The Evolution of Esthetic Orthodontics: 

Transforming Practices for Growth.

By: Dr. Christopher Cosse


Over the past 15 years, the demand for orthodontic treatments emphasizing aesthetics has soared, prompting practitioners to offer discreet appliances as a means of attracting new patients and expanding their practices. This shift, while a natural evolution in orthodontics, has led practices to explore innovative ways to capitalize further on the esthetic appliance market, viewing it as a strategic avenue for substantial growth. However, the quest to offer the clearest options shouldn't overshadow aligning these choices with both practitioner expertise and patient aspirations, as the ultimate goal is a harmonious amalgamation of effective treatment and aesthetic appeal.

As an early adopter of virtually clear bracket systems, I've observed firsthand the profound impact discreet treatment options, coupled with straightforward business strategies, can have in transforming and augmenting a practice. This transformation revolves around three fundamental concepts: acknowledging and embracing patient demand, harnessing the potency of digital referrals, and leveraging online patient education tools.

Understanding and Embracing Patient Aesthetic Demands:

The contemporary obsession with image projection, notably via social media, underscores the incessant desire among consumers to present their best selves consistently. Unlike yesteryears where looking good was reserved for special occasions, today's patients seek an aesthetic appeal throughout their orthodontic journey, cherishing their smile and the confidence it instills.

In my practice, the conspicuous shift towards discreet treatment spurred a quest for the ideal esthetic option meeting stringent criteria: high patient acceptance, minimal visibility, self-ligating efficiency sans visible metal components. Ormco’s Damon™ Clear brackets emerged as the solution, addressing prior limitations and transforming hesitant patients into eager participants in treatment. Understanding and adapting to this industry evolution are crucial steps in elevating practices profitably through esthetic solutions.

Similarly, comprehending patients' demands for esthetic options, particularly among adults and teens preferring Damon Clear for its combination of appearance and effective treatment outcomes, enables practices to align better with these preferences. Engaging with patients about the role of aesthetics in their treatment decisions fosters a deeper understanding of their needs, enhancing the value proposition of clear bracket systems.


Screen shot of Braces Academy Referral Program Dr. Cosse's blog

Benefiting from a Digital Referral Program

Harnessing online resources to establish a modern, tech-savvy referral channel becomes imperative in a digital-centric era. Developing and integrating a digital referral program like Braces Academy has revolutionized our practice. This software empowers referring practitioners by offering educational tools and facilitating direct digital referrals, streamlining the patient intake process and ensuring swift scheduling.

Educating referring dentists and hygienists about unique treatment solutions amplifies the potential for increased referrals. The Braces Academy system's versatility allows seamless communication among orthodontists, staff, parents, and patients, significantly enhancing information exchange and efficiency.

Moreover, Braces Academy’s multifunctional toolkit enables the dissemination of prescriptive educational videos, quick messages to parents, and diverse visuals to supplement treatment guidance. Its advertising resources for social media platforms establish orthodontists as experts in smile design, further bolstering the practice's reputation.

Leveraging Online Patient Education Resources

Adapting to patients' digital lifestyles is pivotal, and manufacturers are facilitating this shift by providing orthodontists with online patient education resources. Platforms like Ormco’s My Smile Consult™ offer customizable tools aiding in better communication of treatment benefits using before-and-after visuals tailored to the practice.

Our active use of My Smile Consult highlights the value of personalized content, answering specific patient queries, and catering to individual needs. Tailoring information to align with patient preferences significantly enhances their understanding of treatment options, enabling a more informed decision-making process.

Conclusion: Maximizing Growth Potential

Whether it's embracing innovations like Damon Clear or leveraging cutting-edge software systems such as Braces Academy or My Smile Consult, periodic practice enhancements can significantly distinguish orthodontic practices. The provision of esthetic treatment options not only caters to a burgeoning demographic of image-conscious consumers but also offers a tangible means of standing out in a competitive landscape.

By embracing and aligning with consumer demand, establishing targeted referral systems, and adeptly utilizing digital resources, orthodontists can effectively showcase the value and potential of esthetic options. This not only ensures positive impacts during treatment but also resonates profoundly in the final results. Ultimately, a radiant smile and a contented patient remain the most potent catalysts for practice growth and success.

2 Actual patients with Damon Clear Braces.

Christopher C. Cosse, DDS, is a graduate of Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge. He was accepted into the dental program at Louisiana State University School of New Orleans (LSUSD). He received certification in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics from Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon. He studied the differences in orthodontics between the United States and Europe for a term at the University of Freiberg, Germany in 1997. Dr. Cosse was awarded the Pierre Fauchard Award for Academic Achievement while at LSUSD. Since joining his father’s practice in 2000, he has sought to further his orthodontic knowledge and training. He has 11 orthodontic patents and two orthodontics apps, and is the founder of Braces Academy. He continues to push the field of orthodontics. In 2006, Dr. Cosse was presented with the Louisiana Dental Association New Dentist Award, an award presented to a Louisiana Dental Association member who has distinguished himself by giving his time and talents to his community and shown an unselfish devotion to the dental profession.

Dr. Cosse practices with Dr. Jeffrey Silmon in Shreveport and Bossier City, Louisiana. When he is not having fun at work, Dr. Cosse enjoys spending time with his wife, Stacy, and their four children — Athan, Michael, Kalli, and Stefan.