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Beyond Brackets: Understanding Advances in Orthodontics


Advances in orthodontics are coming along at a rapid pace, and the latest braces technology could make it faster and easier for people to get the smile they’ve always wanted. Let’s just put it like this: the days of “Brace Face” are looking like they might be a thing of the past! Find out more about three of the most exciting modern braces innovations.

  1. The rise of invisible bracesThe idea that braces are primarily for kids and adolescents is coming to an end, with an estimated one million U.S. adults now wearing dental braces. Because of the new, buzzy status of braces, greater focus has been given to their appearance. After all, a mouthful of sharp, stainless steel is part of the reason why so many adults refused to consider the possibility of braces in the first place. Enter: invisible braces!Coming in a wide variety of forms, invisible braces are poised to become the go-to standard in new braces technology. You’ve got the already ubiquitous Invisalign (also known as clear aligners), which are barely noticeable, as well as devices like lingual braces which are hidden behind your teeth. Even stainless-steel braces are becoming sleeker and more comfortable, indicating that advances in orthodontics are wiping the slate clear of the old, aesthetic nightmares of traditional braces.
  2. Catching up with accelerated orthodonticsIf there’s one thing that potential brace-wearers always ask before treatment, it’s “how long do they need to stay on for?” And it’s easy to see why. No one wants a piece of dental equipment in their mouth for years on end, no matter how much patience they might have. That’s why accelerated orthodontics is one of the most exciting trends in modern braces around.First off, there’s AcceleDent—a device which uses micropulses to speed up cellular activity—which is said to speed up treatment time by 30-50%. Then, there’s Propel Excellerator, which enables you to create small holes in the bones around the root, creating an inflammatory response that triggers bone movement. According to a study from NYU, it made the rate of tooth movement 2.3 times faster.There’s also something called ‘Six Month Smiles’—a new braces technology that is only intended to improve the cosmetic appearance of your smile (rather than malocclusions). But, and here’s the good news, you only need to wear them for six months, rather than the 2-3 years that most braces require.
  3. Tailor-made for you aloneOne of the latest trends in orthodontics revolves around dental tech that can provide customized treatment for patients. Take the rise of 3D imaging with CBCT scanning, which provides clear, detailed images of dental structure that can be viewed from any angle. This makes it much easier for orthodontists to discover potential dental problems and customize treatment for patients. Even more futuristic are customized smile design systems, which involve the use of 3D planning software to create personalized smiles for patients. People can actually see what their smile will look like after they complete orthodontic treatment!

For a clearer picture of the latest in orthodontics, talk to an orthodontist!

Medically reviewed by Dr. Natalie Pennington, DDS, March 2019