Technology Transforms Orthodontics
Technology is changing everywhere – Apple is hoping to popularize wearable technology with the introduction of its iWatch, Amazon is beginning to test-fly outdoor delivery drones and more and more people are plugging in daily to monitor everything from their health to the weather. The Orthodontic world is also experiencing a transformation as technology is blended with sound diagnostic and clinical skills to improve orthodontic treatment planning and orthodontic treatment. The result: a better patient experience.
So…What’s Happening at Wilk & Wilk Orthodontics? Diagnostic digital x-rays are capturing images of the teeth, jaws and jaw joints with up to two thirds less radiation while eliminating the need for chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Portable digital intraoral scanners are using lasers to create 3D images of the teeth and gums that can be manipulated in real time to provide eager orthodontic patients with simulations of their smiles at the end of treatment. CBCT scans are providing detailed volumetric 3D images to supplement traditional diagnostic x-rays when treating more complicated orthodontic problems. Superelastic nickel titanium archwires are moving teeth quicker and more comfortably using lighter forces and requiring fewer office visits. The result: happier orthodontic patients who miss less school and work. Cemented non-compliance orthodontic appliances like the X-Bow® are correcting bites quicker than before and relieving parents of the duty of keeping track of the number of hours their kids would wear “old-school” appliances like headgear. Computer-based Invisalign® orthodontic treatment is providing an esthetic alternative to traditional braces and creating unparalleled amounts of flexibility in scheduled office visits – perfect for people with busy schedules. Titanium orthodontic miniscrews are being inserted during regular orthodontic visits to accomplish tooth movements previously never thought possible without surgical intervention. Micropulse technology received FDA clearance during the last 24 months and is now accelerating the rate of bone remodeling to move teeth faster and more comfortably. And this is just the beginning!
What’s coming down the pipeline? The captivating technology of 3D printing will move full steam ahead into orthodontic offices and will allow Orthodontists to custom design and print customized orthodontic appliances from manipulated digital STL files.