Sample Content from the 2nd qtr 2017 Bentson Copple reSource

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Volume XII Issue II

2nd Quarter 2017

Align Turns Twenty - Why You Should Care By: Chris Bentson ur team has been closely watching Align Technology, Inc. since its inception in 1997 and last wrote about Align in the 1st Quarter 2009 edition of the reSource (Getting In Line with Align, Volume IV, Issue I). While Align was founded in 1997, the company did not start actively selling to orthodontists until 1999, and then added sales to general dentists in 2002. Our first article discussed their performance and the impact of the company during the first 10 years of active sales in the marketplace (1999-2008). This article will discuss Align's performance since the 10-year anniversary, the results of which are dramatic in our opinion and have far-reaching and relevant effects on today's practice owners.


A comparison of the company, then versus now, is enlightening. The 2009 article indicated Align ended the 2008 calendar year with slightly less than $300 million in sales. At the end of 2016, the company reported annual revenue slightly above $1.1 billion in sales. Breaking down where Align collected last year's revenue after reviewing last year's (2016) financials goes something like this: $450 million in revenue outside of North America and $650 million in North America. Our best analysis of how North American revenue breaks out is that approximately $425 million were collected from orthodontists and $225 million from general dentists. In March of 2017, Align announced it had reached one million scans with its iTero Element scanner. In 2016, the iTero Element scanner represented approximately 11% of Align's revenue. Today, Align is debt free with approximately 10% of its shareholders as insiders and 90% of the stock held by institutional investors...

Let's Chat: Insights From Marketing Experts An Interview with Jeff Wilson & Scott Hansen


he digital marketplace has changed dramatically over the last several years, and there is no end in sight. In saying that, the Bentson Copple reSource team is committed to publishing timely content; this quarter we wanted to do just that by diving into chat-marketing, a prime example of a rapidly growing digital outreach. Live chat is immediate and personable, where real humans answer questions and provide helpful, actionable information. It provides direct, one-on-one conversations with your customers/patients. It's immediate, helpful, human and more like a real world sales experience than any other online marketing channel. Speaking in orthodontic business terms, potential patients can speak to your practice, and your team can interact with an increased amount of potential patients (and current patients) and consultations can be scheduled. Seems easy enough, but the practice of chatting professionally can be difficult to execute. There are many proprietary companies that provide chat services, both inside and outside the orthodontic world, to help you make chat a successful part of your marketing plan. We had the opportunity to 'chat' with two leaders in the orthodontic chat market - Jeff Wilson, Founder of Ortho Engagement ( and Scott Hansen, Owner of OrthoChats ( We asked them the same questions and published both of their answers, side-by-side below. Our hope is Jeff's and Scott's answers will offer insights into the world of orthodontic chat-marketing...

In This Issue: Align Turns Twenty Why You Should Care page 1

Let's Chat: Insights From Marketing Experts page 3

What You Need to Know About EasyRx's New Ownership page 6

Highlights from the 2017 ADSO Summit page 8

Five-Year Follow-Up: What's New With Mari's ListÂŽ page 11

Lifecycle Design for Your Orthodontic Office page 13

The Competition Has Changed page 15 The Bentson Copple reSource (ISSN 2572-7265) is published quarterly by Bentson Copple & Associates, LLC, 397 South Swing Road, Greensboro, North Carolina 27409. Periodicals postage paid at Greensboro, North Carolina 27409. Telephone: (336) 379-8822 / (800) 621-4664 Fax: (336) 333-0015 Website: Email: Editorial Address: 397 South Swing Road Greensboro, NC 27409 Subscription Price: $95.00 per year, 4 issues Cover Price: $28.00 each ŠBentson Copple & Associates, LLC, 2017. Copyright strictly reserved. This journal is intended for use by the individual to whom it is addressed and may not be reproduced in whole or in part or redistributed in any way - including reproduction for internal distribution - without the prior written permission of Bentson Copple & Associates, LLC.

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Bentson Copple reSource 2nd Quarter 2017

What You Need to Know About EasyRx's New Ownership


An Interview with Todd Blankenbecler 'm here today with Todd Blankenbecler, President and CEO of EasyRx. Mr. Blankenbecler joined EasyRx as President & CEO on February 1, 2017.

Q: Mr. Blankenbecler, tell us about EasyRx. A: EasyRx is a universal lab prescription software for orthodontic practices and labs. EasyRx was developed to help practices and labs better manage the entire lab prescription process. EasyRx core features include: (1) Create patient appliance, aligner and indirect bonding prescriptions using the EasyRx Universal Orthodontic Lab Prescription form. (2) Track lab prescriptions using features like the Prescription Dashboard, Desktop Notifications and the EasyRx Daily Digest Email. (3) Submit prescriptions to in-house and commercial labs. (4) Attach, manage and edit digital files, including STL files. (5) Manage In-House lab management. Q: Why did you and Dr. Marc Lemchen acquire a majority interest in EasyRx?

A: I can't share enough how incredibly excited Dr. Marc Lemchen and I are about EasyRx. EasyRx offers an extraordinary opportunity to positively impact the orthodontic profession. For the last year, we've been on the Board of EasyRx, providing input on overall business strategy, product development, sales organization and the industry. EasyRx has been focused on being more practice-centric. We've been working closely with the entire team to map out and implement these strategies and program enhancements. For example, EasyRx introduced integrations with Dolphin and CS OrthoTrac software, as well as the iTero® and TRIOS® intra-oral scanners. The more we learned about the business and this opportunity, the more excited we became. We approached Jim and Mike Wright, the original founders of EasyRx, about taking a larger ownership position in EasyRx. We're very excited to have worked out an arrangement to acquire a majority interest...

Highlights from the 2017 ADSO Summit


By: Doug Copple, CVA & Shannon Patterson, CPR, CMSR

here has been a lot of change in the dental marketplace in the last 24 months, and the chatter last year was "Are we seeing the end of the solo practice?" Will corporate models take over dentistry like Walgreens and CVS did with pharmacies? Why is the large group and corporate model growing, while solo practices are declining? Currently the DSOs are responding to a marketplace where dentists and specialists are overwhelmed with student debt and desire a work/ life balance and the freedom to relocate. The DSO model also claims to allow dentists to focus almost exclusively on clinical work, so the dentist is not distracted and burdened with the responsibilities of managing and operating a business. To see firsthand and to learn more about the DSO model and this fast-growing segment of dentistry, Doug Copple and Shannon Patterson recently attended the 2017 ADSO Summit in Orlando, Florida.

So, many of you might ask what is the ADSO? The Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO) is a non-profit organization comprised of 55 DSO members, nearly 150 industry partners and four association members (including the AAO). The ADSO represents Dental Support Organizations (DSOs) before the public, policymakers and the media. Its members' focus is to support dentists and their patients by expanding access to dental care, while maintaining high standards of business and clinical ethics. ADSO members operate in 44 states and support over 13,000 dentists. The ADSO is a critical source of information regarding the role DSOs play in an evolving dental marketplace. Its vision is to help its member organizations build a future where dentists have the ability to choose the administrative support services that best allow them to focus on patients, expand access to quality dental care and improve the oral health of their communities. Before going any further, it may be best to answer the question: What is a DSO? Dental Service Organizations (DSOs) contract with dental practices to provide critical business management and support, including non-clinical operations. The number of dentists in the United States that have opted to contract with a DSO has steadily increased in recent years. The number of practices using the DSO model is growing at nearly three times the rate of the industry itself. operating and competing within their state out of concern that the DSO may exert pressure on dentists to do more work than what is needed... About the Bentson Copple reSource: The Bentson Copple reSource is an all-in-one informational publication that provides and analyzes real data from real practices to present the most accurate information available within the orthodontic industry. The reSource has featured over 225 timely articles and interviews contributed by Bentson Copple & Associates' partners and team members, as well as the industry’s top leaders and consultants. The quarterly publication is written for orthodontists of all career stages, focused solely on the business aspects of running a successful practice. The newsletter can assist all orthodontists in making strategic decisions in managing their practice. Many doctors use the newsletter as a planning tool for the future – from opening an office, to practice growth, to planning for retirement.

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Bentson Copple reSource 2nd Quarter 2017

Five-Year Follow-Up: What's New With Mari's List® An Interview with Mari Sawtelle Dunn 's rare that we publish three articles in three years about the same company, but here we are doing it because we believe so strongly in Mari's List®. We have no financial interest in Mari Sawtelle Dunn's company, but we do have a desire to help practices operate at higher profits and be more organized. Sometimes that means growth and sometimes that means cutting expenses - Mari's List® is largely about the latter. The company is a buying group and study club, but it allows you to continue to operate inside buying groups you may already be participating in. Mari's List® is an annual membership, not a middleman, and receives no commission. A doctor is simply paying an annual fee for an evaluation of one's current buying habits, access to Mari's List®'s negotiated pricing from a wide array of vendors, continued coaching if desired and access to the Mari's List® closed, invitation-only Facebook study group.


We published an article in the reSource about Mari's List® at its founding (Volume IX, Issue I) and then spoke with Mari 15 months later about the company's great growth (Volume X, Issue III). This quarter we wanted to further the conversation since we see continued migration of practices of all sizes and geographic locations to Mari's List® and the significant savings of the resulting relationship. I've asked the founder, Mari Sawtelle Dunn, to focus on the four core benefits of the service in the interview below - evaluation of current spending, buying list, coaching and the Facebook study group...

Lifecycle Design for Your Orthodontic Office


By: Joyce Matlack he orthodontist's professional life goes through many stages: academic career, first practice experience, a dream office, taking on an associate, selling an established practice, and some sort of semi-retirement that allows the continuation of a passion for orthodontic and patient care, while also allowing one to slow down and take more time for yourself.

A practice space that supports each of these stages can feel out of reach or at least extremely confusing. In the following article we explore options, using our expertise and the experience of the 550+ clients we have served, to help you navigate these tricky transitions and physical requirements. From Academics to Private Practice Whether you come out of a program facility that has just been renovated and represents the state of the art in orthodontic practice environments or a clinical facility that represents a more academic/learning environment, you likely approach your first practice space with many unanswered questions. While your skills and treatment planning are ready to go, you may be missing information about clinical efficiency, patient flow, business administration, a welcoming environment for patients and their families, and dental equipment and technology. Working with consultants at this stage can seem like another expense that you will be adding to your student debt, but it can also help you plan and succeed at becoming profitable as soon as possible upon graduation...

The Competition Has Changed By: Angela Weber emember the day when GPs were 30% or greater of your patient referral base? Or when do-it-yourself didn't apply to orthodontic treatment? What's happened in the last several years hasn't happened overnight, and it is a direct reflection of the change in consumer behavior. Internet-based start-ups and business models have been displacing long-held ways of doing business. For example, SmileDirectClub has bypassed orthodontic practices to sell low-cost aligner treatment directly to consumers with the help of teledentistry. General dentists, formerly a great source of referrals, keep making incursions into orthodontics. This is also a factor in a changing competitive landscape for orthodontists. Industries across the board have felt the forces of "disruption," and these forces keep reaching into new sectors of our economy, including orthodontics.


Although orthodontists have expertise and experience on their side, a segment of consumers seem to only care about fast, cheap, and good enough. Many would rather not have to take the time to see a professional at all, or at least they prefer the convenience of dealing with their regular dentist, especially when the prices are lower and the results are considered adequate. The fact that SmileDirectClub reportedly completed 300,000 smile assessments in a three-month period points to a huge untapped market. Orthodontists may shudder to think of all the problems that might occur with these approaches to their craft, but what ultimately matters is what the consumer thinks. I did an informal poll of baseball moms at a recent weekend game and found that most of their kids were in Phase 1 treatment by a general dentist, not an orthodontist...

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