Airway vs. Conventional: Key differences when starting a case

See how Chief Dental Officer Dr. Brian Gray and Vice President of General Practitioner Clinical Education Dr. Ben Miraglia start two different case types.

Ben Miraglia, DDS
Ben Miraglia, DDS,
VP of GP Clinical Education

CandidPro is proud to support dental professionals with flexible treatment options depending on their case goals. For airway doctors who may be using our clear aligners to achieve a functional occlusion in conjunction with other treatments, CandidPro offers some key customizations at the case submission stage. Here’s how two of our top Faculty members start conventional cases and airway cases.

Diagnosis

Dr. Gray

The first step is awareness of the signs and symptoms of malocclusion and performing occlusal assessments. CandidPro offers a malocclusion brochure for patients that includes a survey they can fill out in the reception area. This survey can help the hygienist or dentist start the conversation about malocclusion and provide adequate information to prompt an assessment. 

Dr. Miraglia

When I’m starting an airway case with CandidPro, the patient has already received a diagnosis of some kind of sleep disordered breathing (SDB) from a medical professional. I often screen for airway issues during my appointments and refer to other medical professionals if the patient exhibits signs and symptoms of SDB. They may already be using a CPAP machine to improve their quality of sleep. From there, I can offer some advice on their options. Removable adult expanders are used to develop the foundation, and our CandidPro clear aligners are used to align the teeth and coordinate the bite. This is a foundation first, tooth positioning and bite coordination second, pathway. 

Diagnostics

Dr. Gray

Collecting diagnostics is a team effort in my office. CandidPro requires the ABO eight photo array, intraoral scans or PVS impressions, and a set of X-rays. My practice assistants and hygienists generally complete these steps so I can focus on being present with other patients. The process generally takes less than 30 minutes, so we don’t keep the patient too long. 

Dr. Miraglia

If I’m working with CandidPro as a stage two treatment, that usually means I need to take a new set of diagnostic records. I want to make sure that the patient’s arch has expanded to the appropriate degree. Our airway method at CandidPro is intended to deliver the maximum amount of tongue space, but the real progress is made before aligners come into play. My team will collect the necessary diagnostics, including the ABO eight photo array, X-rays, and intraoral scan.

Submission

Dr. Gray

Once I have all the diagnostics ready, submitting a CandidPro case is easy. Sometimes I’ll do it myself. Other times, I’ll have a member of my team handle submission. In either case, the first step is clicking the “New Patient” button in my Portal and filling out the patient’s basic information. After that, it’s time to upload the patient’s diagnostic records. There are some questions about treatment goals for the case. It’s here that I can advise whether this is a conventional case or airway case. I can also designate whether I’d like to use IPR, attachments, or other techniques. Finally, I’ll double-check my work before submitting the case. 

Dr. Miraglia

Similar to Dr. Gray, I start with the patient’s information and upload their diagnostics. When I reach the “Treatment Goals” section, I am given the choice between whether this is a conventional case or airway case. Selecting the airway protocol signals our technicians to promote arch development and maximize tongue space. My default treatment preferences that are saved to my user profile are automatically applied to my airway case submission. 

Approval and tracking

Dr. Gray

After submitting a case, I use the case tracker on my Patient Detail Page to see every step of the process, from reviewing diagnostics and treatment planning to manufacturing and delivery. If I want to discuss the treatment plan with another clinician before I approve it, I can always schedule a call with a CandidPro orthodontist directly from my Portal. 

Dr. Miraglia

Having submitted the case, the next step for me is to wait for the diagnostic material review, which is generally pretty fast. After that, I’ll have a treatment plan to review as well. One of the things I really enjoy about working with CandidPro is that the treatment plans come back looking exactly how I’d like. There are few to no revisions required, which means I can accelerate case acceptance and get the patient started. 

Ben Miraglia, DDS
Ben Miraglia, DDS,
Dr. Miraglia has been practicing dentistry in Mt . Kisco, NY for 29 years, including 19 years offering interceptive orthodontics. He is widely recognized for his lectures and continuing education courses focusing on clear aligner therapy and craniofacial growth and development related to sleep-disordered breathing.

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