Tech tip: 3 impression tips that can save you weeks

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.

We're moving!

Green VW microbus with ClearCorrect logo on the side and boxes strapped to the roof

The big day has finally arrived. We're moving our headquarters and production to a larger facility, starting this Friday, March 18.

How much larger is it? Right now, all of our offices and manufacturing facilities are squeezed into about 8,000 square feet. It's kind of like those sample apartments at IKEA, without all the nifty Scandinavian furniture.

Our new two-story headquarters covers 3.5 acres, giving us about seven times as much office and manufacturing space. (Our entire current facility would fit into one of our three new manufacturing bays.) We'll have plenty of room to hire more account reps and expand our production capabilities, which we expect will lead to quicker, better, more reliable service.

ClearCorrect headquarters

We're still in Houston, but naturally our address has changed.

Our new address is:
15151 Sommermeyer St.
Houston, TX 77041-5332

Fortunately, we've just added a new feature to ClearComm: now you can print your own shipping labels online! The days of calling and waiting for an emailed or faxed label are over. Log on to to print free, updated shipping labels the next time you submit a case. If you've never used ClearComm before, we'll be sending you your username and password soon.

We've moved: print new shipping labels here.

If you've recently shipped packages to our old address (5200 Mitchelldale St.), don't worry. We'll continue to receive packages sent with the old labels for a while to come, but in the future, you'll get the quickest results by shipping to our new address.

Our phone number remains the same (888-331-3323), although some extensions may change at the new facility. We will be closed on Friday, but we should be back up and running next Monday morning. We can't tell you how excited we are to finally be making this move.

No wonder they think we don’t charge enough…

Another thing we value here is economy, doing more with less. It’s a value consistent with our goal of making clear aligners more affordable. We apply it wherever we can: Economy in our thinking, in our treatment protocols, in the design of our products, in our manufacturing processes—in our payroll.

Case in point—the average total annual compensation of Align Technology’s CEO is more than we paid our entire executive structure last year:

The other guysvs.     ClearCorrect
President/CEO   President/CEO
    Chief Financial Officer
    Chief Administration Officer
    Chief Operations Officer
    Chief Public Officer
    Chief Clinical Officer
    Chief Technical Officer
    Chief Systems Officer
    Chief Information Officer
    VP Establishment
    VP Systems and Infrastructure
    VP Sales and Marketing
    VP Finance
    VP Production
    VP Quality Assurance
    VP Public Contact
    VP Public Sales
    HR Director
    IT Director
    Creative Director
    Account Services Director
    Disbursements Director
    Tech Services Director
    Diagnostics Director
    Manufacturing Director
    Personnel Enhancement Director
    Public Sales Director
    Public Services Director
    Public Relations Director
It’s no wonder our aligners are more affordable than theirs.

ClearCorrect named 2011 Best Product

I'm happy to announce ClearCorrect has been named a 2011 Best Product by Dental Product Shopper magazine.

They chose 14 doctors to interview and survey about ClearCorrect's clear aligner system, including its customer service and product effectiveness.  See the full report here.

Meet ClearCorrect: the animated video

We just wrapped up a new animated video to introduce doctors to ClearCorrect. What better place to debut it than our new blog?

We want to give a big thank-you to the folks at Daily Planet in Chicago for all their hard work on this. Let us know what you think.

E-mail this video to a friend

I'm guessing that most of you reading this are already ClearCorrect providers, but don't forget that you can get $100 for every new provider that you refer to us. Sharing this video could be one easy way to let your friends in on the benefits of ClearCorrect (hint, hint).

Align’s lawsuits against ClearCorrect

Here at ClearCorrect, we strongly value openness and transparency. It’s important to us that the people who work with us know what we’re all about. It keeps us focused. It keeps us motivated. And it keeps us honest. 

In that spirit of openness, I’m writing to let you know about some recent news. On February 28, 2011, we learned that Align Technology, Inc. (maker of Invisalign®) has filed two lawsuits against us, claiming that: 1) our prices are too low, and 2) we’re infringing their patents.

In their first filing, Align is suing us under California’s Unfair Practices Act, alleging that we sell our products for a price below our average production cost, with the purpose of "destroying competition in the market for clear aligner systems." Apparently, we’ve made aligners too affordable for Align to bear. 

The truth is, we’re profitable. Our lab fees are lower than Align’s because we’ve always made affordability a priority. We constantly refine our manufacturing processes to improve quality and drive down costs. Working with our providers, we’ve created a business model that works, fair and square. It’s that simple.

Align’s second filing alleges patent infringement. I assure you we respect all valid intellectual property—we always have. In fact, we’re so confident that we don’t infringe any of Align’s valid patents, we filed a declaratory judgment against Align back in 2009. We wanted a judge to resolve this matter up front, so we could build our business without distractions. After Align said that they had no intent to sue us for patent infringement and would not engage in any “scare the customer” tactics, we voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit and moved on. As you can imagine, we were quite surprised when we found out they’ve decided to sue us anyway.

We’re as prepared now as we were two years ago to defend our position. And since Align is giving us the opportunity, we’re also going on the offensive. In another recent lawsuit, Ormco (maker of Red, White and Blue®) invalidated several of Align’s patent claims. We believe that many of the claims in the patents we’re accused of infringing are just as invalid. We’re taking up the battle right where Ormco left off, and we’re ready to go for years if we have to—we have the resources and backing to take it all the way.

We plan to be as open and transparent about this process as we can. I’m pleased to announce that you can follow along and share your thoughts on our new blog, Clearly. In the weeks to come, we plan to share a lot of new information here, such as our philosophy and approach to business, behind-the-scenes looks at how we do things, updates on the lawsuits, and previews of exciting things in the works.

Thanks for your support as we fight to defend your right to an affordable, doctor-friendly choice in clear aligners. We’re in this for the long haul, and we intend to win.


Jarrett Pumphrey
CEO, ClearCorrect