Open & Transparent totem awarded to Paula Clark

Our first three core values are all about how you are when you interface with others. Service obviously depends on interaction with others. Passion is something you wear on your sleeve, a trait that, if you have it, should be evident to others when they speak with you.

But the first two values are cheapened if the third value isn't there. Being open & transparent is so important in doing business with others, especially these days, when the public distrusts larger companies more and more.

Paula Clark has done an exemplary job in being open and transparent with everyone she does business with. She's our director of disbursements, and her fastidiousness and honesty have set a standard for us here at ClearCorrect to follow.

Some of Paula's coworkers and friends would seem to agree:

She has a great relationship with everyone she works with. She is very helpful to people who are new or are learning the purchasing system.

She has developed great relationships with our vendors.

Paula is open to new ideas and new ways of doing things and with our company constantly growing and changing, this is an invaluable ability.

In working with money you are constantly asked for information. Paula keeps her area open and transparent to executives who need financial information.

She knows the sound of angry typing and always tells me not to hit “send” until I get back from lunch Smile

She is one of our hardest working employees and she definitely deserves this Core Value Totem.

Thanks for showing us how it's done, Paula.

Core value #3: Be open & transparent

Trust depends on openness, respect and humanity.*

—Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author

*Excerpt from “My challenge to you: only speak like a human at work

We’re lucky. We get to be something many companies don’t—we get to be real people.

Real people have names and faces. They have friends and families, real lives full of real life. They matter. They have something worth working for.

Real people aren’t perfect. They have flaws. They make mistakes and learn from them. They improve. They have something worth striving for.

Real people have opinions and values, something to speak up about. They agree with some and disagree with others. They have something worth standing for.

And real people have hopes and dreams. They have faith. They have passion. They have a certainty anything is possible. They have something worth fighting for.

There’s a lot of worth in being real, down-to-earth, shamelessly genuine people. We can count ourselves among them as long as we're open and transparent. 

So let's show the world who we really are. People will trust and respect us more when they see we’re real people—no different than them.

Tech tip: Digital power chains

Today's tip comes from our own chief technical officer, Paul Dinh.

Question:

My patient is finishing his scheduled treatment, but he still has a bit of space left between some of the teeth. What should I do?

Answer:

This sounds like a good candidate for a case revision. Send us a case revision form. In the Reason for Submission section, let us know which teeth still have space between them. In the Instructions section, you can request a "digital power chain."

A "power chain" is traditionally a piece of elastic that wraps around metal braces and pulls the teeth closer together. If you request ClearCorrect's "digital power chain", we'll just adjust our 3D model to lingualize all the spaced teeth by about 0.2 mm. There's no rubber band, but the effect is similar: the teeth are pulled closer together.

If your patient's aligners are still fitting well, you don't need to take new impressions when you request your case revision. A case revision does require another phase (with probably just one or two steps), so if you're not sure whether you have unused phases remaining in the case, you may want to ask your account rep.

Tech tip: How to double-check your progress

Here's a tip from Dr. Rohini Vajaria of New York:

One tip I can offer is when the patient comes in the office for an appointment, it is helpful to do a careful clinical exam and compare the patient's progress to the ClearCorrect setups and confirm they match up.

For example, the patient's occlusion and alignment at the end of phase 1 should be compared to the phase 1 molds fabricated by ClearCorrect, and both should match each other.

This is a simple, intuitive piece of advice, but if they don't match up, it can help the clinician identify poor patient compliance, etc. and catch potential problems early.

Thanks, Dr. Vajaria.

If you have any comments or tips of your own that you'd like to share, please let us know in the comments.

Tech tip: One provider's favorite trick

In this week's edition, a ClearCorrect provider shares one of his favorite techniques.

Dr. Jose Chacon of Chicago, IL, writes:

I have what I think is a great clinical tip.

Using specially trimmed Essix retainers, I've shifted teeth to fit into an aligner that doesn't fit anymore.

A few weeks ago, I came across an interesting situation.

Long story short, a patient with spaces doesn't show for her scheduled appointment to start her ClearCorrect treatment.

Because of multiple personal and financial problems, she takes 5 months to come back after her original appointment. At this point, the impressions were about 6 months out-of-date, and I was worried about the aligners' fit. We explained to her that she would be responsible for expenses of re-booting her case if needed. We told her that most likely the aligners wouldn't fit when she made it back to the office.

Sure enough, when we finally got her back to the office, neither aligner would fit, but the lower arch was the worst. The discrepancy in the lower arch was so bad that it looked completely hopeless. The aligner was at least 5 mm off. If forced onto one side, it would not fit on the front or the opposite side.

After trying for a while, we discussed the possibility of retaking the impressions and starting all over again. But I wanted to try to avoid additional expenses, more appointments, and more waiting. I thought if I could at least trim the aligner and engage it partially, we could try fitting it 100% later.

I didn't want to damage my first aligner, so I made upper and lower Essix retainers using the #1 plastic model to reproduce the first aligner. We trimmed the plastic retainer half way the crowns' height. The upper retainer fit; the lower still didn't.

Then we trimmed away 2/3 of the lower retainer, leaving mostly the incisal and occlusal and about 1-2 mm on the lingual and buccal.

This time the lower retainer was able to be forced in place. The patient reported feeling this retainer very tight. We prescribed for her to wear these retainers/aligners 1 week full time. After a week, we tried her original aligners, and BOOM, they fit! The lower aligner was very tight, but it fit on the teeth 100%.

If aligners have not been used for a long time, and/or the teeth have moved, and aligners will not fit, then by making temporary trimmed-back 1mm-thick Essix retainers, we can make the regular aligners fit again, even if the teeth have moved a long way. So next time a patient's initial aligner doesn't fit or he hasn't worn aligners for a while and these can't fit again, I can use a trimmed clear retainer to move teeth back.

I hope this tip is useful to others. I am finding the versatility of these appliances makes them my # 1 choice for orthodontic treatment with aligners.

Thanks for the tip, Dr. Chacon. I should point out that we're just sharing one provider's tip; every patient varies, and we have not extensively tested this method for safety or accuracy, so we're not endorsing it as an official ClearCorrect technique. As always, use your own best judgement when prescribing treatment for your patients.

If you have any comments or tips of your own that you'd like to share, please let us know in the comments.

Tech tip: Marketing ideas from providers

Today we have some marketing tips sent in by providers.

Dr. Kathy DeFord writes from Papillion, Nebraska:

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.

Nice use of the ClearCorrect graphics, Dr. DeFord.

If you have a great idea for an ad or sign, please feel free to use any of the updated logos & images available at dr.clearcorrect.com, and share the results with us.

And don't forget that you can also order standard or customized vinyl banners directly from your account rep. We recently updated the artwork on those as well.

Dr. Alan Siegel of Phoenix, Arizona says that he tripled his aligner cases by promoting his practice with a custom folding windshield ad that he invented. Now he also prints windshield ads for other dentists as a side business.

And finally, Gibbs Hightower, our own director of public events, has a few suggestions of his own for increasing your visibility on the Internet:

  1. Spelling makes a difference. When you write about ClearCorrect, remember that there's no space between "Clear" and "Correct".
  2. Link it up. When you mention ClearCorrect or clear aligners on your website, try making the words a link to clearcorrect.com, like this: ClearCorrect. It might improve your ranking (and ours) in search results.
  3. Before & afters are priceless. There's no better marketing tool than before & after photos of your own patients. Remember to take pictures when your patients finish their treatment (get written permission first). And if you want to pass them along to us, we'd be happy to share them too. Send photos (and stories) to your account rep or beforeafter@clearcorrect.com.

New dental models

ClearCorrect has always included models for each aligner that we send out. This is one of the big advantages of ClearCorrect over the competition. We've gotten feedback that those models are a little inconvenient to use on some thermoforming machines, because you have to grind off the corners of the square base.

Today we're pleased to announce that we're starting a transition to the next generation of dental models. Our new models will be higher-resolution, so they're more accurate and should produce better-fitting aligners. We've also eliminated the square base, so it will be easier for you to make models in your office. Best of all, the case and step number will be engraved directly onto the bottom of each model.

We're switching over slowly to monitor any issues, but some providers should start to see the new models in their cases in the coming weeks. Here's what they look like:

Let us know what you think.

Tech tip: One provider's engager trick

Today's tip comes from Dr. Mark Bentele:

One tip that I have is on placing the engagers. The engager template may not fit passively over the entire tooth if the teeth are not tracking fully. In that situation, the engager may not end up in the right place when you use the entire template. Instead, trim the template down to just the tooth with the engager and about 2/3 of the teeth on either side of it. The template will fit fully in place and the engager will be bonded correctly. This is also helpful because the engager template can be peeled away from the tooth facially rather than trying to pull it off vertically, which is more difficult.

Sounds like a good idea to us. Thanks, Dr. Bentele.

If you have any tips you'd like to share, email us or let us know in the comments.

Passion totem awarded to Daniel Cantu

We're not a big dog. If the competition is a Saint Bernard, then we're probably like a Jack Russell Terrier. They may be big and powerful, but we more than make up for that with our energy, our vigor—our passion. (And ingenuity too, but that's more of a collie-like trait, which doesn't really fit in this analogy.)

Since we've started up on these core values, I've noticed that we've got a lot of people here who go the extra mile, who get energized when you present them with a challenge. These are the kind of people we like to see at ClearCorrect—people who, if you give them a challenge, they kick it into high gear.

This is how Daniel Cantu is. One of our most experienced sales reps, Daniel's the winner of our second totem, and it's not too hard to see why:

"He’s been with the company since the beginning and he’s stuck it out through thick and thin."

"He’s shown an interest in learning several different areas of the company so he can pitch in and help whenever needed."

"He’s a fighter—when met with obstacles, he works hard to overcome them."

"He owns in tug-o-war."

“He’s a Marine. ‘Nuff said.”

So of course Daniel deserves the boxing gloves—commemorating a fighting spirit—and you can't say they don't look good on him.

 

Core Value game #2: Tug-o-war

The second core value game was represented by a very passionate game: Tug-o-war!

We assembled 8 teams and they battled through out the week in a tournament-style bracket, each team passionately pulling the ropes as if we were pulling away from the competition.

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