Dr. Carla Mora (Director Clinical Operations @OrthoFX)
Dr. Carla Mora has been the Head Of Clinical and Treatment Planning Operations at OrthoFX since 2018. Her extensive experience not only treating clear aligner patients in her own clinic but also involved in clinical operations for OrthoFX, Invisalign and 3Shape.
Her commitment to clinical outcomes and working directly with doctors for the best treatment setups make her one of the best in the dental industry.
Dr. Efrain Chara – Orthodontist (Owner – Chara Orthodontics )
Dr. Chara completed his orthodontic residency from Universidad Militar Nueva Granada, Bogotá, Colombia, in 1995, He has built a successful 5 location practice, Chara Orthodontics in the greater Los Angeles area.
Dr. Chara has integrated OrthoFX in each of his practice locations and finds the financing program and clinical efficacy have made clear aligner treatment a reality for many of his patients.
Julie Yeomans: Good morning everyone. Happy Friday and welcome to our webinar this morning with OrthoFX. My name is Julie Yeomans and I am with the marketing department here.
Our presentation today is on ‘Your ‘Inside Line’ to Clear Aligner support. Meet the OrthoFX Clinical Team’. It’s my pleasure to introduce Dr. Carla Mora, who is the Director, Clinical operations at OrthoFX. We also have a special VIP guest, Dr. Efrain Chara who is an orthodontist and owner of Chara Orthodontics. He is one of our premier providers in southern California.
At OrthoFX, the doctor and patient are at the center of what we do during the entire treatment process. Not only do we make great clear aligners and retainers, but with each treatment, we include all the following services:
- Treatment financing
- Insurance concierge
- Virtual treatment coordinators
- Remote monitoring
- And ‘Clinical Coaching’ which is our topic today, and included with every treatment.
It is my pleasure to introduce Dr. Carla Mora. She is the Head of Treatment, Planning and Operations and Clinical Support at OrthoFX since 2018. In addition, she is a practicing doctor in a private clinical setting. She has also been with ‘3shape’ and was also a senior Clinical Advisor at Align Technology.
She provides support and education programs to doctors in North America including software utilization, treatment planning and case selection. She also helps assist doctors who have questions on case analysis and diagnostics. In the clinical support and training for new doctors joining OrthoFX, she has a one-on-one relationship with many of our doctors. It’s my pleasure to turn the presentation over to Dr. Carla Mora.
Dr. Carla Mora: Thank you so much Julie and thank you, everyone, for joining us today. It’s really a pleasure to be representing our Clinical Operations. I have been in the field for a long time which has allowed me to see and experience the behind-the-scenes of several clear aligner companies. And let me tell you something. I was hooked from the beginning and wanted to learn everything about it. I wanted to understand why I needed an attachment to move a tooth or how to make the movement more successful, but most importantly, the biomechanics behind it. When you understand the science of clear aligners, you can see how different they are from conventional orthodontics.
Once you understand a product, you are always finding ways on how to make it better and take it to the next level. Or at least we are. When we were creating the behind-the-scenes of OrthoFX, we knew we wanted to create a system for doctors, a system that understood the needs most of you have today; and not only for you, but for your patients, your office, your employees and even your bank account with no lapse fee. A system that went that extra mile for that extra care that your patients need. So when developing our clinical department, we wanted it to be based on:
- Treatment Planning with predictable results and
- Coaching and Guidance which the doctor is dispensed with
Now our 2 phases actually complement each other. Not only do we want you to be successful with clear aligners, but we want you to have fun with it as well. That is why we tell our doctors all the time that just leave the hard part to us and you just have fun with it. In order to assure that, we want you to have some extra set of advice in every case. That is why we have a doctor behind every clear aligner case that we send out. We have an extended Quality Control group of clinicians from the US and Costa Rica where our treatment planning operations are provided for the development of treatment plans, remote monitoring, providing assistance to all our offices, we attend emails and even phone calls. So involving clinicians allows us to provide more care to the patients, and when needed, we provide case analysis and guidance. So if you are new to clear aligners, we have got your back.
We want you to enjoy the experience of creating beautiful smiles and not to worry about the little things. And if you are doing this for your patients already, imagine all the time you will save with fewer modifications and remote assistance.
Extension of Your Office
Now let me explain what OrthoFX does for you more in that. We want you to feel that we are an extension of your office so when we say we go the extra mile, we really do. As part of the services that we provide, we perform an overall analysis of the records provided. This means that we actually take the pictures that you send to us, the ICL files and of course the prescription. And we make sure that we check how the lip support is, the profile, the smile line, whether the bone plates can actually handle the movement. We actually take all this extra care for your patients that they really need. All this analysis is needed to create a highly predictable outcome.
Now when we talk about highly predictable outcomes, I have to mention my amazing friend and the amazing scientist behind OrthoFX fantastic polymer, Dr. Loc Phan, who developed a high-end product that actually allows us to perform a clinical protocol to accomplish the movements along with the material. For example, the clinical protocol was based on the research that we did for this particular material. Our results showed that 80% of the cases do not need any refinement. Now we try to control whatever we can here, meaning the forces, the anchorages, the strategic individual care for each patient; patient compliance, we will leave that to you guys. That doesn’t mean we can’t help all the way also. And here is why: The plastic is what moves it, right, so the new material needed to change. We knew that we needed to create something new, to make sure that we establish a perfect combination of strength and comfort that will provide predictable outcomes – along with the correct forces applied for treatment planning. This established the secret recipe of OrthoFX aligners’ synergy.
Now I will let Dr. Chara share his experience about clinical support. But something I mentioned and not explained previously was how we actually help with patient compliance. It is hard, and not even clinicians have 100% control over this, so unless your patient is in your office every week, which is not functional, we created FXOnTrack. Now let me tell you more about it.
Imagine having the option to either a remote monitoring system to your practice, the system that is though AI-driven, it’s in charge of us, the clinical department, which means that there is an actual doctor checking how your patient’s progress is going, making sure that the patient is using the aligners, that the movements are tracking correctly as expected, and if we notice something not going as planned, you will be the first one to know.
Now, this is a very easy application that patients can download on their phones, easiest to click pictures and send them over to us for check-ups and guess what, you can choose how often you want them to check in with us. And I haven’t even mentioned the best part of it – it’s included in your OrthoFX treatment. So there is No Extra Charge.
Thank you so much for listening, we are very proud of the work we are doing here and I wanted to share it with all of you. Now before I pass it to my dear friend Dr. Chara, I want to thank our current providers. Thank you so much for trusting our process and allowing us to be part of your patients’ smile journeys. For new listeners, if you are still curious, just give us a call and let’s see if OrthoFX can be an extension of your office. We have so many services that I am pretty sure that some of them can actually just help you grow your practice and make it into a successful clear aligners business.
Now, enough said, let me introduce you to my dear friend Dr. Chara. He is the owner of ‘Chara Orthodontics’ and please take it away!
Dr. Efrain Chara – Thank you so much Dr. Mora for the presentation and I am so pleased and glad to be here, sharing with you all the experiences that we have had with clear aligners with OrthoFX. I did my residency in Colombia for 3 years and for the last 18-20 years, we have been practicing here in southern California where we are providing orthodontic services in around 16 offices in Orange and LA County. We started offering clear aligners back in 2006, but it was a very, very slow process and has been slowly growing. We started with Invisalign first because it was the only option that we had back then. Then we switched to ClearCorrect and starting this year, we have switched to OrthoFX – and it has significantly increased and improved the number of patients that we are treating every day with clear aligners.
Some of the excellent things that we have found with OrthoFX are the
- Financing as well as the
- Clinical Support, as Dr. Mora was mentioning.
It’s like we have an extension of our offices that we have formed with OrthoFX. We work together with our OrthoFX representatives Shema (here in the picture, Shema is coming to visit one of our offices) and also Giuvia. They are always in touch, always easy to reach and that is something that’s very, very helpful for us whenever we have any issues or questions that we might have with any of the patients, at any of the offices, at any time.
Our Treatment Plans with Dr. Mora is very accurate. We really appreciate that about Dr. Mora and her team and thanks to them, we have been able to treat more complicated cases. The treatment outcomes that we have found with OrthoFX are excellent in their quality and that’s because of the flexibility of the product which gives us so much predictability with the treatments. Nowadays we are feeling more comfortable treating more complicated cases since the product is way more reliable.
The workflow with OrthoFX begins with our charging the patient $150 upfront once they come into the office to start with the case. They are very willing to do this and with the $150, we do the scans, we take all the pictures, we do all the records. We upload them and then after 2-3 days max, Dr. Mora gives us the treatment plan for these patients. That’s a very good feature because the patients can see on their phones how their treatment is going to go and it motivates them very much. We have converted so many patients, not only patients who come to us for braces but those who come to us for aesthetic treatments too. So it has been like an extension of our offices, as I mentioned earlier. Since OrthoFX has professional people (concierge selling team) coming in, it’s been wonderful to see how many patients we have been able to bring into the practice.
The other good thing about this treatment is the ‘Touchless orthodontics’ with the FXOnTrack application that Dr. Mora already mentioned. The patients take their pictures and they send them in; then I blow them up so that OrthoFX and our team of orthodontics and dentists can see the progress of their teeth. And if they go off-track, we can immediately bring them into the office and do whatever is necessary to continue with the treatment and keep them on track.
The good thing is that with Dr. Mora and her team, we feel very comfortable treating cases that are more difficult; we sit with her and analyze the cases that are very difficult before starting on them so that we don’t get into the woods. Dr. Mora with her extensive clear alignment treatment knowledge helps us with all of these cases.
The other thing with clear aligners is that there are no emergency treatments here. We can plan ahead of time; we can discuss it with the clinical team at OrthoFX, and at the end of the day, we can choose our battles; we can choose which patients we are going to treat so that their results are very predictable and outcomes are wonderful.
I have to mention at this point that with OrthoFX, our cases for refinement have reduced so much. I would say that 90-95% of our cases now don’t need any refinement. I would say it’s because the material used by OrthoFX for clear aligners is so plastic. Even though the patients change their aligners once a week, the plasticity of the material allows us to see how the teeth follow the plastic, keeping the patient very comfortable.
We have a very good practice because we have very good results and they keep on referring more patients to us because of this fact. I would also like to mention here that the number of patients we are treating now has increased, and this productivity is seen in all of our practices as well. So it’s a very good option to offer this product to our patients in the practice because patients are always looking for aesthetics, even though they don’t ask upfront for it. And what better aesthetics than a nice smile.
I would like to mention something here that I have found with OrthoFX. I was discussing with some general dentist friends about some cases that they wanted me to review. And I was shocked with the difficulty of those cases and that the other competitor clear aligner companies didn’t advise them that they were cases that were so difficult to treat with clear aligners. So that was something that surprised me because with OrthoFX’s clinical team, we have never been in cases like that – cases that we wouldn’t be able to treat with clear aligners, cases that would damage the credibility that patients have with us and OrthoFX.
With OrthoFX, I have found that if a case is too difficult, they would tell Do Not Start this case at this time, that it’s not a good case to start with clear aligners at this moment. That’s very good as it gives us the opportunity not to start cases that aren’t going to be very successful.
Also, I wanted to mention that from an orthodontic point of view with the clinical team with Dr. Mora, we have been able to integrate (for those difficult cases) fixed appliances first – like distalizers and expanders – at the beginning of the treatment, before moving onto clear aligners after 6-8 months. These are called ‘Combo cases’ and OrthoFX helps us to integrate these difficult patients into all of our practices too. That’s very good because the financing that they offer covers all these extra appliances, and the patients can even opt to have ‘veneers’ or ‘lumineers’ at the end of the treatment, further enhancing the results we get with clear aligners. Even as an experienced orthodontist, the clinical support that we find with OrthoFX is invaluable.
Thank you so much, Dr. Mora, thank you so much Shema, Giuvia and our reps here in southern California, because you guys have made our journey with OrthoFX clear aligners so easy. Our patients are so happy and our practice with clear aligners is just growing and growing, thanks to you guys! It’s always very easy to reach Dr. Mora or any of the team, as they are just a text or phone call away. The technologies work together and the aligner polymer used is super. The monitoring technology you guys offer with the remote and the clinical team make this such a wonderful trip, such a wonderful experience, and we are very happy and glad to be able to work with you guys.
A smile is a universal welcome and that’s what we like and love to share with our patients and that’s what patients are experiencing after our treatment and we are very glad to be able to offer that to them. Thank you.
Q & A
Julie Yeomans: Thank you, Dr. Chara. We really appreciate all your insight and also Dr. Mora’s. We have a couple of questions coming in and if you have a few moments for some questions. The first question for Dr. Mora is:
‘What is your position on treating teens with clear aligners?
Dr. Carla: I think it’s actually great. Preventive orthodontic care for teenagers is so important and I will never stop talking about it because, as Dr. Chara mentioned, certain teenagers might have some skeletal discrepancies requiring some fixed appliances first. So trying to diagnose this is the most important thing and I have seen some amazing clear aligner cases for teens and they really enjoy them. It can become an issue, mainly for compliance reasons, but as we mentioned earlier, we actually have a lot of features that can assist with patient compliance and it makes it fun for them, especially for hygiene purposes. So I think treating teenagers with clear aligners is actually a great option nowadays.
Julie Yeomans: Great. Thanks, Dr. Mora.
‘Dr. Chara, How has the compliance been with OrthoFX? What are you seeing in your practice?’
Dr. Chara: That’s a very good question. Compliance has improved wonderfully because we have opted to change the aligners once a week in all our practices. So the patients feel that their treatment is very active. They see their changes once a week and when their aligners are getting a little bit dirty, they are getting a new set of aligners as we are changing every seven days. So compliance has been wonderful nowadays. Also, since the plastic is so flexible, they don’t feel the pressure that they would feel with other brands, where the plastic is so hard and stiff. So compliance has been wonderful and in my opinion, it’s the reason why we have so few refinement cases. We can’t even count them on one hand, because thanks to the compliance, we end up having wonderful results.
Julie Yeomans: Great. On a quick note, if this is the first time you are learning about OrthoFX, you can scan the QR code and set up a quick one-on-one meeting with our representative tomorrow morning.
‘Dr. Mora, For the clinical team in your group setting up the treatment plans, what is their level of experience?’
Dr. Mora: It’s very high. We have a good combination of GPs and orthodontists working for quality control of our pieces. And we make sure they have clear aligner experience. We respect clear aligners as orthodontic individual parts of treating patients, so we want to make sure that the people who come on board actually have enough experience in decision making and providing the assistance that a lot of the new offices really need.
Julie Yeomans: Great. Thank you. Dr. Chara, we have got a comment in the chat here from your rep Shema that ‘It’s such an honor to work with you Dr. Chara’, so it’s a shout-out from Shema!
Dr. Chara: Thanks.
Julie Yeomans: Dr. Chara, I am a GP. What is your advice on starting to treat patients with clear aligners in my practice?’
Dr. Chara: That’s a very good question. I always tell all the GPs that patients don’t ask for aesthetic treatments in the beginning, they just get their cleaning or fillings done. But this is something that needs to be offered because they want to have a nice smile. Everyone wants to have a nice smile and even though they don’t ask, if you offer them, and then you bring over the treatment coordinator and the concierge team and engage them with the ortho effects that they have, it becomes very easy to offer them these clear aligners and a nicer smile.
So my advice would be to always think about straightening their teeth to give them a nicer smile. That’s something people are looking for, even though they don’t mention it at the beginning of their consultation.
Julie Yeomans: Great. Thank you. We have a question here that maybe both of you can answer. It’s from Dr. Donald Riley.
‘Can you give us some examples of the types of difficult cases that you prefer not to treat with OrthoFX?’
Dr. Mora: Let me take this one first. And maybe Dr. Chara can come up with some inserts. I always felt that every single case can be treated with clear aligners if you actually just treat it correctly. Now, remember that clear aligners try to perform dental compensation as we are just moving teeth. When we are talking about skeletal problems, I think that’s where conventional orthodontics is really needed. We are talking about severe cross-bites, severe class 2s or class 3s. A lot of movements really require more force and anchorage and maybe some rigid forces to compensate for the skeletal part from the dental.
So I think case selection is very important when you are starting, so make sure you choose your cases correctly. Again, clear aligners are really fun, so if you actually choose your cases correctly, you are going to have a blast and probably end up loving it as we do.
Usually, the more skeletal the case is, it’s better treated in phases or as Combo cases, as Dr. Chara mentioned. We have seen a couple of his cases where we have decided to go with fixed appliances first and then finish with clear aligners. So clear aligners can be a part of every single case that you choose, and it all depends on how you plan it. Dr. Chara, I would love to hear what you think about this?
Dr. Chara: Exactly what you said. I completely agree with that and we have to be careful when choosing those patients with skeletal compromise, knowing exactly how we are going to go into a Class 1 platform first, and then change over to clear aligners. But in my opinion, I would say that a high majority of cases that need straightening of teeth are good candidates for orthodontic treatment with clear aligners alone, and that’s a boon.
Julie Yeomans: Great. Thank you. I think we have two more minutes. Dr. Mora, Another question:
‘What is the charge to review a case?’
Dr. Mora: Nothing. Actually, one of the lapses in the system that I found in other clear aligner companies was that coaching, guidance, just having someone that you can actually call your distant friend to reach out to talk about the case, just isn’t there. One thing that we offer to our doctors is – just send us the pictures and we will tell you if this is a good case for your clear aligner experience, so actually this kind of coaching and assistance actually doesn’t have an additional price. It’s something that we feel we need to provide to our doctors to make sure they provide good results to their patients. So there is no extra cost for this extra care that we provide.
Julie Yeomans: Great. Thank you. I think this is a great question to end on, and Dr. Chara:
‘What has OrthoFX offered you that makes it a better choice than other clear aligner companies?’
Dr. Chara: The predictability with the treatment plans that the clinical team offers is so good that we don’t have any refining to do in most of the cases. Another thing that we have found is the profitability, thanks to the financing that OrthoFX offers to all the patients. That’s something that we have found very useful and it has helped us increase the number of patients requiring clear aligner treatments. And the FXOnTrack is another great tool because we don’t have to see the patients every month. Instead, we now see patients every two months in the office and they feel so comfortable because they don’t want to be coming to the office so often. So it’s a touchless form of treatment.
Julie Yeomans: Thank you. Dr. Chara, There is one more question that has come out from Dr. Jason Flannagan:
‘Do you refund the $150, if they do not move forward or if it’s too difficult to treat? How does the money go towards the treatment?’
Dr. Chara: What would happen to the $150? They are definitely refunded back to the patient. Some examples of the difficult cases we prefer not to treat with OrthoFX are very severe crowding in the upper and lower incisors. That would be one of the cases I wouldn’t treat with clear aligners. But with time and compliance from the patient, it’s amazing to see the movements that we can get with clear aligner therapy, especially with the OrthoFXtetra products.
Julie Yeomans: Thank you. I also want to clarify that if OrthoFX does do the $150 down payment with the treatment, we will refund it directly back to the patient if we deem that it’s too difficult a case.
Great. That is it. We are two minutes past 9 o’clock. And I just want to thank Dr. Chara and Dr. Mora again for this great presentation today and I hope everyone has a great weekend. And if we can help you at OrthoFX, this is our contact information and we are always here to help.
Phone – 415-936-0006
Email – email@example.com
Visit – orthofx.com/fordoctors
We take pride in being a concierge company and a boutique orthodontic provider. We also make incredible clear aligners. As you can see, the team here is always with you and that’s what makes it work so well.
And Dr. Chara, we appreciate all of your support for OrthoFX, and for being a great provider in southern California.
Dr. Chara: Thank you so much, all of you. Have a wonderful weekend.
Julie Yeomans: Great. Thank you.
Dr. Mora: Thank you, everyone.