Aligners Don’t Fit – Rocking (fits one side but not the other)



Rocking is when one side of the aligner first but the other does not. The side that is tracking will fit nicely (flushed), but the side that is tracking poorly will not want to sit at all.

Trying to sit the aligner on either side yields the same results since the aligner will react like a rubber band when stretched beyond to elastic capabilities. If you try to sit the poorly tracking side first, when you then try to sit the aligner on the tracking side, the poorly tracking side will start to lift even more at the gingival of buccal side and cause extreme pressure.


Aligners rocking can be caused by any of the following:

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

Less common causes:

  • In hot climates, the aligner may have distorted from exposure to high temperatures, particularly inside vehicles.
  • The patient may have had a sealant or restoration placed on a tooth unbeknownst to the dentist providing aligner treatment.


Here are some suggestions of what you can do if your patient's aligners are rocking:

  • Look for impression distortions from the original impression. This could help to pin point how the tracking issue started.
  • Try adding dimples using thermopliers
  • Try backtracking using the previous aligner
  • Add engagers (you will need to request a case revision to have more engagers added)
Was this article helpful?
0 out of 3 found this helpful

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.

Have more questions? Submit a request
Powered by Zendesk