Tech Tip: Where to place dimples

A dimple is a small depression made in the plastic of the clear aligner. The dimple  increases pressure on a tooth to help make desired tooth movements or to increase retention of the aligner. 

Uses

Dimples can be used for:  

The force made by dimples will only be as strong as the aligner’s strength, so it's best to place dimples in a fresh aligner that has not been worn yet or request a remake of the aligner if retention is inadequate.

Overcorrection & Dimpling:

If overcorrection is requested in the treatment setup, it reduces and often negates the need for dimpling. Whenever possible, planned overcorrection in the treatment setup is more advantageous than making dimples (since dimples need to be made for each aligner and are generally limited to one or two teeth).

Dimpling is used as a chairside measure to increase pressure on the tooth for difficult movements. However, the amount of tooth movement is limited as there must be adequate space on the opposing side of the dimple within the aligner to allow the tooth to move. Often this is limited to the size of the air gap between the aligner and the tooth.

There are different approaches to overcorrection and dimpling. Some clinicians prefer to utilize overcorrection as much as possible and dimple only for difficult movements. Others do not plan overcorrection and dimple the aligners as needed, however as described above, dimpling only works for select movements.

How to... 

Dimples are made using a dimpling plier. Be aware that different manufacturers make dimpling pliers that produce slightly different sized dimples and some pliers require heating while others do not. Refer to the plier manufacturer for specific instructions.

Where to place dimples:

For added retention:

  • To add additional retention to aligners - place a dimple between two teeth on the lingual and facial sides of the aligner.

Dimples_-_retention-4.jpg

For rotations:

  • For distal rotations - place dimples on the lingual mesial and facial distal side of the tooth.

Dimples_-_distal_rotations_LM-6.jpg

 Dimples_-_distal_rotations_FD-4.jpg

  • For mesial rotations - place dimples on the lingual distal and facial mesial side of the tooth

Dimples_-_mesial_rotations_LD-5.jpg

Dimples_-_mesial_rotations_FM-4.jpg

For tipping:

  • For facial tipping place dimples on the lingual mesial and distal sides of the tooth.

dimples_-_facial_tipping_L.jpg

  • For lingual tipping place dimples on the facial mesial and distal sides of the tooth.

Dimples_-_lingual_tipping-3.jpg

  • For mesial tipping place dimples on the lingual and facial of the distal surface of the tooth on the occlusal 1/3.

Dimples_-_mesial_tipping_LD-3.jpg

Dimples_-_mesial_tipping_FD-3.jpg 

  • For distal tipping place dimples on the lingual and facial of the mesial surface of the tooth on the occlusal 1/3.

Dimples_-_distal_tipping_LM-3.jpg

Dimples_-_distal_tipping_FM-3.jpg

For torquing:

(Engagers are recommended for torquing but not for small movements. Fresh aligners are the best option to get a tooth to torque. You may end up needing more than one replacement for stubborn teeth.)

  • To torque lingually place one dimple on the facial gingival. 
Dimples_-_torque_lingual-4.jpg
  •  To torque facially place one dimple on the lingual gingival.

Dimples_-_torque_facial-3.jpg

  • To torque mesially place dimples on the lingual and facial of the distal surface of the tooth on the gingival.

Dimples_-_torque_mesial_LD-5.jpg

Dimples_-_torque_mesial_FD-4.jpg

  • To torque distally place dimples on the lingual and facial of the mesial surface of the tooth on the gingival.

Dimples_-_torque_distal_LM.jpg

Dimples_-_torque_distal_FM.jpg

For translation:

(Engagers are necessary for large mesial and distal movements. IPR may be needed if there is contact preventing movement.)

  • To translate lingually place dimples on the facial occlusal 1/3 at the center and on the facial gingival.

Dimples_-_translate_lingual_F-3.jpg

  • To translate facially place dimples on the lingual occlusal 1/3 at the center and on the lingual gingival.

Dimples_-_translate_facial_L-4.jpg

  • To translate mesially place dimples on the lingual distal surface of the tooth on the occlusal 1/3 and gingival. And place dimples on the facial distal surface of the tooth on the occlusal 1/3 and gingival.

Dimples_-_translate_mesial_LD-3.jpg

Dimples_-_translate_mesial_FD-4.jpg

  • To translate distally place dimples on the lingual mesial surface of the tooth on the occlusal 1/3 and gingival. And place dimples on the facial mesial surface of the tooth on the occlusal 1/3 and gingival.

Dimples_-_translate_distal_L-4.jpg

Dimples_-_translate_distal_F-3.jpg

The information provided above on where to place dimples can be found in our Help Center and referred to at your convenience. We hope you find it useful!

Keep an eye out for our upcoming pre-sale announcement for dimple pliers!

Until next time...

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