Clear Aligner Patient Need Discovered in New Consumer Research

Posted: February 14, 2020
Edited by Orthotown staff

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—OrVance, a developer of proprietary orthodontics such as OrthoDots Clear, has completed a consumer research project to learn more about orthodontic patient needs related to pain and abrasions. The project studied 766 purchases of traditional dental wax to learn why orthodontic patients purchase dental wax.

“By far the biggest discovery from this research is there is clearly an unmet need in the growing clear aligner segment for relief from pain, irritation, cuts, and abrasions. Even though traditional dental wax is not effective and is not marketed for use with clear aligners, over 20% of the dental wax purchased by patients is to seek protection and relief from the edges of clear aligner trays,” said Ron Schutt, OrVance CEO.    
 
Key findings include the following:
 
- 36% of purchases of conventional dental wax were for reasons other than the marketed and intended use for "braces".
- 20.3% of purchases were for patients in clear aligner treatment. Of the purchases for clear aligner treatment, the top two brands mentioned were Invisalign (69.1%) and Smile Direct (7.4%).
- 4.2% of consumers stated use for other orthodontic appliances including expanders, lingual brackets, TADs, and retainers.
- Another substantial unmet need identified was for patients who suffer irritation and sensitivity from broken/sharp teeth or lost fillings, as 9.5% of conventional dental wax purchases were for this purpose.    


Clear Aligner Patient Need Discovered in New Consumer Research



Consumer comments indicate many patients with clear aligners are not fully informed before treatment about pain and abrasions, and they are not typically provided a solution (e.g. patients mention “going to the drug store” or “Googling the problem” to try to find a solution).  Different from braces, clear aligner patients also indicate that there can often be different areas of irritation with every new tray. Comments also indicate traditional dental wax or “filing the edges” are not effective solutions.

Dr. Scott Tyler an orthodontist/partner at TDR Orthodontics and advisor to OrVance says these findings are very significant to not only reveal how orthodontists can improve the patient experience, but maximizing patient comfort during clear aligner treatment can also directly impact patient compliance. Different from braces, patients can just take out their trays to provide instant relief from pain and abrasions—but if they do that, orthodontist aren't moving the teeth or maximizing patient satisfaction.
 
 

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