DIGITAL MARKETING FOR ORTHODONTICS AND DENTAL PROFESSIONALS

OM Ep. 165 - A Clear Choice: Integrating Aligners for Practice Growth and Patient Satisfaction with Stephane Reinhardt

About this Podcast

In this Ortho Marketing Podcast, Dean Steinman is joined by Stephane Reinhardt, Director of the Education Program for The CLEAR Institute. They discuss how to elevate practices through the integration of aligners. They also explore how this innovative approach can enhance patient outcomes, boost practice growth, and streamline treatment processes.

Episode Transcript:

Dean Steinman

Well, hello everybody out there in podcast land! This is Dean Steinman from Ortho Marketing and guess what we are back with another podcast for you so hope everybody is enjoying their spring time. It is now April 2024 and flowers are blooming, people are smiling and everybody's happy and and in this and we gotta love being in the smile business. So talking about smile and the smile business. We have a really extra special guest with us today. Doctor Stephane Reinhardt and you know Dr Stephane is a dentist runs the clear aligner institute and is great guy very educated and we're here to talk a little bit about aligners for your practice and you know talk about the history and how it works and why it's important to have aligners in your practice. Before I get you more into this, I'm gonna keep my mouth shut, you know guys like to talk a lot I'm gonna make a nice intro so Stephane, how are you today?

Stephane Reinhardt

I'm good. Do I have to do the same thing as you like how are you? I can do this too, you know.

Dean Steinman

I love it. That's what happens when you want your third cup of coffee in the morning. So welcome and thanks so much for joining.

Stephane Reinhardt

Well thanks. Thank you for inviting me. It's a pleasure and honor to be here.

Dean Steinman

Great! So let's back up, tell us a little bit about Dr. Stephane, what's your story? Okay.

Stephane Reinhardt

My story; I'm a general dentist. I've been in practice for over 3 decades now and I see it like this. It seems less than saying 32 years but I got, you know I I was interested in orthodontics and in integrating orthodontics in my practice in 1999 because my son was three years old at the time had a big like class 3 problem and I'm telling you Dean I didn't know what to do at all. I had no idea, no clue and a lot of times this is how it is for a general dentist. You know we know we finish university we know a little bit about everything but almost nothing about artontics. I mean that's the reality thirty years ago but I think from what I hear it’s the reality now. And for me that makes no sense so I wanted to integrate I wanted to treat my own son that was you know this is where it started. So I I was lucky enough to find people who would you know share their knowledge and educate me and I just got interested in orthodontics and just did more and more and more. In 2004, integrated the clear aligners in my practice I mean I was like 1 of the early adopters especially here in Quebec and province of Quebec in Canada were always a little bit behind and I just believed in that thing for me, it was you know when I saw this I remember the first time I saw a clincheck for me was just okay. This is that thing and I think you're a little bit like that too. You're an early a doctor of technology and you know for me I said it was not only the future of orthodontics for me was a future of dentistry. Was just seeing there so I believed that and since I had already you know 5 years of doing orthodontics with brackets wires and everything I told myself you know what? Let's try this thing but with my patients and all the informed consent all the time. I was always you know we're going to start, we're going to start with these things, these plastic things these and language would do. We'll go as far as we can but we probably will need brackets, some wires to finish and finally I was you know selecting the cases and everything but I saw that I was able to finish my cases. With the aligners and just you know did more and more and still believed in the thing and of course, I mean it evolved it improved with time now we're treating patients that we, I never thought would be possible twenty years ago but since I did more and more I came to a point where I was the only 1 doing orthodontics in the practice and I've I finished with a practice dedicated to orthodontics. It's the only thing I'm doing. I'm now only using clear aligners I don't use Brackets and wires anymore. So that's kind of my story. In 2015, I won the invisalign some shootout and was the first Canadian to win said? Yeah yeah and I lecture I like, when I lecture I say that that's usually where people clap. But the thing is I my goal was to go into education I wanted to know to share that that knowledge experience and everything and I think as you become an older dentist but that's not say older, let's say more experience then.I Just wanted to share and something. I like to be on stage, I like to be in front of people I like to talk I mean obviously you can say it already now that I like to talk and people have to stop me so I've been enjoying the ride a lot and then just decided to create this the clearency to again help. Dentists mostly general dentists Pediatric dentists on how to integrate and understand clear aligners how it works because we I mean you know it is we hear a lot of things like you know, jus trust the software. Trust everything you don't have to think close your eyes except and this is now this is not how it is. It's still Orthodontics. We're still and the the clear aligners are the tools we're using, I mean these things do not move teeth and don't that like brackets and wires don't move teeth. I mean, just it's force will move to so we have to understand the tools. I mean if you give me a hammer and you give me a saw I will do things, I mean it's going to be terrible what I'm doing because I'm not good with that but you will give the same tools to somebody who knows how to use them. They can build incredible things. So It's It's not if it doesn't work not because of the hammer. It's because of me I'm not good with a hammer. So. It's the same thing I hear a lot of times dentists blaming the plastic. This thing doesn't work. It's not because it doesn't work. We know it works look at scientific literature look at, it works. Just don't know how to use it.

Dean Steinman

Interesting! So youknowI'vebeendoingthisforalongtimeaswellandyouknowwhenfirst started working and in this field and promoting you know orthodontic practices. You know a lot of people were not all in on aligners and how it has become a game changer to make practices and people have to look, you know it's hard to see the forest through the trees and a lot of practices. Well, the lab fees are so expensive. So I don't want to do it it across me but bla blah, you know? So how do you kind of get them to see the forest through the trees and realize that you know it's about your chair time. It's about being efficient. It's about adapting the technology and using virtual technologies and you know once you get them in, you know back in the old days how you know you would see a patient every six weeks every eight weeks now it could be every six months or even less. So how have you seen the evolution of aligners over the last fifteen years?

Stephane Reinhardt

How many? How much time do we have? it's just for me. It has been so so interesting to see I'm I feel privileged to be in that period of time. And being able to see what's happening. What's been happening in dentistry for the last like as you say 15 years. What's coming now with artificial intelligence? I mean it's the best time to be a dentist I mean smile has never been as important as it is right now. Ah, thanks to probably to Zoom, to covid too. I mean it brought that people saw their smile. I see people who were now know go back 20-30 years without being interested in things like that. But now they are, so when you look at aligners like I told you I was an early doctor, I believed in this thing but when I hear dentist and an ortodonist. Do they saying these things don't work. You cannot move. It's only for simple cases. You cannot move roots with this. I just came back from ah from Spain I was at the european aligners society meeting. This thing is orthodont is almost only, I mean they there but maybe 5 % of general dentists. All speakers on stage are are orthodonists. It's the people with you know when look at scientific literature, you look at the names those are the people on stage and you hear and to this year I mean the topic was mostly surgical cases combined treated with clearer aligners so combining artugmatictic surgery and clearer aligners. Periodontal problems, a patient with clear aligners and so I was there and I said okay I'm not crazy. I'm thinking everything can be done with this so those who just are looking at at the parade out there and just you know and some are just even pretending. There's no parade out there. But clear aligners, we still not dominates the markets. If you look at the percentage what it represents that's not what what the majority of people use. But if you're missing the boat, you're missing big, especially as a as a general dentist. Um. This is the best vector for new patients.

Dean Steinman

It is and you only you know they're missing the boat when it comes to offering the false you know Smile Transformation. You know, I mean you ah a general dentist will do you know the the whitening they'll do the bleach and they'll do the cosmetic but they don't do the aligning and they're missing that big part of it there. And by implementing you know the whole entire smile makeover. It's a no-brainer. Why would you not be able to do it. You know and be able to offer it. So you're right? It's been a game changer for a lot of our clients. Who understand the value in adapting or seeing tremendous results for the bottom line you know and be able to offer whole service for their their clients. How do you respond to the fact that some people say, well you know here I'm not a candidate for all Aligners, is that true for you? Have you or do you think that every potential orhodontic patient, can be treated with aligners?

Stephane Reinhardt

And I think we have to be careful in and how we approach this question because the difference I see with with aligners is you need more cooperation from your patients. And I like to say you know when you look at occlusion. Of course we always talk about now class 1 class 2 class three and that this is from those are classification. This is for our way of talking know if I talk to you if I talk to another dentist and orthonist I say class 2 Div to you already have an image in your head. But for patients when we talk to patients there's stable occlusions and there is unstable occlusions. I have patients who are in class who are perfectly stable. I have patients in class one who aren't stable. So there are stable and unstable occlusion. I think there's the same thing with patients you have stable patients and you have unstable patients and one point of the consultation when we're doing consultation is to not only look at the teeth and the occlusion and everything but you're going to be married to that patient because if you're doing orthodontic treatment you and as a general dentist you're going to have these patient in your practice for the rest of your life hopefully. So it's not a root canal where you do one appointment and it's done. You are embarking in the like six months a year, year and a half two year treatment with your patient if you're not in relation with the patient and you need cooperation. Maybe it's an easy or predictable case when you only look at the teeth and how you will move the teeth. But if the patient is not wearing the aligners if they're not compliant if then it becomes a difficult case and who's going to be responsible if it doesn't work.

Dean Steinman

That let's talk about that compliant, how do you get? What do you suggest to get patients compliant? But know I went through invisalign and at the beginning I was all gungho for it and eventually I did get a little lazy you know and bubble bla blah but and it took me a little bit longer than I was hoping for my my treatment because I wasn't compliant. So how do you recommend to, you know is there any tricks that you could you know put out there that could get any doctors say this is how to become compliant?

Stephane Reinhardt

For me and if you look at psychological studies and literature and everything they would they say if you want patients to be compliant. They have to like you, that's the first thing. Yeah been relation with them. They have to like you. If you like someone you want to please them because you know I hear it a lot of times with with teenagers people say I don't treat teenagers, they're not compliant. I'm sorry they're certainly not worse than adults and the best the most compliant patients are young kids. They've been wearing incredible things look back I mean they were wearing I mean twin blocks Bionators things like that are much harder to wear than aligners. So you know earlier we're saying now we can see people people you know our patients after six months but I think one of the goal of bringing them back in the office, periodically is to keep that motivation because once you did your treatment planning. Once you did everything everythingit's good and it's going. Well the role of the team and your role as as a treating doctor is to motivate the patient to keep that motivation. So we're always bringing back the initial pictures we're always bringing back the initial check showing them where they started from because people forget this is something I saw at time people forget you have to repeat repeat repeat all the time so keeping getting them to come back. You know I see my patients usually every 10 to 12 week. Of course I could use something you know where they take their pictures or virtual thing at home but for me having them coming back to the office as a meaning and this is to show them first that it's important and keep that motivation where are you and part of the what we're doing is that's it we be. We become coaches for our patients.

Dean Steinman

Okay, interesting. Um, so let's take 1 step out now. So obviously most you know dental professionals both a dantes dentists know of lineers. They know that they need to bring them into the practice but just don't know which direction to go. So what would you suggest them to do as far as doing the research to how to determine it. Sure inviselign is you know is the behemoth end's been doing this forever and that's the main Bram but there were so many other great align of companies out there. You know oho effect and you've got spark and candid and others out there and you know, um. What the top. So how do you What would be the 2 or 3 things that a practice should look at in order to find the right aligner partner or program to use. Is it strictly. Bottom line price is a result as a fast like because there's so many different components there and so ah and most of the the companies have really good technologies. So what would you suggest would be 2 deciding factors for somebody to look at when when they're when they're about to bring in or want to bring in aligners to the practice.

Stephane Reinhardt

Well, you know I like you said there's a lot of different companies. I've been using invisalign for 20 years but I'm not related with invisalign I have no country I'm not speakinging for invisalign for a line for any company. Yeah, in fact, and I like to have this liberty of saying whatever I want. I think that you know when I look at a line like you said they were the first one and the only thing about them is that it's the only thing they're doing they're doing aligners and scanners. So of course, they're developing and I see how they're developing now for general dentists. You know with bringing things like smart architects and you know you see they're more focused now and a lot more than they were on general dentists. But I I believe and it was the same thing when I learned orthodontics. You know I was lucky enough to come across people who didn't care what type of brackets and wires I was using. They just wanted me to understand I did the courses with Tom Mulligan who was just mechanics guy. He was talking about mechanics. It didn't even carry say you always say no take the cheapest thing and I think that when you understand mechanics when you understand the principles you can probably make any system out there work for you. You have to understand how it works. Now you were talking about the the price how much it costs how much and I think a lot of times dentists they this is where they stop. But when you look at numbers when you look at practices and I'm sure you know more than me. What's the most profitable thing you can do in a practice in the general practice? A lot of times, it's Clear Aligners orthodontics and they're all I'm sorry all about you know I'm doing implants and I'm doing surgery I'm doing complete rehab. Yeah, look at the bottom line look at the bottom line you will do clear aligners and for me, it's just you know I work with dentists who use Spark clear correct all different types ah of brands and I think you have to go with look at the software because mostly you're going to work with the software. Are you comfortable with the software? Look at the sometimes I've seen that yeah, it's cheaper, but you wait a month before you receive your aligners that the process is so long that you're losing a lot of time. So I think all these things are are important but get educated if you don't rely on the software to decide for you. You want to be a dentist you like to have these 2 letters in front of your name. No Dr. You have to you know doctor you want to be a doctor you have to work you have to learn you have to take some time to learn and there's a learning curve for sure. But once you go through that once you you understand what you're doing. Now you can face anything and you can make anything work. This is how I see it.

Dean Steinman

What's your thoughts on doing it yourself and having a 3d printer in the office and you know and taking them out of the equation? You believe they should just focus on what you do best or do you believe that practices if they have the ability to stop manufacturing them on their own?

Stephane Reinhardt

I think that that's probably where we're going from what I've seen and now I think it could be maybe more in the reality of an orttodontist somebody who's dedicated for that because it's still a long process. I don't think in the reality of a general practice. It would really be something that you can do but certainly the way I see the future, what I see then is that you have your scanner and your patient will bite and do something it's going to scan the whole mouth. You’re going to have your printer. You're going to print the next ten twelve aligners always starting from that point and this is I mean I think I'm pretty sure I'm going to be old enough to see it come. But I think that's where we're going when I was't in Spain we were um there's a a company there working on on aligners, printed the aligners that are activated by body heat or that you can wear for three weeks I mean so I think this is where we're going. More and more we're going to see that and the whole that the development of artificial intelligence. Also I have this that question I don't know if you have that question also from dentists will you know artificial intelligence will it replace dentists.

Dean Steinman

Who knows, but exactly, whom exactly it makes you only better. You know you have to adapt you know and I've said that many many times adapt or die and if you're not adapting to AI. You're not implementing change. You will be left behind.

Stephane Reinhardt

I don't think it's going to replace dentist but it's going to replace dentists who don't use artificial intelligence.

Dean Steinman

2 more questions. So I'm gonna ask you take off those cool glasses and put your future glasses on. So now I want you to look take a look and what do you see is the future of aligners in 2 years from now?

Stephane Reinhardt

2 years from now, I see that more and more of course I might talk it for for myself I see that more and more general dentists will integrate clear aligners in their practice. I see that artificial intelligence will surely help in developing treatment planning. But for me, it's just where we're now starting to stop separating orthodontics from everything else we're doing and just integrate the orthodontics and tooth movement into the comprehensive dentistry. I see that it's gonna it's going to make us better dentists doing better dentistry more minimally invasive dentistry being more conservative and of course it's I think it's just going to get easier and easier because with artificial intelligence. The software is learning. also.

I think we're coming to a point where it's going to be easier to understand. You know my dream is that what now when we're looking at, I always say clench check but any virtual setup it's counterintuitive because we think we're looking at teeth that are moving which is not the fact we're looking at a force system. But I see that at one point we're going to really see how the teeth will move.

Dean Steinman

Right? All right? So you're talking about before education and and learning So let's talk a little bit about the clearance too. Well tell me a little bit about what this is and and why people need to know about it.

Stephane Reinhardt

The idea of the clearance institute came because for 2 years I was lecturing for for align giving the certification course and the tiny interinative course and was a one day course or two day course I think at the time. Dentists were coming as a you know, general dentist. and they were leaving asking okay I'm interested. This seems good but what's next and there was nothing next I mean there was nothing planned. So the the courses they were giving to general dentists was the same thing they were giving to orthodontist who obviously already have the knowledge. But general dentists came to here they had no knowledge and looking at the sophagegy just they left more confused than when they came maybe you're going to say maybe it's because of me. Okay I could be 1 of but so I told myself we have to build a program like somebody would do want to do implants we have to build a program where we're going to teach them about orthodontics about how to make a good diagnostic about how to select cases. What makes a a case predictable or more difficult. And the base get mechanics all these things you need to know that because again, it's orthodontics so we were when we started we were giving only life courses and doing it like a mastership program over a year but then covid hit and I transferred everything online. So now we have the online platform with more than 70 hours of online content so for anyone if somebody who's starting if somebody's already a confident you know provider and user of a clear aligners. They will find things there to to really help understanding integrating align user or practice my goal my my mission, my vision is that I want at 1 point general Denist and their team to be able to talk about clear aligners like they talk about any restoration or any it has to be integrated in the practice and not be something they're not comfortable with and just remove all the barriers that they can have that it's orthodontics maybe I cannot do that or how do I select my cases and how do I get this confidence that I can treat a patient and what I sell at the time you don't have to treat all the patients and I think everybody will gain from that or orthodontist will gain from that because if they are better at diagnostic they will not want to treat probably the class to the class 2 patient but they will see more things and they will refer more to or orthodontist maybe keep the things that are fun for them and you know maybe do what What's the difference in the bottom line if you can do twenty twenty five thirty forty cases in a year that are class 1 patient multiple problem. Like so just moving the teeth a little but before you do the restorations, before just uprighting teeth big because you want to put an implant whatever you can do these things.

Dean Steinman

Sure. smart. This is great, great information here. So guys if you're looking for more, to learn more, if you want to take your practice to the next level and implement aligners. You really should take a look at at the clearance students. You know I did some research. I've been talking for a a while here and it's great program you get the the credits, you learn from from the best and really, it's something that you really should be looking at you know aligners are a game changer for a practice and imagine as you said, adding in twenty thirty forty cases a year. And some good money coming in plain it simple. You know that's hundreds of thousands of dollars that you know, but why not.

Stephane Reinhardt

You can still do your things on your chair, I mean everything can be done in the hygiene chair and so I mean look at how much you can. It's profitable. We know it works. We know it's fun. You know it's profitable and it's something you can do for a long time and again and as an experienced dentist I can tell you this is fun. No back problems. No most of the work you're going to do on the computer. I don't put my attachments I don't I do the Ipr. That's it and when there's when there's trouble. So the other thing that I just want to say the for the clearance institute we're an a gdpa proof provider also so we've been poor for nine years now.

Dean Steinman

One final of quick question. The most important question. I just came across while we’re talking here just received a text that an asteroid is hitting earth um in 5 hours from now. So you you have to go hurry up and set up your last meal. What are you eating?

Stephane Reinhardt

My mother's italian so it's their the family recipe the pasta the we call the macaron, but the problem I have Dean is that this something that usually cooks the whole day. So
5 hours well we'll do it. That is something I could eat 3 times a day I mean this is yeah yeah, yeah.

Dean Steinman

Wait, wait, wait it just said that it's 24 hours. Sorry my mistake. And keep your great figure. So all right? So it's home. It's Mama sauce and homemade pasta. Huh? Okay. Is there anything putting it or just plain sauce and pasta, you putting in meats you know, okay.

Stephane Reinhardt

Exact, exactly the meat is cooked inside the the sauce and this is what gives the flavor to the sauce and everything. So we have the the the Pulpeta de marashol. Yeah, everything you know.

Dean Steinman

Love it, I was great. All right? Awesome! So if somebody wants to get more information or learn more about the country. What's the best way for them to to do so to speak to you or just to get some insight?

Stephane Reinhardt

Yeah, I mean the easiest way just go and Google the clear institute and you will have everything there you go directly on the website you can contact us you can info at theclearinstitute.com but go on the website. Everything is there, yeah, we have a blog. And go also on the Youtube channel we have a Youtube channel almost 5000 subscribers now and it's all videos on again, clear aligners and orthodontics and everything. You see you see how how we do things and give you an idea of how the courses are.

Dean Steinman

Awesome! Guys, check it out real important to do so you really need to learn and and adapt as you said and this is gonna make a difference in your bottom line your practice and making people smile. Remember we're in the smile business. So if you can make somebody smile fully embrace it. So thanks so much for for joining, I appreciate it. Thanks so much for bringing podcast land once again, thank you for being a loyal member for listening to us for telling your friends for love the comments and again if you're looking for, if you have any questions where you want to learn some more please reach out to us. We always want to just hear back from everybody out there. Thanks so much, everybody! Be safe. Be happy. Happy Smiles!

Stephane Reinhardt

Thank you very much.

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