FAQ for Aligners

1. Which aligner company do you recommend?

The OrthoED aligner courses are generic courses allowing the dentist to perform aligner treatment with an aligner company of their choice. Our aim is to provide the clinician with sound principles of aligner therapy including diagnosis, appropriate treatment staging, attachment design, and troubleshooting for any aligner system. Having said that, we feel that an aligner system should provide the practitioner with the ability to modify attachments, perform virtual 3D movements directly on the digital set up with the setup to be modified very simply with regards to staging requirements. We believe that if you understand all the principles, you should be able to do the majority of cases with most systems. 

2. Why do I need to do an aligner course when the aligner companies do the setups?

This is one of the great myths in orthodontics – it’s imperative to understand that the diagnosis and the proposed treatment plan relies directly upon the registered practitioner. Many aligner companies would like you to believe that everything is automated and requires little or no input from the practitioner , but there is nothing further from the truth. Most aligner systems have automated set ups with automated attachment placement but these require certain movements to trigger the attachment design. If these movements are not met, incorrect or no attachments are placed. In addition, correct staging with aligner treatment is essential and this can only be provided by the knowledgeable dentist and cannot be provided with any algorithm from an aligner company. In our experience, the average case requires three or four revisions in any set up to ensure that an accurate and predictable plan is in place.

3. Why don’t I get the same outcome with my aligner cases as the software predicts?

What the software predicts and the final outcome are two totally different scenarios. Firstly, there is a biological variation that can occur, and probably more importantly, the predictability of movements with aligners has been demonstrated to be only 50% of what is programmed into the aligner system – This can cause significant issues, even with the amount of IPR which is proposed by the aligner company.

4. What is the difference between the OrthoED aligner courses and the other aligner courses available?

At OrthoED, we initially train you on basic orthodontic diagnosis, which is critical to any planning process of an orthodontic case – whether it be aligners or braces, the same principles should apply. Secondly, we pride ourselves on teaching sound orthodontic principles when it comes to aligner therapy to ensure that you understand the biomechanics of tooth movement and, in particular, the biomechanics of attachments and attachment design, and staging of treatment to provide the best orthodontic and clinical outcome for your patient. 

5. Why do I need to do an aligner course when I have already done the Invisalign course?

The Invisalign course and any course which is provided by an aligner manufacturer is purely designed to teach you the nuances of their aligner software. Aligner companies do not provide any clinical education with regards to orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning , optimum aligner set ups. In fact, the orthodontic aligner companies are not allowed to provide you with any clinical training per se, but only training on their particular aligner system with regards to their software.

6. Why are Dr Geoffrey Hall and Dr Martin Poon considered to be experts in aligner therapy?

Dr Geoffrey Hall introduced Invisalign into Australia in 1999 and was the first practitioner outside of the USA to provide Invisalign to patients. Dr Martin Poon is an Invisalign Diamond Provider, and between them have treated over 1,000 aligner cases and have been involved in every type of aligner training possible. Dr Hall and Dr Poon are practising orthodontists and share with students many of their successful and not so successful cases, explaining in detail the whys and hows of predictable outcomes. Over many years of teaching nearly a thousand dentists ,they have demonstrated the necessary skills to provide all the information to general dentists so they can now obtain predictable, profitable, orthodontic outcomes for all of their aligner patients.. 

7. Will I be able to start treating aligner cases following the three day Essential Aligner Course?

Absolutely! As soon as you finish this three day course you will feel very comfortable in treating 80% of potentially eligible aligner cases . You will have the necessary skills and confidence. However, OrthoED also provides a support system through the Complete Aligner Planning Service (CAPS) to help fully treatment plan your cases if you so desire . With this added option you can feel totally confident that any case you start with aligners will be treatment planned correctly by specialist orthodontists to achieve the best clinical outcome in the most efficient manner.

8. Do I need to do the Advanced Aligner course after the Aligner Essentials course?

No you don’t need to, however the more knowledge you have, the better the outcomes will be for your patients. The Advanced Aligner Course takes you to another level in your knowledge and treatment planning. This extra knowledge should allow you to tackle even the very difficult aligner cases. 

9. Can I do the Aligner Essentials and the Advanced Aligner Courses without doing the Postgraduate Certificate?

The Postgraduate Certificate in Clear Aligner Therapy is an optional extra, however it will provide you with extra confidence through reinforced learning by completing the assessments for both courses. The Postgraduate Certificate will also provide you and your practice greater credibility to your patients in the aligner space. 

10. Do I need any orthodontic knowledge to start doing aligner cases?

The Essential Aligner Course will provide you with the basics in orthodontic diagnosis to help prepare you for your aligner cases. Technically speaking, you need minimal orthodontic knowledge to start aligner cases, however we will provide you with the knowledge required for case selection and planning your aligner cases to gain the best outcomes. 

11. What type of support does OrthoED offer for Clear Aligner Therapy?

We offer various levels of support for Clear Aligner Therapy. The most popular would be our Complete Aligner Planning Service (CAPS) which involves you submitting the aligner case on your preferred aligner portal, registering the case on the CAPS portal and specialist orthodontists will provide the ideal set up and staging etc for your patient. Please note: This is not an educational service but purely a service to give you the best clinical outcome. You do not need to be an OrthoED student to access CAPS. If you are an OrthoED past/present student and prefer to have more of an educational service, we do offer a one on one consultation service via Zoom where we can discuss cases with you and answer any of your questions. 

12. Does the 2 year OrthoED Mini Masters course cover aligner therapy?

Absolutely! – Module 4 in the OrthoED Mini Masters Program is the 3 day ‘Essential Aligners’ course and Module 9 is the 2 day Advanced Aligner Course. These modules can be used as credits for the Postgraduate Certificate in Clear Aligner Therapy.

13. What does the Postgraduate Certificate in Clear Aligner Therapy entail?

It requires the practitioner to have attended the Essential Aligner Course and the Advanced Aligner Course, either face to face or Livestream (excludes online option). There are multiple choice assessments to complete after each of the Modules (pass mark 80%) and presentation of two clear aligner cases for patients who have been in treatment for a minimum of 12 months. These cases must be fully documented using the OrthoED templates provided. 

14. Is the Postgraduate Certificate in Clear Aligner Therapy recognised in Australia?

According to APHRA, Drs may use the post nominals in their credentials, provided it is made clear that this is a Post-Graduate Certificate in Clear Aligner Therapy from a UK accredited body. It is not affiliated with any Australian university.

15. Can I do the Advanced Aligner course without attending the Aligner Essentials course because I have been doing aligner cases for years?

We do not allow anyone to attend the Advanced Aligner Course without first attending the Aligner Essentials Course. It's very important for Drs to have the basic understanding of all the principles which are taught in the Aligner Essentials Course before undertaking the Aligner Advanced Course.

16. Can I just attend the Aligner Essential Module or do I have to attend the Advanced Aligner Module as well?

It is purely at your discretion –You may attend the Aligner Essential Module only, however you will obtain further knowledge and more benefits by also attending the Advanced Aligner Module. For Drs with no prior clear aligner experience we do recommend completing approximately 6-10 cases before attending the Advanced Aligner module to receive the maximum benefit from the course. 

17. Can I become accredited for SPARK if I do the Aligner Essentials course online?

You are required to attend the Aligner Essential Course face to face or via Livestream to be eligible for accreditation as a SPARK practitioner . Once you have completed the course Envista requires you to attend a 45 minute webinar to learn how to use the software and gain a full understanding of the SPARK system. 

18. Do I still need to do a course with the aligner companies after I have finished the Aligner Essentials course?

The Aligner Essential Course purely provides you with all of the tools, knowledge and understanding to provide high quality clinical outcomes with aligner therapy , however you must be accredited with an aligner company to use a particular system and provide aligner therapy in your practice . All cases are submitted through aligner companies and not through the OrthoED Institute. The OrthoED Institute is purely a training institute and does not provide fabrication or delivery of any aligners.

19. How many CPD credits does the course provide?

The Essential Aligner Course provides 50 CPD points and the Advanced Aligner Course also provides 50 CPD points. There are a total of 150 credits for the Postgraduate Certificate in Clear Aligner Therapy.

20. What happens if I register for the courses and I am unable to attend on the selected dates?

All modules have been pre-recorded and Drs are given access to these recordings the night before each scheduled module and maintain access for 3 months. You may like to watch the recording in your own time and attend the missed module the following year. Alternatively, if the module is being Livestreamed we can send you a link and you can join us online.

21. Does the Postgraduate Certificate include any practical component?

The only practical component in the Postgraduate Certificate in Clear Aligner therapy is the detailed presentation and documentation of two aligner cases which are at least 12 months into treatment. There is no hands-on practical component in any of the aligner courses.

22. If I have already attended the Aligner Essentials and Advanced Aligner courses, can I apply to do the Postgrad Certificate or do I have to redo both courses?

If you’ve already attended both the Aligner Essentials and the Advanced Aligner Courses you can apply for the Post-Graduate Certificate as an optional extra. You do not have to re-do either of the modules, however you will need to complete the multiple choice assessments for each module and submit 2 cases for patients who have been in clear aligner treatment for a minimum of 12 months. In order to achieve a pass for the multiple choice assessments you will need to achieve a minimum of 80% correct answers.