Tech Tip: Submitting a case with a smartphone

Did you know that you can submit a case with your smartphone? Some doctors prefer this option if they're taking the required photos using a phone.

Here's the process:

1. Login to the Doctor's Portal through Safari or other web browser on your smartphone

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2. Sign in and click "Submit a case" or click on the incomplete case submission (if completeting a case submission already started)

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3. Go through the prompts for submitting a case

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4. When on the step for uploading photos, click on "Select photos" and choose photos to upload from phone

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5. Finish remaining steps for submitting the case

The treatment setup for the case should arrive within a few days of submitting your case. The setup for the case can also be viewed and shared on your smartphone.

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We hope you found this information helpful!

Until next time...

Patient Financing through beWell by FTL Finance

We're very excited to announce that patient financing is now available for ClearCorrect through beWell by FTL Finance!

We spent some time looking at all the available options for patient financing and through careful consideration we're happy to partner with beWell by FTL Finance. We've negotiated to get you and your patients one of the best deals available for patient financing on the market. 

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beWell supports both the provider and the patient with competitive financing products: 

  • Two program options with no provider fees
  • 20-30% more approvals
  • A dedicated account manager to guide you every step of the way
  • An easy patient application process
  • No "gotcha" interest rates or prepayment penalties

Financing can be an important tool to profitably grow your practice. beWell financing compliments your existing financing options to support your success.

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You can find more information at bewellftl.com or by calling (855) 896-5333.

Registration usually costs $75, but ClearCorrect providers can register for free using the promo code CCFREE.

We hope you're as excited as we are about this incredible new option available for ClearCorrect providers!

Until next time…

Free Marketing Templates

Did you know that ClearCorrect offers free templates for marketing to your patients?

Patient email/mailer templates

Download these free email or mailer templates that you can send to your customer data base. These are designed so that you can personalize and edit them to your satisfaction. The less costly option would be sending the template via email with the added perk of watching your inbox fill up with appointment requests. We have designed a couple options for you, download just one or all of them if you like!

Here are some simple instructions for downloading:

  • Click on the image below to download a copy of the template
  • Open the template as a Microsoft Word Document (it should do this automatically)
  • Edit the template to your satisfaction; name, practice information, special offers, etc.
  • Copy and paste the Word document into an email
  • Send a test copy to yourself (make sure it looks right!)
  • Bcc the email to your mailing list

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Holiday templates

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Postcard templates

Download these free postcard templates to send to your customer data base. Choose any of the options below and personalize it to your satisfaction.

With these postcard templates you have a couple of options:

  • Download and send to your printer as-is and hand write addresses and offers
  • Download with Adobe Reader and type in your addresses and offers, then send to printer
  • Send download and address list and offer to your printer and have them add it in

Click on any of the images below to download a copy of the postcard template.

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Holiday postcard templates

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You can access these free downloads anytime in our Help Center. Happy patient hunting!

Until next time…

Tech Tip: Marketing tips from providers

ClearCorrect Promotional Items

We recently asked our providers for some of their marketing tips and we included some gems that we thought we'd share as well. We hope you find these tips helpful, coming into the holiday season!

  • "People recognize comparisons easily displayed on a vertical poster with pictures." (See our 'Case Types' poster available at store.clearcorrect.com.)
  • "Never sell dentistry. Educate the patient, and let them ask you for it."
  • "Once I get a referral, I have found it easy to convert them to paying patients. First, all of the patients love that I refer them for digital scans. Second, the patients are very impressed by the animation (Treatment setup). Third, I keep a fishbowl full of unused aligners so patients can see and feel them."
  • "We just did a big promo for 25% off that was a huge hit. Completely increased case acceptance and increased knowledge in our community of the service and where it is available."
  • "Asking all patients if they are satisfied with their smile, especially with tooth alignment. Taking photos of all patients."
  • "It's all about initiating conversations. The questions can come from my hygienists, assistants, front office staff, or myself."
  • "Put your whole team in aligners, brackets or retainers."
  • "Offer webinars which would provide education, benefits and potentially a stream of new cases."
  • "We promote ClearCorrect on everything we do: our web page, door hangers, posters in the office--even our business cards. Current upgrades to the ClearCorrect system are prominently mentioned in staff meetings. Our hygienist is on the alert to mention ClearCorrect to likely patient candidates."
  • "After each exam, my hygienist and I ask patients if they know about ClearCorrect. If they don't we explain it to them and show them the clear aligners. We explain to the patients how it works and how they or maybe someone they know could benefit from it."
  • "The main thing we do in our practice to promote ClearCorrect is to charge the same amount for either treatment (i.e. the same cost for aligner therapy or fixed appliances). A lot of times, patients are quoted a higher fee for aligners vs. fixed appliances, so they are more likely to start treatment with us because of our pricing model."
  • "I think it's really just a matter of confidence. If you confidently tell the patient that you have a solution for their smile that doesn't involve 'shots', 'drilling', and is a fraction of the cost of veneers, it's usually a done deal. I am careful not to pressure anyone--it's just presented as an idea. But i can't believe how many people have come back to me at a later time, after not being interested, and have decided to move ahead with treatment."
  • "I had a really nice sign made for my office to advertise ClearCorrect. I forwarded the graphics from your website and had SpeedPro make a sign that shows nicely from the outside of my office, but doesn't show from the inside. From the waiting area you can look right out the window, with no advertising visible. I really like it."

Check out our Help Center for more information on the topic of marketing and practice building. Our online store also has great promotional items for your practice.

Until next time...

Buy the Marketing Kit today!

3D Printing in Dentistry

ClearCorrect 3D Printed Model

3D Printing is incredible. It’s like magic—dream up a thing, digitize it, and it appears.

But it’s not just great for making wrenches for Shaq.

Five years ago, ClearCorrect moved from using gargantuan milling machines to using 3D printers to create dental models. Since then, it’s completely reshaped our manufacturing process and allowed us to make better aligners faster than ever before.  Now, our facility in Round Rock, Texas is home to the largest bank of 3D printers in the world.  (Read more about our journey into 3D printed models here.)

As 3D printers become more affordable and approachable, folks in the dental industry are exploring their potential to improve quality and efficiency in dental restorations and tools.

Recently, Robert Elsenpeter at Digital Esthetics asked our Vice President of Products, Paul Dinh, for his thoughts on the future of 3D printing in dentistry.

“In five years, we can hope to make final restorations on 3D printers,” Paul Dinh, Vice President of Products at ClearCorrect adds. “In 10 years, we may have plastics with different colors and strengths designed specifically for different appliances.”

 “Hopefully in fifteen years, we can expect printing plastics will last longer, be lighter and be more esthetic,” Dinh says.

Check out the full Digital Esthetics article here

A lot goes into 10 years in business...

ClearCorrect began as a little family business in Dr. Pumphrey’s office to service his patients. Now, after 10 years, we have over 20,000 providers globally.

We didn't do it alone—we want to thank all our doctors who have been with us through thick and thin. It’s through your support that we’ve come this far and we’re proud to be on your team.

We made a little video to celebrate our journey and to take a look at what the next ten years may hold.

Happy holidays!

Case Study: Clear Aligner Therapy with ClearCorrect and CEREC

CEREC and ClearCorrect

Dr. Matthew Parker discusses how he pairs ClearCorrect and CEREC to improve his workflow and efficiency with clear aligners.

Continue on to Dental Products Report to learn more about Dr. Parker’s process and results.

 

Dr. Matthew ParkerDr. Matthew Parker loves dentistry. He is committed to providing the same level of care to each patient that he would to a member of his own family. He enjoys attending continuing education courses and is always looking for new ways to improve the quality of the dental work he provides.

Dr. Parker is a member of the American Dental Association, Arizona Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, International Congress of Oral Implantologists, American Association of Endodontists, and the Academy of Osseointegration. Dr. Parker is enthusiastic about technology and what those advances have done for dentistry. He continually seeks to stay abreast of the new topics in dentistry and is passionate about discussing the best treatment options for his patients.

Dr. Parker also serves as a mentor for cerecdoctors.com. In this role he helps educate other dentists about CEREC technology and its applications. Dr. Parker loves digital dentistry and is always excited to discuss this and learn with others.

Find out more about Dr. Parker and his practice at www.arizonafamilydental.com

We're doing the holiday giveaway, again!

     Santa’s coming early this year…                  
 

To celebrate and express our appreciation for all our great providers, we’ll be giving away some awesome prizes every weekday from November 21 through December 30.

Every weekday, we’ll be giving away a $100 Amazon gift card, selecting a provider randomly from all of the treatment setups that have been approved since the last gift card drawing.

Every Friday, we’ll also give away an even bigger prize, selecting a provider randomly from all of the treatment setups that have been approved since November 19, 2016.

Here’s the lineup of prizes:

We hope you enjoy the rest of 2016! Until next time…

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Void where prohibited by law. This contest is open only to registered ClearCorrect providers residing in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. This promotion includes two categories of prizes:

  1. A random drawing for one of thirty $100 Amazon.com gift cards (value $100 each) will be held each weekday between November 21, 2016 and December 30, 2016. The winner for each of these drawings will be selected from the pool of all treatment setups for new Limited 6, Limited 12, and Unlimited cases that have been approved since the last gift card drawing. (For the first drawing on November 21, 2016, winners will be selected from the pool of all treatment setups for new Limited 6, Limited 12, and Unlimited cases that have been approved since November 19, 2016.)
  2. A random drawing for one of six grand prizes will be held each Friday between November 25, 2016 and December 31, 2016. The winner for each of these drawings will be selected from the pool of all treatment setups for new Limited 6, Limited 12, and Unlimited cases that have been approved since November 19, 2016. Grand prizes include: a YETI Tundra 250 Cooler (value $899.99); a GoPro HERO5 Black camera (value $499.99); an Apple Watch 2 - 38mm (value $1049); a 256 GB iPad Pro 12.9-inch with Wi-Fi (value $999); a 256 GB iPhone 7 Plus (value $969); and a Samsung 65" 4K UHD TV (value $1,399.99).

Potential winners will be notified by phone or e-mail. Recipient is responsible for any applicable taxes or fees. At ClearCorrect's discretion, prizes may be substituted for a gift card or alternate prize of similar value. No purchase necessary to win. Contact info@clearcorrect.com for details. Employees of ClearCorrect and their family members are ineligible for this promotion. By participating, contestant releases ClearCorrect, LLC and their directors, officers, employees and agents from any and all liability for any injury, death, loss, tax liability or damage of any kind arising from contestant’s participation in this contest, or resulting from contestant's acceptance, possession, use or misuse of the prize. Use your professional judgment. Submit and approve cases only for patients whom you believe are likely to benefit from clear aligner therapy.


 

Tech Tip: Digital Bracket Removal

Did you know that ClearCorrect offers Digital Bracket Removal?

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Now you can easily transition your patients from traditional wires & brackets to clear aligners or retainers without risking relapse. Scan your patient's teeth--wires and all--and ClearCorrect's technicians will digitally erase the brackets from the 3D model.

Here are some doctor reviews of this feature:

"In the past, in order to get the most accurate clear retainers for our braces patients, impressions were made immediately after the brackes were removed, and retainers made that same day. The patients were excited to have the braces removed, but impressions are kind of a bummer for the patient and our team. Now, ClearCorrect allows us to scan with braces on, and have clear retainers ready for the patient's big day. They turned a busy and uncomfortable braces removal visit into the celebration it should be!" - Dr. Matthew Fortna

"Today I successfully used ClearCorrect's Digital Bracket Removal Process for my patient wearing metal braces. I was impressed how quickly I was able to issue her first 2 steps of aligners upon completing the digital removal of her braces.

Additionally, I was extremely happy about how accurate the aligners fit, and the patient was ecstatic to see how easy it is for her to complete her orthodontic treatment with ClearCorrect. This digital option allows my practice to offer better patient management, as it involves just one short 'scanning' visit prior to starting aligner treatment." - Dr. Jason Pireh, Smart Dental

Before & after digital bracket removal

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After

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After

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After

 

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After

How to request Digital Bracket Removal

Here's the process for digital bracket removal:

1. Take intraoral scans with brackets and wires in place

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We accept intraoral scans from most scanners currently on the market, inlcuding CEREC, TRIOS, 3M True Definition, Lythos, Carestream, and even iTero.

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2. In ClearComm, go to "Submit a case" or "Request a retainer"

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3. Send intraoral scans directly...

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or upload scans through our online portal

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4. Approve treatment setup (if applicable)

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5. Remove brackets and wires and deliver aligners or retainers

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We hope you find this feature useful!

Until next time...

Tech Tip: All about retainers & finishing cases

We sent out a survey asking doctors for their questions about retainers & finishing cases.

In this week's tip, we've consulted with our Clinical Advisor, Dr. Ken Fischer, to get answers to some of your questions. 

General questions about retainers

Can you offer guidance on the parameters for requesting additional aligners, chain, elastics, or fixed, full, or segmental braces?

Whenever treatment is not progressing as the doctor prescribed or intended, and after proper analysis discloses the reason it isn't, additional aligners or any of the other appropriate treatment auxiliaries may be called upon to re-orient treatment in the proper direction. The choice of which auxiliary to utilize is determined by the doctor according to what he/she feels would work best for the patient based upon the doctor's training and experience.

Treatment should be closely monitored at each appointment. If it seems that additional aligners are needed or treatment may need to be revised, you can use the treatment setupas a guide to help you diagnose what may have gone off track. For example, by comparing where the teeth are now to where they should be according to the treatment setup (based on the step the patient has advanced to), you will likely find where some of the planned tooth movements have not occurred. Whenever planned tooth movements have not occurred, it boils down to either not enough space for the tooth to move into or not enough pressure in the direction needed to move the tooth.

If you find that the teeth have incomplete movements (not extruded or rotated, etc.), check out our Help Center for some solutions based on your diagnosis of the issue:

Are the final retainers made differently than the aligners so they can sustain over time? For example, some patients say that their aligners feel more loose/stretch close to their 2nd week end mark, whereas the retainers are to be worn indefinitely after treatment. So, will this happen to the retainers as well?

ClearCorrect makes retainers from the same high-quality thermoplastic as its aligners. Ultimately, all thermoplastic materials will loosen with time. Occlusal forces, care by the patient, and the material chosen for the aligner or retainer can all affect how long they last. ClearCorrect provides the best material it can to sustain an optimum fit over time, but all thermoformed appliances will need to be replaced eventually. We recommend you switch out clear retainers for a new pair every 6 months.

I am new to clear aligners and am curious if the retainers fit similar to the active aligners.

Yes, just like the aligners for active tooth movement, retainers should initially have a snug fit that will eventually loosen over time.

Can a patient use the last aligner as a retainer?

Yes, as long as the aligner remains in good condition.

Questions about retainer wear

When is the best time to request retainers?

The best time to order retainers is as soon as the doctor's objectives and patient's preferences are resolved to the satisfaction of both.

How long do patients wear retainers? At least 22 hours per day? At what point do they go to wearing only at night? How long after the completion of a case should they wear the aligners?

The term a patient will be required to wear their retainers is determined according to the retention protocol established by the doctor. When making this decision the doctor weighs the type of treatment provided, difficult movements accomplished, patient compliance, along with other factors. For more information on retainers & retention see the article on this topicin our Help Center.

How long should each retainer last with 22/7 wear?

How long a retainer survives is mostly dependent upon how the patient cares for their retainer, how often and hard they chew on the material, how well they clean it, how carefully they insert and remove it, etc. As mentioned earlier, we advise ordering a new retainer for your patient after about 6 months of wear.

Instructions for proper wear and care for ClearCorrect aligners can be found here.

Questions about fixed retainers

When would the use of permanent retainers be acknowledged?

Fixed retainers are effective at retaining teeth that have been significantly rotated during treatment and when the patient adamantly demands one. You may also want to consider fixed retainers for patients with the tongue thrust habit or for patients that are more inclined to relapse due to failure to wear their retainers.

Some of my patients request a lower fixed retainer. Do you provide this service? If you don't what is your recommendation to give this service to my patient?

Some doctors insert bonded, fixed lingual retainers as an in-office procedure. Some labs will fabricate the wire for you, but it still needs to be bonded in the office by the doctor or staff. We do not provide the material for this option at this time.

Is it necessary to use a fixed lingual retainer if the patient uses removable retainers?

No, not at all.

What should be used for a fixed lingual retainer?

The decision of what type of wire to use for the fixed retainer is made by the doctor based on their preference and experience. Some doctors prefer a single round wire, such as a .032, that is contoured to precisely fit the lingual of the aligned anterior teeth and then bonded on the ends directly to the cuspids. Some doctors use a "braided" or "twisted" wire applied to the lingual of selected teeth, but these wires must be bonded to each tooth.

I have difficulty with upper fixed retainers being placed in the occlusion and then needing to deal with no posterior contact. Do you have any suggestions?

Upper fixed retainers should not be used if they interfere with the bite and prevent posterior contact.

I have difficulty with patients who have midline diastema (spacing) between #8 & #9. I like to place a fixed lingual wire retainer 1x1 on 8-9. If I do this, then the final retainers from you do not fit. So, I end up making a retainer myself and do not use the one provided. Do you see any way around this?

As long as the patient wears the provided ClearCorrect retainer full-time, the diastema should not re-open. When the patient begins part-time wear, i.e., bedtime only, perhaps just placing a small dollop of adhesive between 8-9 will still allow the retainer to fit.

Questions about finishing cases

What are the criteria for a good finish?

The best evaluation of a "good finish" is when all of the doctor's and patient's goals or treatment expectations are met. There isn't another definition for a "good finish" that will apply to all treatment and all cases.

Sometimes near the end of cases, within the last one or two aligners, I notice a little lack of tracking. Maybe it is insufficient IPR or lack of patient compliance. I'm wondering if you have any other suggestions of what this could be. 

Lack of tracking can certainly be attributed to one or both of the 2 factors mentioned. The first thing to do is to have the patient wear the last aligners an extra week or 2. If they follow their instructions properly, a good fit should be re-established. If not, you have a few options:

  • You can request a reproduction of the last aligners (a new set will snap on again and may complete these last movements)
  • Check for tight contacts, address any found and extend the wear of the last aligners or request a reproduction of them
  • If slight rotations are still needed, you can add some dimples where applicable to the last step, with either the current aligner or a reproduction
  • At the outset of the case, you can request either overcorrection or a digital power chain which may help to prevent against needing a revision at the end of the case. (However, be advised that even when these adjustments are requested at the beginning of treatment, poor patient compliance and/or difficult movements may still result in the need for a revision.)
  • And, if you prefer, you can also do a revision
It seems like there will most probably be some open contacts based on the occlusion. How much correction is expected after the case is complete?

First, determine if the open contacts are in excess to what was approved in the original treatment setup. What you're trying to determine is: do the open contacts match the oclcusion that was approved in the treatment setup or are they there due to incomplete tracking during the treatment? Minor open contacts in the occlusion will most likely "settle" into contact if given the freedom to do so. This will require a Hawley-type retainer. If the open contacts are significant, a revision requesting a digital power chain can always be submitted to "tidy" everything up.

What do I do if retainers are ordered, the case is closed and then the patient decides they want a revision too late?

Re-open the case, re-take impression/scans and submit a revision to comply with the patient's request. If there is an additional fee imposed by ClearCorrect, the doctor will need to decide whether or not to charge the patient.

How can I avoid revisions at the end of treatment by planning before or doing revisions mid-treatment?

Doing mid-treatment revisions does not always prevent the need for a revision at the end of treatment. Patient non-compliance can require an additional revision prior to delivering the retainers. Difficult tooth movements, such as extreme rotations, require careful monitoring and attention throughout the treatment in order to avoid end-of-treatment revisions. The best way to avoid end-of-treatment revisions is to require optimum compliance from the patient.

Another option is to request overcorrection or a digital power chain when first submitting the case.

I have difficulty getting teeth that were planned to erupt/extrude to do so.

Extrusion of fully erupted teeth is one of the more difficult tooth movements to successfully accomplish with clear aligners and requires the use of a horizontal engager. Whenever a tooth is expected to erupt or be extruded, always ensure that there is plenty of space to allow the eruption or extrusion to occur. For further help on extrusions, check our our article on Extruding with Auxiliaries.

I have difficulty closing open bites. Even with engagers, I am having difficulty closing an open bite on a lateral incisor. There is sufficient space (interproximal contacts are light between the lateral and its opposing dentition). Will it be necessary to remove the current engagers, re-scan and re-treat? Or, can I leave the engagers on, re-scan and re-treat? Or, should I give up and tell the patient I have done everything possible to close the space? 

First thing to make sure of is that there is no contact between the lateral and adjacent teeth. You can re-scan/re-impress, but you must remove the engager prior to re-scanning or re-impressing. Consider using the buttons and elastic technique as described in the article on this topic in the Help Center. This is an effective auxiliary technique for coaxing a stubborn lateral into place. For more information on open bites, check out the following articles:

I have difficulty sometimes with small rotations to finish a case which gets me stuck. Is there anything you can recommend for this circumstance?

The most common reason those lower incisors are the last to line up is usually because there is still a shortage of space for it to turn into. If this is the case, perform IPR, adding some dimples or submit for a revision. Alternatively, consider using a Hawley-type retainer or limited fixed braces to turn the tooth.

Finishing rotations is difficult. I asses if a little more IPR is needed, but it is a difficult/unpredictable movement for clear aligners I think, especially well-rooted teeth like canines. Would your fabricating internal "positives" to push on the rotated teeth line angles, help more than the engagers alone?

ClearCorrect does provide various vectors of pressure on rotated teeth to enhance effective rotation, however, the use of engagers is the best method for effecting rotations.

Tips & tricks

Some of our providers offered a few tips & tricks on the topic of retainers and finishing cases. Nothing here should be taken as official advice or recommendation from ClearCorrect or its employees. It's up to you to use your professional judgment on what is best for you and your patients.

  • "I tell everyone that 'teeth have memory' and retainers are for life."
  • "Make the patient aware before they start treatment that they will be wearing them almost 24/7 for a year following completion."
  • "Use a fixed lingual wire with rotated or initially spaced teeth when possible before the retainers are made by your lab."
  • "I have found that scanning is superior to impressions in initial fit."
  • "I recommend retainer wear only while the patient is at home so that it doesn't get lost. At first, I suggest wearing it only while sleeping. If the retainer is tight, that means the patient needs to wear it more and then I suggest wearing it from after dinner until morning."
  • "I always tell the patient that at the end we will do some aesthetic contouring to get edges even, etc. It gives me the ability to smooth incisal edges and often round a line angle on any teeth that may have not fully rotated."
  • "I recommend thermoforming."

A big thank you to all the providers who answered our survey!

Check out our Help Center for more helpful information on clear aligner treatment.

Until next time...