Modern orthodontics has advanced and evolved drastically in the last two decades. The industry standard is at an all time high. Here at Porth Personalized Orthodontics we believe that technological innovation significantly improves our patients’ experience with us. Our patients benefit from three dimensional digital systems used to better understand their orthodontic needs. They also receive unique, cutting-edge treatment options that harness the best and most efficient appliances available to build a healthy and dazzling smile.
Digital Technology in Our Everyday Lives
We are surrounded by technology. Our daily lives are filled with digital technology that augments our communication, navigation, and entertainment experiences. Imagine your day without your smart phone, Facetime, social media, Siri, or Alexa. Most of us feel very comfortable relying on digital technology for everyday interactions and conveniences. We use digital technology to stay connected to each other, to manage the security of our homes, to store our information, to work, and to receive information about the world around us. The digital age has set new expectations, as we can now expect quick and thorough results available at our fingertips. Incorporating digital technology into modern orthodontic practice and patient care enables us to keep that pace and meet the expectations of our patients.
We see this trend evolving across the dental and medical fields right now. More and more physicians and specialists are using digital technology to grant patients access to their detailed medical records through private online portals, as well as producing much more accurate models and scans that lead to more precise, effective care. When applied to orthodontics, this technology improves results and places patients at the center of their treatment process.
Digital Technology and Modern Orthodontics
In the past, orthodontic treatment plans were determined based on physical models created from molds of the patient’s teeth. This process was tedious and complicated, and this limited the patients’ positive outcomes. As digital technology slowly became incorporated in the field, beginning with basic auxiliary tools like SLR photographs and two-dimensional digital imaging, precision became more achievable and the treatment process became more efficient. Today, we are able to use intraoral scanning to obtain patient records instead of gooey impressions – alginate or polyvinyl siloxane (PVS).
In this new workflow model, the orthodontist plugs in all aspects of a treatment plan during the initial stages. This gives doctors more time to spend with their patients during the execution of the plan. Whether the rest of the process occurs in house or through an outside service, the journey is streamlined and handled by specialists each step of the way, ensuring precision. Patients appreciate this convenience and the additional attention and care their orthodontist is able to give them because of this new system.
The new workflow model begins with the initial scan of the patient’s mouth. The images and three-dimensional data taken from the scan are then used to create a customized list of problems important to the patient as well as the provider. 3D models can also be used to fabricate customized appliances to render the personalized orthodontic treatment.
Dr. Rooz does not to use any of the older impressions here at Porth because the process is unpleasant for both the patient and the orthodontic team. Instead, we digitally scan your mouth and use 3D printing technology to create a model of your teeth. The scanner that we use has the smallest tip on the market and can scan your mouth under three minutes. The scans also capture the true color of your teeth and gums. The intraoral scans are digitally sent to other facilities, with no accuracy lost, when we are collaborating with other specialists to provide comprehensive treatment. This digital imaging process can also be used to produce expanders, removable appliances or retainers.
Digital Technology in Our Everyday Lives
So, what does it mean to be an orthodontic patient in the digital era? While many of the results of advances may occur behind the scenes, our patients certainly notice a difference in their care. The same convenience and pace that digital technology brings to their daily lives is now possible in modern orthodontic treatment. With more time and space to interact directly with their doctor and receive precise information about their treatment, patients are placed at the center of their experience. This is one of the core components of the #PorthExperience.
Thanks to these advances in digital technology, our patients are able to actually see what their personalized results will look like on a screen. This is a drastic improvement from previous methods, where limited projected results could only be viewed by patients in two-dimensional images or on generic physical models.
With the technology we utilize in our practice today, patients benefit from both the experience of being able to truly visualize their personalized results and a deeper understanding of the treatment plan being presented to them. Additionally, the three-dimensional renderings enhance interdisciplinary care where all patients’ needs of restorative, periodontal, and other adjunctive care will be discussed, planned and achieved.
Learning about orthodontic digital technology can feel overwhelming at first. If you have any questions about the technology discussed here, please feel free to contact Dr. Rooz at [email protected], or schedule a consultation with our office today.
Disclaimer: This blog post providers information and merely reflects Dr. Rooz Khosravi’s expert opinion. You should consult with a dentist or an orthodontist prior to following any advice suggested here.
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