A safe space for clear aligner providers

Posted on

Dec 13, 2023

**This article was written in collaboration with Dentistry.co.uk

32Co explains why communication and support are essential for providers of clear aligner therapy to achieve the best results.**

Here’s a scene that may be familiar to many dentists who provide clear aligners:

A patient comes to you desperate to ‘close the gaps between her teeth’ before her wedding in three months. She has been self-conscious about them for years and doesn’t want the best day of her life ruined by her insecurity. You send the scans to the clear aligner company, and they tell you the course of treatment should take 10 weeks to complete.

The countdown begins.

Everything seems to run smoothly for the first five weeks. The patient is tracking well. Her family is raving about her smile, telling her they can’t wait to see the final result. You are excited to see her reaction when the treatment finally finishes.

Until you get a phone call in the sixth week.

The new aligner fails to seat. The patient rings reception in a panic, worrying that her teeth won’t be ready for her wedding. So, you call the clear aligner company for support. They pass you on to a technician who regretfully informs you they cannot assist with clinical issues. The best solution they can offer is to rescan the patient for new trays.

At this point, a whirlwind of thoughts starts circling your brain – was there a clinical error? Will the patient get her aligners back in time for her wedding? What if this leads to a complaint?

Support network

These thoughts are all too common amongst many clear aligner providers. An average of 2.5 refinement scans are required for the typical case (Kravitz et al, 2023). This unpredictability can be unsettling. Coupled with a lack of personal and clinical support, it’s no wonder 43.8% of dentists felt that they could not cope with the level of stress in their jobs (Collin et al, 2019). A small minority are fortunate enough to have experienced clear aligner providers in their practice to seek advice from. However, many suffer in silence.

It is an issue that could be solved if dentists had a support network to turn to in these situations.

Picture the same scenario that this article began with.

Imagine if someone could have foreseen the need for more inter proximal reduction earlier in the treatment. Or, if you had been warned rotation of canines is difficult to achieve with clear aligners (Flores-Mir et al, 2018). This means achieving sufficient movement in three months would be a challenge. At least with forewarning, the patient could make a better informed decision whether they would like to proceed with treatment.

32Co’s mission

This is where 32Co’s mission lies – providing a safe support network for dentists to discuss their clear aligner concerns without judgment. At present, there are a number of social media groups catered towards dentists which allow for case discussions and support. However, the resistance for many dentists is the overwhelming feeling of vulnerability amongst their peers. The public nature of these platforms can invite harsh criticism from senior clinicians, which can deter younger clinicians from posting their own questions.

This is the culture that 32Co wishes to eliminate in its entirety. Their clinical team hosts a wealth of esteemed orthodontists, such as Professor Ama Johal, who has taught hundreds of dentists at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels at Barts and the London. From the experience their team has teaching dentists at all levels, they have established the ethos that no question is ever stupid or unnecessary.

The one to one nature of 32Co’s online platform facilitates this ethos in particular. Dentists have exclusive access to their own Specialist Orthodontist for each case submitted through the 32Co DUO Service, whom they can message at any time if they ever need case support or general advice.


At present, the biggest cause of litigation in orthodontics is miscommunication (Pour et al, 2022). These cases can often spiral out of control very quickly, and dentists may only be aware much later into the treatment. However, many of these cases can be entirely avoided through proper planning and consent procedures.

All cases submitted through 32Co have the option of a bespoke DUO plan for your patient. This includes direction on records required, consent forms and one to one case support from start to finish. It has proven to be a popular option amongst dentists who want to up their game in clear aligner treatment, getting the plan right first time, reducing refinements to less than half the industry standard.

With the rising scrutiny from regulators, it is clear that dentists have been longing for a safe space to discuss their concerns. A space they can feel heard. A space they can feel supported in.

At last within the clear aligner space, 32Co has provided a blueprint for how this can be achieved.

Ready to receive one to one specialist orthodontist advice for dentists on your next clear aligner case? Sign up here.


  1. Neal D Kravitz, Bassel Dalloul, Yara Aba Zaid, Chandani Shah, Nikhilesh R Vaid, What percentage of patients switch from Invisalign to braces? A retrospective study evaluating the conversion rate, number of refinement scans, and length of treatment, American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacia, Volume 154, Issue 1, April 2023, Pages 526-530.
  2. V Collin, M Toon, E O’Selmo, L Reynolds, P Whitehead, A survey of stress, burnout and well-being in UK dentists, Br Dent 2019 Jan 11;226(1):40-49. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2019.6.
  3. Flores-Mir C, Brandelli J, Pacheco-Pereira C, Patient satisfaction and quality of life status after 2 treatment modalities: Invisalign and conventional fixed appliances. American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, 01 Nov 2018, 154(5):639-644.
  4. Hamid Pour, Karthikeyan Subramani, Richard Stevens, Pramod Sinha, An overview of orthodontic malpractice liability based on a survey and case assessment review, J Clin Exp Dent, 2022 Sep, 14(9):e694–e704.

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