Dr. John Pham, founder and chief medical officer at Irvine-based orthodontics firm InBrace has been busy promoting his invention, the SmartWire, from the company’s new Tustin InStudio center since receiving an Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award from the Business Journal last year.
“I’m doing what I do best and love most: evangelizing InBrace to fellow orthodontists and entrepreneurs, treating patients and creating as many smiles as possible,” Pham told the Business Journal.
The company last December expanded its retail footprint to Tustin with a new 24-hour InStudio, a customer center and training facility for doctors.
“It’s a one-of-a-kind experience where consumers and providers can learn about InBrace,” Pham said. “It’s supposed to be like walking into a lululemon store.”
Customers can also receive treatment at InStudios. InBrace currently counts two InStudios to date, with its other location in Irvine.
Although InBrace plans to open more InStudios in the coming years, Pham declined to disclose the potential locations his company has been eyeing.
Pham developed the idea for InBrace’s flagship product, the SmartWire, during his orthodontics residency at the University of Southern California. Unlike braces and Invisalign, the SmartWire sits behind the teeth and, leveraging computer modeling and artificial intelligence, gently moves them into place without the need for tray changes or tightenings.
Users can wear it while brushing, flossing, eating and drinking as they typically would, company officials said.
Within eight weeks of use, SmartWire wearers can begin to see a dramatic difference in their teeth, according to Pham.
Customer feedback for the SmartWire has been largely positive, Pham said. The product recently earned a Net Promoter Score (NPS)—a metric that assesses consumer experiences—of 84 out of 100 for consumers receiving treatment at InBrace’s InStudios.
“For dentistry, the average NPS is like one,” Pham said. “We’re sitting high, among brands like Apple and Tesla.”
The company last August closed a $45 million round of financing led by Horizon Technology Finance Corp. (Nasdaq: HRZN). InBrace has raised over $217 million in funding to date. It’s one of the biggest players in the $40 billion teeth-straightening industry, Pham said.
According to Pham, InBrace’s investors see the company as IPO-ready in the foreseeable future.