For information regarding checkup appointments tips and guidelines, refer to the following:
- Use the treatment plan paperwork to educate patients
- Review wear schedule with patient
- Track patient progress with daily summary emails
- Troubleshoot any issues
Here are some tips and guidelines to help you when scheduling and preparing for each checkup and appointment.
The following is a short video about checkup appointments and revisions with ClearCorrect.
Use the treatment plan paperwork to educate patients
Each shipment of aligners will include a treatment plan, which will display your patient's progress through their treatment, the movements of each teeth during each step, and instructions on performing any procedures (IPR, placing engagers, Compliance Checkpoints).
The treatment plan doesn't have to be for your eyes only. Use the treatment plan to inform your patients of the teeth movements occurring during each step. They will be excited and eager to see their progress - which will encourage them to continue good compliance!
Review wear schedule with patient
To ensure proper compliance, review the wear schedule with your patient. Make sure that they understand that they will wear each step for at least two weeks (or whatever your chosen wear schedule is), for no less than 22 hours a day. If they do not follow this schedule, they will delay their progress. Patients don't necessarily understand that positive results are directly related to their compliance with treatment, or that discomfort or issues with treatment could be linked to how many hours a day they are wearing their aligners.
You may also want to educate them on the way that teeth move, to help them understand what is actually happening to their teeth.
Track patient progress with daily summary emails
You can use the daily summary emails to keep yourself up-to-date on any changes with your cases. These emails will tell you when your next phase has shipped so you know when to schedule your patient for their next treatment appointment. They also let you know when cases are received, if items are missing, and anything that's pending your attention.
Troubleshoot any issues
Some easy troubleshooting tips include:
- Try backtracking a step to help the teeth move that extra little bit due to stubborn teeth or patient non-compliance. (Backtracking gets best results with a fresh aligner.)
- Ask your patient if they are currently taking bisphosphonates or any product that would affect the osteoblast & osteoclast cells' production.
- Use Chewies to help the aligners seat over the teeth.
See an in-depth list in our Troubleshooting section.
Here's a checklist of things to look for at each appointment:
- Confirm that patient is wearing the correct set of aligners.
- Visually confirm that the aligners fit completely with 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Verify that the teeth are moving as planned by comparing the dentition to the current step on the treatment setup.
- 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.
- Confirm that any engagers are still present and in good condition.
- Confirm that the next scheduled set of aligners fits well.
- Refer to the treatment plan paperwork or treatment setup and perform any scheduled procedures, such as performing IPR and placing or removing engagers.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
For a printable version of this checklist, click on the document attached below.