Digital orthodontics

Do your patients ever express their regret that they did not get their teeth straightened when they were younger? Do you ever tell them that it’s not something you can do for them and send them off to the orthodontist?

Digital orthodontics use computer-driven bonding systems to make it easy for general practice dentists to give patients the smile they are after. The process takes about six to nine months to significantly improve the alignment of the teeth using aesthetically pleasing clear braces and wires.

How digital orthodontics solves your hardest problems

The hardest thing in orthodontics, even for specialists who have been in the field for 30 years, is getting the braces on in the correct position. That’s what all specialist orthodontists will tell you. That’s where we make it very, very easy.
There are many other systems out there that might make a pretty computer image of your patients’ teeth, but they are not true digital bonding systems because they can’t project that image into a patient’s mouth and drive the wires and brackets into the correct position to produce that smile.

Smilefast uses a digital system to ensure that the braces and the wire drive the final position of the patient’s teeth. In other words, the position of the bracket and the interplay between the wire and the bracket is what’s driving the final position of that tooth. That’s what dentists need to know to be able to effectively perform orthodontic work on their patients. Our system is unique from that point of view.

Let the computer do all the hard work

One of the great advantages of this system is our digital indirect bonding system. Once you have made the diagnostic decision, the hardest part is putting the braces on in the correct position. We are able to do this in the digital world, so you can see what the proposed outcome will be based on a particular bracket position—you can then tweak it based on your own clinical feel or how you or the patient want the teeth to look following treatment.

Once you’re happy with the proposed alignment of your patient’s teeth, we can transfer those brackets to a model of the maloccluded teeth. From there, a transfer tray is fabricated, making the indirect bonding of those brackets an exceptionally simple process. It’s like seating a bleaching tray.

All the dentist then has to do is etch and bond, place some composite on the back of the brackets and hold the tray firmly in place whilst the composite resin is light cured. In fact, in my practice, probably 95 per cent of that appointment, is delegated to our hygienist or oral health therapist. It is very easy, but the key to success is the correct placement of the bracket which is provided by our unique digital set-up.

Advantages of digital orthodontics

Why digital indirect bonding? I use the analogy of dentists getting a crown prepared overseas. What would you do if the crown was returned from the lab in a plastic bag? Not in a model, or with any digital mapping, so you could not see how or if it does fit prior to placement in the patients mouth. Most practitioners would say “no way” to this scenario. There’s just no way of knowing whether it would fit or not.

It’s no different with a set of aligners. If there was no digital set-up but purely a plastic bag of aligners, would you fit them to your patient? I doubt it very much. You wouldn’t expect a technician to do this either. And this is where manual indirect bonding falls down. Digital indirect bonding solves this problem by supplying a full solution, rather than just a product.

The difference is that in the digital world, error is a rare thing. You know what your end result is going to be. The brackets on the model are going to be transferred in exactly the right position using our unique software. With digital orthodontics, you know exactly what you’re delivering to your patient and the expected outcome.