Complete case history now on ClearComm

Two years ago, we launched ClearComm at dr.clearcorrect.com. We started with treatment setups and added new features over time, like case tracking, online submission, documents & forms, a wiki, and an online store.

Today, we're launching our biggest update yet: a fresh new case view including the status and complete history of every case you've ever submitted to ClearCorrect.

Updated case list

The changes start with an updated case list. Your cases are now sorted into three groups for easy access:

This is what you'll see as soon as you log in. The action needed list shows all your cases that need your attention before they can continue. This includes treatment setups that are ready for viewing, cases on hold, incomplete submissions, and cases that are missing impressions or photos.

The in progress list includes all your other active cases. It shows the next scheduled phase (or lets you knwo it's time to request a final retainer). 

Finally, the closed list is an archive of all your completed and canceled cases. It's there when you need it, out of the way when you don't.

New case view

Here's where it gets really cool. Click any row in the case list to open the brand-new case view. This is a complete timeline of everything that's happened in each case, and what's coming up next.

Newer cases include clickable thumbnails of photos, x-rays, submission forms, treatment setups, and even your impressions.

This new case view is where you'll go to approve treatment setups:

And to resume or cancel incomplete online submissions:

If you need to send us materials, we'll let you know here:

And, when everything's on track, you'll be able to see the current status of the next upcoming phase:

As items at the top of the page get completed, they move into the history.

But wait -- there's more...

We've also re-organized the sidebar to prioritize access to the most important links. Logos, documents, and forms have been moved to the wiki, and we've added a link to troubleshooting tips.

If you run into trouble, now your account rep's name & contact information is inculded right in the sidebar. Please don't hesitate to call or email us.

And if you're thinking this new case view would be a great place to add features like online case revisions, phase scheduling, and retainer requests, well, let's just say you're not alone.

Have fun checking out the new features, and be sure to let us know what you think. Until next time...

Case evaluation plus treatment setups

Earlier this year, we announced the availability of case evaluations + treatment setups for $95. We created this option to give "on the fence" patients a way to visualize their results without committing to treatment. (Free case evaluations are also available without setups, for those times when you're just not sure which treatment option to choose.)

This week, we'll walk you through this new service and show you how it works!

Submit evaluation on ClearComm

To submit a case evaluation with a treatment setup, select "Evaluation + Setup" on the Submit a case page on ClearComm. You'll enter in all the necessary information about your patient, as if you were starting any other case.

The fee for a case evaluation plus setup is $95, $50 of which will be applied to your lab fee if you decide to start treatment.

Receive case evaluation

You will receive a case evaluation by email within 5 business days. It will include the estimated difficulty of the case, whether or not engagers will be needed, and a recommended treatment option.

After this evaluation is completed and sent to you, our technicians start work on your treatment setup. The treatment setup will be based on the instructions you provided when you submitted the case.

Approve treatment setup and upgrade case

Within 5 business days of receiving your evaluation, you'll receive an email invitation to view the treatment setup on ClearComm.

If you'd like to modify the setup, disapprove it in ClearComm and let us know what you'd like to change. A revised setup should be ready within 5 business days.

If everything looks good, simply approve the treatment setup in ClearComm. Then, call or email your account rep to upgrade the case to the recommended treatment option. You'll be charged the standard lab fee (minus $50). 

Phase Zero ships

Now here's where things are slightly different than what you're used to.

After you upgrade the case, you will get Phase Zero, but because the treatment setup is already approved, you don't have to go online to approve Phase Zero as well. Phase 1 will automatically ship about 15 days after Phase Zero, unless you request otherwise.

We're excited to offer this new service, and hope that it will be a helpful tool to inform your patients about their clear aligner options. We'd love to hear your feedback!

To submit a case evaluation (with or without a setup), or to begin a Limited 6, Limited 12 or Unlimited case right away, log on to ClearComm.

Aligner cleaner now on sale!

We are very excited to announce a new product in our online store -- Smile Again orthodontic appliance cleaner, manufactured by ProTech.

Smile Again is an extra-strength, concentrated prosthetic cleaner which will safely and efectively help to remove coffee, tea, tobacco, iron stains, plaque, tartar, calcium and calculus without damaging the aligners. Simply stir one packet into a cup of water, soak the aligners, rinse and pop them back in.

For $18, each box contains a 3-month supply (12 packets) of cleaning solution, which will conveniently last your patient an entire phase of ClearCorrect treatment. 

*This product is for sale through our online store to registered ClearCorrect providers.

Tech tip: Aligners and mouthguards

I have a teenage patient who plays contact sports. Can she wear a mouthguard during clear aligner treatment?

Protecting the teeth and face against injury with a mouthguard while playing contact sports is extremely important, especially when your patient has invested time and money into their orthodontic treatment.

The patient may simply remove their aligners and wear a standard mouthguard during sports practice or games, then replace the aligners right after the activity is over. Instructing the patient to keep their aligner case in their sports bag (with Chewies to help seat the aligners) will also encourage compliance. 

If you or the patient are concerned about removing the aligners for an extended period of time, you may instruct the patient to wear a mouthguard with their aligners. Companies like Shock Doctor make special mouthguards for patients with orthodontic treatment. Be sure to use an aligner that doesn't need to be worn anymore (or make a "sacrificial" aligner in your practice) when fitting the mouthguard to protect the integrity of the patient's current step.

Remember -- ClearCorrect aligners should never be used in lieu of a sports mouthguard, and the patient's teeth may move slightly during any time they are not wearing their aligners. Please use your best judgment when instructing your patients on treatment.  

Tech tip: One provider shares his engager tips

We are constantly inspired by our providers' dedicated approach to their patient's treatment. This week, Dr. Gene Shapiro shares two valuable tips on how to properly seat and easily remove the engager template without disrupting the engager.

Seating the engager template

Sometimes, the engager template can be difficult to seat, which may lead to inaccurate placement of the engagers.

Here's how Dr. Shapiro seats his engager templates:

I simply deliver the engager template to the patient as a next set of trays 1-2 days before the engager placement appointment, and ask them to wear [the templates] instead of the current [aligners].  I also make sure they wear them in the same manner as they would the aligners.

By the time they return to have the engagers placed, the trays are now seated perfectly and exact engager positioning is achieved every time.

Removing the engager template

Removing the engager template after placing engagers may also prove difficult. When the engager is bonded correctly, the engager template will be formed tightly around the teeth, making it difficult to pry off without disrupting the bond or scratching the engager.

Dr. Shapiro shares his trick for removing engager templates by splitting them mesiodistally:

Using a medium grit diamond bur, I thin out a few spots along the central fossae of the molars.

Then, using curved Goldman-Fox scissors, I create small "snaps" or cuts all along occlusal in mesio-distal directions.

I gently lift the areas around the borders of the cuts with a curette.

By now, the templates are easy to cut along the occlusal surfaces. This allows me to separate the buccal and lingual parts of the templates.

Thanks for sharing, Dr. Shapiro! Do you have your own methods for placing engagers or dealing with engager templates? Let us know in the comments!

Tech tip: One provider's trick to finishing cases with difficult movements

Today's tip comes from Dr. Clayton Floriani, who shares two methods to successfully finishing out a case with difficult movements without submitting a revision:

I bought a set of thermopliers to place a bubble in the aligner to give it an extra push. This helps, and usually keeps me from having to take a new impression.

You can find a wide range of Hilliard thermoforming pliers, and instructions on how to use them, on the Dentsply website.

  

Pictures courtesy of Bay Materials.

Dr. Floriani shares a second tip for preventing a refinement:

I have found that some final movements can be impeded due to the aligner plastic being too tight/thick in the embrasure space. I just thin the plastic out using a diamond bur in my high speed handpiece.

For example, if I am pushing the tooth facially, I'll thin the plastic out on the lingual embrasure so that the tooth has more room to move. This helps me get the contacts lined up.

Thanks Dr. Floriani! If you have any tips you'd like to share, please let us know in the comments. 

Kits are in stock!

Our merchandise department is brimming with shiny stacks of orange and blue boxes today. That can only mean one thing: our kits are back in stock!

Our kits are conveniently packed with everything you'll need to perform IPR and make your own replacement aligner or retainer. Already have a kit? We make it easy to order refills, so you'll never be empty-handed. 

Visit the ClearCorrect online store to order your kits today -- before they fly off the shelves again!

Tech tip: Aligner material Q&A

This week, we've answered some frequently-asked questions about our aligner material. Got more questions? Feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

For further reading and complete information about our aligner material and safety information, view and download our material information on ClearComm. 

What are ClearCorrect aligners made out of?

Our aligners are made from Zendura, a custom formulation of medical-grade polyurethane which has been thoroughly tested for biocompatability. This advanced plastic was created exclusively for ClearCorrect by Bay Materials.

Are ClearCorrect aligners BPA free?

Yes! Our aligners are FDA approved and free of bisphenol-A ("BPA") and phthalates. 

Are ClearCorrect aligners safe for patients who are pregnant or nursing?

As stated in our material information, our aligners are free from harmful chemicals and do not pose a significant risk to the patient's health. However, as the doctor, we leave the treatment decisions up to you. We are committed to providing all the information available on our aligner plastic so that you and your patient can make an informed decision together.

Can my patient drink hot beverages like coffee or tea while wearing aligners?

We don't recommend it. Hot liquids can distort the material. Coffee and tea are also likely to stain the aligners, and sugar can get trapped between the teeth and the aligners. It's best to remove the aligners before eating or drinking anything other than water.

Is the Zendura used to make the aligners the same as the Zendura sold in the online store?

Yes! The same Zendura plastic used to make your patients' aligners is available on our online store at a providers-only price of $60 for 20 sheets. This way, you won't have to compromise quality for the convenience of making your own aligners in-house.

What machines can I use to make my own Zendura aligner?

Bay Materials recommends the use of a pressure-forming machine (such as a Biostar, MiniStar, or Drufomat) when thermoforming Zendura plastic. However, you may achieve great results using a vacuum-forming machine by following these specific instructions.

Bonus question:

What kind of material are your models made from?

The models included with each aligner shipment are made from VeroDent, a biocompatible photopolymer engineered by Objet specifically for dental applications. You may view a video of our 3D printers in action here (video produced by Objet).

Tech tip: Study a real ClearCorrect case

This week we want to share another case study of a difficult ClearCorrect case that finished successfully without a revision because the doctor was hands-on with treatment. 

Here's a scenario from a real-life case:

A provider submits an Unlimited case for a patient with heavy crowding and rotated upper lateral incisors in need of extrusion. The patient was compliant, the provider performed the recommended amounts of IPR, and treatment progressed smoothly. However, the lateral incisors stopped tracking once the patient got to phase 5. The incisors were scheduled to rotate, but contacts with other teeth got in the way. 

Constant, steady pressure and adequate space are needed to complete any tooth movement. Because the engager wasn't tracking and heavy contacts blocked the movement, treatment could not progress as planned. Instead of sending in a case revision, this provider placed auxiliary brackets on the lingual surface of the incisors to complete the difficult extrusion.

If you are in a similar situation, follow this provider's steps to solve the problem: 

  • Follow our guide to placing auxiliaries on the affected teeth, including removing and replacing the engagers. (Previous tech tips give many guides to making new engager templates and troubleshooting engagers that aren't tracking.)
  • Break tight contacts on the mesial and distal sides of each affected tooth to ensure that the tooth has enough space to move.
  • Give your patient a bag of 1/4" elastics after the procedure, just like a traditional wire-and-bracket case. Because elastic bands lose their retention after about an hour in the mouth, instruct the patient to replace them frequently -- after eating, drinking, or brushing.
  • The patient's compliance and dedication to treatment is an integral component of sthe success of this procedure. Ensure that your patient wears their aligners for 22 hours a day, and regularly replaces their elastics.
  • If you need more time to backtrack treatment before moving to the next step, call or email your account rep to place the case on hold. By holding the case until you're ready for the next step, you can stay in sync with our timeline and avoid wasting shipments. 

With the addition of auxiliaries, the aligners had enough constant, steady pressure to finish the movement as predicted on the treatment setup. With that movement out of the way, the case progressed smoothly into completion with fantastic results.

Limited 6: The perfect addition to your practice.

Last December, we announced Limited 6, an affordable new treatment option designed for minor anterior adjustments and orthodontic relapse cases. This week, we'd like to share how you can build your practice and expand the types of cases that you can treat with ClearCorrect by offering Limited 6 to your patients.

What's Included:

Limited 6 includes the following features:

  • Up to six steps of treatment (single or dual-arch)
  • A treatment setup
  • Phase Zero
  • A final retainer

Recommended Cases:

We recommend using Limited 6 to treat the following cases:

  • Minor to moderate anterior adjustments, such as diastema, crowding and spacing, and rotated incisors.
  • Minor malocclusions, like closing black triangles or minor root torqueing/tipping.
  • Orthodontic relapse cases, including both traditional ortho and clear aligner cases.
  • Combination cases, like finishing off a traditional ortho case after brackets have been removed.
  • Making minor adjustments before cosmetic dental work, such as placing crowns or veneers.

If you are unsure whether a patient is a good candidate for a Limited 6, you can request a case evaluation on ClearComm without even submitting impressions.

Why Limited 6?

  • With six aligners, Limited 6 is the most affordable treatment option on the market for the length and capability of treatment.
  • Because Limited 6 includes Phase Zero and a set of retainers, you don't have to worry about paying more for the extras.
  • Get organized! With Limited 6, it's simple to manage your minor cases along with your Limited 12 and Unlimited cases in ClearComm.
  • If issues arise that extend the length of treatment, you can easily upgrade to a Limited 12 or Unlimited case. 
  • Because Limited 6 is so affordable, you can pass the savings on to your patient. What's not to love about that?

Can't wait to get started? Submit your Limited 6 case online at dr.clearcorrect.com, and we'll give you a free Two-Day Air shipping label.