Align’s Virtual UKI Orthodontic Summit “Success”

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Align Technology’s first Virtual UKI Orthodontic Summit heralded a success

The first virtual Align UKI Orthodontic Summit for British and Irish orthodontists and orthodontic therapists on 26th and 27th February 2021 was attended by nearly 200 delegates.

It was opened by Align Technology’s senior vice president and managing director, EMEA Markus Sebastian (top) who underlined the untapped opportunity of 150 million patients in the EMEA region who could benefit from straightened teeth and stressed the great strides the company has taken with its most recent innovations.

These included advances to the aligner function with the introduction of G8 which optimises tooth movements and improves predictability when treating crowding, crossbite, and deep bite cases. Also new is a software upgrade with the introduction ClinCheck Pro 6.0 with 3D controls, and the iTero Plus Element Series which offers complete digitalisation for orthodontic practices.

Dr Graham Gardner showed attendees how he uses virtual monitoring to both oversee his cases and troubleshoot issues early, managing any tracking problems without necessarily requiring additional aligners.

He explained: “ClinCheck software is analogous to an architect`s plans. Just as a builder reviews the plans continuously, so the orthodontist should regularly review the patient’s ClinCheck and treatment plan to make sure the required outcome is on track.

“The Invisalign system has improved the efficiency of the orthodontic treatment while simultaneously improving treatment outcomes with the addition of remote monitoring tools. I am thankful that the majority of my practice is Invisalign-focused as this has allowed us to weather the COVID-19 storm far more effectively”

Dr Willy Dayan guided his audience through his 20-year biomechanical journey with the Invisalign system, sharing some of his most complex and challenging cases. He said: “Orthodontists try complex cases, and sometimes they don’t achieve the desired outcome, so they think it is not working and then they fall back to their old ways.

“If they learn to put their feet in the water, work out how to transition through challenges with aligners and undertake complex cases, this will result in faster and better treatments with fewer appointments and less effort on the part of the clinician, fewer repairs and happier patients, while brackets and wires require services that are much more challenging.”

Dr Susana Palma has achieved international awards for her work in solving complex orthodontic cases using the Invisalign system. She focused on the diagnostic and biomechanical considerations in planning treatments for an array of different malocclusions, including complex adult and teen cases, to achieve exemplary results with clear aligners.

Dr Palma observed: “I treat almost all my patients with the Invisalign system as no matter how complex cases are, it allows me to achieve the best results with the maximum comfort for my patients. I do not have any preference about the age of the patient, as I believe it is the best system to treat all my patients.”

Dr Rafi Romano worked through some of his most challenging cases, addressing the interdisciplinary digital workflow required when treating complex ortho/restorative cases. He advised: “Try treating with Invisalign clear aligners. Not because you might lag behind other local doctors who are embracing it, but because you need to arm yourself with the best tools now for where you want to be in a few years to come.”

Dr Alastair Smith explored Align’s digital practice tools saying that the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the adoption of digitalisation: “Four years ago, the majority of our work was the treadmill of fixed braces. Now, we are 80% Invisalign-focused and 20% fixed. We are treating more patients with less clinical time and fewer clinical staff. It is a new paradigm for us and we are not planning to go back.”

Dr Catherine McCanny shared her personal experiences using the Invisalign system for complex teen cases, and gave delegates tips on how to increase the number of teens and younger patients asking for Invisalign treatment in preference to fixed appliances. She admitted she was sceptical three years ago but has now embraced an Invisalign teen-focused strategy, saying: “If I can do it, you can do it too.”

Day Two

On the second day Dr McCanny returned to emphasise the importance of a Treatment Coordinator in the patient journey and asked her audience to view the time during the pandemic as an opportunity to “reset the button and embrace digital technology”.

Then it was the Align team’s turn on the podium.

Marketing Director Dan Parsons provided an overview of 24 years of Align innovation and expanded on the most recent software innovations including ClinCheck Pro 6.0 and In-Face Visualisation; along with aligner advances including new G8 features. He described how the company leverages data from more than 9 million Invisalign cases across the globe to help enhance practitioners’ skills and the patient experience.

Senior Technology Fellow John Morton detailed the engineering fundamentals behind the Invisalign system and focused on the latest G8 innovation with SmartTrack and SmartForce aligner activation which integrates optimal forces to treat crowding, cross bite and deep bite cases more effectively and predictably.

He said: “It’s better to design everything upfront via digital system to make sure that you minimise the probability that it is going to go off track. We can control the force system with greater precision, and this will allow us to get better control over treatment and treat much more difficult cases as time progresses.”

Senior Business Optimisation Consultants Vikki Young and Rachael Hart presented the new consultancy service now available to orthodontists, Align Digital and Practice Transformation (ADAPT).

The service is designed to help optimise the practice’s operational workflow and processes to enhance patients’ experiences, leading to higher growth and greater efficiencies. So far 100 ADAPT projects have been carried out across EMEA in 20 countries with results showing an increase of 109% of approved Invisalign treatment plans and an average 31% growth in practice revenue.

Director of Consumer Marketing, Brooke Radich, shared insights into the dramatically changing consumer landscape and explained that the company accelerated the development of new digital products to keep dental professionals connected with patients and treatments on track during a most challenging year.

The Summit was closed by General Manager UKI (Specialist Orthodontists), Abigail Lander, who marked 2021 as a year of opportunities, saying: “The orthodontic community is making huge strides and starting to embrace all things digital, implementing new practice development programmes, and participating in the wealth of virtual education and forums available, especially over the past 12 months.

“Align Technology will make continuous investment in marketing to drive consumer demand to practices, including a focus on parents and teens.”

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