How to Start an Orthodontic Practice

  1. CephX | AI Driven Dental Services

Since most orthodontists are not orthodontic professionals by day and secretly businessmen or entrepreneurs by night, it can be rather intimidating starting your own orthodontic practice. You can imagine your orthodontist business similar to any other startup’s work to make it to the top. This time, in order to start off on the right foot you and your team can follow some of these steps to learn the business matters in starting your very own practice.
You’ll need time if you want to start an orthodontic practice in your area, in addition to your team you’ll need marketing efforts to gather your patients, to purchase expensive equipment, and a positive will to remain strong. Don’t worry, you’re in the right place to get started in pursuing your dream to opening your own orthodontic practice.

Are you qualified?

First things first, you don’t want to start this large business endeavor unless you’re sure you have all of the necessary qualifications. Running your own orthodontic practice and simply being a practicing orthodontist are certainly two entirely different things. In one case you’re part of a team where you work as a qualified professional, the other situation means you’re a business owner running your own team of orthodontists and managing day to day operations within the practice.

You need to ask yourself honestly, do you have what it takes to work in this area? Many will decide it’s most practical to work for someone else to start gaining the experience before trying it out on their own at first. Sometimes people during this process realize it’s for the better to continue working for an established practice. Either way, it’s essential for orthodontists to work in the field prior to starting their own business to ensure they’re physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially cut out for the work that will follow.

Of course it’s essential to be physically, and financially apt to the challenge but even more so you must be legally equipped. After you’ve made the decision you’re going to make your dreams come true by starting your own orthodontic practice it’s time to start the paperwork. Varying on your location the license will differ, in some places you’re required to purchase bond insurance before even applying for your business license.

Once you’ve purchased and received your license and registration you’ll also need to file for tax IDs for your business. In order to ensure this process is the least stressful as possible, ensure you leave yourself plenty of time for this ranging from six months to a full year.

Is there high demand in your location?

It’s important to take into consideration the area in which you wish to start your your practice. If your business is going to be financially stable, you’ll need to work in an area with a lot of available patients and a great existing need for your services. If you and your team decide to set up shop in an area where there’s already practicing orthodontists you must remember the competition you will face. How will you combat the competition? By offering cheaper services? More flexibility in scheduling?

On the other hand, if there’s a lack of orthodontists in your area, take this into consideration as well. Why are there so few orthodontic practices there, perhaps its the lack in demand to maintain the practice’s stability. Market research is a crucial aspect of this part of the process. This will not only guide your marketing efforts but also tell you which situations are plausible and what’s definitely not.

What is your budget realistically?

While we all know how expensive orthodontic care can be, whether it’s standard minimal care or top of the line state of the art services you need to be fully prepared beforehand to know what your budget is going to look like. A general rule to remember is, when starting your own orthodontic practice or dental business of any kind for that matter you shouldn’t be expecting a profit until at least 5 years down the road. Yes, orthodontists are known for their expensive services, but you won’t land any patients by charging too much right off the bat.

Once you’ve rented a location, gone through to purchase all of the needed equipment, employed all of your team members you must ensure you’ll have just enough money left over to pay your bills each month. If you don’t set your budget with realistic goals in mind it could be an early detriment to your business’s success in the long run.

Know who you know and know who you don’t know

Like any great business, an orthodontic practice is also about all of the networking and connections you have and create. God forbid you get into legal or financial trouble who is going to come to your rescue? If your practice has an attorney and an accountant nearby you’ll be thankful. The earlier on you form these relationships the better, they’re also a great source of professional advice many of them having started their own businesses as well.

How will you market your practice?

Here’s where the fun part comes in. This is just as crucial as any other step in the process, after all who is going to come into the practice as a patient if there’s zero marketing efforts? Your practice has no chance of succeeding if no one knows about it. Regardless of the size of your practice, or the size of your marketing budget, marketing plays an equally important role in the entire process and it mustn’t be forgotten.

Managing your own orthodontics practice will give you a new and exciting experience to put under your belt. Once you’ve accomplished these steps and you’re in the clear, all of your work has paid off and you will feel on top of the world. So what’s stopping you now, who’s ready to start their own practice?

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Top Dental Products for 2015

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As 2015 is coming in and taking the innovation world by storm it begs the question what do these innovations and new products have to offer our dental practices? What new dental products should we keep an eye out for in 2015?

2015 is the year of cloud technology and 3D printing revitalizing the industry, and making the top dental clinics no force to be reckoned with. These are the emerging new dental products that you should expect to see in 2015 from the top practices.

Open Dental CAM Solutions

The latest version of DentMill provides dental professionals with a new mechanism for identifying and creating machining features from imported DAD data. It grants them the ability to visualize with 3D previews of imported parts and mill all types of restorations including crowns, bridges, and implants from any dental CAD system on the market.

2015 is all about quicker images and intuitive software solutions, this CAM solution uses dental imagery and terminology making it easy for dental technicians to use, even those with slightly less experience in machining.

The new technology being deployed to identify features within the CAD models will speed up the programming of implant interfaces, and any other restorations of the dental bar.

Dental Software to Improve Practice Efficiency and Productivity

If you’re currently working in any dental or medical practice you know what a struggle it can be wasting time searching the office for other staff members. While in the past practices have managed with walkie talkies and intercom systems, 2015 is bringing innovative technologies like DoctorMeow to fight this inefficiency.

By integrating the system with anyone’s personal device i.e. tablet, smartphone, smart watch, etc. staff members can communicate in a more direct and efficient way. In addition to improving productivity and efficiency through increased communication this system also brings a new variable to office communication that hasn’t been seen yet in dentistry, analytics. This platform uses an analytical reporting feature to measure wait times of patients, frequency of pages sent per staff member, chair usage, etc.

Training Toys for Children

We all know by now the secret to forming good dental habits is by developing them in children from a young age. 2015 will bring many new innovative and fun ways to introduce your children to these healthy habits. Children growing up in the new millenium need new dental products to properly entertain them and induce these positive habits.

Kids are used to interacting with cartoon like characters be it on their iPad app, or on their favorite TV show, brushyball brings this cartoon character in to the bathroom to help them brush their teeth. This innovative training tool just recently launched their kickstarter campaign. The brushyball motivates and shows the child exactly where to brush and for how long, to encourage good habits.

Next Level Simulation

Simulation practice is typically geared to students of the dental industry, designed to realistically practice dental procedures as though they’re really in a true clinical operatory setting. In the case of DentalEZ’s TruSim practice simulator this simulation can actually help you more than the actual clinical practice.

This simulation guides you through the procedure while promoting correct posture to eliminate future back problems, and encourages the proper practices to easily access the oral cavity. It’s also a fairly easy to use system with the option to stabilize or leave mobile, and pack it up and store with ease.

2015 will continue to be the year of cloud computing, storage, and technological advancements in the dental industry. Whether you’re using it to access data while out of the office, store large digital images, or keep your practice’s data extra secure the cloud will continue to make a bigger impact on new dental products. If you haven’t began to see how the cloud can transform your dental practice, learn more about CephX and see how the easy to use cloud based system can help you perform more accurate cephalometric analyses with convenient image storage.

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Orthodontic Services

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This is your go to comprehensive guide of all of the different services being offered by orthodontic practices. When people think orthodontists they think of course about braces, and other means of fixing crooked teeth, but the rest of orthodontic services are very much lesser known to the greater public. I hope to provide you with all of the ways that a visit to your orthodontist can help in treatment, and taking better care of your mouth.

The Most Common Orthodontic Service

Yes, braces are the most common orthodontic service. Braces and other fixed appliances are the most common devices used in orthodontic care. In America 75% of the population suffers from malocclusion, a bad bite, where one’s jaw and teeth don’t develop properly.

80% of people who have a malocclusion whether it’s overcrowding, overbite, underbite, crossbite, etc. are being treated with braces. This means 13 out of 20 children in America wear braces, with these statistics it’s no wonder our associations with orthodontists are directed toward braces.

What exactly are braces? What do they consist of? Braces consist of a complex system of brackets, wires, and bands. This contraption gently molds your teeth into the intended position, fixing the way you bite together. Different ages and people prefer different types of braces, metal or plastic brackets. Some even prefer lingual braces which attach to the back of the teeth so they’re hidden from public view, but it may be more difficult to provide oral hygenic care; to clean and to floss.

Other fixed appliance treatment includes fixed space maintainers and other special fixed appliances. Fixed space maintainers are used in the case where a child loses a baby tooth early and they want to maintain the space so the two teeth on either side won’t move into that space until the adult tooth comes from you. This is done by fixing one band on each tooth opposite of the space and connecting a wire between the two. Other fixed appliance treatments are recommended on occasion to control tongue thrusting or thumb sucking in younger patients, experts say these should only be used when absolutely necessary due to the discomfort provided for the patient.

Removable Appliances

While it’s clear that braces and other fixed appliance treatments are more common in orthodontics, removable appliance services definitely deserve their share of comprehensive attention as well.

Removable appliances are typically used for the treatment of minor problems, again such as the sucking of one’s thumb or correcting teeth that are just slightly crooked, or when the problem is not yet fully clear. These appliances should be taken out when cleaning, eating, or flossing, and it’s usually advised to remove them during physical activity as well.

Removable appliances include aligners, which is a practical option many adults choose for oral care as an alternative to braces. They still have the same effect adjusting your jaw, and aligning your teeth, but they’re invisible to others and they can be removed to eat, brush, and floss. A typical treatment cycle using aligners lasts between 10-24 months.

Another familiar removable appliance used in orthodontic services is headgear. Besides being made fun of in the movies, headgear provides several other services. Headgear straps around the back of your head and attaches to a metal wire in the front of your moth. The aim here is to slow down the growth of the upper jaw, and keep the back teeth in position while the front ones are being pulled back.

A palatal expander is an appliance designed to widen the arch of one’s upper jaw. This removable device is made up of a plastic plate place on the roof of the mouth, and several screws which exert pressure on the joints in the bones. This pressure is exerted in order to force them in an outward clear direction which will then expand the total size of the palatal area

Retainers may be used in oral care for as both fixed or removable appliances. Removable and fixed retainers alike are both placed on the roof of the mouth. Permanent retainers stay in for a fixed amount of time and they’re designed to stop the teeth from moving back to their original positions. These retainers are usually given post treatment to ensure the success remains. When modified the comprehensible removable retainer can also be used as a tool to encourage children to stop sucking their thumbs.

Orthodontist’s Assessment

Before giving you the prognosis, and beginning right away with the treatment to appropriately fix your bite, the orthodontist will provide you with all of the necessary tests and assessments to be properly treated.

This initial assessment is typically commenced around the time a child is about 12 or 13 years old, this is right around the time when the adult teeth are beginning to come in and it’s clear to provide a comprehensible prognosis.

The orthodontist’s assessment will assess the current state of the patient’s teeth and make predictions based upon the predicted development of the teeth with and without treatment. Several diagnostic procedures are likely to occur. These include: a full medical and dental health history to ensure the patient is healthy enough to endure the treatment method; a clinical examination; x-rays of the teeth and jaw, and plaster molds of the teeth.

CephX is a great tool for orthodontists to utilize to keep track of all of this preliminary information from the assessment and incorporate all of the progress to compare cephalometric analyses and store all of these images in one place in the cloud. This streamlines the system greatly in the orthodontic practice to enable the orthodontist to spend less time looking for meticulous information, and more time on the actual prognosis and treatment of their patients.

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Cephalometry in Orthodontics

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Cephalometry in Orthodontics

Cephalometry has existed in the orthodontic field since 1922 when Paccini published the first paper about the cephalogram, a method of assessing the relationship of craniofacial and dental structures on radiograph which are taken and produced in a standardized manner.

However, the introduction and popularity into the field in the US didn’t take place until 1931 when Broadbent introduced an article titled “A new X-Ray technique and its application to orthodontia.” The first clinical application of the cephalogram, took place later in 1948 by Downs.

For Down’s clinical application the patient is placed in a cephalostat, this positions the patient so their head is oriented 90 degrees to the X-Ray beam 5 ft from the tube. The film is then placed 15 inches from the head. These are now standards under which all cephalometric radiographs are taken worldwide. This ensures the radiographs taken at different centers are easy to make comparisons.

Once the film is produced it’s then traced and the necessary standard landmarks, lines, and angles are measured and recorded. Now that you have the lines, landmarks, and angles for the patient it allows for an easier comparison with the normal values for a population and assessment of growth and the effects of treatment. In order to trace the image you need a light box and a dark room, without these conditions you won’t be able to properly make out all of the landmarks.

Main Aims

The main aims of cephalometric analysis in orthodontics is to enable the identification process of cephalometric points and planes that are typically used in orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning, and to trace the lateral skull radiograph. The analysis attempts to evaluate relationships; both horizontal and vertical of 5 major functional components of the face. These components consist of the cranial base, the maxilla, the mandible, the maxillary, and the mandibular dentoalveolus.


The analysis utilizes cephalometric tracing by first describing the patient’s dentofacial morphology. This should include a quantitative description of the morphological deviations. Including both skeletal and dental horizontal and vertical measurements, and angles. These are then compared to the normal standard tracing to see any abnormalities from the ‘ideal.’

The analysis can also be utilized to make diagnostic and treatment planning decisions, and evaluate change over time. When you reconsider the tracings in a longitudinal setting you can reassure the effectiveness of treatment and keep an eye on growth processes.

The evaluation also consists of identifying anatomic landmarks along with the lines and angles of measurement. These anatomic landmarks are stable reference structures such as the maxillary, mandibular skeletal, and dental structures. Using angular or linear measurements orthodontists then use these landmarks graphically to relate the dento-facial elements to these reference structures.

Today, there’s a lot more technicalities involved and tools like CephX have innovated software platforms that stores all of your analyses and tracing in the cloud. Once you upload the ceph into your account it’s available within two days for you to upload, print, and trace on. With simple storage in the cloud you can easily track the progress and growth of all of your clients.

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