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Clear Aligner Basics
Principles of Space & Movement
Principles of Space & Movement
Dr. Alex Molayem avatar
Written by Dr. Alex Molayem
Updated over a week ago

2 Basic Principles for Clear Aligner Treatment

Orthosnap clear aligners have many advantages over traditional metal braces.

However, since they are not attached to the teeth, certain movements can be more difficult than with metal brackets and wires. 

While the superior fit and design of Orthosnap clear aligners allow for more difficult and complex orthodontic treatment when compared to other aligners, there can still be limitations that are important for you, the treating doctor, to understand.

When treating patients with OrthoSnap clear aligners, there are two principles to consider.

Principle #1: For teeth to move, they need space.

Crowding and tight tooth contacts often exist naturally in a patient’s dentition. While most aligners on the market compensate for limitations in tooth movement by prescribing interproximal reduction (IPR) and extractions, Orthosnap can more capably create space through arch expansion.

There are still situations where adequate space cannot be created purely with an arch expansion and therefore occasionally IPR is needed to correct extreme crowding or exaggerated rotation of teeth. 

Principle #2: For teeth to move, they need pressure.

For optimal osteoclastic and osteoblastic cellular activity, consistent pressure must be placed on a tooth for approximately 22 out of 24 hours a day, each and every day. The aligner must retain and engage the teeth well to be able to apply the proper force vectors and achieve the desired movements.

While other aligner brands require the use of multiple additions, such as buttons, engagers, digital chain bridges, elastics, and dimples to achieve the needed force, Orthosnap aligners require less assistance. The reason is that our aligners achieve 50x greater fit than the leading aligner brand, thereby applying more consistent force evenly on each tooth's surface.

Orthosnap also uses a unique segmented movement treatment planning protocol that only moves 2-3 teeth per quadrant per step, using adjacent teeth to anchor and more effectively deliver movements.

With extremely positioned teeth, Orthosnap treatment plans do occasionally call for attachments. Incidences where additional pressure might be required:

  • Molars

  • Maxillary laterals

  • Short clinical crowns

  • Rotations

  • Extrusions

  • Intrusions

Related Topics and Information:

Click to learn more about Common Tooth Movements and Difficult Tooth Movements.

If you have questions or need to speak with someone at Orthosnap, please reach out to us at

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