What Technological Advances Can Accelerate the Duration of Braces Treatment?

Braces have been around for a long time, and they’ve gotten better with age! Windy City 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. 

Types of Treatment

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

  • Spark Clear Aligners: These are custom-made, clear aligners that can be advantageous for some patients in that they don’t have any additional components that are visible or can irritate the mouth. Clear aligners are a huge step in progress for orthodontics and are now easily accessible to patients everywhere. 
  • Clear Braces: Clear ceramic braces offer all the functionality of metal braces with a slightly more subtle appearance since the brackets will match your natural tooth color.
  • Metal Braces: This is the most traditional option, with an excellent success rate since their inception decades ago. They can be seen as the blueprint for other alignment methods that have been created in the time since. 

Advances in Technology

We use the following examples on a daily basis at Windy City Orthodontics, many of which simply didn’t exist at the start of the century!

  • 3D Imaging and Scanning: This is a significant component in a lot of our treatment planning. We use 3D imaging to create detailed models of teeth and jaw structures. Digital scanning is completed using intraoral scanners, which eliminate the need for traditional molds and improve overall comfort for our patients. Meaning it is both faster and more accurate.
  • CAD/CAM Technology: Also known as Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM). Both of these technologies help enable the custom design and fabrication of braces and aligners, also allowing for highly precise placement of braces.
  • 3D Printing: Appliances such as retainers and braces components can be created using 3D printing, which ensures a better, highly customized fit. 
  • Biocompatible Materials: Newer biocompatible materials are used for brackets and wires, reducing allergic reactions and making for a more comfortable experience. These materials also tend to be more durable and effective in applying gentle, consistent pressure to teeth. 
  • Smartphone Apps: There are apps designed for orthodontic patients to help track aligner wear time, send reminders for changing aligners, and provide tips for care and maintenance outside of the office. 
  • Virtual Appointments: Windy City Orthodontics has an excellent option for patients on the go who can opt to have a virtual assessment during their treatment. They’ll photograph their mouth from various angles, answer some questions, and allow Dr. Pakravan or another member of the team to help make adjustments as needed. 
  • Interdisciplinary Treatments: As orthodontists, we often collaborate with dentists and other specialists to provide you with comprehensive care. We are able to communicate digitally in tandem with these providers. 
  • Digital Workflow Integration: One advancement that is often overlooked is how technology has changed orthodontics from an administrative perspective. We’re able to utilize cloud-based storage and digital patient portals to schedule appointments and otherwise communicate with patients remotely. In the past, many office visits were a necessary part of orthodontic treatment. 

What Technological Advances Can Accelerate the Duration of Braces Treatment?

Looking to the Future

So, what does the future of orthodontics look like? Time will tell, but these are some of the main factors that could make an impact.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning: Many professionals are just beginning to explore how AI can affect treatment, but one way it can be utilized is for treatment planning. AI can analyze large amounts of datasets of patient outcomes to help devise more accurate and customized orthodontic care. It can also aid in predicting tooth movement. 
  • Augmented Reality (AR): AR could continue to improve the experience of showing patients a visual representation of their treatment progress and expected outcomes. It can also be an excellent tool for patient education, allowing for more interactive learning on orthodontic procedures and proper care techniques, enhancing patient compliance and engagement. 
  • Photobiomodulation (PBM): Low-level light therapy can be used to stimulate bone remodeling and accelerate tooth movement. This can reduce overall treatment time and improve outcomes.
  • Nanotechnology: Using nano-coatings by applying them to braces can make them more resistant to bacteria, which reduces the risk of plaque buildup and tooth decay during treatment. Nano-engineered materials can also enhance the strength and flexibility of orthodontic appliances. 

What Technological Advances Can Accelerate the Duration of Braces Treatment?

Making Moves

As you can tell, technology is evolving fast in our field. Depending on your age, orthodontics might look very different to you now as a parent than it did as a child! We take great joy in educating our patients, but the learning experience is ongoing for us and Dr. Pakravan as well. Our Lakeview and Lincoln Park offices are perfect places to gain insight. We can’t wait to meet you!