Login improvements

Just a minor announcement this week: we've made some behind-the-scenes improvements to our login process on ClearComm. You can keep using your existing username & password, but now you also have the option to log in using your primary email address as your username:

ClearComm login screen

If you have more than one email address on file with us, you can find out which one can be used to log in on the My Account page.

If you've never used ClearComm, now's a great time to try it out. Give us a call at (888) 331-3323, and we'll be happy to give you or your staff a free walkthrough.

Tabby models

You might notice that our latest dental models have sprouted little tabs below the anterior teeth.

Don't worry; they'll still work fine for making replacement aligners and retainers in your office.

We've added the tabs to help us make some improvements to our aligner manufacturing process.

We're not ready to share details about that just yet, but we plan to soon. For now, just enjoy your tabby models and your better-fitting aligners.

Tech Tip: More ClearComm improvements

Our crack team of developers has been hard at work adding features to our case management website, ClearComm.

Here's one new feature: when you submit a case or order a shipping label online, we've added big green, hard-to-miss buttons for printing the label and a case submission record for your files:

The case submission record is for your own files (it even includes the UPS tracking number). When you submit online, you don't have to include a submission form with your impressions anymore, because the shipping label comes with a packing slip instead:

The packing slip includes instructions for completing your submission and all the case info we need to identify your impressions and look up your prescription options. Just cut the page in half, put the packing slip in the box and attach the shipping label to the outside.

"What if I don't print my case submission record? Is all hope lost?" you ask. Well, calm down. (You're so dramatic.) Now you can print case submission records anytime. Just go to your Cases page and click the little PDF icon to print a record for any case submitted online.

 

Wow, free upgraded shipping and online record storage? This online submission thing ain't half-bad.

Phase Out update

Last week, our Phase Out project with charity: water hit yet another milestone. So far, with the help of our providers and their patients we've been able to raise over $40,000 which will help bring clean, safe drinking water to about 2,006 people. At the end of March, we closed out our campaigns for the first quarter so that charity: water could use the funds you've helped us raise to start water projects in undeveloped countries. Thanks to our providers and their patients, we're helping to ease the struggle and life-impacting issues of those without access to safe drinking water.  The video below shows an example of what it takes to build and implement just one water project.

We couldn’t have done it without you, and we look forward to helping bring safe drinking water to many more of those in need. Providers — don’t forget you can track how many people you have helped provide safe drinking water to on ClearComm... and if you’re a patient or anyone who wants to contribute to the cause you can donate funds directly to our charity: water campaign.

Tech Tip: Gaps between aligners & teeth

Intrusions and extrusions are some of the most unpredictable movements to achieve with aligners. Often everything goes as hoped, but other times, those teeth will just stubbornly stay put, causing small gaps between those teeth and the aligner.

Example of gap between tooth and clear aligner

Doctors have several options for dealing with this situation. Here are some of the solutions we've encountered:

  1. Leave it alone. If that particular movement isn't essential to the appearance or function of the teeth, you might just decide it's not worth complicating the treatment to deal with it. (You might need to remove the engager from that tooth if it gets in the way.)
  2. Wait it out. If you have unused phases remaining, you can just stay on schedule until the final step, then target those stubborn teeth by themselves with a refinement.
  3. Bring out the band. Extrusions are particularly difficult for aligners; there's just not much leverage to work with. You can apply some extra force by improvising an auxiliary with some brackets and an elastic band, as shown in this how-to. This is often surprisingly effective.
  4. Let Chewie be your co-pilot. One of the best tools for helping with intrusions are Chewies. Patients love these things. Chewing on those for a few times each day can really help to seat the aligners, relieve pressure, and help to intrude the teeth.

How to submit a case in 2½ minutes

Why you should submit online

  1. It’s faster.
  2. It’s more accurate.
  3. You get 2nd-day air shipping for free.
  4. You can track your case right away on ClearComm.
  5. You can quickly add & update payment methods.

If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a shot: dr.clearcorrect.com.

Play around with it as much as you like--you won’t be charged anything until you click “Finish” on the final step. You can go to your Cases page to cancel or resume any incomplete submissions.

We’ve made online submission as close as possible to completing the paper form, so don't be scared to try it. Here's a quick video we threw together to show how fast & easy it can be, even when you include both photos & x-rays:

Use your feet to stand for something

A few weeks ago, we imagined what it might be like to go without access to clean drinking water. Today, April 10th, we're imagining what it's like to go without shoes. TOMS started One Day Without Shoes as an annual event to spread awareness about the millions of children who go without shoes every day. Without any sort of protection on their feet, these kids are exposed to injury and disease, and some are not even allowed to go to school without shoes. We think it’s a cause worth supporting, so we're going barefoot to raise awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life.

 

 

Use your feet to stand for something. For more information on One Day Without Shoes, visit OneDayWithoutShoes.com.

New phase-based numbering

Aligner bag

As previously announced, we’re sending new redesigned single-page treatment plans with each phase of aligners, starting today. This is a great time to review our previous tech tip explaining the many improvements that you’ll see on the new paperwork.

One of the changes we briefly mentioned was our switch to phase-based numbering for each step. We’re making that change today as well. We didn’t go into too much detail last time, so let’s take a look at how that works now.

The basic idea is very simple. Each phase you receive already has a number. You start with Phase Zero, move on to phase 1, then phase 2, and so on. That’s not changing.

Now each step will have a number based on the phase it came in: phase 1 will include steps 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D, phase 2 will include steps 2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D, and so on.

IPR, engagers, and Compliance Checkpoints will always be scheduled for your appointments on steps A & C of each phase. If you submit a midcourse correction while your patient is wearing phase 3, you’ll get revised models starting with step 4A.

We’re making this change for existing cases as well as new ones, so we’ve prepared this conversion chart to help you understand the changes:

Step number conversion chart

It’s really not as complicated as it looks: whenever you get a phase, you start on step A and continue through step D. That’s it.

You might also notice that we’ve added a unique QR code to each bag. It doesn’t do much yet, but we do have plans for it in the future. Oh yes, big plans. Secret plans.

Until next time...

Free two-day shipping for all new online case submissions

We improved our shipping label tracking last week, and as a side effect, a lot of folks realized that they’ve been getting something for free that they were really supposed to be paying for. Hey, we’re cool like that. Unfortunately, all good loopholes must come to an end.

As explained in our terms & conditions and our product list, the following shipping charges are included in your up-front costs:

  • one shipment to us to submit impressions for a new case
  • shipments to you for all included phases (including Phase Zero & retainers)

These shipping costs are not included in the lab fee:

  • additional shipments to us (such as new impressions for midcourse corrections)
  • shipments to you of replacement aligners
  • a one-time surcharge for shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, and offshore territories

This isn’t a new policy—we just haven’t been enforcing it very strictly. Now that we’re tracking what each shipping label is for, people can no longer print unlimited shipping labels for free. The days of walking into clubs and “making it rain” with UPS Ground shipping labels are over. (We’re looking at you, Dr. Harold “Mad Grillz” MacPhearson of Omaha, Nebraska.)

However, there is some sugar sprinkled on this donut of disappointment, and boy is it sweet:

First of all, we’re upgrading all new online case submissions to 2nd-day air shipping at no extra charge. (If you’re close to our headquarters in Houston, your impressions might still be sent via Ground if the estimated delivery time is the same or quicker.) For folks who are further away, this will shave days off your turnaround time. Just submit a case on ClearComm, and an upgraded shipping label will be generated automatically. (This change doesn’t affect aligners, which are still shipped via UPS Ground.)

Secondly, if you’re not comfortable submitting online yet, you can still get free Ground shipping labels for handwritten case submissions. Just call or email your account rep, and we’ll email or fax you a label, just like old times.

If you need shipping labels to send us anything else, print your own labels on ClearComm and take advantage of our lower shipping rates and tracking on ClearComm.

On a related note, we have heard that some doctors have had trouble uploading photos when submitting online. While we improve the photo uploading page, we’re temporarily allowing doctors to skip that step and include photos in the submission box if they have problems. If you can upload your photos, please do—it’s quicker and more accurate than matching up physical prints.

Finally, this should probably go without saying, but don’t use shipping labels more than once. If you print multiple copies of a shipping label and use them to ship multiple packages, UPS will get all confused, and there’s no telling what will happen to your valuable submission. If you need to reprint a label for legitimate reasons, it is possible. Go to the Shipments page on ClearComm, show your shipments “to ClearCorrect”, and click “Details” next to the label you want to reprint. A pop-up window will appear with tracking information and an option “View/Print Label”.

Shipping changes

We’re making a few minor changes to ClearComm that you should keep an eye out for.

Until now, we’ve stored information about doctors’ offices separately from contact information, shipping addresses, and billing addresses. Adding or updating an address requires us to re-enter the same data in several different places. As you might imagine, this can sometimes lead to confusion and mistakes.

To reduce the possibility of mix-ups, we’re cutting our shipping options down to just one address for each of your offices. We already have this information, but we mostly use it for the Find a Doctor section of our website. When you submit a case online, you’ll simply assign it to one of your offices, and we’ll ship it there, instead of asking you to choose a shipping address and phone number every time you submit a case. If you only practice from one location, you don’t have to choose at all.

Shipping labels screenshot

We want to make sure we get this right, so we’re making this transition gradually. This change will only apply to new case submissions-your cases already in progress will be unaffected.

When you submit a case online, a shipping label will automatically be generated for you at no cost. If you need to create a shipping label for some other purpose (for instance, to send us impressions for a midcourse correction), you can still do so on our Shipping Labels page. You’ll select the office you’re shipping from and (if applicable) the case you’re shipping records for, and your credit card will be charged for each label that you create. Later, you’ll be able to track each shipment by case number.

Questions

What if the office I want to ship to isn’t listed on ClearComm?

If you want to add, update, or combine office information, ask your account rep to do it for you. You can have multiple offices, and you can share an office with other providers. You will be able to manage this information yourself in a future update to ClearComm.

Can I ship to my house instead of my office?

No. To avoid shipping surcharges and to prevent fraud, new cases can only be shipped to dental offices, not residences or P.O. boxes.

Does this affect my billing information?

No. Your billing address is linked to your credit card or checking account on file, and will not be affected by this transition.

Why can’t I get unlimited free shipping labels?

As specified in our terms & conditions, shipping costs for your initial case submission and all phases are included in your lab fee. (Providers outside of the continental U.S. pay an additional $150 per case.) Additional shipping costs—for instance, for submitting revised impressions—are your responsibility.

Until next time…