Academy creates tool for dental community to share reactions with Align Technology

June 22, 2009
Academy of General Dentistry is concerned about these requirements and how they may adversely affect the practice of general dentistry

CHICAGO--The Academy of General Dentistry has responded to member inquires regarding Align Technology's new "Proficiency Requirements for Invisalign."

The AGD is concerned about these requirements and how they may adversely affect the practice of general dentistry.

The AGD thinks the new requirements have two aspects the general dentistry community should note.

The first aspect requires the completion of at least 10 Invisalign specific continuing education credits, and the second aspect requires the start of at least 10 Invisalign patient cases each year. Many AGD members voiced concerns regarding the second aspect.

"The number of patient cases started each year may not fully be within the dentist's control for the following reasons," said Vincent Mayher, Jr., DMD, MAGD, immediate past president of the AGD.

"First, especially in the present economy, a dentist cannot determine patient volume. Second, dentists are ethically obligated to treat their patients according to their needs and wants, not according to the requirements of a third party. Third, although many general dentists are highly proficient in Invisalign, orthodontists and large general dental practices will receive the bulk of patients seeking or needing Invisalign."

According to Dr. Mayher, "We have spoken with Align executives and they have not provided anything to support the claim that the dentist who does nine patient cases is zero percent proficient while the dentist who gets the 10th patient walking through the door becomes one hundred percent proficient. In reality, one dentist may perform 12 cases poorly while another dentist may perform eight cases perfectly. However, with Align's requirements, there is no outcome or quality assessment."

Due to these reasons, the AGD is investigating measures to address this concern with Align Technology. In addition, the AGD is investigating alternate educational pathways to aid general dentists in achieving or maintaining proficiency in orthodontic treatment.

In response to its members' growing concerns, the AGD created a communications vehicle for its members, as well as nonmember general dentists, to use in sharing their reactions with Align Technology.

The AGD invites members of the dental community to visit Academy of General Dentistry to send an e-mail to Align Technology's President and Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Prescott.

The template letter can be edited and customized; however, the AGD is not responsible for any modified content to its template.

For more information about the AGD, visit Academy of General Dentistry.

To read more about the AGD, go to Academy of General Dentistry.

To comment on this topic, go to PennWell Dental Community site.