The orthodontic frontier is evolving – with a little help from enthusiastic techies. This year, a college student in need of straighter teeth decided to take his orthodontic treatment into his own hands. Having had braces as a child, digital design major Amos Dudley had teeth that were already primarily straight, but which had become crooked again in years without diligent retainer wear. He used a high-end 3D printer at his school, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, to create 12 aligner trays he could wear over time. He checked out orthodontics textbooks to calculate how far a tooth can move, and took that figure into account when determining how he could fix a crooked incisor.
The end result? Amos straightened his smile and got back his confidence. Of course, there are quite a few reasons why you shouldn’t try this at home – your own oral health is at an incredible risk, and any kind of orthodontic treatment should only be determined by a qualified provider (“DIY braces” is a particularly chilling Google image search). Not to mention, he had highly advanced 3D printing equipment available through his school. But this less-expensive approach to straightening illustrates other aspects of how orthodontic treatment has evolved over the last 20 years.
How Modern Technology Simplifies Straightens Teeth
Metal braces were once the be-all end-all for changing tooth position and alignment. But braces leave patients wanting, with an obtrusive appearance and bulky brackets and wires. Those who qualify can now receive alternative options that improve upon these factors. Six Month Smiles uses clear brackets to straighten front teeth in record time. And Invisalign employs technology similar to that detailed in Amos’ experiment (but with advanced equipment, expert treatment planning, and the supervision of a qualified provider).
Can I Straighten My Teeth with Modern Methods?
Patients need to qualify for Invisalign or Six Month Smiles in order to receive treatment. Because Amos only moved one of his front teeth, his treatment turned out to be safe; we’ll take x-rays, examine your bite, and discuss your straightening goals to determine what is best for your smile.
If you’re interested in alternative orthodontics, they may be covered by your insurance in the same way traditional braces would be. Just get in touch with our front desk to discuss your own coverage and whether this could be the right step toward a confident smile.
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