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Orthodontic Top 5 Trends

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In the past decade, orthodontists have been able to take advantage of the evolution and improvement of dental technology and techniques firsthand. Today, these advancements enable us to provide patients with state-of-the-art treatment that is more efficient and comfortable, creating a better patient experience for everyone who walks into our offices.

Technology used in orthodontic treatment continues to progress at an incredible pace. To provide our patients with treatment that is accurate, efficient, and effective, we stay up to date with changes in the field by continued training and investing in new equipment.

As a board-certified orthodontist, these are the top five orthodontic trends on my list:

  1. Phase 1 and Clear Aligners

The perfect age to bring your child in for an orthodontic evaluation is age 6-7. At this stage, an orthodontist can see issues that need early intervention to address a developing problem. The goal of Phase 1 treatment is to develop young jaws and arches to make room for incoming permanent teeth and prevent problems such as gingival recession, impacted teeth, and open bites. A narrow palate may be the cause for breathing issues as well as functional habits due to the restricted space available for the tongue.

Clear aligners can now be used for Phase 1 treatments to treat a broad range of teeth straightening issues in growing children such as crowding, crossbites, and narrow dental arches. With aligners, there is less discomfort because there are no rubbing brackets or poking wires and better hygiene because they are removable.

  1. Intraoral Scanners and Customized Treatment Plans

Digital Impressions

Intraoral scanners take digital impressions that are much more accurate and comfortable than the old impressions made from alginate and stone. High-definition, three-dimensional dental images of a patient’s mouth are available within minutes which allows your orthodontist to go to work on formulating a custom treatment plan without any delays.

Customized Treatment Plans

3-D planning software is used to create a custom smile for each patient, using their facial and dental features as a guide. It is now possible for patients to see the final results of what their smile will look like after orthodontic treatment. Using 3-D planning software and impressions of each individual’s teeth, we can create three-dimensional models of their dental structure. Wires and brackets can also be customized based on each patient’s specific needs.

  1. Lingual Braces/ Inbrace

Inbrace is a personalized teeth straightener that is custom for each patient and goes behind the teeth, so they are completely hidden. Smartwire technology allows you to eat, drink, brush and floss normally while it gently and efficiently moves your teeth. The treatment plan is tailored for each individual which reduces treatment time and improvements are seen within two weeks.

  1. Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs)

Temporary anchorage devices (TADs) are surgical-grade titanium mini screws orthodontists can use to control movement of teeth in the mouth. These devices provide a secure anchor in the jawbone for molars and other teeth, reducing unwanted movement. This allows us to treat issues that required surgery in the past such as a canted smile or closing the space of a missing tooth without affecting the midline.

The procedure of placing TADs in a patient’s mouth is easy and only requires a small amount of topical anesthetic applied to the gingiva. They are removed after the desired orthodontic movement is complete.

  1. Faster Orthodontic Treatment with PROPEL

While many of the changes in orthodontics have helped make procedures more comfortable, PROPEL can help us reduce treatment time.

The Propel device is used to make tiny perforations that are the size of a pinhole in the bone around the teeth. This encourages a natural inflammatory response, which stimulates the release of the cells involved in the breakdown of the bone. This kicks off bone remodeling and accelerates tooth movement. A recent AJODO study showed that Propel increased the rate of tooth movement by more than twofold and reduced treatment time by up to 62%. Propel is gentle and discomfort during the procedure is minimal. It only takes a few minutes, and the area is numbed first so you don’t feel a thing. One or two Propel treatments are usually required but more could be necessary to facilitate complex tooth movements. There is no recovery time so you can go about your day after the procedure.

Orthodontic treatment shouldn’t be one size fits all and you deserve the individualized treatment that will best suit your needs.

Every technological advancement in orthodontics results in an improved experience for the patient. With more treatment options than ever before, and with a focus on comfort and efficiency, there has never been a better time to discover the power of orthodontics.

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