Faster Orthodontic Treatment

Who wouldn’t want their orthodontic treatment to go faster?  Wearing braces demands sacrifices like avoiding eating certain foods and additional time keeping them clean.  Despite the use of clear braces, patients still feel that the braces affect their look.  So for many people, getting treatment finished faster is one of the most important issues.

Luckily, our office uses digital technology to make orthodontic treatment go faster.  We are one of only 400 orthodontic offices worldwide to use Suresmile.  Suresmile digital orthodontic technology has been proven to reduce treatment time by 30-40% for most orthodontic patients compared with traditional orthodontic treatment.  For the average patient whose treatment time is 18 months imagine getting finished with orthodontics in less than a year!  (youtube link)

See Dr. Kampas’ blog about “How braces move teeth” for a basic understanding of how braces move teeth.

Their are two aspects of Suresmile that effect the orthodontic treatment time.  First is the digital technology that virtually builds your perfect smile.  Make no mistake, a skilled and experienced orthodontist must guide the smile creation. Understanding how teeth move and how to create a beautiful, functional smile crucial.  Almost anyone, with a little training, can plan a good smile.  In the hands of an experienced orthodontist, digital technology can make magic happen.

In traditional orthodontic treatment, the orthodontist makes small adjustments to the archwire to incrementally move the teeth to the desired position.  This process can take 3-9 months because the metal used to in the archwire has to be bent small amounts- if too large of a movement is attempted the result is slower tooth movement and greatly increased discomfort for the patient.   There are several common alloys used in orthodontic treatment, understanding how they work is important.  Traditionally orthodontic wires were made of stainless steel.  They are easily bent to the desired shape.  The problem with them is the stiffness of steel. Can you say Ouch!  Another common alloy used is Nickel-Titanium or NiTi, pronounced Nigh-Tie.  NiTi wires are flexible and provide the constant gentle pressure for ideal tooth movement. Why not use them? They are a ‘shape memory’ wire.  This means that the wire cannot be bent, it will keep the shape in which it was formed indefinitely.  The precise custom tooth movements required for orthodontic treatment are impossible to achieve with a NiTi wire.

This leads to the second advantage of Suresmile. A robot can bend shape memory wire to the exact shape needed because the robotic jaws can be heated to the ideal temperature to make a permanent shape change to the metal.  So we can have a wire which meets both requirement of being formed and providing gentle pressure.  Suresmile technology also uses the latest form of NiTi, Copper NiTi. CopperNiTi has the amazing property of changing it’s stiffness based on temperature.  At room temperature the wire is flexible, but with the heat of the mouth the metal stiffens the making the ideal stiffness for tooth movement.(youtube).  The advantage of CuNiTi is that greater tooth movement can be achieved with less discomfort.  So the combination of digital smile creation with the most efficient wire for tooth movement means faster treatment.