From train tracks to clear aligners – how the brace has evolved
The memory of the train-track brace as a teenager might still be a sore spot for some of us.
Night-time headgear, the inability to eat in public and rubbing metal causing cheeks to bleed were all part of the baptism of growing up with a metal train-track brace with a huge 92% of teenagers fearful that the train-track will stop them from fitting in socially.
As a result of this, adult braces have exploded onto the dental market as Millennials drive the demand for a more modern approach to straightening teeth.
The transformation of the market is down to a Californian company, Align Technology, who pioneered Invisalign, the clear brace technology, transforming not only the market but over four million smiles worldwide.
I first came across the braces at a conference and was impressed by the technology. I’m an early adopter and am always looking how to make things faster, easier and more efficient
Needing a test subject, my first case was my wife, Dr Sarah Horton, who volunteered to take on the treatment despite only having a subtle misalignment it was something that always bothered her and as a dentist, she was keen to have the perfect smile.
After a successful first treatment with my wife, I haven’t looked back and am now registered as a Platinum dentist due to longevity, experience and dedication to the treatment.
The technology continues to evolve and is constantly improving. I can pinpoint the moment for patients when straight teeth become a reality. After an initial assessment a scan or impression is taken and sent to the US. The patient receives a video that shows the teeth moving into the precise position that I have instructed. Through computer aided technology I can show my patients their future smile. This is a defining, and emotional, moment in the treatment process.
We now own a the state-of-the-art iTero Intraoral Scanner which is a game changer for the process. Due to the high precision of the hand held scanner, I can take a scan of the mouth and have an instant video available to show a patient their potential new smile.
We can show you tomorrow’s smile today with the iTero scanner!
The technology makes the process more pleasant for the patient as we no longer need to take impressions with a gloopy mixture on gum shields. This is perfect if you dislike the dentists chair, it makes the whole process quicker, tidier, more efficient and less intrusive.
For those “selfie addicts” wanting to document their smile journey, the new selfie app for Invisalign wearers tracks progress by capturing patients’ day-by-day teeth movement and can be used to make a time-lapse video.
The app’s image function which allows brace wearers to capture consistently positioned photographs of their face, their smile and their teeth as they transition towards a straightened smile.
The powerful time-lapse videos display the teeth transformation story as it unfolds, capturing and demonstrating just how far they have progressed as their teeth moves incrementally over the weeks.
Invisalign braces are virtually invisible so naturally patients want to document their transition. The app is a welcome tool in our socially connected world, now users can share progress with friends, family and on social media.
King Lane Dental Care can showcase the latest in technological advancements including the new iTero scanner, to see for yourself book online on www.kldc.co.uk or call 0113 268 5711.July 4, 2017 2:10 pm