The Dentist Magazine.

Align Technology initiates first Invisalign Digital Smile Awareness Days to drive digital clear aligner therapy

Published: 8/8/2018 12:00:00 AM

To date, over 5.5 million patients have been treated with the Invisalign system and more than 6.3 million iTero orthodontic scans have been carried out worldwide.

To build on this rapidly growing interest in digital orthodontics, Align Technology organised Digital Smile Awareness Days in July 2018 in co-operation with Invisalign trained doctors across Europe. As part of the campaign, Align Technology pledged a donation to Operation Smile to support their work in helping children born with cleft lip or cleft palate to access the quality care they deserve.  

The Digital Smile Awareness events were conceived to drive awareness of clear aligner therapy among prospective patients, and at the same time showcase the advantages of digital intraoral scanning.  During in-practice events, visitors were offered an intraoral scan using the iTero Element scanner and the opportunity to view a simulation of what their smile might look like after Invisalign treatment during their consultation.

According to Emma Laing, a specialist orthodontist at Harley Street Dental Clinic, “The Digital Smile Awareness Day was a resounding success and really made me reflect on how far the industry has advanced. In the 10 years I’ve worked as a specialist orthodontist in Harley Street, digital dentistry is undoubtedly the most significant advancement to affect my practice. Yet many patients aren’t aware of how easy, fast and accurate treatment is these days. So to bring this together in one day of awareness was a great idea. 

 “Many of the patients I consulted on the day had previously worn fixed braces and their teeth had moved. They really didn’t like their teeth and were self-conscious about showing them. The suggestion of braces again was an absolute no! When I used the Invisalign Outcome Simulator to show their potential results, wows were heard from all of them. Patients certainly did not think their smiles could be changed so easily with such an aesthetic appliance, and because the scan was so easy to have done it created confidence in what to expect during potential treatment. We live in a consumer-led environment where we quite rightly want to see what we are getting for our time and expense. And to see it now and not have to wait several days or weeks is the beauty of what the iTero scanner does for us and our patients.”

“An amazing part of my job now is that I feel I can truly offer patients what they’ve been looking for. A fast, accurate, easy treatment process with bespoke aligners that don’t interrupt their work, social or home lives. Without doubt, I am now treating more patients since the advent of digital scanning and the advances in Invisalign clear aligner treatment. The iTero Element 2 really has become an integral part of my working day.”

Nicola Mulhaire, a GDP at Belgravia Dental Centre, added, “Our Digital Smile Awareness event was a super day and it was very well received. I saw five prospective patients, four of whom are proceeding with Invisalign treatment.

“Having the iTero Element made my patients look at their dental treatment from a whole different perspective. Those who have had to endure impressions over the years were astounded by how easy the scan was and impressed by how immediate the digital record of their mouth on the screen was. The Invisalign Outcome Simulator was an unquestionable success! We as dentists can visualise the end result but often translating that to a patient can be challenging. The scanner allows the patient to envisage what the end result might look like and from my experience, this evokes a sense of excitement about their potential treatment and an engagement not always seen when treating patients. It’s also invaluable in illustrating potential challenging treatments. A common theme amongst patients was that they were unaware as to how ‘crowded’ or ‘crooked’ their teeth actually were.

“The more I use the iTero Element scanner, the easier it gets.  The scanner itself is very comfortable for most, and far superior to impression taking for patients.  It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before patients will be asking if the practice has an intraoral scanner when shopping around for a new dentist!”

Rhona Eskander, a London GDP agrees that the Digital Smile Awareness events she held at Chelsea Dental Clinic were enlightening for the people she saw, “The iTero scanner is an exciting way to show people the potential outcome of their Invisalign treatment during their first appointment. Patients were fascinated to see their misaligned teeth appear on the screen in front of them and the 3D images make it easy to point out all the anomalies immediately.     

“It can sometimes be difficult for potential patients to visualise what will happen with their teeth – you can tell them they’re going to have straight teeth, but it’s always better to be able to show them the results we could achieve for them. That’s where the Invisalign Outcome Simulator comes into its own.

“The iTero Element is a game changer in so many ways as it also greatly enhances the patient’s perception of the clinic as being forward thinking.  There is also is no mouth gagging impression taking, and they feel that they are being given the very latest, premium experience.

“My first Digital Smile Awareness event was such a success that I am running a second to cater for the interest it drummed up.”

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