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After the company that supplied his patients’ invisible braces closed down, dentist Willis Pumphrey founded ClearCorrect in 2006. Based in Houston, Texas, ClearCorrect develops custom dental aligners that do not make use of wires or brackets – a more inconspicuous alternative to conventional metal braces. Willis’s son, Jarrett, now heads the company as CEO.

Used by thousands of dentists and orthodontists across the country, ClearCorrect is an aligner system that works in phases, allowing doctors to make adjustments along the way. Each clear plastic tray moves a patient’s teeth a little at a time and can be taken out while eating, drinking, and brushing. The patient eventually achieves straight teeth after wearing a progressive series of ClearCorrect aligners.

This past January, ClearCorrect launched a new charitable project called Phase Out. Because ClearCorrect is delivered in sets, there are times when a few aligners or phases are left unused by the end of treatment. According to Jarrett, those leftovers used to mean nothing. With the Phase Out program, however, ClearCorrect will now donate $20 for every excess aligner to help phase out a serious issue for people in need.

The first issue that ClearCorrect is targeting is unsafe drinking water, as it affects about a billion people worldwide. Thus, the company has teamed up with charity: water, a non-profit organization that brings potable water to people in developing nations. “They have a big job to do, and we want to help them,” says Jarrett. So far, ClearCorrect has raised nearly $45,000, which will help approximately 2,246 individuals.

ClearCorrect’s popularity among patients and doctors has grown quickly in the past few years. In addition to being named the Dental Product Shopper Best Product of 2011, it placed fourth on the Houston Business Journal‘s 2011 Fast Tech 50 list and came in at number 17 on Inc. Magazine‘s 2011 Inc. 5000 list.