Glenn Bancroft: is the vice president of Total Gard Corp.

OP: What makes your mouthguard different?

Bancroft: Our TotalGard orthodontic sports mouthguard came onto the market 7 years ago. Its patented design makes it comfortable; it fits over all braces and appliances, and it is quick and easy to insert (no molding or boiling). We have made two major design changes. One major change was to enlarge the breath hole for better air intake and better speech. The other improvement was to add a full anterior bite rim with our flex design. These improvements were based on feedback from orthodontists.

Combine sports with early and regular orthodontic treatment, and you can see the need for a versatile mouthguard design for the orthodontic patient.

TotalGard is the only company to offer sizes based on age groups: 7–9, 10–12, and 13–adult. By doing so, we make it easier for the orthodontist to dispense the proper size.

In addition, our anterior bite rim has made it possible, by cutting off the bottom portion, to make the TotalGard mouthguard into a single-arch mouthguard for use in such sports as hockey and lacrosse.

OP: How does having patients wear a mouthguard help orthodontists?

Bancroft: By dispensing a TotalGard mouthguard, the orthodontist gives the patient’s mother peace of mind and gives the patient protection from unnecessary oral trauma, which is not only painful but can delay treatment until the injury heals.

OP: What does your StressGard do?

Bancroft: StressGard is great for many people with TMD in two ways:

1) In ortho patients who are going through stressful times (such as high school or college exams), the masseter muscle becomes overworked from clenching, causing soreness. The StressGard is a quick, easy solution for use as a splint to get them through their stressful period.

2) If a mother brings her child into the office in the middle of a busy afternoon because he is complaining of TMD, but there is no time for an exam, the StressGard—which requires no chair time—is a great solution until the patient can come back for a full appointment.

An Easier Way to Pay

Todd Kennedy is the vice president of marketing at Orthodontists FeePlan (OFP).

OP: How much does your service increases orthodontic case acceptance or revenues?

Kennedy Many practices, especially those that present OFP to their patients on a regular basis, have enjoyed a 20% or greater increase in case acceptance. With OFP, practices do not have to spend valuable time completing paperwork or having awkward discussions with patients about credit decisions. OFP will take applications directly from patients, either over the phone or through our secure Web site. Patients can call directly from the practice and proceed with their treatment during that visit, or they can choose to apply from the privacy of their home.

Doctors using our plan have found that more patientsopt for treatment when they are offered an affordable payment plan. In fact, 50% of patients using our plans have indicated that they would not have had treatment if our plans were not available. Converting more patients from consultation to treatment has dramatic results on orthodontists’ profitability and efficiency. Our service also reduces the time practices spend on tracking down and processing payments.

OP: How are you speeding up application time?

Kennedy Over the past year, OFP has made significant enhancements to the patient application process, such as a 50% reduction in application length, a reduction in application turnaround time (it now takes less than 10 minutes for in-office applications from start to finish), instant decisions for more than 95% of applications, and the ability to allow practices to apply on behalf of their patients upon their request.

OP: What kind of interest rates do you offer?

Kennedy OFP’s interest rates start as low as 5.9%. OFP offers a wide range of loan options to fit a patient’s financial situation. Our loans also have no transaction fees and no prepayment penalties.

OP: Are there any changes on the horizon that orthodontists should know about?

Kennedy OFP is planning to introduce several new enhancements to its product and service offering in 2005. We are constantly looking for new ways to improve the experience for both our orthodontic partners and their patients. Our rates are lower than most financing options, giving patients an attractive option when it comes to paying for orthodontic procedures.