ODL: Aligning for Success

Custom Prototyping and Apps that Set Smiles in Motion


ODL Orthodontics Lab is a family-owned and operated business that has been serving the needs of dental professionals for over 40 years. They are a full-service orthodontic lab specializing in removable and fixed appliances and a full aligner options.

The team at ODL approached Helm to design and develop a seamless system for ordering, managing, and iterating on aligners. The concept would allow a new level of transparency for ODL’s operations, their customers, as well as patents across their customers’ robust network. Recognizing the need to evolve with technological advancements, ODL sought Helm's expertise to create a digital solution that would redefine the aligner ordering and manufacturing process.



We began by immersing ourselves in the world of ODL. Their manufacturing lab in Buffalo, NY was the heart of their operations.  The team at Helm went on-site and conducted thorough research to understand the intricacies of how orthodontics hardware is created, the existing order processes at ODL, and the challenges faced by both the providers and ODL staff. This deep dive was crucial for us to tailor a solution that truly addressed the specific needs of ODL.

Prototyping: UX UI Design

Once we understood the process and were able to identify key opportunities for ODL, we shifted gears to design. Our focus was on designing a prototype for both web and mobile platforms that would be used by multiple personas. This  was vital for visualizing the user experience and gathering early feedback. We designed for various user roles, including providers, designers, administrators, and patients, ensuring a comprehensive and inclusive approach.

Our prototype served as a tangible representation of the vision, enabling us to gather valuable early feedback from ODL's team and potential users. This feedback was instrumental in shaping the subsequent stages of our development process

Custom Software Development

Based on the insights gained through Discovery and Prototyping, we began to develop the custom software product under a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) mindset.  The team at Helm concentrated on core functionalities, ensuring the first version of the software catered to the essential needs of aligner ordering, case assignment, and the aligner design processes.

At this point it was all about bringing our prototype to life, transforming ideas into a functional, real-world application that can be put in the hands of real people. This strategy allowed us to maintain a clear focus on delivering value to ODL and their customers, removing guesswork, and setting a solid foundation for future expansions and enhancements of the application.

Anticipating future growth and demand, we engineered the application for scalability. This foresight allows ODL to easily accommodate future expansions and incorporate additional features, ensuring the application evolves alongside their business.

User Testing

We believe in the power of learning fast and making the next version better each time around.  So, throughout the process of creating this custom software, we engaged in regular user testing with administrators and aligner designers. This allowed us to validate the app’s usability, refine features, and make necessary adjustments, ensuring the final product was not just functional but also user-friendly.

Our collaboration with ODL didn’t end with development and testing. We supported them through the integration phase, offering training and support to their team. We wanted to ensure a smooth transition and adoption of the new system, fine-tuning it based on real-world usage and feedback.

  • Orthodent Laboratory successfully launched the web application, streamlining the aligner ordering process for providers.
  • The platform significantly reduced turnaround time for aligner manufacturing, leading to improved customer satisfaction and increased customer retention.
  • The digital solution provided by Helm empowered ODL to stay ahead of the competition, further solidifying their position as a leader in the orthodontics and dental lab industry.

The web application empowers providers with a seamless, transparent, and efficient pathway to submit aligner orders, contributing to ODL's continued growth and commitment to clinical excellence.

Working alongside ODL, Helm demonstrated its ability to bring innovation to an established industry, leveraging technology to improve processes and enhance customer experiences. We helped ODL take a giant leap forward, equipping them with a tool that not only enhances their operational efficiency but also positions them for continued growth and success in the dynamic world of orthodontics.

As a trusted partner, Helm remains committed to supporting ODL’s ongoing success.

Ready to Transform Your Business?

Just like we did for ODL Orthodontics Lab, Helm is here to help your business harness the power of digital technology. Whether it's streamlining processes, enhancing user experiences, or building cutting-edge web and mobile applications, our team is ready to bring your vision to life.

Don't let your business get left behind. Reach out to us and let's explore how we can tailor a solution that meets your unique needs and sets you apart in your industry.

Take the next step towards unlocking growth.