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High Tech Orthodontics

October 9th, 2014

Our future involves a huge amount of technology, and dentistry is no exception. With the advent of computer modeling and imaging, new treatment modes are fast becoming available and even the norm.
Orthodontic care has taken some huge steps with technology. While impressions of teeth are still the starting point, these are starting to be replaced with digital scanners which transfer an image to the computer. Some of these scans can be made from existing models as well. The computer can then display a virtual model of the teeth. Here’s where the magic comes in. The teeth in the virtual view can be moved gradually to their final desired positions. Models can be imaged in small steps along the way and actually created using the new 3D printing technology and now the models can be used to make appliances to move the patients teeth to these positions.
Using these technologies, custom brackets can be manufactured to fit each individual tooth perfectly so they can be thinner, more comfortable, and more efficient. Even the wires to move the teeth can be created by the computer. So many of the tedious steps in the past are being made easier with these technologies. The brackets can be placed on the virtual final model and lined up perfectly. They can then be moved back to the current position and embedded in a “mouth guard” type device, allowing them to all be placed in the patient’s mouth at one time, saving time and allowing for greater precision. Speak to your dental team to see what new technologies are available for your treatment.

Much of this digital technology is being applied to the fields of crown and bridge fabrication as well. The newer ceramic materials are being manufactured using multiple CAD-CAM (computer aided design-computer aided manufacture) technologies. Implant design and placement, surgical planning, trauma cases, and many more fields are being advanced because of these new developments.

From the desk of Dr. Stuart F. Fass, D.D.S.

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