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Orthodontic Innovations: 3D Printing and Custom Treatment Plans

April 29th, 2024

Dentistry is one of the world’s oldest professions, dating back to around 7000 BC, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still developing. On the contrary, dentistry has fully embraced advances in modern technology in order to deliver even better value and results for patients.

Nowhere is this more true than in orthodontics, the branch of dentistry concerned with misalignment of the teeth and jaws. The use of technologies such as 3D printing and computer-aided design have effectively revolutionized this branch of dentistry over recent years, leading to the development of entirely new treatment methods. In turn, this has increased the number of people who have been able to benefit from treatment.

The Rise of Clear Plastic Aligners

Spearheaded by Invisalign, who remain one of the biggest names in the industry, clear plastic aligners provide a highly effective alternative to braces whilst being much more convenient for patients. They can be removed for eating and to clean the teeth, meaning that patients don’t need to adjust their diets and oral hygiene routines, and it is not necessary to have them adjusted the same way braces would be.

What many don’t realize, however, is just how much this treatment option is underpinned by advanced technologies that come together to deliver a smooth experience for practitioners and patients alike.

Digital Scanning of the Teeth

Although it’s possible to take impressions in the traditional way, the use of digital scanning devices such as the iTero Element can make things a lot quicker, more comfortable for patients, and more convenient for orthodontists. They can create a digital model of the patient’s teeth in an unobtrusive way, making the whole process feel smoother, and this model can be used directly in the next step of the process.

Computer-Aided Design

Once a digital model of the patient’s teeth has been produced, advanced computer software can then be used to design a series of aligners specifically tailored to them. This removes any guesswork and ensures that the aligners will fit well and will apply just the right amount of pressure to the teeth to achieve the desired results.

The patient’s progress can be monitored over the course of the treatment, with the software making it easy to adjust the exact shape and dimensions of future aligners as needed.

3D Printing

The aligners themselves are produced using 3D printing. Without this manufacturing technology, it wouldn’t be possible to produce them on the scale needed or at a reasonable cost, meaning that access to this treatment would be very limited if it was even available at all.

Fortunately, these advances have all come together in such a way that one of the most convenient and effective orthodontic treatments is now available to virtually everyone who needs it.

Finding Out More

If you’re interested in finding out whether you could personally benefit from these advances and how they can provide you with a confident, healthy smile, then your best option is to contact an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Camilo Riaño Orthodontics in San Francisco. With his experience in delivering Invisalign and other orthodontic treatments, he will be able to answer any practical questions you may have.

Contact Camilo Riaño: Your San Francisco Orthodontist

77 Van Ness Ave #303
San Francisco, CA 94102

Office Hours

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Tues: 8:15 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 9:15 AM - 6:00 PM
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Fri: 7:45 AM - 3:30 PM
Sat: By Appointment Only
Sun: Closed

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