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June 2021
Volume 42, Issue 6

SmileDirectClub Offers Clinicians Convenient Hybrid Approach to Providing Teeth Straightening

For clinicians who decide they want to dip their toes into the clear aligner segment, it would be wise to listen to someone who has more than 2,700 aligner cases under his belt.

Payam C. Ataii, DMD, is an award-winning clinical instructor and graduate of Tufts Dental School who has been practicing for more than 25 years in Laguna Hills, Calif. He has provided education to doctors and dental team members nationally and internationally, and, for him, it made sense to include SmileDirectClub in his repertoire.

"I have found that partnering with a clear aligner company can lead more patients to my practice, and it allows me to provide a hybrid approach in delivering clear aligner treatment. With this approach, the patients get the best of both worlds," Ataii says.

"I have had many patients ask me about SDC as an option. For simple to mild cases, SmileDirectClub is my ‘go-to' solution. For complicated cases, I still use other orthodontic and aligner treatments."

By doing this, clinicians can increase profits while still helping patients save money on an expensive procedure, he suggests.

"The Partner Network combines Smile
DirectClub's consumer and telehealth expertise with a doctor's in-office expertise to deliver treatment that is just as accessible and convenient for doctors as it is for patients," Ataii says. "For patients, it saves them time and money. For doctors, you can focus your chairtime on cases that are more complex and increase revenue while still providing a premium teeth-straightening solution for those patients who only need minor crowding/spacing correction."

For clinicians interested in providing SmileDirectClub, the company has made doing so simple and turnkey.

"SmileDirectClub allows practices to focus on what they do best: treat patients. The partner doctor takes either a 3D image or an impression of the patient's teeth. The doctor gets compensated for the services provided, and SmileDirectClub's affiliated network of state-licensed treating doctors takes it from there," Ataii says. He points out that SDC eliminated all barriers to entry for clear aligner therapy and integration into his office, such as administrative tracking, insurance, and financing. Also, for doctors there are no up-front fees or lab fees, and minimal additional training is needed.

"With the chairtime I get back, I can boost my revenue with high-impact procedures. It's a ‘win-win' for doctors and patients."

It doesn't hurt, he adds, that SDC conducts a fair amount of promotion and advertising to help bring in new patients to the office.

"SmileDirectClub's brand awareness and Net Promoter Score (one of the highest in healthcare) helps organically drive more people to my practice through their marketing efforts, which are unparalleled in our industry," he says. "They have a robust process for directing new patients to partner  offices such as mine. New patients sent to my office can book an appointment hassle-free because SmileDirectClub has partnered with NexHealth for seamless integrated scheduling."

For Ataii, it all comes down to patients' overall oral health and hygiene.

"My career path really became clear once I saw the clinical benefits of adding clear aligners as part of my comprehensive treatment planning," he says. "The overall periodontal benefits of having teeth in harmony with the alveolus is key. I think it's important to learn and evolve in our field of dentistry so we can deliver the best possible care and patient experience, and that includes telehealth/teledentistry."


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