917
7 min 48 sec

Orthodontist Bites Off Solution to Teeth-Pulling Problem

An orthodontist sets out to invent a modern alternative to the age-old practice of pulling teeth.
Manufacturing Niche Ideas Problems & Solutions Product

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What It's About

An orthodontist springs into action with an innovative solution.

Business Model
Manufacturing
Skills Required
Product Development & Experimentation
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Grant says that when it comes to side hustles to, “Look for ways to improve the job you are currently in!” By choosing a hustle that involves your day job, you are more aware of what that audience needs.

Plus, you likely have a network of people in your field that can provide valuable feedback on your idea, or even be a future customer!

Fun Fact

Not only did Grant invent something that helped him with his day job, he also used materials that were already available to him at his office. He says that his invention was less like an experiment, and more like taking the materials around him and configuring them into something new.

Notes from Chris

Episode 917
For the last sixteen years, Grant Coleman has worked as an orthodontist. Between all of the procedures he’s performed, the teeth he’s cleaned, and the times he’s told his patients to floss, he started to notice that some of the ways he did things seemed a little old-school.

Not like the dentist-from-Little-Shop-of-Horrors, but old school, nonetheless. Grant was particularly concerned with the way that they fixed “impacted teeth.” Impacted teeth are teeth that are stuck in the gums, and it was Grant’s job to get those teeth to come out. It can be a slow, painful process that typically involves attaching a gold chain to the tooth and pulling it down little by little, over a series of appointments.

Grant felt that it was best to leave the gold chains to “Mr. T, pocket watches, and grandma’s spectacles.” Surely, the dental industry was ready for something new.

So, leaning on his experience performing this procedure over and over, Grant started tinkering around with objects lying around the office to create a new version of the antique gold chain. His prototype was a nickel-titanium coil that could continuously pull the tooth down without multiple appointments.

With this shiny new device in hand, Grant brought it into the office and started to use it on the next few patients with impacted teeth. He was amazed with the results! Not only did his invention look better than that infamous gold chain, it also moved the tooth way faster than anything he had seen before. Grant then sent his product to a friend in the industry for him to try out too—and the results were the same. His invention worked!

Over the next five years, Grant kept using the device and making tweaks to the design. Although his prototype worked, he hoped to improve the device even further, both in its function and for the comfort of the patient.

After many experiments, he was confident that he had created a truly solid design. Time after time, it worked better than anything else he had ever seen—and he didn’t know anyone else who had made anything like it. Soon, he was having thoughts of producing his invention on a large scale and selling it to orthodontists all across the country. Not only did he have a great new tool to use at work, he had also stumbled across a major business opportunity.

After getting the Isoglide Spring FDA approved, he officially launched his online store in May of 2019. It’s very early days—we’re recording this in early July 2019—but he’s already bringing in $3,000-$4,000 a month, most of which he’s reinvesting back into the company.

Although the product isn’t making him a ton of money just yet, it is making his full-time job easier by decreasing the time he needs to spend with each impacted tooth patient. He’s also got his family involved, with a whole room dedicated to the Isoglide Spring in their house.

Grant says that in an ideal world, the business will grow substantially in the next few years. For his part, he plans to reach out to local orthodontic groups, attend trade shows, and amp up his social media presence. He also says that for him, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. He knows that he has a great idea and that all of his work will pay off in the end.

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Isoglide Spring: Take a bite out of Grant's impactful tooth solution
  • WordPress: Grant used WordPress to set up his site for Isoglide Spring, and here you can learn how to install your own WordPress site in 5 minutes
  SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"If you're struggling to find an idea for a side hustle, look for ways to improve the job you are currently in! Since you are in the field already, you are somewhat of an expert and can see the needs in that profession."
—Grant Coleman #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau