Orthodontic treatment has come a long way in the past ten years. Years ago, the process of placing braces could take several long, uncomfortable appointments. Braces were attached to teeth with steel bands around each tooth. Smaller braces that are bonded directly to the tooth surface, high-tech adhesives and computer-software have made orthodontic treatment a much more comfortable and simplified process. Treatment today is certainly more efficient and predictable due to the modern materials we use and the improved techniques.
NASA has contributed to orthodontics making incredible breakthroughs in technology. They developed heat activated nickel-titanium alloy wires that effectively move teeth when the wires reach mouth temperature. These new wires apply gradual, precise and gentle pressure, and yet retain their teeth-moving abilities longer than their predecessors. In contrast, stainless steel wires were less resilient and needed more frequent adjustments.
Some of today’s braces are translucent or tooth-colored. Additionally, metal brackets are now smaller and less noticeable. With multi-colored elastic ties that attach the wires to the brackets, today’s braces are also fun. Many young orthodontic patients enjoy color coordinating their rubber bands as a fashion accessory.
Bracket adhesives have also advanced. Some continuously release fluoride to help protect tooth enamel, while others are made to withstand moisture.
Aligners can now be used to precisely move teeth without the use of braces. Please ask us about Invisalign during your next appointment.
As technology advances so does our ability to diagnose, treat and enhance the quality of treatment for our patients.