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I am a General Dentist who is optimistic about invisalign, the esthetic
tranparent positioners to move teeth without braces.

I read a Fool post of a year ago in which an orthodontist wasn't buying Align Technologies(ALGN) because the market for invisalign was confined to only 20% of his practice and the cost was too great. He also said that only orthodontists(about 8,000 in the U.S.) could use the product. He was right on all points.

Yet last Thursday, in a webcast,Align Technologies announced increased
revenues of 80% and expected to show a profit by the end of 2003. What
happened? The answer-General dentist were allowed to use the technology.

My son,a general dentists,became intrigued by the product when an
orthodontist friend said the product worked well. My son saw the simplicity of the proceedure and incorporated invisalgn into his practice. An orthodontist may find the lab costs extravagant since he is very adept at quickly placing ugly braces, but not so a general dentist. According to the Align Technologies Webcast there are 120,000 general dentists in North America of which only 5,300 have been trained to use invisalign. They expect to train another 5,000 General Dentists this year.

Adults and older teens,who previously refused to see orthodontists for
tooth straightening,will readily see my son for invisalign. Apparently the cost of orthodontia was not the greatest impediment to treatment. It was going through the ordeal of having the braces placed, only to wind up with uncomfortable ugly braces. I feel that braces have never been socially acceptable and the future belongs to invisalign in those less demanding cases.

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