ClearCorrect is a leading manufacturer of clear orthodontic aligners, commonly called invisible braces. The company, which was named America’s fastest-growing health company by Inc. Magazine, is not only on a mission to transform smiles; it also wants to change the world. The Dental Geek spoke to ClearCorrect CEO Jarrett Pumphrey to get the straight story.
DG: Mr. Pumphrey, ClearCorrect recently launched a unique philanthropic project named Phase Out™. What is the mission?
JP: The mission of the project is big, but simple: to help eliminate life-impacting issues for people in need. The issues we plan to take on will include a wide range of things, from malaria to hunger, illiteracy to human rights injustices. The people we hope to help will be all over the world, in our own cities, and in developing nations.
We founded ClearCorrect to help dentists with aligners. Now, we want to expand how we help and extend it to others in need.
DG: How does the project work?
JP: The project revolves around our phase-based approach to clear aligners. Unlike other systems that manufacture and ship all the aligners for a case upfront, we make and ship our aligners in batches, or what we call “phases” of 4 sets at a time. We do this so doctors have the flexibility to make changes or corrections mid-treatment if needed, without the added costs of remaking aligners that have already been made.
The process starts when our dentists choose one of our two products: a Full, which includes up to 8 phases, or a Limited, which includes up to 3 phases. By design, we include more phases than needed to allow room for mid-course corrections and replacements. When all goes well, as it often does, dentists usually have a phase or two left over at the end of treatment. Those leftover phases used to mean nothing. Now, with Phase Out, for every leftover phase, we’re putting $20 toward phasing out life-impacting issues for people in need.
DG: I get it. Phases of treatment phasing out issues, thus the name "Phase Out."
JP: Exactly. And the best part is that our doctors and their patients are a part of the process. They both play key roles in making leftover phases at the end of treatment more likely: Our doctors help by using the features we include with our products to make the most of the phases they get (e.g., dental models for making in-house replacements, Compliance Checkpoints™ for ensuring good patient compliance, etc.), and their patients help by simply wearing their aligners as instructed.
DG: Are you focusing on any particular issue first?
JP: We decided we’d tackle life’s most basic need first: water. Nearly a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. They can’t just turn on the tap. They have to walk miles and miles for water, and even then, it’s likely to make them sick. Unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.
DG: Sounds like a big problem that affects a lot of people.
JP: It is, but we’re not tackling it alone. We’ve teamed up with a remarkable group called charity: water. They’ve already made tremendous strides in eliminating the water crisis for millions of people. They’re the experts in this. We’ve learned a lot from them about the scope of the problem, and we just want to help them do what they do best. For every leftover phase we have, for every $20 we can give charity: water, they can give one person access to clean, safe drinking water. They’re a perfect fit for Phase Out.
DG: How much have you raised to date?
JP: Since starting Phase Out on January 1st, we’ve raised about $8,000. That will help about 400 people gain access to clean, safe drinking water. By the end of the year, we hope to help tens of thousands more.
DG: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Mr. Pumphrey. Good luck with Phase Out.