The Role of Technology in Modern Orthodontic Care

Dentistry is one of the world’s oldest professions, but that doesn’t mean it’s not moving with the times. Recent developments in technology have made a huge impact on how treatment is delivered and that is perhaps most evident in the specialist field of orthodontics.

Orthodontics deals with identifying and correcting crooked or misaligned teeth as well as bad bites, also known as malocclusions. For many people, thinking about this will likely conjure up images of traditional metal braces and, for some, the unusual sensation of having dental impressions taken.

However, new materials and technologies mean that orthodontists in South Surrey can now offer alternatives that make treatment easier and more convenient for patients as well as allowing for shorter appointments and reduced treatment times.

Alternatives to Traditional Braces

Perhaps the most obvious difference is the number of alternatives to traditional stainless-steel braces that are now available, each offering patients their own unique advantages.

Clear Ceramic Braces

Clear ceramic braces are the most comparable to traditional braces in terms of their appearance and how they function, but they are a lot less noticeable when worn. This is because they replace the steel brackets with clear ceramic, allowing them to blend in with the teeth.

Lingual Braces

Rather than replacing the metal with an alternative material, lingual braces instead reduce their visual impact by being situated out of sight behind the teeth.

Clear Plastic Aligners

Clear plastic aligners, such as those offered by Invisalign, take advantage of new technological developments to provide patients with a revolutionary alternative to braces. Since their introduction, they have become incredibly popular with adults looking to discreetly address orthodontic issues.

Unlike braces, these aligners can be inserted and removed by the patient. This reduces the amount of time they need to spend in appointments and allows them to be removed for eating and brushing their teeth. This means that there’s no need for the patient to make any changes to their diet or oral hygiene routine, and the clear plastic construction makes them virtually invisible when worn.

Digital Imaging and Planning

Digital scanners such as the iTero scanner allow orthodontists to quickly and easily obtain a highly accurate virtual 3D model of a patient’s teeth and gums. This is much faster than the previous method of using dental impressions and avoids the discomfort that can come with them.

The data from these scans is then loaded into specialized computer software which can be used to design braces or aligners that are perfectly tailored to the patient, a process known as computer-aided design, or CAD. This allows for orthodontic apparatus that fit better, meaning they’ll be more comfortable and deliver better results.

3D Printing

3D printing allows orthodontic apparatus such as clear aligners to be produced relatively quickly and inexpensively, keeping waiting times low and treatment affordable. This is particularly notable for its function in supporting Invisalign treatment, which requires the patient to switch to a new plastic aligner every week or two (depending on the treatment plan).

Experience the Advances for Yourself

If you’re interested in finding out more about how you could benefit from these orthodontic advances, the next step is to book an appointment. Here at Dream Orthodontics, our friendly team in South Surrey is experienced in delivering a wide range of treatment options and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us to book an appointment or find out more.