New Tech That Shortens Braces Treatment Time

Braces have been around for a long time, and they’ve gotten better with age! Westfall Orthodontics always wants to be on the cutting edge, and today we’ll let you know what technological advances can accelerate the duration of braces treatment. 

Methods of Treatment

In our office, we offer the following means of treatment for alignment: 

  • Invisalign: These custom-made clear aligners offer a discreet alternative for some patients, as they lack visible components and minimize mouth irritation. Clear aligners represent a significant advancement in orthodontics and are now widely available to patients.
  • Clear Braces: Clear ceramic braces provide the same functionality as metal braces but with a more subtle appearance, as the brackets are designed to match the natural color of your teeth.
  • Metal Braces: The most traditional option, metal braces have a proven track record of success since their inception decades ago. They serve as the foundation for the development of other alignment methods.

What Technological Advances Can Accelerate the Duration of Braces Treatment?

Advances in Technology

At Westfall Orthodontics, we utilize the following advancements daily, some of which were not available as recently as twenty years ago!

  • 3D Imaging and Scanning: 3D imaging plays a crucial role in our treatment planning. We create detailed models of teeth and jaw structures using intraoral scanners, eliminating the need for traditional molds and enhancing patient comfort.
  • CAD/CAM Technology: Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) enable the custom design and fabrication of braces and aligners. These technologies ensure a precise fit and more effective treatment.
  • 3D Printing: We use 3D printing to create appliances such as retainers and braces components, resulting in a better, highly customized fit.
  • Biocompatible Materials: Newer biocompatible materials used for brackets and wires reduce allergic reactions and enhance comfort. These materials are also more durable and effective in applying gentle, consistent pressure to teeth.
  • Smartphone Apps: Orthodontic-specific apps help patients track aligner wear time, send reminders for changing aligners, and provide tips for care and maintenance outside the office.
  • Virtual Appointments: Westfall Orthodontics offers virtual assessments for patients on the go. Patients can photograph their mouths from various angles and answer questions, allowing Dr. Westfall or a team member to provide necessary adjustments remotely.
  • Digital Workflow Integration: Technology has transformed orthodontics administratively. Cloud-based storage and digital patient portals allow for remote scheduling and communication, reducing the need for frequent office visits.
  • Interdisciplinary Treatments: We often collaborate with dentists and other specialists to provide comprehensive care, facilitated by digital communication tools.

What Technological Advances Can Accelerate the Duration of Braces Treatment?

Looking to the Future

So, what does the future of orthodontics hold? Time will reveal the answers, but these are some of the key factors that could influence its direction.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning: Although many professionals are just beginning to explore AI’s potential in orthodontics, one promising application is in treatment planning. AI can analyze extensive datasets of patient outcomes to develop more precise and personalized care plans. Additionally, AI can help predict tooth movement, enhancing treatment accuracy.
  • Augmented Reality (AR): AR could further enhance patient experiences by providing visual representations of treatment progress and expected outcomes. It’s also a valuable tool for patient education, offering interactive learning on orthodontic procedures and proper care techniques, which can boost patient compliance and engagement.
  • Photobiomodulation (PBM): Low-level light therapy can stimulate bone remodeling and accelerate tooth movement, potentially reducing overall treatment time and improving results.
  • Nanotechnology: Applying nano-coatings to braces can make them more resistant to bacteria, reducing the risk of plaque buildup and tooth decay during treatment. Nano-engineered materials can also improve the strength and flexibility of orthodontic appliances.

What Technological Advances Can Accelerate the Duration of Braces Treatment?

Making Moves

As you can see, technology is rapidly advancing in our field. Orthodontics today may look very different to you as a parent than it did when you were a child! We love educating our patients, and the learning experience is ongoing for us and Dr. Westfall too. Our Abingdon, Richlands, or Bristol offices are great places to learn more. We look forward to meeting you!