Tech Tip: New video - How to place engagers

Engagers are handy composite bumps placed on the surface of the teeth to help aligners achieve difficult tooth movements. Think of them as handles that give the aligners greater leverage. In our new tutorial video, we'll take you through the steps necessary to place engagers on your patients' teeth.


We hope you found this video tutorial useful. If you have any questions at all, give us a call at 888-331-3323, or visit our Wiki online

For written step-by-step instructions on how to place engagers, click here

Tech Tip: New video - Compliance checkpoints

Compliance checkpoints tell you when we expect gaps caused by IPR to have closed. Knowing when to examine these compliance checkpoints and what to do if there's still a gap is important to keeping your patient's treatment on schedule. Lucky for you, we made a video to explain all that.

Give it a watch:


We hope you found this instructional video useful. If you have any questions, give us a call at 888-331-3323.

Until next time...

Tech Tip: New IPR tutorial video

Interproximal reduction is a technique that removes small amounts of enamel from the edges of crowded teeth, which gives them the room they need to align. After watching our new and improved provider training video, you'll have a good understanding of how to perform this useful procedure.

Check it out:


We hope you found this video tutorial useful. If you have any questions, give your ClearCorrect representative a call at (888) 331-3323. 

Tech Tip: Top 6 tips from our support team

This week, we're sharing the top 6 tips from our support team:

  1. Take close-up, in-focus photos. The photos should clearly capture the full details of the arches in and out of occlusion, all the way back to the rear of the molars. Use a good camera in conjunction with cheek retractors and intraoral mirrors.
  2. Check your impressions for imperfections like voids, bubbles, poorly-defined gum lines, unclear distal molar areas, etc. If the impressions aren't accurate, it's pretty likely that treatment won't work as planned. Learn what makes a good impression on our wiki.
  3. The submission form is your chance to explain what is happening with the case and what you want to accomplish.  The more details you provide on the submission form, the better. Do you want engagers to be placed on the lingual side of the teeth, or avoided altogether? Are you going to extract teeth before treatment begins? Do you want pontics? Or bars to fill the gaps between teeth? If you don't tell us what to do, we cant guarantee it's going to happen.
  4. Carefully review the treatment setup before hitting "accept." Evaluate each step of treatment to confirm that it matches what you want to prescribe for your patient. Examine the models for issues that might affect the treatment outcome. If you approve a setup with misshapen teeth or incomplete molars, that's what you're going to get in your aligners. Don't set yourself up for an unpleasant surprise down the line.
  5. When you request a revision, clearly restate what you are trying to accomplish, and what you want to change. It’s almost always best to submit new impressions or scans for a revision, so we can match the exact position of the patient's teeth. If that's not possible, and if the aligners  fit  well, we can use the existing models. But if the patient's teeth haven't been tracking, they may not be accurate.
  6. Remove engagers before you take new impressions. Engagers can cause tears and pulls in the impression material. Don't remove the engagers if you're requesting a revision based on existing models—we'll stage the case under the assumption that the existing engagers are still there.

That's it for today. Until next time…

Tech tip: treatment setup troubleshooting

If you're experiencing trouble viewing the treatment setup, take a look at the following troubleshooting guide. Also, remember that the loading time of the treatment setup may vary depending on the speed of your computer. While the left side of the screen says, "loading", keep an eye on the progress bar below the model to see how much longer you have to wait.

As a reminder, the new treatment setups cannot yet be viewed on Apple mobile devices, like the iPad or iPhone.

If you cannot view the treatment setup even after downloading and installing the required Adobe software, try the following:

1. Open up the treatment setup again for this patient. Once it has loaded go to the top, click “Edit”, then select “Preferences”


2. Once the new window has opened, select “3D & Multimedia”


3. Once that has been selected, under “Preferred Renderer” select “DirectX 9”


4. Then, under “Optimization Scheme for Low Framerate,” select “None”


5. Click “OK,” close the Adobe Reader program. Then reopen the treatment setup.

This should get it working. If this process helped you get your treatment setups displaying properly, let us know! 

While we're on the subject...

If the models occasionally flicker, you can fix it by adjusting your settings. In Adobe Reader, go to Preferences > 3D & Multimedia and change Optimization Scheme for Low Framerate to None.


Until next time, enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

Tech Tip: Video guide to case selection

Moving teeth is an unpredictable business. It's difficult to judge how much clear aligner treatment is required to achieve your patient's goals.

Because there are so many variables involved in tooth movement, we've put together a collection of resources to help. For example, you may have seen our case parameters document, which illustrates the different types of tooth movements and their respective difficulty levels. There's also the case selection chart, which pairs the different types of tooth movements with their recommended treatment options.

Today, we'd like to introduce you to the newest resource to help you choose what treatment option is best for your patient: our video guide to case selection!



We hope you find this video guide helpful! Of course, your personal representative is there to help you if you  have any questions.

Until next time!

Tech Tip: Tips on closing patients

This week, our very own Dr. Mah chimes in to give us all a few tips on talking to patients about ClearCorrect. 

What's the best way to approach the subject of clear aligners with a patient who needs corrective treatment? What should you do if your patient balks at the cost of their aligners? How can your staff pitch in to help, and why is staff participation so important? What good will aligners do for them besides just giving them a nice looking smile? Click the video to hear what Dr. Mah has to say and find out!


We hope you found this video useful. If you'd like to tell us how you approach the subject of clear aligners with patients, drop us a line and share your advice! 

Until next time...

Tech Tip: Why do my patient’s teeth still need movement at the end of treatment?


My patient has finished wearing their final aligner, but some of the teeth still aren't where we want them to be. What gives?


First, make sure that your patient has been wearing their aligners for at least 22 hours a day. You can ask your patient, of course, and you can also verify wear by checking for occlusal scuffing and slight yellowing of the aligner material. Patient non-compliance is a common reason for teeth not tracking.

Even if the patient has been wearing the aligners regularly, it's very common for cases to require overcorrection to acheive ideal results.The final aligner should match the shape shown on the treatment setup—however, this doesn't always actually move the teeth into that position. It may be necessary to apply additional force by creating aligners with the teeth moved farther than you actually desire.

This is not unique to ClearCorrect. Age, sex, root length, bone levels, bone density, medications, and some systemic conditions can all affect the effectiveness of treatment. Studies show that orthodontists often fall short of their goals, especially for certain types of tooth movement. 

Overcorrection is especially likely to be needed for these types of movement:

  • Rotations (particularly single-rooted teeth whose roots have a circular cross-section)
  • Labial-lingual alignment (particularly of incisors)
  • Expansion
  • Extrusion (because the PDL tends to pull the tooth back into the socket)

If you know you're going to need overcorrection, you can request it upfront in your initial prescription. Just be sure to keep an eye on those teeth so they don't move too far. 

It's always safest to err on the side of caution—if you submit your case as Unlimited, additional phases won't add to your lab fee. When you submit a Limited 6 or Limited 12 case, you should be prepared for the possibility of purchasing an additional phase.

Make sure your patient is aware that there is no guarantee of acheiving results within a certain timeframe. Make sure they're aware that additional treatment may be required after the final step. (Some of this is covered in the required informed consent & agreement, but you'll probably also want to attach your own conditions regarding fees and outcomes.) It's better for everyone when you set realistic expectations at the beginning of the case.

Until next time…

Introducing the Starter Kit

ClearCorrect Starter Kit

The first day of orthodontic treatment can come as a shock—it takes a while for most people to get used to pressure being applied to their teeth. That’s why ClearCorrect begins with starter aligners, designed to apply gentle pressure before ramping up movement in later steps.

We introduced starter aligners a few years ago as part of "Phase Zero." Now we’re expanding that concept into the new Starter Kit, shipping today at the start of every case.

Along with starter aligners, you’ll get:

  • a welcome letter for your patient with wear & care tips
  • a storage case
  • an OUTIE aligner removal tool
  • a sample of OAP Cleaner
  • and two Chewies to help seat the aligners.

Just pass everything on to your patient. If you want more of anything, it'll be available in our online store.

Starter Kit paperwork

We won’t ask you to approve the fit of the starter aligners on ClearComm anymore—we’ll just send the treatment setup as soon as it’s ready, and you'll be free to approve it right away.

Your patient should wear the starter aligners just like any other step, and (assuming you approve a treatment setup) Phase 1 will be scheduled to arrive when they're done.

If you do find a problem with the fit of the starter aligners, you can handle it like any other phase—request a revision on ClearComm and send in new impressions or scans. We'll now accept revisions right up until the ship date of each phase, so you can request a revision even if Phase 1 has already entered production.

The Starter Kit is now included with all new cases at no additional charge.

Tech Tip: Three time saving impression tips

A high-quality impression is the foundation of a successful case. Whether for a submission or a revision, accurate impressions are vital to ensuring that treatment is effective and time-wasting delays are avoided. We recently determined that 3 basic issues are accounting for over 75% of all the bad impressions that we receive. Here are the issues, and how to correct them.

Most frequent impression problems: 1) Double impression, 2) Material not fully set, 3) Posterior distortion, 4) Relining/reinserting, 5) Tray too small, 6) No light body, 7) Not enough material, 8) Missing opposing impression, 9) Material lifter off of tray

Issue #1: Double impression in 2-step material

The most common problem that we find is a double impression, which usually happens during a 2-step impression.

The easiest solution is to switch to a simpler, more reliable 1-step impression material, such as Sultan Genie VPS. We've prepared a video and a printed guide for this type of material.

If you prefer the 2-step impression process, that's okay too. Just keep an eye out for double impressions. Remember to cover the putty with a plastic sheet when you take the first impression, and to take your second impression before the first one has fully set. We have a video and printed guide for this type of impression as well.

Issue #2: Material not fully set

Our second-most common issue is material that hasn't fully set before being removed. There are two simple things you can do to prevent this problem:

  1. Set a timer and make sure to follow the directions for your material exactly.
  2. Discard the first 1 inch of material that comes out of every new mixing tip.

Issue #3: Posterior distortion

The final big issue is distortion of the most distal teeth in the impression. It can be hard to see back there, and sometimes the posterior teeth get shortchanged. There are a couple of ways to avoid this problem:

  1. Make sure that you're using a correctly-sized tray. It should extend past the last tooth in the arch without touching the gums.
  2. Before inserting the tray containing light body, add some light body directly to the occlusal and distal portion of the last tooth in the arch, ensuring that the last tooth is completely covered with material.

We hope this helps. Look for these issues before you send your impressions in, and you could save yourself & your patient the hassle of taking new impressions.

More Helpful Tips:

  • Make sure the tray is not too small and fits your patient well. If the teeth are touching the edges of the tray, the tray is too small.
  • Use plenty of PVS material. It's better to have too much than too little.
  • Remove all engagers prior to taking the impression. We need impressions free of engagers to make accurate molds.
  • Fill in deep undercuts with wax. This will allow you to remove the impression material cleanly without creating tears or distortions.

We hope this helps. Looks for these issues before you send your impressions in, and you could save yourself and your patient the hassle of taking new impressions.