It seems like new clear aligner alternatives exploded on the market at the last AAO in Washington, DC. I’ve enjoyed using the “big name” aligner product for many years, and still do, but wanted to explore other options for better value and performance. Our office currently has about 20 cases going with Orthocaps (OC) from Rocky Mountain Orthodontics (RMO) and we have enjoyed the results we have seen thus far.

The most consistent advantage I am seeing is improved aligner engagement from appointment to appointment. Even with fewer total number of attachments than I am used to, I am seeing consistently improved aligner engagement at every appointment when advancing aligners. With previous aligners, it was not uncommon to see them begin to lift off of teeth that we were attempting to engage with more significant vertical or rotational movements, particularly maxillary lateral incisors. Other than one patient who has been negligent with compliance, this has not been observed in our OC patients at all. I would assume this is due to the viscous inner lining of the aligners (the OC aligners have a unique dual polymer layering) and a little trick that we instruct patients to practice at home.

When seating and unseating an OC aligner, compared to other aligners, you can definitely feel them gripping the teeth with stronger adhesion. In addition to the adhesion, the inner softer polymer has a bit of a compression and elasticity to it which I try to take advantage of. I have been very specifically instructing patients that the first 3 days of a new tray, reserve 10 minutes first thing in the morning and right before sleep where you intentionally clench and grind on the night trays (which are much thicker). The purpose of this is to give a little bit more of an elastic “nudge” to certain teeth that may not want to track so easily. This seems to be a unique advantage offered by the relative softness and compression capacity of the inner liner. So far, we have seen less mid-treatment revisions, improved efficiency in case progression, and are hopeful with what we have seen from our Orthocaps cases. OP

Chad Foster, DDS, MS, Butterfly Orthodontics, Phoenix