Having the right amount of space in between your patient’s teeth is important to orthodontic treatment. If there is too much space, chances are food gets trapped which can lead to cavities and tooth decay. On the other hand, if there is too little space, the teeth may not have enough room to move during aligner treatment. Good thing there is a helpful device that can help you monitor the distances between your patients’ teeth. Introducing SpaceCHQR gauges. Read on to learn more.
What is SpaceCHQR?
The SpaceCHQR device is a series of medical grade stainless steel gauges of specific thicknesses which allow both patients and dental health care professionals to measure the distances between teeth down to a 10 micron (0.01mm) tolerance. Each blade has been specially design to measure interproximal space. The device provides a simple colour system to easily indicate if enough space exists to progress to the next aligner in their treatment.
This is a particularly useful device as it verifies: (1) if too much space exists between teeth (a food trap) or (2) if there is insufficient space to allow for tooth movement during orthodontic treatment.
- The Green Gauge is 50 microns(0.05mm)
- The Amber Gauge is 40 microns (0.04mm)
- The Red Gauge is 30 microns (0.03mm)
Clinical Indications of SpaceCHQR
Checking for Food traps with SpaceCHQR: The patient simply slides the gauge down between the teeth: if the largest, the Green Gauge (50 microns) can enter, then the patient is often aware that an irritating and potentially problematic space exists that needs attention in the clinic. Ideally, only the 30 micron gauge should be able to fit in between teeth.
Clear Aligner Orthodontic use for SpaceCHQR: SpaceCHQR is invaluable as it verifies the existence of sufficient space for tooth movement and it is particularly useful as the patient can confirm that this critical space exists before each aligner changeover. If insufficient space exists, the patient is encouraged to remain in the same aligner and consult with the dental health care professional to then create sufficient space before proceeding with the aligner changeover. The outcome is that collisions between teeth are avoided and significant time wastage from changing to ill-fitting next aligners with little chance of movement is negated.
Pointers for Using SpaceCHQR
Some patients may be intimated by the looks for SpaceCHQR given that it is made of stainless steel. Make sure to clarify to patients that they are not painful. The SpaceCHQR is a series of medical grade stainless steel gauges that have been highly polished on the edges to protect your gums . Also, if there is food or foreign object that prevents the gauge from going in the proximal contact points. Use floss to clear the contact points to remove.
Importantly, The SpaceCHQR should be able to be inserted and removed passively. DO NOT FORCE THE GAUGE BETWEEN THE TEETH. If you find the gauge does not fit between any of the teeth, move to a finer gauge.