Tech Tip: Benefits of correcting malocclusion

There are a number of benefits to correcting malocclusion. To reflect this, we've put together a table below reflecting each condition and the specific benefits.

As seen below, a patient with crowded teeth will benefit his oral health in 8 different ways by correcting his crowding. Some additional benefits can include increased confidence, social advantages, graceful aging, and the money saved from fewer dental repairs down the line.

When a patient comes through the door for a filling or a cleaning, or any service other than correcting his malocclusion, this is an opportunity for you or your hygienist, dental assistant, treatment coordinator, etc., to use this table to educate a patient on these benefits.

For a printable version of this checklist, click here.

benefits of mal.png

Tech Tip: Waiting room playlist

If you're looking for something to educate and enlighten patients on clear aligners, we've put this series of videos together just for you. It has been designed to play and loop in your waiting room or you can pick and choose any of the videos to play for patients in the dental chair. 

If you have a prospective patient in front of you, we recommend showing them How clear aligners work and Why you should care about orthodontics?.

This playlist includes:

  • Patient reviews
  • Before and afters
  • How clear aligners work
  • Why should you care about orthodontics 

You can find this playlist on our Youtube channel or you can find it in the practice building section of our help center. To get started, simply click on the image below. 

waiting room playlist.jpg

 

 
 

Tech Tip: Marketing your practice online

Figuring out how to market your practice online can be overwhelming. Here's a summary of how online marketing and a personalized website can increase the number of patients coming through your doors:

S3SB Website.png Website design and maintenance. Your website is your online calling card and most potential patients will judge you completely based on how your website resonates with them personally. Building or updating your website so it is professional, up-to-date and draws customers in is key for obtaining new patients.
S3SB SEO.png Search engine optimization is the process of maximizing the # of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that it appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. Ranking high in the results is what SEO is all about. Google is the biggest and most popular search engine in today's world, with more than 75% of all internet searches being done through Google. If your website isn't showing up on the first page of a Google search, you're missing out on potential patients.
S3SB Paid Search.png Paid search advertising or pay-per-click means you advertise by paying the search engine you're using (i.e. Google) each time your ad is clicked on. Paid search makes your website visible to people searching for your services even if your ranking is low. With paid search you can create and run Google Ads that target the right location and potential patients. You can also run specific campaigns on procedures such as "ClearCorrect" or "clear braces" or other dental services.
S3SB Social Media.png Social media marketing is the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites. The most commonly used social media sites are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. A higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust, recognition and credibility to potential patients. The most significant benefit is it's humanization element; becoming more humanized is important because people like doing business with other people; not with companies or businesses.

Because we know the struggle is real when it comes to getting more patients in your door, we've recently partnered with S3SB, a prestigious Los Angeles web design and marketing agency, to provide online marketing and practice-building services customized for ClearCorrect providers.

S3 Element-1.jpg 

S3SB offers a full suite of services, including:

  • 20% off a full website design for ClearCorrect providers
  • Updates to existing pages
  • Search engine optimization
  • Paid search ads
  • Reputation management
  • Social media
  • Lead tracking
  • Email marketing
  • Monthly metrics

 

You can call (855) 674-S3SB or click below to receive a free marketing evaluation performed by actual marketing experts, not a computer program.

Request a free marketing evaluation

 

P.S. You know what goes great with a redesigned website? Our Practice Success workshops, where you can learn more marketing tools and tips for building your practice from orthodontic specialist Duane Grummons. Check out our upcoming sessions in Orlando and Chicago. Or you can check out our Practice Enhancement e-course, coming soon!

We have some very exciting news to share...

ClearCorrect has been acquired by the Straumann Group!

You may be familiar with Straumann as the world’s leading manufacturer of dental implants. For over 60 years, the Straumann name has been synonymous with credibility, competence, and innovation, and we couldn’t be more excited to join their team.

Straumann and ClearCorrect are both keenly focused on being reliable, effective, and above all, service-driven. That shared passion for our customers drives us forward—it’s not just about making great products, it’s about helping our doctors succeed.

Since 2006, we’ve grown from humble beginnings to become a leading manufacturer of clear aligners. Now Straumann’s investment represents a vote of confidence in ClearCorrect’s future. This partnership will help us improve our products and expand our capabilities. In turn, we’ll help Straumann in their new mission to develop total digital orthodontic solutions.

Don’t worry though, we’re not getting too big for our britches. We’re still dedicated to offering the most affordable and doctor-friendly alternative in clear aligners, and we’re still doing it right here in Round Rock, Texas, under the ClearCorrect name. We’ll just be able to make our products better and faster, offering world-class service to more providers than ever before.

For you and your patients, this is business as usual for now. We don’t anticipate any disruptions to service or any immediate changes to our products or policies as a result of this acquisition. This investment paves the way for us to continue improving our products and making great aligners for many years to come.

As always, we’ll keep you posted on our blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, and via email. If you have any questions, you can give us a call at (888) 331-3323, or contact me personally at jarrett@clearcorrect.com.

Thanks for making this all possible over the past 11 years. Here’s to many more.

Jarrett Pumphrey
CEO, ClearCorrect 

Tech Tip: Patient appointments

A thorough review of your patient’s progress at each appointment can help you catch and address treatment issues early on, such as non-compliance or difficult movements not occuring as planned. By keeping an eye out for red flags, you may be able to avoid revisions, keep treatment on track, and get better results faster.

Here's a checklist of things to look for at each appointment:

  1. Confirm that patient is wearing the correct set of aligners.
  2. Visually confirm that the aligners fit completely without no incisal gaps or other spaces between the teeth and the aligner. If there is an incisal gap after the aligner has been worn for the recommended time, that may be a sign of incomplete movements. Check out this article for some solutions. 
  3. Verify that your patient can remove the aligners without difficulty. If the aligners are still tight, the patient may need to wear them for another week or two.
  4. Examine the condition of the aligners. If they still look pristine, that may indicate that the patient hasn't been wearing them regularly. If you suspect non-compliance, address it with your patient.
  5. Verify that the teeth are moving as planned by comparing the dentition to the current step on the treatment setup.
  6. Use floss to confirm loose interproximal contacts between all teeth, especially if Compliance Checkpoints are indicated on the treatment plan. Address any tight contacts found.
  7. Confirm that any engagers are still present and in good condition.
  8. Confirm that the next scheduled set aligners fits well.
  9. Refer to the treatment plan paperwork or treatment setup and perform any scheduled procedures, such as performing IPR and placing or removing engagers.
  10. Try the aligners on again and check for blanching of the gingiva near the trimline. Blanching can occasionally be seen around gingival frenum, but could also be caused by distortions in the original impression. Often these are minor and any discomfort can be addressed by trimming the aligners back slightly with scissors.
  11. Some clinicians may find it helpful to run a finger along the edge of the aligner to check for sharp edges or areas where it has lifted away from the gingiva.
  12. Confirm the wear schedule and document the dates when the patient should change aligners and return for a followup appointment.

What are some of the key indicators that a patient is ready to move to the next aligner?

  • Full and complete fit of current aligners
  • Patient able to easily remove and place current set of aligners
  • Loose contacts and spaces closed at Compliance Checkpoints
  • Planned tooth movements have occurred

A printable version of this checklist is available on our Help Center. 

Tech Tip: Talking to your technician

Depending on your dental school and sometimes from one instructor to another, dental terms and their meanings can vary slightly. This can spell disaster when it comes to prescriptions and moving teeth. 

If you are asking the technician to "tip" a tooth and this means something different between the two of you, you may not get the movement you wanted.

For this reason, we've put together a list of definitions you can refer to when speaking to our technicians. This glossary covers all movements, directions, tooth charts and more. Here are some examples:

You can access the full glossary here

Until next time...

New volume discount program

We're happy to announce that we've updated our volume discount program to qualify more providers for discounts, faster than before.

Our old program was based on quarterly case submissions, totalling 5% for every 5 cases, and maxing out at 25%. You wouldn't earn a discount until the quarter was over, and your rate would be fixed for the entire next quarter. Revisions and retainers did not count towards or qualify for discounts.

After we rolled out our new Flex & Unlimited pricing options, we saw an opportunity to improve the volume discount program as well. Basing the discount on "cases" didn't make much sense anymore, when an order can be as small as one aligner or as big as five years of Unlimited treatment. The quarterly deadlines were also a bit arbitrary, and we wanted to do more to reward our most loyal providers.

So, here's how the new program works:

When you place an order (by approving a setup or ordering retainers), your volume discount is now based on your total orders placed within the previous 90 days. You can earn volume discounts in increments of 1%, up to a maximum of 35% off.

View volume discount program details for your region here.

The exact details vary by region, but the basic idea is: your discount goes up by 1% each time you spend a bit less than the list price of Unlimited treatment. You could qualify for a discount as early as your second order—you don't have to start five cases and wait a quarter to start seeing benefits.

Flex orders, Unlimited orders, revisions, and retainers all count towards discounts, and they all qualify to receive them.

When you pay for an order, you'll see your current volume discount (if you qualify for one) listed in the dropdown menu, along with any available coupons or vouchers:

volume-discounts.png

Volume discounts can't be combined with other discounts, so if you choose to apply a coupon or voucher, it will apply to the list price—it doesn't stack with the volume discount. Taxes and shipping will not be discounted, and don't count toward your order total either.

If a volume discount is available, you can apply it to all of your orders—it doesn't get "used up" like a coupon or voucher.

Your volume discount doesn't have an expiration date, per se, but it will naturally decline if you have a prolonged period of inactivity, as your previous orders grow more than 90 days old and are no longer counted towards your total. To maximize your discount, it's best to place orders on a regular basis, and approve treatment setups as soon as possible.

Many dental groups have negotiated alternative pricing in lieu of individual volume discounts. If you belong to one of these groups, you will not be eligible for volume discounts. You can contact your group or sales rep for more information.

Let us know if you have any questions about the new program. Until next time…

Tech Tip: Auxiliaries and tooth movements

In the majority of cases the aligner itself will do most (if not all) of the work to accomplish the patients treatment goals. However, sometimes auxiliaries are needed.

The term “auxiliaries” as used in orthodontic treatment with clear aligners refers to an entity or item that may be used in conjunction with clear aligners to enhance the movement of, or effect a change in, the teeth or skeletal components.

Some of the more common auxiliaries used in clear aligner treatment are:

1. Bonded brackets or buttons with elastics for:buttons, brackets, elastics.jpg

2. Limited braces

  • Closing anterior and posterior open bites
  • Pre-aligner treatment in the late mixed dentition

3. Expanders for:

  • Skeletal expansion
  • Dental expansion greater than 3-4mms

4. Dimples made with pliers for:

  • Improving retention of the aligner
  • “Nudging” a tooth (rotations, tipping, torqueing)

5. Pontics when teeth are missing for:

  • Esthetics
  • To maintain space pre-restoration

6. Class II correctors and Molar distalizers

7. Temporary anchorage device (TADs)

Where a movement is not being achieved as desired or planned with the aligner alone, auxiliaries can help to effect the desired movement.

Auxiliaries can assist with the following movements:

  • Tipping

  • Torqueing

  • Rotations

  • Extrusions

Until next time...

Tech Tip: Editing your prescription instructions

Occasionally a doctor will call in and ask for a change to be made to a prescription form, a treatment setup or a revision request. 

While support is happy to answer any questions you have about this, there are legal liabilities to us verbally receiving these instructions and forwarding them to the technician. Meaning that we will be required to ask you to log into the doctor's portal and request these instructions directly. 

If you have a treatment setup pending approval, you can update your prescription by declining the treatment setup and communicating the new information to the technician in your notes. If you’ve already approved the treatment setup, you may need to request a revision and make your changes there.

If your treatment setup is not available yet, (it was recently submitted or declined), feel free to contact support for assistance. 

disapproving-setup.png

You will receive an email notification once your new treatment setup is ready to be viewed, either right away, at the end of the day, or at the end of the week, depending on how often you've asked to receive notifications.

Tech Tip: Finishing a case

Doctors often request a revision for some final touch-ups to hone in on the treatment goals. For instance, you might want to request some additional aligners to close a gap or complete a rotation, moving the teeth into their final position.

Determining if treatment is finished to your standards and your patient’s satisfaction once the last aligner has been worn gives you both the opportunity to take advantage of all options for correcting any undesirable issues.

Sometimes, your perception of a nicely finished case is different from the patient’s. When you give the patient an opportunity to express their satisfaction of the treatment result before announcing that treatment is finished, your patient will feel like you care about how they feel about their result.

Identifying potential issues prior to the last aligner

Here are some potential issues and the steps you can take to address them:

1. Residual spaces

residual spacing.jpg

What to do:

  • Review the treatment setup to confirm that there should be no spaces remaining
  • Order a case revision to close the spaces
  • Request a ‘digital power chain’ in a case revision to ensure the remaining spaces are closed (ClearCorrect can adjust the 3D model to lingualize all the spaced teeth by about 0.2 mm, pulling the teeth closer together the same way a power chain does)

2. Incomplete rotations

Patients are most aware of “imperfections” with the upper and lower incisors.

What to do:

  • Continue with the last aligner for an additional couple of weeks – you may want to consider using the ‘dimples’ technique to complete the rotation
  • You can fabricate an in-office reset aligner to complete the rotation or request a remake of this last step
  • Order a revision to complete the rotation

Remember – there must be adequate space to rotate into (see image below) 

3. Teeth are not aligning as expected

In the example below, there’s not enough space to align the upper left central incisor.

 incomplete rotations 2.jpg

A situation like the above requires a revision to provide more expansion or proclination to open sufficient space to optimize the alignment of those incisors; there is too much crowding for IPR.

What to do:

  • Order a case revision to get the remaining alignment needed

4. Irregular or uneven incisal edges and marginal ridges

uneven incisal edges.jpg

What to do:

  • In many cases of mild incisor edge irregularities, conservative enamoplasty to smooth the incisal edges slightly will significantly improve the appearance of the whole smile line and impress the patient with how much better their teeth look.
  • In situations of moderate to severe incisal edge or occlusal wear, restorative dentistry could be of great benefit to provide a better esthetic result

5. Occlusion not fully interdigitated or idealized

class 1.png

Not every case will end up with an idealized, fully interdigitated Class I occlusion like the example above, and not every case needs to. It's up to you and your patient to decide what goals you're happy with. If you are aiming for absolute perfection, it's probably going to take some fine-tuning to get there.

What to do:

  • Order a case revision to achieve the full interdigitation desired

6. Posterior openbite due to intruded posterior teeth.

This is thought to be caused by extreme masseter activity when wearing aligners and is the most commonly proposed etiology, which is an intuitive explanation, but not proven by clinical research.

posterior open bite.jpgposterior open bite after.jpg

What to do:

7. Black triangles

Black triangles can happen with any method of alignment, including traditional braces. This is a natural consequence of alignment correction, so it can't always be avoided.

Black Triangle.jpg

What to do:

  • Alert the patient pre-treatment of the potential if it exists
  • Re-contour (IPR) wide incisal edges
  • Emphasize with patient the importance of an optimum oral hygiene regimen

And thats it for now. Until next time...