Remember Blockbuster video? Rabbit ears on televisions? Film-based cameras? Rotary phones? Dial-up internet? Yeah, me neither.
These are all old analog forms of technology that didn’t make it past a digital revolution. History tells us that digital always replaces analog over time. Orthodontics is no different.
Modern orthodontics is undergoing the most sweeping change in more than 100 years. Metal bands and braces that used to wrap completely around teeth were replaced by smaller braces that are glued onto teeth. Now those are being phased out for removable clear aligners like Invisalign and Clear Correct. Goopy impressions are being replaced by digital scans. Traditional digital photography is being replaced by 3D scans.
The result is better, faster, less expensive and more comfortable treatments and outcomes. The question becomes, “How fast will it take for orthodontists to embrace the new technology?” Treatment that used to take two to three years can now be completed in 12 months.
Your future orthodontic treatment may include the following five technologies.
This simple surgical procedure can cut treatment in half by creating small areas of inflammation that allow teeth to move faster through dental bone.
2. Clear Aligners
Invisalign has been the clear leader in this field but there are many other aligner companies on the market that allow you to move your teeth with invisible, removal devices that are cleaner and more comfortable. You can even have these aligners delivered to your house without even seeing a doctor. However, we do recommend that you see a doctor to diagnose and develop a treatment plan for your specific desired tooth movement.
3. Vibratory Orthodontic Devices
There are many vibration devices that stimulate bone and blood flow through your body and allow your teeth to move faster and with less pain.
4. Digital Impressions
Scanning for digital impressions allows for more precise movements and better diagnosis and treatment planning. It also allows for the easy storage of your teeth in their perfect form on a computer in the case that you don’t wear or lose your retainer (that would never happen) or your teeth move later in life. Just order another retainer/aligner and simply move those teeth back into the former position.
5. 3D X-ray and Photographic Imaging
Cone beam CT technology is not new but it is being used more in dentistry to position teeth in relation to facial structures. Orthodontists can now superimpose pictures onto bones through 3D photos and x-rays. Treatment simulations and outcome simulators are now possible so that you can see your teeth before you begin treatment.
The world is changing and you deserve to have the best possible treatment. Demand that your orthodontic provider give that to you. There are many orthodontic options that fit your lifestyle and personality beyond the standard traditional clear and metal braces. Be upfront about your specific goals, timeline and expectations, then let a digital orthodontist design a custom smile for you.