Five Ways Technology Has Helped the Orthodontic Process
Over the last twenty years, the orthodontic industry has made great strides in the way they deliver services to patients by using the positive advances of technology. It can be an amazing thing to bring your child to the orthodontist and witness how different treatment is from the time you had braces years ago. Besides making the process easier and more individualized, new advances in technology actually leave patients with less frequent need for tooth extractions and save them from the uncomfortable use of one size fits all braces. Here are five ways that orthodontics has improved through technology.
A Clearer Picture
The ability for orthodontists to take 3D images of a patient’s entire skull, jaw, and underlying bone structure has made orthodontic treatment much more customized when dealing with each patient. Because each patient’s bone structure is different, finding the best treatment for patients by using clearer, more detailed pictures is more effective.
A TAD bit easier
Surgical grade titanium screws, also known as TADS, are a way of securing anchor teeth, or molars, so that they do not create unwanted movement in other places throughout the mouth. And advances in medicine have allowed orthodontists to place TADs in patient’s mouths with a small amount of topical anesthesia-making the use of these screws painless and easy.
Custom Smile Design
By using 3D planning software, orthodontists are able to customize smile design for each patient individually. Impressions taken of patients’ teeth are actually converted to 3D models so patients can clearly see the overall goal their process is working to achieve. Not only is the process spelled out more clearly, customizing smile design makes the process more comfortable and effective by keeping dental and facial features of each individual in mind.
The biggest advance that technology has allowed involves self-ligating braces. The earlier processes involved conventional twin brackets and the use of elastic ligatures to apply pressure to the bracket and move the tooth into place with the wire’s guidance. This process often caused friction and ligation forces to work to affect the tooth movement requiring heavier forces and giving the patient more discomfort and a slower treatment process. Advances in self-ligating braces actually allowed doctors to create a slide mechanism that allows the provider to place a wire inside the mechanism and close it off. This process reduces friction and pressure and allows for a more effective force. It also is a more comfortable way of moving teeth and reduces the need for tooth extraction and alleviates crowding in the mouth.
A Clear Solution
Finally, technology has made the vision of wearing braces a much more attractive one. By producing all different kind of braces to shy away from the traditional metal braces, the actual process of straightening our teeth is more appealing to the adult patient. Clear braces are not only discreet, they are more comfortable and precise. Making the decision to seek orthodontic treatment later in life becomes a lot more attractive with all the different options available to keep the idea of being an adult with metal mouth out of the picture.
So, technology helps the world in many ways. But, perhaps, amongst the most important of these, is through advances in medicine. Not only has technology made the orthodontic process more appealing, it has provided more comfort to patients and a more effective approach at correcting the alignment of their teeth by offering individualized and custom plans. To create your custom plan, contact us to set up an appointment.