Troubleshooting aligner issues

Last week, we gave you troubleshooting tips to help you avoid submitting case revisions. This week, we continue with some easy methods you can use to fix issues with aligners without breaking a phase, delaying treatment, or submitting new impressions.

The best part? Most of these tips can be completed during the patient's visit, preventing additional chair time.

Ill-fitting aligners

When treatment gets off track and the aligners don't fit, it's often because the patient has not been adhering fully to the 22-hour a day wear schedule.

Try these quick fixes to common fitting issues:

  • Check your treatment plan for Compliance Checkpoints. Using dental floss, determine if there is contact between the indicated teeth. If there is no contact at a Compliance Checkpoint, it nearly always means that the patient has not been wearing their aligners.
  • Try backtracking. Wearing the aligner for an extra couple of weeks could help the teeth complete the movements scheduled for that step.
  • Check for contraindications to clear aligner therapy, including the use of prescribed bisphosphonates. Read our Case Parameters guide for more information about contraindications.

Sometimes the aligners fit, but leave a small gap between them and the teeth. This can occur when intruding and extruding teeth, or when a new patient tries on their first pair of aligners. We now carry a tried and true product to help you and your patient solve this issue.

Chewies

Chewies help patients improve the fit of their alingers and close gaps, both inside and outside of the doctor's office. By chewing on these reusable plastic rolls, patients help their aligners seat while relieving any tension or discomfort from a fresh set of aligners.

Chewies come pre-packaged in handout-friendly sets of two. We recommend distributing Chewies to your patients at each fitting appointment or including a large bag with the price of treatment.

To order a bag of twenty Chewies for $10, call your account rep at (888) 331-3323.

Tight Phase Zero

When Phase Zero aligners are tight, you don't necessarily need to send in new impressions. As long as the aligners seat correctly over the teeth, they are accurate.

The purpose of Phase Zero is to verify the accuracy of the impressions, retain the teeth in their current position until phase 1, and help the patient get used to wearing the aligners. Though the Phase Zero aligners are not actively moving teeth, they are "actively" retaining the teeth. The tightness and pressure your patient is feeling is probably due to the fact that an unfamiliar, rigid plastic device is being placed over their teeth for the first time.

If any incisal or occlusal gaps on the aligners are causing the poor fit, you may need to send in new impressions. We will generate a new treatment setup based on those new impressions, and, after setup approval, start right into phase 1. If you'd like a new set of Phase Zero aligners, you may purchase one for $95.

Lost or broken aligners

Patients lose or damage their aligners. It happens all the time. Aligners can be lost or damaged in a surprising variety of different ways: being left in a hot car, thrown away with lunch, eaten by the family dog. Our doctors -- and our account reps -- have heard it all.

This is why we include plastic models with every phase of treatment, so that you can make a replacement aligner right in your office. We even have a simple step-by-step guide to making your own aligners available on ClearComm.

We will happily manufacture a replacement aligner for you, if you don't want to make one for yourself. Just understand that it will take time to ship them to you, and it will break one of your available phases, making that phase available solely for replacements.

Need supplies? Our Trimming Kit contains all the items you will need to create multiple replacement aligners in your own office. 

To order a Trimming Kit for $90, call your account rep at (888) 331-3323.

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