You’ve embraced clear aligner therapy in your practice. Great! The fact is, clear aligner treatment is not going anywhere and is only going to continue to grow in popularity. But, you may be asking, “Now what?” I would argue that now you should be working to become an Elite Invisalign provider.

Since 2001, I have been an Invisalign provider, and, like many of us, I started out slowly, not sure of how this new way of moving teeth was going to work and hating having to shell out the massive lab fee. But some early successes and happy patients encouraged me to do more.

As I did more cases, I saw my provider-ranking rise—all the way to the point where I am now a Top 1% provider. While the average orthodontist treats 20% of their cases with aligners, in my office, I offer Invisalign to all my full treatment patients and 60% of those choose Invisalign. As a result, word has gotten around in my area that if you want Invisalign treatment, I’m the guy to see.

Located in a small town in a primarily rural part of the country, with only four other orthodontists in the area, my practice draws patients from a large radius. As an Elite Invisalign provider, I have had the experience of patients driving past several other orthodontic offices to come specifically to my office because I was willing to treat them with Invisalign. In fact, a brother and sister drove over an hour from the other side of Chesapeake Bay, an area with many orthodontists, to come to my office for treatment with Invisalign.

The reality is the Invisalign brand has penetrated the consumer’s consciousness. Patients are seeking out orthodontists specifically for treatment with Invisalign. And if you won’t treat a case with Invisalign, they may keep searching until they find someone who will.

From the clinical perspective, I have had great success with using Invisalign aligners. Align Technology Inc, the makers of Invisalign, have invested a ton of money into research to make their aligners produce the forces needed to move teeth predictably. As a result, I—and you as well—can treat more complex cases. The case I presented as a finalist at the Invisalign Summit’s 2016 Shoot Out is a good example. My patient, a 13-year-old male, presented with narrow arches, blocked out maxillary canines, severe crowding, 100% deep bite, 6 mm of overjet, and class II, division 1, subdivision left. I treated him in less than 2 years with aligners alone. I could not have done it without the right appliance.

You may ask why Invisalign and not one of the less expensive clear aligner products that is out there. The answer is: Invisalign is a name brand that consumers know. And you should be taking advantage of that brand recognition.

Align Technology has invested heavily in direct to consumer marketing—and they have done it successfully. What’s more, their marketing efforts are a boon to any practice’s own marketing efforts. We all know marketing is more important than ever, but all our practices have limited dollars to spend. Invisalign makes a large assortment of brochures, posters, and window clings available at no cost to Elite providers. Television and national magazine ads may be beyond your budget, but they are not beyond the budget of a company like Align Technology. And when a potential patient sees an Invisalign ad, you want to be the office they call.

Another thing to keep in mind is that patients interested in Invisalign typically are computer savvy and are going to check out the Invisalign site. Invisalign’s practice locator lists the doctors in their area and their provider level. As an Elite provider, you will be more visible.

Of course, patients are going to look for a provider with the most experience in their area. As an Elite provider, you are advertising to potential patients that you are that provider with the most experience in the area. And in the process of performing and submitting more cases to qualify as an Elite provider, you not only lower your lab fee, but you and your office become all the more efficient. You will find that seeing patients in aligners is quick and painless. This is good for the patient, your staff, and you. OP


JamesCrouse_HeadshotJames M. Crouse, DDS, PA, is owner of The Brace Place in Salisbury, Md. He is a Top 1% Invisalign Provider and has treated over 1,000 people with the Invisalign appliance. This “Elite” designation places him in the top 1% of Invisalign providers in North America. He is the first and only orthodontist on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia to reach this status. For more info, please visit