As a dental lab, we make aligners according to the prescription we're given. It's up to the patient to wear the aligners 22 hours a day, and it's up to the doctor to prescribe the right treatment and make sure that it's going to plan. Basically, you're James Bond, out in the field, and we're Q, stuck back at the lab, but ready to help however we can.
It's essential for doctors to check their patients' progress throughout treatment. After performing IPR, the treatment plan will usually include Compliance Checkpoints where the doctor can try to floss between specific teeth to confirm that they're moving according to plan. But that's not the only way to confirm a patient's progress. Here are two indicators you should check after every other step:
1. Make sure the teeth match the aligner.
If the aligner is popping up or not seating in an entire area, you can try some of these techniques, such as biting down on Chewies to get it to seat properly. If there's space just around a particular tooth, that's called an incisal gap. Gaps usually occur when a tooth doesn't extrude as planned. (As explained in the case parameters, extrusions are the most difficult type of movement to achieve with clear aligners.) If you see incisal gaps, you can try these techniques, like creating an auxiliary, to apply extra force.
2. Make sure the teeth match the models.
One of the great advantages of ClearCorrect is that we include models for every step. You can compare models to your patient's teeth to evaluate exactly how close they are to the planned treatment. You can also check the treatment plan to see exactly which teeth are supposed to move in each step. (Be sure to match up the step number on the aligner, model, and treatment plan.)
If you check these two things at every appointment, you'll be able to catch any problems that arise early, and you'll stand a much better chance of fixing them easily before they get further off-course. You can always check the Troubleshooting section on the ClearCorrect Wiki for tips, and if you really get stuck, just contact your account rep.
Until next time…