Align Technology Inc,Santa Clara, Calif, has dropped its requirement that orthodontists anddentists begin at least 10 Invisalign cases per year to maintain theiractive provider status. The requirement was introduced last June.

According to a [removed]statement[/removed] on Align’s Web site, "Numerous state andnational dental organizations oppose the case requirement—these aregroups with whom we’ve always had good working relationships. Industryorganizations’ opposition to the proficiency program was far moreintense than we anticipated. … Many organizations, including the AAOand ADA, have recommended that Align focus on continuing education,rather than case requirements, as a means of encouraging productproficiency."

In a recent survey by The Wealthy Dentist, a dentalpractice marketing and management blog, 79% of orthodontists and 83% ofdentists reported being unhappy with the case requirement. In the surveyof 260 respondents, several orthodontists criticized the caserequirement as an attempt by Align to dictate patient treatment options.Others complained that the current economic climate would make meetingthe requirement difficult as case submissions are down because manypatients have decided to forgo what is often considered an electivetreatment or have opted for cheaper alternatives.

"Currently [I] offer Invisalign, but [I] don’t know for how much longeras I am on the ‘bubble.’ In this economy it is not as easy to sellInvisalign when other aligner options are cheaper and full bracestreatment is more comprehensive," said a Wisconsin orthodontist.

While dropping the minimum case requirement, Align will still requireInvisalign providers to complete 10 Invisalign CE hours per year. Also,orthodontists and dentists who start 10 or more cases each year will begiven Invisalign Preferred Provider status.

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