Aligners Don't Fit - Too Big or Too Small

    Too Big    Too Small


An aligner is considered too big for the patient when it is obviously too wide or too long for the patient’s arch; there can also be difficulty with the aligner remaining in place while the patient speaks/opens their mouth.

An aligner  is considered too small when it cannot easily be placed into the patients mouth. For example, the aligner must be trimmed or forcibly seated in order to fit properly.


Aligners can appear too big/long/wide when:

  • The impressions used contained minor distortions
  • Molars have not distalized as expected
  • The arch in question has not expanded as expected

Aligners can appear too small/short/narrow when:

  • Mesial translations have not occurred as expected
  • Bulbous teeth or undesirable undercuts result in too much retention
  • Excessive crowding results in too much retention
  • Teeth have not flared and moved lingually as expected 


For when aligners appear too big/long/wide the following can be done: 

For when aligners appear too small/short/narrow:

  • Try using Chewies to help the aligners seat properly
  • Request distal half of the aligner be trimmed when submitting the case
  • If undercuts are an issue, you can request for undercuts to be blocked at either the beginning of the case (when submitting the case) or in the middle or end of the case (by requesting a case revision). Whether you request at the beginning, middle or at the end of the case, you will need to specify which tooth to block out because we usually leave undercuts alone to allow for retention.  
  • Submit a case revision asking for an adjustment to the trimming, (you can ask us to cut the aligner or shorten the aligner by trimming it at the distal end of the last molar), and if necessary ask for additional engagers. (At this time, other than the above request, we do not do custom trimming of aligners. If there are any other trimming modifications necessary they will need to be done in your office. (We offer a convenient Trimming Kit to aid you with in-office trimming of aligners in our online store.)
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ClearCorrect is a medical device manufacturer and does not practice dentistry. The treating physician is solely responsible for prescribing and administering orthodontic treatment. Clear aligner therapy is unpredictable. ClearCorrect does not guarantee a successful treatment outcome. Individual results will vary.

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