Clear Aligner Program

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The Clear Aligners course is available online via our eClass platform, and is in a self-paced, self-study format (no in-person attendance required). Following completion of the online eClass component, this course culminates with a live, synchronous online, limited attendance presentation session, which each participant must attend. This format provides the opportunity for participants to bring their own cases to discuss with the instructors and their peers. The in-depth, personalized sessions, which will be in a one-on-one "grand rounds" format for participant case presentations, will be scheduled on a first come-first served basis on designated evenings as deemed necessary (dates and times TBA within eClass). 

Participants will have a maximum of 1.5 months (6 weeks) within which to complete this entire course.

This exciting course series covers all aspects of clear aligners to begin offering clear aligners in the general dental setting. Topics begin with basic and fundamental information including diagnosis and treatment planning, aligner biomechanics, aligner design, case selection, taking both traditional impressions and digital scans for orthodontic aligners. Additional clinical procedures covered include delivering aligners, bonding attachments, interproximal reduction, and removing attachments for placing patients in retention. A step-by-step video catalogue demonstrates clinical procedures. The learning style is progressive and allows participants to build knowledge and gain confidence in providing aligner therapy. The course also covers strategies for growing your clear aligner practice through innovative marketing strategies.


Learning Objectives

  1. Understand basic principles of orthodontic tooth movement and clear aligner therapy
  2. Exposure to orthodontic records necessary for ordering clear aligners
  3. Acquire knowledge and confidence in photography necessary to begin clear aligner treatment
  4. Exposure to utilizing digital software to a treatment plan for clear aligner therapy and the digital workflow
  5. Become knowledgeable with the clinical procedures for bonding engagers and interproximal reduction
  6. Understand principles, theory, and procedures of intraoral optical scanning technology
  7. Exposure to information on the incorporation of the digital flow into daily practice
  8. Discuss business skills needed to implement aligner therapy in office


James Mah, DDS, MSc, DMSc

Melissa Shotell, DMD, MS

The Series

Course material is presented in four parts to allow clinicians to gradually advance towards the treatment of more complex cases. Select portions of the course are offered to Dental Assistants and Hygienists to allow for whole office education in clear aligners with the overall goal of providing aligner therapy as an office team. Following each session, online Grand Rounds will be conducted to allow participants opportunities to present and discuss their cases as well as learn from others. The case competency requirement of six (TBD) cases after each part allows participants to learn in a mentored environment. Participants can discuss, troubleshoot and otherwise interact with Faculty regarding their aligner patients and experiences. 


Although there is no case competency requirement following completion, we recognize that there is much learning ahead for participants to achieve a high level of confidence and competency to provide aligner therapy. Accordingly, the course provides continual mentoring and case discussion for participants to engage in a Grand Rounds format and benefit from case presentations from other participants, troubleshoot and work through case complexities. Clinicians will find tremendous value in continued participation in Grand Rounds to assist their management and case set ups in comparison to commercially available treatment planning services. 


Part I | 8CE

The first part of this series provides essential fundamental information regarding orthodontic aligner therapy with the ultimate goal of preparing participants to start providing aligner treatments for mild crowding. The comprehensive list of topics covers all aspects of patient records, clinical examination, photography, impressions, and others to provide a broad education for the general dentist and office team to embark on their clear aligner care journey. 


a. History and Evolution of Aligners 
b. Introduction to Clear Aligner Basics and Terminology 
c. Goals of Clear Aligner Therapy 
d. Identify Clear Aligner Cases in Practice 
e. Fundamentals of Diagnosis and Treatment Planning – Patient Exam 
f. Model Analysis and Bolton Estimation 
g. Record Taking for Clear Aligner Treatment – Overview 
h. Clinical Photography for Clear Aligners 
i. Making Impressions for Clear Aligners – Traditional and Digital 
j. 2-Phase Impressions for Clear Aligners 
k. Digital Techniques for Clear Aligners 
l. Delivering the First Set of Aligners and Homecare 
m. Attachments: Use and Placement 
n. Interproximal Reduction (IPR) 


Part II | 6 CE

Following the completion and documentation of six cases, participants are eligible to advance to Part II of the series where advanced diagnostics, more detailed aligner staging, troubleshooting, revisions, overcorrection and other advanced topics. The goal is to provide further education to allow participants to treat more advanced aligner treatments. 


a. Basic Cephalometric Analysis and Interpretation 
b. Basic Aligner Biomechanics 
c. Biology of Tooth Movement 
d. Treatment Staging 
e. Presenting Treatment Options
f. Monitoring Treatment Progress and Troubleshooting 
g. Refinement, Revision, and Midcourse Corrections 
h. Evaluating Treatment Completion 
i. Treatment Completion: Removing Attachments and Retention Techniques 
j. 7-Steps to Increasing Aligner Case Flow 


Part IIIA and IIIB Course Description

Following the completion and documentation of six additional cases involving additional complexity, participants are eligible to advance to Part IIIA and/or Part IIIB of this series. In the former, higher-level aligner biomechanics, approaches to managing skeletal malocclusions (Class II/Class III/vertical), advanced treatment staging, pre-aligner appliances and other topics will be covered. The ultimate goal is to provide participants with the necessary background information to treat more complex malocclusions. In the latter, the course content covers the steps to perform in-house aligner fabrication. Key steps of modelling, creating treatment setups, 3-D printing, thermoforming, aligner material selection and others will be covered. The goal of Part IIIB is to prepare an office to manufacture aligners for their patients. 

Topics Part IIIA

a. Advanced Aligner Biomechanics 
b. Skeletal malocclusion - Class II/III 
c. Treatment Staging
d. Space closure
e. Advanced use of auxiliary biomechanics
f. Pre-aligner appliances
g. Teen treatments 

Part III B: 

a. In-house aligner fabrication