Personalised Learning

Finding your first patient

Your first time doing any new clinical treatment will be daunting, no matter how experienced you are as a dentist. We are here to help.

You aren’t expected to do everything in one go, take your time, and know that you’ll have the support and guidance from the 32Co team when you need it.

Patient selection for your first case

Lots of people want clear aligners.

Be strict with yourself, start with someone who will be patient with you, and who won’t mind you taking your time (e.g. retake an impression if needed)

Most dentists will choose a patient they’ve known for a while, a nurse, a friend, anyone they feel comfortable with.

Remember, you will see this patient every 4-8 weeks during treatment, and you’ll complete any cosmetic work and supervise retention for a long time after.

What about complexity?

No case is ‘simple’ in orthodontics, but there are things which make cases more difficult, and we’d suggest you avoid these for your first case.

Look at the patient holistically, and not just their intraoral photographs.

High patient expectations can make a case more complex:

✔ Wanting to correct midlines

✔ Significant changes to current smile dimensions rather than alignment only

✔ Wanting things to be done in a short timeframe

Other patient factors to consider

Motivation; do you think they’ll wear their aligners?

✔ Not willing to be seen in person every 4-8 weeks for review (some reviews can be virtual)

Clinical factors to consider

✔ They are an adult (teens are still growing and should generally be treated by an ortho)

✔ Outstanding dental issues are a non-starter for orthodontics-stabilise first

Hallmarks of a complex case

✔ Very severe crowding (>8mm)

✔ Lots of significantly rotated teeth (>30 degrees)

✔ Deep underbites or overbites

✔ Significantly shifted midlines

What if I'm not sure?

If you aren’t sure how complex the case is that is OK, your specialist orthodontist helping you on the case will provide guidance, and warn you off any cases which are too tricky.

Key takeaways

Remember that the orthodontic complexity assessment includes patient factors; don’t underestimate these and be prepared to say no to patients.

Watch this video for a more detailed look into assessing patients for suitability. We’re here to help whenever you need us, just drop us an email!

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To book a demo or to learn more about 32Co, please email the team