Align Technology's Invisalign Australia has reportedly offered discounts of up to 35% to dentists who sell the most clear aligners to patients, according to a news report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Industry insiders have flagged their concerns to regulators, claiming the company is dangling hefty discounts in front of dentists and orthodontists to encourage them to sell as many clear aligners as possible to patients so they can boost their profit margins.
Insiders believe these incentives could lead to customers, who often aren't told about the profits that clinicians stand to make from the sales of these products, paying for unsuitable or unnecessary products.
Invisalign Australia confirmed giving volume discounts but declined to provide any other details.
A dental insider told regulators that Invisalign Australia offers clinicians a four-tier discount scale based on the number of aligners they have sold. The higher the tier equals a greater discount.
For clinicians to reach the status of "platinum" and receive a 30% discount, they needed to sell 80 cases annually. Dentists who sell 150 cases of clear aligners are given "diamond" status and are eligible for a 35% discount.
Invisalign's official pricing to an orthodontist is 3,450 Australian dollars ($2,322 U.S.) for a typical case before any discounts. On average, a dentist charges 6,500 Australian dollars ($4,375) per patient. A clinician with diamond status selling 150 cases could bill patients an estimated 975,000 Australian dollars ($656,288) based on typical aligner pricing. Of that total, Invisalign would be paid 517,500 Australian dollars ($348,366), and the clinician earn a profit of 457,500 Australian dollars ($307,962).