How to Best Work with Patients on Clear Aligners

By: Allison Lacoursiere

Clear aligners have made themselves incredibly important to our industry in a very short span of time. Knowing how to work transparently with patients, make them aware of the benefits of orthodontics, and secure a buy-in is essential for today’s dentists.

4 Ways to Work with Patients on Clear Aligners

Here are four ways that you can improve your practice by helping patients with clear aligners.

1. Be Transparent

Part of the difficulty with clear aligners is simply the timeframe. The process can take years from start to finish, and you need to be transparent with your patient about what they need, why they need it, and how much it will cost.

In other words, the patient should feel confident at every step of the process. With a process as long as clear aligner therapy, having a strong relationship with the patient is essential.

2. Work on the Buy-In

A lot of patients will have no idea they needed clear aligner therapy until the moment you tell them, and that can be pretty intimidating. In fact, they might wonder exactly why they should use clear aligners instead of traditional orthodontics. That’s a valid concern!

Be open with them about the fact that clear aligners and traditional orthodontics are just tools to get the same results, and there are compromises with both. Clear aligners can be more expensive and might take longer, but emphasize that there’s a lot less change in lifestyle than with braces — and others might not even notice that they’re moving their teeth!

Another essential part of the buy-in is making sure you use a team-based approach. If a patient only hears you say that orthodontics are necessary, they might not absorb why. But when they hear it from the dentist, the hygienist, the assistant, and the front desk, patients are a lot more likely to say “Yes! Maybe this treatment is right for me!” In other words, every part of the practice needs to be on the same page.

3. Put Health First

Another huge concern among patients is that they might not need clear aligners in the first place. Straight teeth look nice, but are they really healthier? Yes! Tell your patients that there are three ways that they can lose their teeth: tooth health, gum health, and how teeth fit together. Not only

do straighter teeth reduce the risk of collision, they can be easier to clean, reducing the risk of poor tooth and gum health throughout life.

4. Slow Down to Speed Up

If your patient is solidly committed to clear aligner therapy, it can be tempting to push the treatment forward as quickly as possible. But that might not be the best approach. Doing the job right should always come before doing it quickly. In the spirit of transparency, make sure your patient knows why there can be delays, but never be afraid to step back and consider the treatment process carefully.

Getting patients to buy into clear aligners isn’t always easy. But by putting transparency first, working as a team, emphasizing health, and collaborating with your patients, it becomes a lot easier. Once they’re committed, keep these principles in mind — the process will become a lot more rewarding for everyone!

Photo by Anna Shvets

Allison Lacoursiere

Allison Lacoursiere

Allison Lacoursiere is an innovator in Clear Aligner Operations and the creator of the Clear Aligner Systemization methodology. As the founder of Clear Coaching she is an expert in Clear Aligner Systems and helping Dentists streamline their efficiency and increase their production. She has a decade of dental experience, has a lifetime membership to AADOM, is certified as a Registered Dental Assistant, Orthodontic Assistant as well as Dental Office Management through the University of Toronto. Allison is a faculty member of Align technology, Upgrade Dental and the Dental Speakers institute. She is also an RDA, OA, CPC, and a ELI-MP Leadership & Business Coach. Additionally she is a certified Professional Coach through IPEC and a member of the International Coaches Federation, UC Davis for Coaching as a Manager and is certified as a Transformational Trainer through Lionspeak. A sought after Coach, Consultant, and Speaker, Allison can help any dental office struggling with not enough time, disorganization or inefficiency to better train and delegate amongst their team to improve their office culture and increase their revenues. Allison works directly with practices to implement strategies to increase profitability in the office without increasing stress and time from the doctor. She further empowers teams through providing them with the skills and strategies that will drive treatment conversations, consults, and increasing treatment conversion for all orthodontic treatment. Allison is also the co-founder of a bespoke social media marketing agency, Clearly.IG. that not only manages social accounts, but coaches teams on how to operate successful marketing campaigns. She has additionally trained hundreds of individuals to create an ROI on Instagram through her online courses and international speaking. Additionally, Allison has her own podcast: The Future of Dentistry where she interviews industry leaders on everything from dental technology to leadership strategies, high-performance workflows, education-based marketing, and more!