IPhones and self-parking cars aren’t the only things that have come out of recent technological advancements. As the world of technology constantly improves over time, tools are developed year after year that help the orthodontic industry improve their practices. Technological advances have done everything from making an everyday process faster, to creating patient care that is more specific to each person’s needs.
The 3-D technology has been around for quite a few years, but just recently dentists and orthodontists have been able to afford the equipment. Not only does this amazing technology make taking x-rays easier and faster, but it also helps orthodontists and dentists make much more informed treatment decisions. This means more effective, personally tailored care for you and your family. The 3-D technology allows professionals to look at your x-rayed teeth from every angle without having to take multiple x-rays, as one would have to do for the old 2-D equipment. Not only do patients enjoy the 10-second x-ray rather than one that lasts a few minutes, but they also rejoice in the fact that they are being exposed to far less radiation in this newer model.
Custom Smile Design
With decades of research backing the process, customized smile design is rising in popularity. Also involving 3-D equipment, Insignia incorporates both the software needed to plan a patient’s orthodontic procedure and the specialized equipment needed to follow through with that care. The software provides a 3-D picture of not only the patient’s overall mouth, but also each tooth in detail. It then allows the orthodontist to manipulate and plan out the process to straighten teeth, even presenting the ability to show a patient what their teeth will look like when the process is finished. The orthodontist can then order brackets that are tailored to each patient’s wants and needs, creating a more comfortable and effective treatment than the original braces approach. By using the Insignia technology, professionals can create a smile that truly fits the patient’s needs, taking into consideration the unique facial and dental features of each and every patient.
This technology hasn’t become standard yet, but it will be in coming years. The main benefit of this device in orthodontic offices is the replacement of impressions. Gone are the days that patients will have to fill their mouth with unpleasant goo to get the impressions needed to create models and/or retainers. Instead, this 6-8 minute process creates a very accurate representation of your teeth and seems to create better results in the long run.
As technology continues to take on new and exciting challenges, the orthodontic industry works hard to stay up to date on the tools created to make orthodontists’ patient care easier and more accurate. With these tools, expect your treatments to be faster, easier, and tailored to better fit your needs. Isn’t technology wonderful?
Written by Dr. Darren Wittenberger, owner of the orthodontic office, Advance Orthodontics, in Columbia, Missouri.