Like many companies that begin in a basement or garage, ClearCorrect started with a problem. In Dr. Willis Pumphrey’s case, it was more than just a problem—it was an impending crisis.
It all started in 2006, when Dr. Pumphrey was using OrthoClear aligners and the company abruptly shuttered after a legal settlement with Align Technology, the makers of Invisalign. With more than 400 patients in need of treatment, Dr. Pumphrey needed to take bold action or risk his business and his reputation. He connected with Paul Dinh, who had invented a manual manufacturing process for invisible braces. A small team of friends and family moved Dinh’s operation from his garage to a small shop down the hallway from the practice, and they began making clear aligners for patients. From this makeshift operation, a company called ClearCorrect was born.
With determination, ClearCorrect grew into a viable competitor in the clear aligner space, which attracted the attention of Straumann Group, a global leader in tooth replacement solutions. In August 2017, Straumann acquired ClearCorrect for $150 million.
Acquiring ClearCorrect has provided Straumann with technology and expertise in orthodontics. In turn, the investment will help ClearCorrect improve its products and expand their Flex and Unlimited treatment options to more providers around the world.
The acquisition hasn’t stopped ClearCorrect from innovating, as the company is still designing and manufacturing clear aligners in Round Rock, TX, under the ClearCorrect brand name. All of ClearCorrect’s products continue to be made in the U.S. Also, ClearCorrect’s entrepreneurial leadership team has stayed with the company and partnered with Straumann in supporting customer and patient needs and in growing the business.
Just before the New Year, ClearCorrect announced that it would offer 3Shape TRIOS users half price on 4 clear aligner treatments. By mid-January, Straumann had announced that dental professionals across the U.S. and Canada can now purchase TRIOS 3 intraoral scanning solutions directly from Straumann. Through these deals, the digital workflow is taking shape.
As Straumann explained in a press release, “The combination of 3Shape TRIOS 3 and Straumann’s compact C series chairside mill enables the Straumann Group to offer a top-quality chairside solution for producing dental prosthetics in the practice. In addition, the combination of the TRIOS 3 intraoral scanner and the integration with ClearCorrect orthodontic solutions amplifies the complete range of digital solutions that Straumann offers to dental professionals.”
Also, in early 2018, Planmeca announced that its Planmeca Emerald and Planmeca PlanScan intraoral scanners were accepted for use with ClearCorrect, further expanding the versatility of the clear aligners system.
At the time of the ClearCorrect acquisition, Straumann CEO Marco Gadola predicted that there are some big changes expected in the clear aligner industry and that the union came together at “exactly the right time.” It will be interesting to see how these two companies, among others, work and grow together in the evolving clear-aligners market.