From digital impressions to orthodontic digital workflow, tech advancements are ushering a new era in the orthodontic industry. Thanks to advances in dentistry, orthodontists can serve more patients and patients can get more predictable tooth movement and finish cases as scheduled or ahead schedule.
New tools in the industry allow orthodontists to offer better experiences to patients with less of the hassle.
These innovations include the following:
Digital X-Rays and 3D Dental Imaging
Digital scanning and 3D imaging and printing enable orthodontists to get a more detailed look at the structure of the mouth. These tools also offer dentists immediate access to images instead of having to wait for the photos to be processed or developed.
Digital x-rays also provide better image quality, which makes it easier for orthodontists to examine the structure of a patient’s mouth, as well as view them with the patient during the same appointment.
Apart from digitizing x-rays, new dental advancements are changing the way orthodontists view scans. The orthodontic industry now takes advantage of 3D x-ray technology. One of the most popular x-ray advancements is the i-Cat Cone Beam 3D Dental Imaging System (CBCT), a system that provides a full x-ray in one 360-degree scan and creates 3D images of the patient’s oral formation.
CBCT imaging has been known to help dental professionals identify cancerous growths in the dental tissue that would otherwise would not have been diagnosed. Also, impacted or ankylosed teeth may not be easily identified with regular or outdated x-ray technology.
Nickel and Copper-Titanium Wires
Instead of straightening teeth with stainless steel wires, several orthodontists now use copper or nickel-titanium wires. Stainless steel has been used for archwires since they are more affordable but they are more likely to stretch out, which means more tightening appointments.
These wires respond to the heat of the mouth faster, causing them to naturally tighten and bend as the teeth shift. It also applies more moderate pressure, reducing the pain and cutting down the patient’s need for more tightening appointments.
The iTero scanner enables orthodontists to digitally create impressions. All they have to do is scan their patient’s mouth and view the impressions on a computer a few minutes later. This scanner boasts significantly less fit issues and more accurate results, which saves both orthodontists and patients a lot of time and energy.
Traditional metal braces are no longer the only option for patients who wish to straighten their teeth. Thanks to clear dental aligners, patients can enjoy straighter teeth without the discomfort and appearance of metal braces.
Unlike metal braces, clear braces are almost invisible inside the mouth. These braces were also designed with the patient’s comfort in mind, which makes them more flexible. With clear aligners, you can remove them for a shorter period (e.g., when you want to eat or brush your teeth).
Robotic Wire Bending and CAD/CAM Technology
It used to be that only certain orthodontists were able to get the wires and brackets on the backs of patient’s teeth. Nowadays, lingual braces are more effective with robotic wire bending and CAD/CAM technology used in combination with a digital scanner.
Technology has made it easier for orthodontists to improve their patient’s experience. As the orthodontic industry continues to move towards the digital route, more orthodontists are following this path.
If you are one of them, find the technology you need at OrthoDenco Orthodontic Lab. Partner with us for precise applications and on-time deliveries, every time!