What is DTC and why you should care about it.

Patients increasingly demand a nice white smile produced by a minimally invasive treatment (it is debatable whether orthodontics is minimally invasive). At least 90% of all dentists do not feel clinically comfortable treating their patients with clear aligners and therefore refrain from offering this type of treatment.


As a consequence of this gap between supply and demand, a plethora of "direct to consumer" (DTC) offerings has emerged throughout the Western world.


This post is about how DTC operate and what you, as a dentist, can do to take on the competition.

Clear aligner med en lige trimline uden attachments eller engagers

Enterprise Construction

"Direct to consumer" (DTC) businesses are typically characterized by several factors, including:

  1. These are companies that deal in nothing but clear aligner treatments (and most recently porcelain veneers to correct the fact that they can't straighten teeth properly with the limitations they have in their clear aligner treatment protocols!....).

  2. DTC has an extreme focus on keeping costs as low as possible (From start to finish, for example, there is virtually no dentist involved in the treatment of the patient)

  3. They work with a set of standard parameters for how their setups should be designed by the technicians. I have written a blog post about some of the dangers of using restrictions in treatment with clear aligners. The more restrictions, the more problems.

  4. Time consuming elements of treatments (Attachments and IPR - (Interproximal Reduction)) are reduced to a minimum (read: nothing), to keep costs as low as possible. Which makes orthodontic treatment that meets the "standard of care" impossible.

  5. DTC is adept at marketing and selling clear aligner treatments.

  6. Some DTC businesses operate as independent shops, typically located in pedestrianised or high-traffic areas. The independent shops are always beautiful and inviting to look at. Just as they are stripped of anything that might indicate the presence of a dental practice.

  7. Other DTC outlets offer dental clinics a free IO scanner, free online marketing and a minimal fee per treatment started up. This in exchange for the practice scanning patients, dispensing aligners and letting the DTC company operate under the dentist's authorization!...


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Treatment outcomes

It is possible to a