PerfectFitOrtho’s revolutionary clear aligner solution allows general practices to tap into a new stream of revenue while enhancing relationships with their patient base.
By Pete Mercer
Adding a specialty to your dental group practice can be a significant challenge, no matter how great the need or how long the practice has been open. Practices that don’t currently have specialties like orthodontics can have trouble with treating patients who need that specialized care. When general dentists can’t treat specialty cases within their own practice, that referral to another specialty practice is lost revenue for the general practice.
PerfectFitOrtho is a dental tech company actively working to reshape the landscape of orthodontics and clear aligners. Founded in early 2023 by Dr. Ilan Abramowitz, an orthodontist with nearly 20 years of experience, and Jay Hogan, an Army veteran who has managed a number of dental specialty practices, PerfectFitOrtho partners with dental practices and DSOs to provide a clear aligner treatment solution that can bring in more revenue for the dental practitioners and save the patient time by reducing office visits. They work with general dentists to facilitate a turn-key solution that benefits everyone involved, while forging a new path in an untapped market.
With a partnership like PerfectFitOrtho, referring patients to orthodontists outside of your office will be a thing of the past. Not only will you be able to focus on your own same-store growth, but you will also increase your revenue and take better care of your patients by keeping them in-house.
Building a disruptor
The original idea for PerfectFitOrtho started in 2018 when Dr. Abramowitz decided to test out a DIY aligner brand treatment on himself to get a better idea of what the patients who choose that option go through – the good, the bad and the ugly.
He decided to formulate a plan for how trained professionals could fix this process in ways that the DIY companies can’t, including the necessary components like attachments, rubber bands, and an orthodontic specialist monitoring the whole treatment. After putting some ideas together, he began having discussions with Hogan, who would eventually become the co-founder of PerfectFitOrtho along with Dr. Abramowitz.
“When COVID hit, I had the time to put it all together and find a way to create a company that could actually deliver that service,” Dr. Abramowitz said. He and Hogan built up a clientele of doctors that were interested in providing this service with the most advanced and acceptable treatment plan possible.
Like with most new ventures, they began to identify and work out the kinks – improving cooperation amongst the patients and collaboration on how to train doctors and staff to provide this service.
Dr. Abramowitz said, “With my ortho background and the mentors I am fortunate enough to collaborate with, I am able to treat any case with aligners. I can provide the treatment modalities that are needed to make adjustments and develop better treatment options for doctors that don’t have that background.”
How the PerfectFitOrtho solution works
The most obvious benefit to building a partnership with PerfectFitOrtho is the simplicity of it. There is no required equipment that your practice needs to install and learn how to implement, nor is there an upfront financial investment to get started. It’s a simple partnership designed to improve the workflow for the dentist and increase the number of patients who choose to do aligner treatment within their practice.
The traditional process of ordering clear aligners for patients requires the general dentist to submit a prescription to a company that fabricates aligners. Their lab will work up the case based on the dentist’s specifications and will then send it back to the general dentist for revision or approval.
Hogan said, “The challenge is that a lot of general dentists don’t do aligner cases because they are not comfortable with how that process works. More often than not, they will not do the cases because they do not have that orthodontic support.”
Practices and DSOs that partner with PerfectFitOrtho do not have to worry about that process. PerfectFitOrtho sets up every case with the aligner manufacturer and then submits it back to the general dentist only when ready for final approval. After the doctor approves the case and the aligners are delivered, the team at PerfectFitOrtho will virtually monitor those patients on a weekly basis.
“The patients scan their teeth with an app on their phone, and we can more quickly identify aligner fit and hygiene – all the normal things that we would be reviewing in a practice every six to eight weeks we do from home, so that the patient only has to come into the practice when it’s necessary,” Hogan explained.
Dr. Abramowitz said, “They are doing their appointments virtually, and then their dentist and the PerfectFitOrtho orthodontist gets to see it. There’s a collaborative approach for the dentist where they can be involved as much as they want to be. If they don’t have time to check in on the treatment progress, the orthodontist is monitoring the patient’s progress. No matter what, as long as they are taking their scans, the patients get as many doctors as they need, checking in every single week.”
PerfectFitOrtho is aligner agnostic, ensuring that doctors and patients can still partner with aligner brands that they know and trust. With four orthodontists on staff, they are able to provide national coverage for the DSOs and practices that they partner with.
Disrupting the industry
Like Amazon or Uber, PerfectFitOrtho is creating a disruption in an industry that needs innovators and out-of-the-box thinkers to create that tension between what has always been done and the future of the industry. Without it, change is impossible. PerfectFitOrtho is working to carve a new niche in the dental world, while improving the workloads of every general dentist they partner with.
By working with the general dentists to monitor patients on a weekly basis and generating the sale of an aligner treatment with the patient, PerfectFitOrtho is taking massive workloads off the shoulders of the doctors. They can continue to focus on giving great general care to their patients without sacrificing time in the chair or outsourcing the patient to another location.
The biggest challenge that PerfectFitOrtho has had to overcome is introducing a revolutionary product into the current market. That requires lots of education before acceptance. Hogan likened this experience to selling candy bars, saying, “It’s easy to sell candy bars because everyone knows what that is. With what we are doing, we are introducing a product that people didn’t realize existed.”
Specialized dentistry is hard enough, especially in a general setting. Hogan said, “We surveyed 100 general dentists in the United States and asked, ‘How many of your patients come into your practice needing orthodontic treatment?’ The average was about 85%. We asked the same doctors, ‘How many of those patients do you present treatment plans to?’ Less than 20%.”
As for the revenue piece, PerfectFitOrtho is designed to bring in an extra stream of revenue that general dentistry can’t usually tap into. “We bill our practices a flat fee per patient, $750 plus the lab fee. That’s it. The treatment is priced at $5,500 … With us they make $3,500 per case on average.”
Establishing true partnerships with DSOs
Finding partnerships that do not require a lot of back and forth throughout the process is almost unthinkable, but PerfectFitOrtho is working to be a true partner with DSOs and general practices. For instance, general dentists are not usually handling aligner treatment cases for themselves – without the experience and education in orthodontics, many of them are uncomfortable with diagnosing and treating patients who need aligners.
Additionally, this kind of partnership helps to perpetuate continuity of care within a practice. Turnover with specialist doctors, especially when they’ve just gotten out of school, can make the dynamic of care with a practice uncertain. PerfectFitOrtho can act as a constant orthodontist presence, a sort of “set it and forget it” kind of situation that improves and perpetuates continuity of care. Hogan said, “We are still the same people that are going to be setting up and monitoring those cases weekly.”
With PerfectFitOrtho, general dentists have an outsourced orthodontic partner to help treat and monitor these cases, while these dentists can focus on what they do best. “The patients are getting the ultimate value because they get to stay with their general dentist instead of going somewhere else; but they get to see an orthodontist virtually every week. Most orthodontists in the United States can’t say that now, but every general dentist that we work with can,” Hogan said.
This kind of partnership also helps DSOs and general practices to facilitate better same-store growth processes. Same-store growth involves taking what you currently have and making the most out of it – in this case it’s all about tapping into a new stream of revenue with a patient base that you already have.
“We’re providing an ultimate way to boost revenue for general dentists because they can sell these cases and start more treatment, but they don’t have to see the patients nearly as much. They don’t have to give up that chair time,” Hogan said.