Team training and support become significantly important when adding new treatments to the dental practice’s service mix, including Invisalign. Without complete team involvement in the education and implementation processes, the practice could fall short of achieving its goals.
Incorporating new treatment options into the dental practice brings with it workflow, team duty delegation, and marketing implications. New treatments require team members to understand how to use any hardware and software involved, as well as how to integrate what needs to be done into the existing overall scheduling and flow of the practice.
For these reasons, team training and support become significantly important when adding new treatments to the practice’s service mix, including Invisalign. Without complete team involvement in the education and implementation processes, the practice could fall short of achieving its goals.
With Invisalign, however, involvement and empowerment is assured from the very beginning when dentists and their team (i.e., dental assistants, hygienists, treatment coordinators) attend the Invisalign Fundamentals training program. A two-part introductory program for new Invisalign general practitioners, this essential education involves a dentist-only session in one room and a team-only session in another. In this way, each member of the practice gains relevant knowledge and experience at the same time, from the beginning. As a result, the practice can hit the ground running and begin treating patients as soon as they return to the office.
Hit the Ground Running
In fact, after my team and I attended the Invisalign Fundamentals training program, I immediately contacted my local Invisalign representative-Dan Kossak-to schedule a meeting. At that time, we determined appropriate Invisalign case fees, received some additional pointers on scheduling, and reviewed patient record requirements. We also identified key “to-do” activities for the next 90 days, including marketing initiatives. Additionally, my team and I practiced our consultations and the hand-offs that were taught in the team course.
Specifically, the half-day live course format focused on clinical education and hands-on training for treating the wide range of patients who might be candidates for Invisalign. We learned how to identify ideal Invisalign case types, and use the Invisalign software to virtually set up planned cases. My team also learned relevant case submission procedures and undertook their own practical hands-on exercises.
From getting the word out to existing and new patients about our Invisalign treatment to talking about malocclusion issues with patients, and from digital photography to impression techniques, the four training team members (2 DA), Hygiene and Office Trainers) from Contemporary Product Solutions and representatives from their partners (3M, Shofu, SolutionReach and Care Credit) covered everything to better prepare us for incorporating all aspects of the Invisalign process into our day-to-day operations.
Additionally and equally important, my entire team met with me to discuss their individual candidacy for Invisalign treatment, since all of them returned from training and told me they wanted to be a patient. I knew that I would receive three discounted cases, so if needed, my team members would go into Invisalign first. This would not only benefit them, but also help with marketing Invisalign to my patients. Nothing demonstrates a practice’s belief and confidence in a treatment better than team members who have completed or are undergoing it themselves and can provide a first-hand experience perspective.
Implementing Team Roles & Responsibilities
Because of the training we received, my team and I have been able to properly identify Invisalign cases, make appropriate scheduling and planning decisions, and keep our goals on track. The education and training we all received was paramount to ensuring that the entire team bought into the Invisalign concept and was clear about their roles and responsibilities in the process to ensure an efficient work flow and synergy.
In our practice, the conversation starts with our hygienist. Completing a bite analysis, looking at how their teeth fit together and helping the patient to see and understand their type of bite using digital photos and the straight talk brochure. My role with the help of my dental assistant is to gather proper records approve the dental simulation and explain to the patient how Invisalign can help achieve this for them. Then, it’s the scheduling coordinator’s responsibility to determine how to make Invisalign affordable for the patient through financing or other financial considerations, if they do want to pursue treatment.
Overall, it’s about first finding out what the patient values and what they want to change about their smile. We then communicate with the patient how Invisalign can help them. This makes the scheduling coordinator’s job much easier from a financial perspective in terms of finding a payment option that the patient is comfortable choosing, whether this involves financing, insurance, or a combination of both.
Following up with In Practice Training
After having some time to getting Invisalign incorporated into our practice we decided to take it one step further and have the Shannon Brinker, CDA and her CPS TEAM OF Trainers come into our practice to do a In-Practice Training review all of the basics and specifics for initiating and completing an Invisalign case.
How to conduct more of a consultation, closing cases with Care Credit, additional training foe digital photography, and spending time with my hygienist to actually see them working and communicating one on one in regards to malocclusion. Additionally, in-office visits and one on one with our Invisalign representative has further helped to bolster our confidence, efficiency, and comfort level in treating orthodontic cases that can benefit our patients in terms of esthetics, enhanced oral hygiene, and safeguarding periodontal health.
In my experience, attending the Invisalign Fundamentals training program with my team has been instrumental to our successful integration, marketing, and delivery of this value treatment. What contributed to the value of this program was that it addressed the whole team’s perspective, due to the expertise of the CPS trainers (e.g., treatment coordinators, dental assistants, hygienists), all of whom combined real-world experience with the highest level of ahead-of-the-curve education to ensure our successful Invisalign integration.
By attending this program at the same time, meeting in-office with our sales representative, having a second in-practice training and treating team first, our practice was able to better integrate all aspects of the Invisalign process into our day-to-day workflow. Not only do I look at malocclusion differently-which I believe has made me a more comprehensive dentist, but the Invisalign training and offering this treatment has also elevated my team to a higher level of clinical excellence.