A Clear Aligner System Puts Patient and Practice at the Forefront

Dental Products Report, Dental Products Report January 2022, Volume 56, Issue 1

CandidPro is a robust clear aligner system that eliminates a majority of clear aligner treatment planning and chair time while ensuring the best patient outcomes.

When clear aligners first debuted in the late 90s, there was great promise in the future of orthodontics. It was a removable appliance that could move teeth predictably in a way that patients would be more comfortable with because of its enhanced esthetics and flexibility. Despite this fact, Nick Greenfield, CEO of CandidPro, says the desire to innovate has waned as clear aligners become more and more popular of a solution.

“What you’ve seen happen over the past 20 plus years, and the evolution you’ve seen in clear aligners, a move back towards braces with regard to force delivery and a move toward retractive methodology, a move toward adding rubber bands, attachments, bite ramps, [interproximal reduction], and all these things that are used to simulate braces,” Greenfield says. “That really goes against the idea of innovation. We innovated, we created a new product, then [suddenly] we’re saying, ‘Wait a second, we just need to simulate all the other things that we’re doing with this other thing.’ They’re going to ignore the fact that the product is really just braces in plastic form.”

That’s where CandidPro came in. The CandidPro clear aligner system describes itself as an orthodontics service system, meaning it is a robust system that allows direct consultation and discussion with an orthodontist while maintaining an important telehealth aspect.

How It Works

It begins with a consultation at the general dentist wherein the clinician will begin the case by taking records in their office. This includes impressions, x-rays, and other important clinical data. With support and frequent communication with CandidPro professionals, the dentist begins the treatment plan. With frequent consultation and a check-in every 14 days using the Candid App, the general dentist can always check-in and see what’s going on with the patient tracking but not have to add cumbersome in-office appointments to the treatment protocol. This dual-sided support structure is the core of the CandidPro system.

“We’re meeting an incredible need in the dental community, which is helping dentists keep those patients and provide a service. We are allowing the dentist to feel comfortable that they don’t have to do all the crazy clinical education and have all the experiments they’re going to have to run,” Greenfield says. “They get all the benefit of a system that is geared to support them from day 1 with a high-quality, world-class orthodontist who knows how to move teeth.”

CandidPro evolved after patient surveys indicated more general dentist oversight was well worth the price point. A large part of this shift has been done in part with orthodontist, Lynn Hurst, DDS, MS, FACD. Dr Hurst’s mission aligned with CandidPro’s quite clearly, as he emphasized the importance of simplicity and consistency. Dr Hurst is now CandidPro’s chief orthodontist.

“Call it love at first sight, because what he was looking to build was a solution that would dramatically reduce the cost for the end patient and dramatically reduce the cost for doctors,” Greenfield says. “Dr Hurst and I really aligned on the idea of simplicity [and consistency] in treatment planning to drive results in cases.”

The CandidPro system utilizes the CandidPro App, a mobile app to keep patients on top of communication. It was developed with components from DentalMonitoring, and maintains live chat support, coaching, and is said to ultimately drive better patient outcomes.

Facing Unique Challenges

CandidPro ran into its fair share of bumps in the road, including meeting a need by creating a whole new system.

“Building a software solution from scratch to track patients outside of the office for 9 to 12 months or more of longitudinal patient care was a challenge. We had to build something that would help us drive great results but also give us the ability to track patients all the way through, every 2 weeks, to see what’s happening and intervene when there are problems. That’s a huge hairy problem that nobody’s had to solve before,” Greenfield says. “The other players just kind of send you their aligners. You go on your way, and maybe you get a result, [but] maybe you don’t. With CandidPro, we wanted to raise the bar and increase oversight to much higher levels than the standard of care while decreasing chair time. So, we built [everything] around the CandidPro App—the CandidPro monitoring system, the way we think about our patient experience, and our support. That’s been a long journey of making mistakes, getting better, and iterating.”

Marketing CandidPro, proved to be more challenging in an ever-changing space. Trying to acquire new patients for telehealth proved to be a hurdle, as branding and positioning took some time to nail down, according to Greenfield. Once that had been solved, CandidPro was still trying to find its storytelling aspect.

Dentists and practices may be hesitant in adopting something like CandidPro, mainly because they just aren’t aware of it or have the wrong idea about it. Greenfield says a lot of it has to do with ensuring general dentists that it will ultimately save costs for all parties involved.

“There’s fear of screwing things up. [Historically], the model has been either to refer the patient out and lose orthodontic revenue, spend years trying to figure out how to do a service like Invisalign, [through continuing education and training], or even bring an orthodontist into your practice,” Greenfield says. “Even to bring that orthodontist in 1 or 2 days a week—maybe they rent a chair—and you’re keeping the patients in the practice, but you’re not really solving that. For the first time with CandidPro, we’ve built a telehealth solution that allows general dentists who don’t know how to [clinically] do this and don’t necessarily feel comfortable with how to do it—the freedom and flexibility to do ortho every day.”

The Future of CandidPro

As it continues to overcome these challenges and implement the CandidPro system with more and more practitioners, CandidPro has expanded to partner with industry leaders. These partnerships include a collaboration with Vivos Therapeutics to deliver a comprehensive sleep apnea and orthodontics solution for patients who have those specific needs. CandidPro also utilizes L1 printers and DLSS processes from Carbon, a 3D printing company, for its clear aligners.

With these relationships already in place, CandidPro aims to become the standard of care for clear aligner patients, and as the US orthodontics market expands even greater each day, CandidPro has the potential to reach many practices and patients.

“We’re excited about our partnership in the airway space and helping dentists figure out new ways they can provide value,” Greenfield says. “To provide great health care outcomes to their patients.