how we're keeping our level of service high. 

From Rehovot, Israel to Houston, Texas; Objet visits ClearCorrect headquarters

You may have heard how we recently announced the integration of Objet's 3D printing systems into our manufacturing process. As part of sharing this news, Objet created their own testimonial video by flying a team from Israel to Houston to interview ClearCorrect staff, including our CEO, Jarrett Pumphrey. Here is their testimonial video:

Video courtesy of Objet.

Align's lawsuit against ClearCorrect stayed indefinitely

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on the legal proceedings between us and Align. Don’t let the lack of updates fool you—all is progressing well. In fact, I’m very happy to say I’ve got some great news to share with you.

First, a refresher: Align sued us in February, 2011, alleging we infringed several of their patents. We’ve said all along that we don’t infringe any of their valid intellectual property and countersued them in May, 2011, asking the Court to declare the claims in their patents invalid.

Now, fast-forward a year. Just this past May, our legal team filed a motion with the US District Court to stay the case when Align filed overlapping complaints with the International Trade Commission (ITC), the agency responsible for regulating the trade of international goods. Despite Align’s objections, the Court recently ruled in our favor and granted the motion, effectively stopping the case indefinitely and virtually guaranteeing we can continue operating our US-based manufacturing facility without restriction for the foreseeable future.

Needless to say, this is a big win for us. We can now take attention off the federal case and put it on what really matters to us—servicing our providers and helping others where we can.

Next up for our legal team is making our case to the ITC. Bolstered by this win in the US District Court, we’re as confident as ever that we’ll see similar success in the international arena. We'll, of course, keep you posted as that case proceeds. 

Thank you so much for your continued support. I can't possibly express what a difference it's made.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask. I’m happy to answer them.

The great wall of charity

We started the Phase Out program in January of this year. As you probably already know, every time you finish a case, we give $20 for each unused phase to charity: water.

We recently received word that the $36,555 that you helped us raise in the first quarter of 2012 has been allocated to fund our first five projects with charity: water in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We'll keep you posted as we learn more.

Since the first quarter, we've given $17,250 more. In total, you've helped us raise over $50,000 so far—enough to help about 2,690 people. And we're still going strong.

When we started this project, we started filling up a wall of our lab with little painted green men--one for each person who will gain access to clean water. We put together this little time-lapse video of the first few months… check it out:

Tabby models

You might notice that our latest dental models have sprouted little tabs below the anterior teeth.

Don't worry; they'll still work fine for making replacement aligners and retainers in your office.

We've added the tabs to help us make some improvements to our aligner manufacturing process.

We're not ready to share details about that just yet, but we plan to soon. For now, just enjoy your tabby models and your better-fitting aligners.

Tech Tip: More ClearComm improvements

Our crack team of developers has been hard at work adding features to our case management website, ClearComm.

Here's one new feature: when you submit a case or order a shipping label online, we've added big green, hard-to-miss buttons for printing the label and a case submission record for your files:

The case submission record is for your own files (it even includes the UPS tracking number). When you submit online, you don't have to include a submission form with your impressions anymore, because the shipping label comes with a packing slip instead:

The packing slip includes instructions for completing your submission and all the case info we need to identify your impressions and look up your prescription options. Just cut the page in half, put the packing slip in the box and attach the shipping label to the outside.

"What if I don't print my case submission record? Is all hope lost?" you ask. Well, calm down. (You're so dramatic.) Now you can print case submission records anytime. Just go to your Cases page and click the little PDF icon to print a record for any case submitted online.

 

Wow, free upgraded shipping and online record storage? This online submission thing ain't half-bad.

Phase Out update

Last week, our Phase Out project with charity: water hit yet another milestone. So far, with the help of our providers and their patients we've been able to raise over $40,000 which will help bring clean, safe drinking water to about 2,006 people. At the end of March, we closed out our campaigns for the first quarter so that charity: water could use the funds you've helped us raise to start water projects in undeveloped countries. Thanks to our providers and their patients, we're helping to ease the struggle and life-impacting issues of those without access to safe drinking water.  The video below shows an example of what it takes to build and implement just one water project.

We couldn’t have done it without you, and we look forward to helping bring safe drinking water to many more of those in need. Providers — don’t forget you can track how many people you have helped provide safe drinking water to on ClearComm... and if you’re a patient or anyone who wants to contribute to the cause you can donate funds directly to our charity: water campaign.

Free two-day shipping for all new online case submissions

We improved our shipping label tracking last week, and as a side effect, a lot of folks realized that they’ve been getting something for free that they were really supposed to be paying for. Hey, we’re cool like that. Unfortunately, all good loopholes must come to an end.

As explained in our terms & conditions and our product list, the following shipping charges are included in your up-front costs:

  • one shipment to us to submit impressions for a new case
  • shipments to you for all included phases (including Phase Zero & retainers)

These shipping costs are not included in the lab fee:

  • additional shipments to us (such as new impressions for midcourse corrections)
  • shipments to you of replacement aligners
  • a one-time surcharge for shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, and offshore territories

This isn’t a new policy—we just haven’t been enforcing it very strictly. Now that we’re tracking what each shipping label is for, people can no longer print unlimited shipping labels for free. The days of walking into clubs and “making it rain” with UPS Ground shipping labels are over. (We’re looking at you, Dr. Harold “Mad Grillz” MacPhearson of Omaha, Nebraska.)

However, there is some sugar sprinkled on this donut of disappointment, and boy is it sweet:

First of all, we’re upgrading all new online case submissions to 2nd-day air shipping at no extra charge. (If you’re close to our headquarters in Houston, your impressions might still be sent via Ground if the estimated delivery time is the same or quicker.) For folks who are further away, this will shave days off your turnaround time. Just submit a case on ClearComm, and an upgraded shipping label will be generated automatically. (This change doesn’t affect aligners, which are still shipped via UPS Ground.)

Secondly, if you’re not comfortable submitting online yet, you can still get free Ground shipping labels for handwritten case submissions. Just call or email your account rep, and we’ll email or fax you a label, just like old times.

If you need shipping labels to send us anything else, print your own labels on ClearComm and take advantage of our lower shipping rates and tracking on ClearComm.

On a related note, we have heard that some doctors have had trouble uploading photos when submitting online. While we improve the photo uploading page, we’re temporarily allowing doctors to skip that step and include photos in the submission box if they have problems. If you can upload your photos, please do—it’s quicker and more accurate than matching up physical prints.

Finally, this should probably go without saying, but don’t use shipping labels more than once. If you print multiple copies of a shipping label and use them to ship multiple packages, UPS will get all confused, and there’s no telling what will happen to your valuable submission. If you need to reprint a label for legitimate reasons, it is possible. Go to the Shipments page on ClearComm, show your shipments “to ClearCorrect”, and click “Details” next to the label you want to reprint. A pop-up window will appear with tracking information and an option “View/Print Label”.

Zendura available at 25% off for ClearCorrect providers

Do you have a pressure-forming machine like a BioSTAR, MiniSTAR, Drufomat, or Drufosmart?

Would you like to make aligners in your own office with the same industry-leading aligner material that ClearCorrect uses?

You're in luck. Zendura is now available for purchase from your account rep.

This is the finest material you can buy for making clear aligners. The best doesn't come cheap: Zendura costs $4 per sheet direct from the manufacturer. However, we've negotiated a discount exclusively for ClearCorrect providers. When you order material through us, you'll get 25% off.

Most doctors aren't ready for this industrial-strength material—for them, we still offer standard orthodontic plastic. However, if you're one of the elite few with serious pressure-forming equipment, and you'll settle for nothing less than the best, email or call your account rep to order Zendura. You'll be one of the first doctors in the world with the capability to create factory-quality aligners & retainers in your own office.