Old Patient Records

Can they be used for Orthosnap?

Michael Yoon avatar
Written by Michael Yoon
Updated over a week ago

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Old Records

Occasionally, you may have a patient who would like to start with OrthoSnap treatment who has already had impressions or scans taken. 

You may wonder if you can use their old records. 

The answer is—it depends.

Why does the patient have old records?

If the patient had impressions taken or a 3D scan performed for restorative dentistry purposes, those records are no good. The restorative work changed at least one tooth, and this will disrupt the perfect fit of our aligners.

Similarly, if something else has changed with the patient’s teeth, such as a lost or broken tooth, we cannot use the old records. 

But what if the patient previously started the process to begin clear aligner treatment but put treatment on hold? Again—it depends.

Was the previous treatment with OrthoSnap? We may not need new records, depending on how far into treatment the patient got and how long it has been. You can reach out to our clinical team through the home page of your doctor’s portal to find out.

If the previous records went to another aligner company, we will most likely need new impressions. 

If the patient had impressions taken, where are they now? If someone happened to save them, and if they remain accurate and in good condition, it may be possible. But only if they are PVS impressions. We cannot fabricate aligners from alginate impressions. 

Chances are, however, the original impressions are no longer available. And we cannot use stone models for anything other than a pre-evaluation. To manufacture aligners, we need PVS impressions.

When can OrthoSnap use old records?

If the old records include clinical photos, we can most likely use these for the pre-evaluation. As long as there have not been any significant changes since the photos were taken. Of course, we are talking about changes in the mouth, jaw, or facial structure.  

If the old records include digital scans, and the patient has not had changes with the teeth or jaw, such as restorative work or a lost tooth, we may be able to use them. But we want you to understand the potential limitations with this. 

The first question is, how long has it been? Dentition changes over time. Especially for patients with underlying issues, such as periodontal disease, bruxism, or bulimia. If you want to consider using old scans, you need to determine if they are still accurate. You will want to be confident the scans represent the current dentition, or you will most likely encounter fitting problems. 

The second question is, do you really want to utilize technology when impressions are actually better?  

PVS Impressions Are Better Than Digital Scans

While it may sound contrary to what most dentists and clear aligner labs say, PVS impressions are superior to digital scans when it comes to fabricating clear aligners. While OrthoSnap can process STL files, we don’t recommend it. 

We do agree digital scans have many advantages in some areas of dentistry, but the technology just isn’t to the point yet of creating perfectly fitting aligners. 

We get it. Digital scans are impressive. They are easy to use and less messy. Instead of having to ship impressions, you can upload files. And patients prefer scans over impressions. 

However, the limitations with digital scans are the biggest consideration. OrthoSnap aligners are superior to other clear aligners because of their perfect fit, and the reduced resolution of scans cannot produce perfectly fitting aligners. 

When aligners don’t fit perfectly, the result is uneven force on the teeth. To achieve proper tooth movement with less-than-perfect aligners, you have to deal with all sorts of attachments, including things OrthoSnap aligners do not require, such as digital chains and rubber bands. 

In Summary

If you took impressions and sent them to OrthoSnap’s lab, contact our clinical team to see if we need new ones.  

Otherwise, to avoid fitting problems and give your patient first-rate results, the best solution is to make new impressions. This way, you can expect aligners that fit your patient perfectly.

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If you have questions or need to speak with someone at Orthosnap, please reach out to us at support@orthosnap.com.


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