Clear advice from The Ortho Partners

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The Ortho Partners
Dr Gustavo Vivaldi, The Ortho Partners

As aligner technology continues to advance, The Ortho Partners offers online treatment planning, assistance and professional development for dentists. By Frank Leggett

Dr Gustavo Vivaldi has to be very disciplined with his time management. Not only does he own and run Vivaldi Smile Artisans, a successful dental practice in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, but he also founded and runs The Ortho Partners, an online resource to help dentists with their clear aligner cases. Dr Vivaldi is committed to creating aligner treatment plans in a timely manner for his mentees, while still treating his own patients. 

Originally from Brazil, Dr Vivaldi worked there as specialist orthodontist from 2004 to 2013, where he was among the top 10 providers of Invisalign. His move to Australia was for the benefit of his children.

“In a nutshell, Brazil is not a safe place and my wife and I wanted to raise our kids in a safer environment,” he says. “When we arrived in Australia in 2013, I was unable to work as a dentist until I completed my exams. I got in contact with Invisalign and due to my prior connections, I worked as a trainer for the Invisalign accreditation program. I was also providing ad hoc mentoring for many dentists and orthodontists.” 

Dr Vivaldi received his qualifications in 2015 and moved to Sydney in 2017. He started The Ortho Partners in 2018 and opened Vivaldi Smile Artisans with his dentist wife, Dr Patricia Vivaldi, in 2022. It’s a busy, growing practice but they work together to make time for The Ortho Partners—a one-on-one mentoring program that upskills dentists while providing effective clear aligner orthodontics on a case-by-case basis.

Case evaluation

The first thing Dr Vivaldi did when setting up The Ortho Partners was to create a secure portal that facilitates communication between mentors and dentists. Everything is done online through its portal.

“All dentists want to deliver effective clear aligner treatments to their patients,” says Dr Vivaldi. “The problem is that they embark on treatment after as little as a three-day course. They can easily end up out of their depth, unable to deliver the promised results.”

The Ortho Partners assists dentists in choosing the right cases to treat with the option of taking them through the entire process. There is a sliding scale of interaction and cost from pre-treatment evaluation to all-inclusive help for more difficult cases.

“We see each case completely differently because of our orthodontic background and experience,” says Dr Vivaldi. “Some apparently simple cases can actually be very complex.”

The process

The whole Ortho Partners process takes place online. The dentist sends through all documentation related to the case, then a mentor sets up the design for the chosen brand of clear aligners.Once a plan is in place, the dentist and mentor communicate online through the dedicated portal until the case is approved by the dentist.

This business is about helping dentists provide the best possible outcomes for patients, which in turn will greatly benefit the treating dentist. All our mentors are very experienced and I trust their judgement wholeheartedly.

Dr Gustavo Vivaldi, The Ortho Partners

“At the moment I have two experienced orthodontists—Dr Rhonda Coyne from Queensland and Dr John Mamutil from New South Wales—working with The Ortho Partners, along with myself,” says Dr Vivaldi.

Helping hand

Dr Tony Goodison owns and runs Goodison Dental in Wangaratta, Victoria. When he decided to offer Invisalign at his practice in 2019, he went to the Australasian Clear Aligner Symposium. It was there he saw a brochure for The Ortho Partners.

“I felt it was important to have the support and feedback that Ortho Partners offers,” says Dr Goodison. “I’m a little isolated in Wangaratta so it was great to have a professional sounding-board. They help in choosing the right cases and put together a treatment plan, whether utilising aligners, expanders or other devices. For more difficult cases, they assist in developing the complete digital case plan.”

Dr Goodison soon realised that because of the support from The Ortho Partners, he was upskilling and taking on a lot more orthodontic cases. The outcomes have all been positive and he has grown the aligner side of his business. “Within a year, I was undertaking more than 50 cases a year,” he says. “That simply would not have happened without Ortho Partners’ support.”

Professional development

While The Ortho Partners is designed to solve issues and create treatment plans for specific cases, it’s also committed to improving the skills of dentists. Monthly online treatment planning and training sessions are held where cases are discussed and dentists can ask questions in real time. 

“It’s a great way for ambitious dentists to improve their professional growth and development,” says Dr Vivaldi. “It also improves the business side of things. If you promise something but can’t deliver, that will have a negative impact in terms of word-of-mouth referrals. If you are delivering great results, that will increase your referrals. Another big issue is that bad treatment planning can consume a lot of chair time and result in loss of revenue. In severe cases, the dentist ends up paying to treat the patient.”

As dentists learn, gain experience and progress, they can successfully identify what is, and is not, treatable. Identifying cases that should be referred early is a time and money saver. Clear aligners are not a static technology; techniques are constantly improving so dentists need to be across those changes.

“All dental professionals should share knowledge and network,” says Dr Vivaldi. “We‘re planning to start face-to-face meetings soon in order to facilitate greater interaction. A study club is a great way to stay updated.”

Quality outcomes

As The Ortho Partners grows, Dr Vivaldi is considering bringing in more mentors.

“I want to find suitable professionals with the right mindset,” he says. “This business is about helping dentists provide the best possible outcomes for patients, which in turn will greatly benefit the treating dentist. All our mentors are very experienced and I trust their judgement wholeheartedly. I’m happy to expand once I find other like-minded professionals who will maintain our quality of outcomes.”  

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