Is technology our foe or our friend? While we aren’t quite facing a Terminator-style, apocalyptic, robotic future right now, many question the wisdom of being so reliant on technology. But like it or not, almost every aspect of life is touched by tech somehow. Even the local dental surgery uses 3D imaging to map out treatment plans and 3D print braces.
It’s this kind of tech that’s made it possible to create commercially viable clear, removable braces, that are almost impossible to spot. It’s why it’s now possible to get Invisalign in West Malling at surgeries such as One Smile Oral Care.
Invisalign are aligners that look like thin, clear, plastic mouth guards. They fit over the teeth and gums and use pressure points inside the aligners to nudge the teeth into position over several months.
How does the process work?
In West Malling, Invisalign works best to realign teeth in mild to moderate cases. If the dentist recommends going ahead, they scan the teeth with a hand-held digital scanner. This covers every contour of the teeth and gums and creates an incredibly accurate map of the mouth.
This information is used to build a digital treatment plan –a series of images that show how the teeth will move over the course of treatment. This allows the dentist to accurately predict how long it will take and how many aligners will be needed. It also means that the patient can see an image of how their smile will look at the end of treatment before it begins.
The dentist then sends this information to the Invisalign technicians in the US. They use a 3D printer to create the series of custom-made aligners.
And what’s the benefit of using all this advanced technology for braces? It makes them accurate, quick, affordable and able to fit into an adult lifestyle. Invisalign takes 9-18 months to work, rather than the two years of traditional metal braces. This make them cheaper and fewer visits to the dentist are needed as there are no wires to tighten up. Because they are clear and removable, no one needs to know treatment is happening.
High five for high tech!