Orthodontic company braces for growth

ClearCorrect is the world's second-largest manufacturer of clear aligners, or orthodontic braces that are made of clear plastic. But a 2013 relocation to Round Rock is one of the steps the company has made toward expanding its products' market share, the company said.

ClearCorrect moved its corporate headquarters from Houston to 21 Cypress Blvd., Round Rock in September.

Invisalign has perhaps more name recognition than ClearCorrect and is the largest manufacturer of clear aligners, a technology that was introduced in 1999, according to Align Technology Inc., the company that brought Invisalign to market.

Before founding ClearCorrect in 2006, Dr. Willis Pumphrey was among the Invisalign providers with the highest volume of patients using clear aligner devices. Pumphrey later switched to another company which he believed provided a better product at a less expensive cost to his patients, but that company went out of business.

"The impetus [to start the company] was the necessity to service his 400 patients [undergoing clear aligner therapy]," Chief Marketing Officer Anthony Penketh said.

Penketh said ClearCorrect is generally more affordable than Invisalign. Doctors are billed up to 30 percent less in fees when using the ClearCorrect system, he said.

He noted that part of the reason for the cost difference is that ClearCorrect sends out four sets of aligners at a time while Invisalign sends all of the sets at once.

Technological advances are opening clear aligners up to patients with more serious alignment issues, Penketh said. The March/April 2014 issue of "Orthodontic Practice," a clinical research publication, featured a case study of a patient with an overbite and crowding previously only treatable with braces, which was successfully treated with ClearCorrect aligners, according to the publication.

"Clear aligner therapy has come a long way," Penketh said. "While it can't do everything, it can do a lot."

Gerald Blackman of San Antonio said he underwent clear aligner therapy two years ago.

Blackman, who works in business development, said he had always felt self-conscious about his crowded bottom teeth but was not interested in using braces to correct them.

Part of his job description calls for delivering presentations in front of big audiences, so Blackman was seeking treatment that would be unnoticeable, he said. He said his dentist recommended ClearCorrect.

Blackman said he frequently receives compliments on his straight, white teeth.

"Instead of having a rack full of metal in your mouth, why not have something clear?" he said. "I feel this route is a more practical way of correcting your teeth and taking care of your teeth."

ClearCorrect, which services about 16,000 providers in the country, is preparing for an international launch. By the end of the year, ClearCorrect plans on selling its product in Canada and at least one other country, Penketh said. He added it would not be a stretch to say that in five to 10 years the company's product could be used in 50 or more countries.

Penketh said use of ClearCorrect's products is set to become much more prominent in the future.

"Clear aligner therapy is not going anywhere," he said.

21 Cypress Blvd., Ste. 1010, Round Rock, 888-331-3323,, ClearCorrect's customer service line is open Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–6 p.m.

To find a doctor who provides ClearCorrect treatment, visit: