If you’ve every watched “The Iron Chef” on Food Network and thought to yourself “how do they do that!?”, it’s likely you’re not alone. If you wanted to, however, with enough dedication, study, and practice, you could find yourself on “Iron Chef” too someday. For the record, my favorite Iron Chef is Morimoto, whose restaurant I ate at in Philadelphia in 2002 and it was incredible. He happened to be in the kitchen that night (top name chefs aren’t all the time) and I got an autographed menu. I was in my residency attending a required orthodontic meeting and easily impressed because I sure couldn’t afford the meal. Many thanks to a 3M Rep for taking our group out for dinner that night.
Back to my point. If you wanted to and were willing to do what it takes, you could do it. Such is life, right? Once we set our minds to a goal, and have a high value and expectancy for it, our motivation increases as does our chances of success.
Seven years ago I decided to master Invisalign – to learn as much as I could about this powerful orthodontic tool. Invisalign provides so much flexibility for the Patient with more of the control than braces offers.
We achieved Invisalign’s Top 1% Provider status earlier this year.
We recently started our 1,000th Invisalign Patient.
Remember the old days of braces? Braces still serve their purpose, but these days, a little over half of my Patients are being treated with Invisalign.
I sometimes ask myself, “How would a person distinguish an Invisalign provider who is an artisan from another with less experience?
It is very difficult.
“Invisalign” is one of the top-searched terms in all of dentistry. There are numerous Invisalign providers out there – most have not mastered their craft.
Go ahead, type the word, “Invisalign” into Google right now. You won’t find a single website that says, “We have treated x number of Patients.” Everyone seems to have the same expertise but that is definitely not the case.
You really have no way of gauging who has mastered Invisalign.
To compound matters, there is confusion about the orthodontics profession. Research has shown that most people don’t know the difference between an orthodontic specialist and a general dentist.
Dentistry is a broad specialty focusing on health of teeth, gum tissue, and the health of the jaw anatomy and associated structures.
Orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry focusing on the correction of occlusion (how your teeth fit and jaws line up) the overall straightness of teeth as defined by a standard set over 50 years ago, as well as intervening at the appropriate time to take advantage of growth and development of the oro-facial structure.
Did you know an orthodontist has two to three years of advanced education beyond that of a dentist?
At least once a month I hear a new Patient share, “They (dentist or another orthodontist) said it couldn’t be done with Invisalign.”
When a new Patient learns that I recommend Invisalign where others do not, it can be confusing for them. My professional opinion seemingly contradicts that of another. My professional opinion is based on experience. As an Invisalign Top 1% Provider, the difference in experience is very significant. See this blog post for more detail.
I’ve found a lighthearted way to explain the differences in opinion in this way. Envision sitting on the top of Mt Orthodontics, getting ready to head to the bottom. There are many ways to accomplish your goal, but the two best (short of a helicopter) are skiing or snowboarding. You get your pick of different guides to get to the bottom. One guide only can ski, while the other guide can ski or snowboard depending upon what is best at the moment. You get to pick the guide that best works for you.
There isn’t a “helicopter option” (fast and easy) in orthodontics… yet.
All orthodontists can guide you with braces while some will guide you with braces or Invisalign to your goal of an amazing, healthy, and confidence-inspiring smile.
Similar to a skier looking at a snowboarder with the envious “how can they do that?” crossing their mind, the same thought may occur to an orthodontist without Invisalign experience.
I find it funny that this metaphor resonates with me, because in real life, I’m an expert skier and have never been on a snowboard.
I’m not criticizing those who have yet to choose to master Invisalign to provide this powerful option for their Patients; I know many talented orthodontists who don’t offer Invisalign and treat their Patients with a high level of skill with braces.
That was me until I decided to commit to mastering Invisalign. Now it’s rare I don’t recommend Invisalign as an option to every Patient.
Where braces were the only option a few years ago for particularly difficult cases, I am now recommending Invisalign over braces. I do so for two important reasons. Invisalign provides an incredible flexibility to the Patient and is very “programmable”.
Is Invisalign for everyone? No.
Are braces? No, they are not.
I have a daughter being treated with Invisalign and a daughter treated with braces. I choose based on what is best for the Patient. With all factors taken into account, I have to admit I prefer Invisalign if the Patient is a good candidate.
I am the Orthodontic Guide. It’s my job to ensure my Patients achieve their orthodontic goals with as much awareness, comfort and flexibility as possible.
If you have been told Invisalign isn’t an option for you, please call my office to set up a complimentary consultation.