Tech Tip: Video - Retention

Orthodontic treatment doesn't end when the teeth are straight—most patients will require retainers. This new video on retention discusses the options that are available, including Hawley retainers, fixed retainers, and clear retainers from ClearCorrect.

Until next time...

Tech Tip: Trim Lines

We've been getting some questions about trimming recently, so we're revisiting some of our older tech tips on the subject.

As you know, aligners need strong retention in order to move the teeth as desired.

In a 2012 study, doctors from the University of Nevada compared the retentive strength of three trimming techniques:

  • A) a scalloped margin,
  • B) a straight cut at the gingival zenith, and
  • C) a straight cut at 2 mm above the gingival zenith.

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The difference between the techniques was remarkable. For clear aligners without engagers, the straight cut 2 mm from the margins was about twice as retentive as the scalloped cut. For clear aligners with engagers, the straight cut 2 mm from the margins was over four times as retentive as the scalloped cut!

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Trimming the aligners differently had more of an impact than adding or removing engagers.

Based on these findings, we started trimming our aligners with a smoother contour and a larger overlap with the margins in 2013.

Because there is less risk of the aligners impinging on the unattached marginal gingiva, our aligners are more comfortable with this technique. The edge of the aligner is concealed further under patients’ lips during everyday use, so they're also a bit more discreet.

Here are answers to a couple of common questions:

Can I make custom trimming requests?

At this time, we are not able to accept custom trimming requests. We trim all aligners using the same standard protocol. If you want to customize your aligners, you can do so fairly easily in your office with a buffing wheel (like the ones available in our online store).

What should I look for if my patient complains of sore gums?

ClearCorrect aligners go through a multi-stage polishing process, so actual rough or sharp edges should be quite rare. It is fairly common, however, to experience some discomfort for the first few days wearing an aligner. This often indicates that the soft tissue is getting used to having foreign material present in the mouth. Changes to the mucosa eventually fade away when the patient stops wearing aligners.

If the gums are being impinged, one possibility is that the gingiva were not captured accurately in the impression. We prefer 4-5 millimeters of gum to be included. Incomplete impressions will affect our production models.

You may also want to look for frenum pulls.

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These can be difficult to detect because the aligner may feel comfortable at first, but as the patient speaks and moves around, the frenum becomes irritated and ulcerated. Unfortunately this dynamic movement is not captured in the impression. Clear photographs can help to identify these. Gingival frenum pulls are rare, but when they occur, they are typically found in the maxillary premolar and midline areas. If this proves to be a problem, you may want to trim the aligner shorter in the affected areas.

We hope you found this information helpful. Don't forget—you can always visit our Help Center, which has loads of useful articles, and of course, feel free to contact any of our knowledgeable support representatives.

Until next time…

Tech Tip: Video - Checkups & Revisions

Check out the latest video in the Basics of ClearCorrect series, Checkups & Revisions. This video tells you all about tracking your patient's progress and requesting revisions under the latest terms.

While we're on the subject of revisions…

If you’re taking new impressions or scans for a revision, please remove all of the engagers first, so the 3D model will be as accurate as possible. The revised phase will include fresh templates to place new engagers, if necessary.

Until next time…

New Training Webinars Available

Dr._Fischer_Webinar

Dr. Ken Fischer ;presents a fast-paced and informative webinar. This webinar is ideal for doctors who have had no previous experience with clear aligner treatment or for doctors looking to refresh their knowledge on the subject. It features demonstrations covering a wide variety of scenarios. The webinar is a PACE approved program offering 2 hours of CE credit upon completion.

Contact one of our sales representatives at (888) 331-3323 to register, or click below to register online.

Date/Time:

Location:

  • Webinar login details will be emailed upon registration.

Webinar Objectives:

  • Introduce the concept of clear aligners in orthodontic treatment.
  • Introduce the basic concepts involved in the movement of teeth with clear aligners.
  • Show the types of treatment possible with clear aligners.

Webinar Syllabus:

  • The importance of Clear Aligners in Orthodontic Treatment
  • Submitting Cases
  • The Treatment Setup
  • Occlusion review
  • 6 types of tooth movement
  • Difficult movements
  • IPR (Interproximal Reduction)
  • Engagers
  • Retention

ClearCorrect is designated as an Approved PACE Program Provider by the Academy of General Dentistry. The formal continuing dental education programs of this program provider are accepted by AGD for Fellowship, Mastership and membership maintenance credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial board of dentistry or AGD endorsement. The current term of approval extends from 4/1/2015 to 3/31/2019. Provider ID 304173.

Doctor spotlight: Joe Hannah

This week, we're putting the spotlight on Dr. Joe Hannah, an orthodontist with several practices in and around Kansas City, Kansas.

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What do you like to do?

I love to practice orthodontics and see the changes that we make for our patients. I enjoy my family and spending time outside. I raise a small herd of cattle on our ranch and play some golf too.

How long have you been practicing?

This is my twenty-ninth year of practicing orthodontics.

How did you get into orthodontics?

I've been interested in dentistry since high school. A family friend inspired me to pursue dentistry.

I attended the University of Kansas for undergrad, the University of Missouri-Kansas City for my dental degree, and the University of Louisville for my residency in orthodontics.

After graduation, I went to work for a close family friend, Dr. Dick Radke. I took over the practice when he retired and this summer, Dr. Richard Hannah (Dr. Radke's grandson and my nephew), joined me in practice after completing his M.S. in orthodontics.

What made you decide to try ClearCorrect?

I signed on with ClearCorrect five years ago after a decade with a competitor's aligner system. I had frustrations with the competitor's many different options that seemed to always change. After a short webinar with ClearCorrect, I treated several cases and we never looked back! We were more than satisfied, and the lab fee was less, which appealed to me.

What do you like about ClearCorrect?

Aligner therapy has an important place in my practice, although I treat the majority of my patients with fixed appliances, including the best ceramic brackets available. To incorporate aligner therapy into my practice, I need good product support with consistent outcomes.

ClearCorrect works as well as the other system to move teeth, and it has several advantages for my patients, including the starter set that allows my patients to ease into treatment. The treatment setup allows for me to direct treatment the way that I need to and the paperwork with treatment direction is so simple for us.

My staff is extremely happy with the support we receive, both online and with our representative, who is always available for us.

We send scans for all of our patients and ClearCorrect works with many different scanning machines.

Do you have any tips you can offer our providers on your success with ClearCorrect?

One of my biggest tips for success with ClearCorrect is patient selection. This can be broken down into two parts.

First, I make sure to only choose cases in which I can expect predictable tooth movement, while also avoiding cases with blocked out or severely rotated teeth.

The second part is choosing patients who I know will be compliant. I make sure to educate any interested patients on the need for high wear compliance, both in the amount of time they need to wear the aligners (22 hours per day) and consistency in wearing the aligners.

Thanks for your time, Dr. Hannah!

Tech Tip: New video - Treatment setups

The latest video in our Basics of ClearCorrect series demonstrates how to view & approve a treatment setup, updated for our current terms & conditions.Check it out:

Until next time…

Tech Tip: Video - How to Submit a Case

As you're probably aware, you no longer have to pay for a case before you submit it.

We've released an updated version of our video, How to Submit a Case, to cover this and other changes. Check it out:

Evals are dead; long live evals

You may have seen that the old Case Evaluation and Eval + Setup options are no longer available. If you liked this service, choose Recommend a Case Type instead. You'll get a much more accurate evaluation for free, including 3D models and an exact step count. You do need to submit all required records for this service (including impressions or scans)—we aren't assessing cases based only on photos.

Photos

As a reminder, photos from these eight angles are required for every case:

  • Full face (smiling)
  • Full face (not smiling)
  • Profile (not smiling)
  • Upper occlusal view
  • Lower occlusal view
  • Right lateral view
  • Left lateral view
  • Front view

If you have any questions, check our Help Center, or contact one of our support reps, who are eager to assist you with anything you need.

Until next time…

Tech Tip: New features for retainers

Traditional orthodontic treatment isn't over when the braces come off, and clear aligner therapy is no different. After straightening their teeth, patients need to wear a retainer to prevent them from relapsing.

Here's how to order retainers for your patients:

At the end of treatment

After the final phase has been delivered, you'll see "Request final retainer" at the top of the case page on ClearComm.

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You can base your retainer order off an existing step new impressions ornew scans. Depending on the method you are using (impressions or intraoral scans), you'll be presented with options to either upload your scans or ship your impressions after you submit your retainer request.

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One of our new features is the ability to order multiple retainers at once.

The first set of retainers in each order costs $100, plus shipping. Additional sets can be ordered at the same time at a significant discount—just $30 each. (These costs are the same whether you're treating one arch or two, ordering standalone retainers, ordering final retainers for an open case, or ordering new retainers for a closed case.)

The $100 initial retainer fee and shipping costs will be waived for the first set of retainers ordered for a case, if the case has never been closed. Basically, you can get one set of retainers free if you place your order within 90 days of the patient's projected final wear date. (If the case was submitted after our new terms went into effect, then the retainers must be based on an existing step to qualify for this waiver.)

The first set of each subsequent retainer order costs $100, so you can save a lot by ordering multiple sets together, especially with your final retainer.

After the case has closed

We've also made it easy to order retainers for closed cases. These can be based on a previous step (if we still have the models on file), or on new impressions or scans. The price is the same either way.

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For patients who weren't treated with ClearCorrect

ClearCorrect retainers aren't just for ClearCorrect aligner patients. You can also order retainers at the same price for patients who wore traditional braces or other orthodontic treatment.

To do so, select ;Request a retainer from the sidebar on ClearComm.

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Then fill out your patient's information and let us know how many retainers you want to order.

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Note that this page is only used to order standalone retainers for new patients.

If your patient has already been treated with ClearCorrect, you should order retainers directly from their case page. You can find links to all your cases under the action needed, in progress and closed tabs on ClearComm.

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We hope you enjoy the new features!

Until next time…

Tech Tip: New daily summary emails

Starting last Friday, you may have noticed something new in your inbox: daily summaries.

The feedback we get about emails generally falls into two camps:

  1. You're sending too much email! I don't want my inbox clogged up with emails every time something happens with a case.
  2. You're not sending enough email! I get one notice the first time something happens, and if I miss it, I never hear about it again.

If all goes according to plan, this new format should address both complaints. Here's how it works:

All of your typical notifications are now consolidated into one daily summary, instead of being spread out across multiple emails. So you'll get just one email every morning, summarizing all the cases you need to think about that day.

If an issue still needs attention the next day, you'll keep seeing it in summary emails until the issue is resolved. Naturally, if there's nothing going on with any of your cases, you won't get an email at all.

Each item in the email summary links directly to the page on dr.clearcorrect.com where you can resolve the issue.

Here are some of the categories you might see in your summary:

Treatment setup ready

Under Treatment setup ready, you'll find treatment setups that are waiting for your approval. You have up to 90 days after submitting a case to approve a setup, so if a case got lost in the shuffle, you might discover it lurking here.

If your case is at risk of closing in the next 30 days, you'll see a warning sign (⚠) in the left column.

Items are sorted oldest to newest. A star (★) in the left column indicates a recent addition.

Waiting for records

Waiting for records includes two types of issues:

  • If we haven't received all of the required records for a case yet, the notification will have a yellow background.
  • If we had to reject records due to quality issues, the notification will have a red background.

Either way, the outcome is the same—the case won't move forward until we receive all of the required records.

3-shipments

Shipments lists phases that have been assigned a tracking number, but haven't arrived at your office yet. Clicking one of these rows takes you to the latest tracking information.

4-retainer

Request final retainer shows you cases that might be ready for final retainers. To avoid cluttering your summary, cases won't show up here until the patient is expected to be done wearing their final step.

email-settings

Everyone is assigned to receive daily summaries by default, but if you liked the old way better, visit the Email Notifications tab under My account. There, you can opt to receive instant notifications instead of—or in addition to—daily summaries. If you really hate email, you can uncheck both boxes to receive the bare minimum: one weekly summary, sent each Monday morning.

We hope you like the changes. We plan to add more features soon, like better time zone support for our international providers, and notifications of shipping delays.

Let us know what you think! Until next time…

Tech Tip: Video - How Clear Aligners Work

This video, the first in our Basics of ClearCorrect Series, explains the process and biology of clear aligner therapy. Check it out!

How_Clear_Aligners_Work

Did you know?

ClearCorrect has an online store filled with promotional items, helpful kits for use in treating patients and many other useful products. If you find that you need something, check the store - we may just have what you're looking for!

The store can be found at store.clearcorrect.com.

Until next time...