Tech Tip: Excessive Crowding

severe crowding.jpgThere are many possible causes for crowding, including the size and shape of the teeth, the form of the dental arches, the relationship of the skeletal components and patient's own harmful habits.

Determining the cause of each patient's malocclusion is essential for successful diagnosis, treatment planning and prognosis.

Some common causes for crowding are extra teeth, lost teeth, impacted teeth or abnormally shaped teeth.

Please see our series of videos on the topic of malocclusion in our Basics of Orthodontics series.

Solution

The simplest option is to check “only if needed” and allow our dental technicians to offer their recommendations.

If you have specific preferences for a patient's treatment, though, please let us know when you submit your case. At ClearCorrect, doctors are in charge. We will customize the clear aligners to carry out whatever treatment you prescribe to the best of our ability. If you don't see an option on the form, feel free to provide special instructions in the “additional instructions” section.

For patients with severe crowding, it's usually best to use a combination of techniques. For instance, proclination and expansion are more predictable together than either technique alone.

If the crowding is not too severe, however, you may be able to achieve your goals with just one of the four options (procline, expand, distalize, or IPR).

For more informationonthe above techniques, check out this article in our help center. 

Tech Tip: Predictability of tooth movements

Due to variations between teeth, some are more amenable to certain types of orthodontic tooth movements with clear aligners than others. Here are some rough guidelines to help you choose cases and calibrate expectations.

Basic movements

Clear aligners are particularly-well suited for facial/lingual movements. They excel when there's a broad surface to apply force to, and adjacent retentive surfaces to anchor against.

Moderate movements

  • Distal/mesial movements - if there is inadequate tooth contact with the aligner with the portion of the clinical crown to "push" the tooth in the desired direction, consider adding an engager for additional surface area
  • Most rotations/rotations of lower premolars - ensure there is adequate space to rotate the tooth and consider the position of the tooth root as it is easier to rotate a tooth that is normally inclined. For example, a tooth that is mesially tipped should be uprighted first before attempts to correct its rotation. Conically-shaped teeth, such as mandibular premolars, offer little natural morphology for an aligner to "grip" onto. These teeth commonly require engagers to provide for added morphology.
  • Torquing - evaluate the crown morphology, particularly length of the clinical crowns as these are more easily torqued. Short clinical crowns and lack of defined crown morphology (e.g. bulbous shaped crowns) may be assisted with engagers

More challenging movements

These tooth movements require added attention to details such as the crown morphology, position of the tooth root, available space/arch length to perform the movement and can be assisted with engagers and/or auxiliaries such as buttons and elastics.

  • Extrusions - most effective with single rooted teeth that have a straight root. Also consider the crown morphology and interproximal areas. Triangular shaped tooth crowns and or interproximal areas that allow for the aligner to engage more of the crown may be extruded without engagers. Short clinical crowns, lack of defined crown morphology and multi-root teeth more commonly require engagers
  • Intrusions - consider the morphology and retentiveness of the adjacent anchor teeth. If they do not provide sufficient natural undercut, engagers are often used. ClearCorrect's extended trimline design often provides sufficient retention for intrusion of single rooted teeth without the need for engagers. Intrusion of multi-rooted teeth is extremely rare as this is a very difficult movement and will require engagers on adjacent teeth to assist. 

 For further education on difficult movements and auxiliaries, check out our advanced e-course.

Final Workshop Of 2017: Chicago - Nov. 4

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If you're in the Chicago area, and need CE credits before the end of the year, register for our Treatment Basics, Practice Success and Advanced Treatment workshops coming up on November 4th, 2017 in Chicago, IL. Doctors (and staff!) have been loving these courses, and we think you will, too. 

Register today to secure your seat for up to 9 hours of CE training led by Dr. Ken Fischer and Dr. Duane Grummons, two highly experienced Orthodontists at the top of their field.

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Topics include:

  • How to select and submit cases for treatment with clear aligners
  • Case examples – simple to moderate cases
  • Hands on exercises
  • Technician Talk
  • Advanced troubleshooting techniques
  • Tips for practice success
  • Marketing & branding tips
  • And much more.

Whether you're a clear aligner novice, an old hand, or somewhere in between, by the end of the day you'll be excited to put some new ideas to work in your practice. Plus, you'll have racked up a bunch of CE credits, and that ain't bad, either.

Don't wait. Sign up today, because these Early Bird rates end this Friday, October 6th.

Hope to see you there!

Tech Tip: Tips on closing patients

This week, while we are on the subject of talking to patients, we thought we would share an oldie but a goodie. 

In this video, our very own Dr. Mah chimes in to give us all a few tips on talking to patients about ClearCorrect. 

What's the best way to approach the subject of clear aligners with a patient who needs corrective treatment? What should you do if your patient balks at the cost of their aligners? How can your staff pitch in to help, and why is staff participation so important? What good will aligners do for them besides a nice looking smile? Click the video to hear what Dr. Mah has to say and find out!

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Tech Tip: Patient FAQ's

Patients have questions and it’s nice to have the answers for them. We’ve provided some of the more common questions asked about clear aligners so you and your staff are prepared.

What should I expect during treatment?

While wearing clear aligners is generally not painful, there will be brief periods, days not weeks, when the new aligners may cause the teeth to be uncomfortable.

Expect people to glance at your teeth and ask, “What do you have on your teeth?”

Your ‘bite’ will feel different from time to time while the teeth are in transition.

You may have a lisp at first while becoming accustomed to talking with the aligner on. 

You may have engagers ("buttons") a small bump on the aligner, assisting the aligner to move the tooth. 

Will the aligners hurt? How comfortable are the aligners?

It’s fairly common to experience some tenderness or sensitivity for the first few days of wearing a new aligner. However, the more you wear the aligner the more comfortable they become. Sores and irritation are possible but really don’t occur that often.

The aligners can also sometimes temporarily affect your speech. But most people adapt quickly to wearing the aligners and it is rare that your speech would be impaired for an extended period of time. You may also experience a temporary increase in salivation or dryness of the mouth.

ClearCorrect aligners are among the most comfortable in the industry. Similar to braces, if aligners change too abruptly between steps, they can cause unnecessary discomfort. ClearCorrect aligners employ a unique system which balances your comfort and treatment time.

Are the aligners hard to keep clean? How do I clean them?

No. The aligners are fairly simple to keep clean, however, tooth decay, periodontal disease, decalcification (permanent markings on the teeth) or inflammation of the gums may occur if proper oral hygiene and preventative maintenance are not maintained.

Most aligners can be cleaned with a toothbrush and cool water. A non-abrasive toothpaste is also recommended. Cleaning instructions are on every bag of new aligners.

I’ve seen people with bumps on their aligners – what are they?

Depending on your treatment, it may be necessary to temporarily affix engagers (those bumps) to your teeth. They’re made of tooth-colored composite material and are there to assist with difficult tooth movements. When you’re not wearing your aligners they can feel awkward in your mouth, but don’t worry they’re easy to remove and are only used when absolutely necessary.

How long will I be in treatment?

That depends entirely on the treatment goals you set with your doctor and the amount of correction that needs to be achieved. Treatment time can at times exceed estimates. Poor compliance, missing appointments, excessive bone growth, poor oral hygiene and broken appliances can make treatment time longer, increase costs and affect the quality of your results.

Treatment time can also vary considerably depending on an individual's health and physiology. Much of orthodontic tooth movement relies on metabolism and bone remodeling. Further, the rate of tooth movement is not always linear and also depends on the type of movement being performed. For these reasons, treatment times are estimates based on the doctor's clinical examination findings and experience.

What is the daily wear schedule?

It's recommended that you wear the aligners 22 hours a day. They should be removed for meals only, brushing and flossing before re-inserting the aligner. If not worn for up to 22 hours a day, the corrective process can be halted and within a few hours begin to reverse. It can then take several days for this process to start up again. Wearing your aligners 22 hours a day is key to achieving your treatment goals.  

How long should I wear an aligner before going to the next one? 

The wear schedule is determined by the doctor taking into account the individual's malocclusion, health history, treatment setup and goals. It commonly ranges between 1 and 3 weeks and may not always be the same increment of time during the entire treatment. Compliance with wearing the aligner and type of tooth movement being performed are central factors in determining aligner changes.

What will happen when I’m done with treatment?

While the treatment aligners will have a determined period of wear based upon the treatment goals, the retainers may have to be worn for an extended period of time based upon the condition of the treatment result. The doctor will recommend a retainer wear schedule for you based on your dentition and what correction was done. 

What are the clear aligners made of?

ClearCorrect aligners are made from a plastic which has been specially formulated for ClearCorrect. It is a polyurethane resin that has been crafted and tested extensively to make it a superior plastic for clear aligners: it leads the class in stress retention, crack & impact resistance, clarity, and stain resistance. And, of course, it has been thoroughly tested for biocompatibility. 

Do the aligners contain BPA or phthalates?

No. ClearCorrect aligners are made without BPA or phthalates, and have been approved by the FDA.

I’m pregnant/nursing, can I do clear aligner treatment?

ClearCorrect aligners are free from harmful chemicals and do not pose a significant risk to your health. However, it’s up to you and your doctor to determine if treatment is safe for you.

Until next time...

Tech Tip: Benefits of correcting malocclusion

There are a number of benefits to correcting malocclusion. To reflect this, we've put together a table below reflecting each condition and the specific benefits.

As seen below, a patient with crowded teeth will benefit his oral health in 8 different ways by correcting his crowding. Some additional benefits can include increased confidence, social advantages, graceful aging, and the money saved from fewer dental repairs down the line.

When a patient comes through the door for a filling or a cleaning, or any service other than correcting his malocclusion, this is an opportunity for you or your hygienist, dental assistant, treatment coordinator, etc., to use this table to educate a patient on these benefits.

For a printable version of this checklist, click here.

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Tech Tip: Waiting room playlist

If you're looking for something to educate and enlighten patients on clear aligners, we've put this series of videos together just for you. It has been designed to play and loop in your waiting room or you can pick and choose any of the videos to play for patients in the dental chair. 

If you have a prospective patient in front of you, we recommend showing them How clear aligners work and Why you should care about orthodontics?.

This playlist includes:

  • Patient reviews
  • Before and afters
  • How clear aligners work
  • Why should you care about orthodontics 

You can find this playlist on our Youtube channel or you can find it in the practice building section of our help center. To get started, simply click on the image below. 

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Tech Tip: Marketing your practice online

Figuring out how to market your practice online can be overwhelming. Here's a summary of how online marketing and a personalized website can increase the number of patients coming through your doors:

S3SB Website.png Website design and maintenance. Your website is your online calling card and most potential patients will judge you completely based on how your website resonates with them personally. Building or updating your website so it is professional, up-to-date and draws customers in is key for obtaining new patients.
S3SB SEO.png Search engine optimization is the process of maximizing the # of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that it appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. Ranking high in the results is what SEO is all about. Google is the biggest and most popular search engine in today's world, with more than 75% of all internet searches being done through Google. If your website isn't showing up on the first page of a Google search, you're missing out on potential patients.
S3SB Paid Search.png Paid search advertising or pay-per-click means you advertise by paying the search engine you're using (i.e. Google) each time your ad is clicked on. Paid search makes your website visible to people searching for your services even if your ranking is low. With paid search you can create and run Google Ads that target the right location and potential patients. You can also run specific campaigns on procedures such as "ClearCorrect" or "clear braces" or other dental services.
S3SB Social Media.png Social media marketing is the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites. The most commonly used social media sites are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. A higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust, recognition and credibility to potential patients. The most significant benefit is it's humanization element; becoming more humanized is important because people like doing business with other people; not with companies or businesses.

Because we know the struggle is real when it comes to getting more patients in your door, we've recently partnered with S3SB, a prestigious Los Angeles web design and marketing agency, to provide online marketing and practice-building services customized for ClearCorrect providers.

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S3SB offers a full suite of services, including:

  • 20% off a full website design for ClearCorrect providers
  • Updates to existing pages
  • Search engine optimization
  • Paid search ads
  • Reputation management
  • Social media
  • Lead tracking
  • Email marketing
  • Monthly metrics

 

You can call (855) 674-S3SB or click below to receive a free marketing evaluation performed by actual marketing experts, not a computer program.

Request a free marketing evaluation

 

P.S. You know what goes great with a redesigned website? Our Practice Success workshops, where you can learn more marketing tools and tips for building your practice from orthodontic specialist Duane Grummons. Check out our upcoming sessions in Orlando and Chicago. Or you can check out our Practice Enhancement e-course, coming soon!

We have some very exciting news to share...

ClearCorrect has been acquired by the Straumann Group!

You may be familiar with Straumann as the world’s leading manufacturer of dental implants. For over 60 years, the Straumann name has been synonymous with credibility, competence, and innovation, and we couldn’t be more excited to join their team.

Straumann and ClearCorrect are both keenly focused on being reliable, effective, and above all, service-driven. That shared passion for our customers drives us forward—it’s not just about making great products, it’s about helping our doctors succeed.

Since 2006, we’ve grown from humble beginnings to become a leading manufacturer of clear aligners. Now Straumann’s investment represents a vote of confidence in ClearCorrect’s future. This partnership will help us improve our products and expand our capabilities. In turn, we’ll help Straumann in their new mission to develop total digital orthodontic solutions.

Don’t worry though, we’re not getting too big for our britches. We’re still dedicated to offering the most affordable and doctor-friendly alternative in clear aligners, and we’re still doing it right here in Round Rock, Texas, under the ClearCorrect name. We’ll just be able to make our products better and faster, offering world-class service to more providers than ever before.

For you and your patients, this is business as usual for now. We don’t anticipate any disruptions to service or any immediate changes to our products or policies as a result of this acquisition. This investment paves the way for us to continue improving our products and making great aligners for many years to come.

As always, we’ll keep you posted on our blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, and via email. If you have any questions, you can give us a call at (888) 331-3323, or contact me personally at jarrett@clearcorrect.com.

Thanks for making this all possible over the past 11 years. Here’s to many more.

Jarrett Pumphrey
CEO, ClearCorrect 

Tech Tip: Patient appointments

A thorough review of your patient’s progress at each appointment can help you catch and address treatment issues early on, such as non-compliance or difficult movements not occuring as planned. By keeping an eye out for red flags, you may be able to avoid revisions, keep treatment on track, and get better results faster.

Here's a checklist of things to look for at each appointment:

  1. Confirm that patient is wearing the correct set of aligners.
  2. Visually confirm that the aligners fit completely without no incisal gaps or other spaces between the teeth and the aligner. If there is an incisal gap after the aligner has been worn for the recommended time, that may be a sign of incomplete movements. Check out this article for some solutions. 
  3. Verify that your patient can remove the aligners without difficulty. If the aligners are still tight, the patient may need to wear them for another week or two.
  4. Examine the condition of the aligners. If they still look pristine, that may indicate that the patient hasn't been wearing them regularly. If you suspect non-compliance, address it with your patient.
  5. Verify that the teeth are moving as planned by comparing the dentition to the current step on the treatment setup.
  6. Use floss to confirm loose interproximal contacts between all teeth, especially if Compliance Checkpoints are indicated on the treatment plan. Address any tight contacts found.
  7. Confirm that any engagers are still present and in good condition.
  8. Confirm that the next scheduled set aligners fits well.
  9. Refer to the treatment plan paperwork or treatment setup and perform any scheduled procedures, such as performing IPR and placing or removing engagers.
  10. Try the aligners on again and check for blanching of the gingiva near the trimline. Blanching can occasionally be seen around gingival frenum, but could also be caused by distortions in the original impression. Often these are minor and any discomfort can be addressed by trimming the aligners back slightly with scissors.
  11. Some clinicians may find it helpful to run a finger along the edge of the aligner to check for sharp edges or areas where it has lifted away from the gingiva.
  12. Confirm the wear schedule and document the dates when the patient should change aligners and return for a followup appointment.

What are some of the key indicators that a patient is ready to move to the next aligner?

  • Full and complete fit of current aligners
  • Patient able to easily remove and place current set of aligners
  • Loose contacts and spaces closed at Compliance Checkpoints
  • Planned tooth movements have occurred

A printable version of this checklist is available on our Help Center.