How has Orthodontics Changed in the Last 20 Years?
The field of orthodontics has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. With so many technological advancements and developments, braces have been improved to make your treatment better. With new technology comes new advancements in orthodontics.
From smaller brackets to Invisalign, the orthodontic process has never been easier. There are a lot of new changes to learn about so that you can be sure to get the best treatment possible.
Many New Options in Orthodontic Treatment
Twenty years ago, you had to have big silver brackets and wires and boring tan rubber bands. At nighttime, you usually would have to wear headgear to provide extra support and pressure to your teeth.
Silver braces with traditional brackets and wires still exist today, but they have been modified. Orthodontists use smaller brackets and rarely need headgear. These are still popular options because of their reliability and affordable cost.
Silver braces are customizable with colored bands and different creative bracket shapes. Ceramic braces and gold braces are other great options for those who want a different look than classic silver braces.
Invisalign has been a huge development in the last 20 years. These clear, plastic aligner trays allow you to eat whatever you want and get orthodontic treatment without any metal brackets or wires in your mouth.
Braces and Invisalign Designed for You
Today, braces are much more comfortable than they ever were because they’re designed just for you. Smaller brackets and more advanced wire help braces fit in your mouth better. Installing braces is easier because of these smaller sizes and adjustments don’t have to be as intense or uncomfortable.
Silver braces were the first widely available orthodontic treatment and they are still the most common treatment used today. Their popularity is based on proven results, their ability to fix almost any orthodontic issue, and their cost-effectiveness. Even though they have been around for decades, silver braces are in no way outdated or past their prime. Improvements have been made throughout the years, including the use of lightweight but durable stainless steel, smaller brackets that are adhered to teeth rather than being attached with metal bands, and improved archwire material and technology.
With ceramic braces, you can get the treatment power of traditional metal braces and the subtlety of plastic aligners. The brackets on ceramic braces are made out of see-through or tooth-colored ceramic, making them much less noticeable than metal brackets. Ceramic brackets can be more fragile than metal, so they are typically placed only on the upper teeth where braces are the most visible, and metal brackets are used on the bottom teeth.
Custom braces are also another treatment option that is incredibly affordable and offers benefits like shorter treatment time and fewer appointments. Milnor uses Stride custom braces with the power of 3D imaging to create and apply braces custom-fitted to your teeth in a very short amount of time. Once you have decided custom braces are right for you, they use indirect digital bonding (IDB) software to create your ideal smile. This information is then sent to a lab, where a 3D printer prints plastic trays, then the brackets are laid out in the trays and adhered to the teeth.
Invisalign takes comfort to a whole new level. After initial scans, your aligners are created specifically for you. These customized trays shift your teeth over time, and you don’t have to worry about food getting caught in your braces since you take the trays out when you eat or clean your teeth. Just be sure not to keep them out for too long so that you do not delay your treatment timeline.
Invisalign also offers a treatment plan for younger patients called Invisalign First, which can fix crooked teeth and spacing issues in patients as young as 7. Invisalign First works the same way as Invisalign for teens and adults, except at a faster pace. A series of plastic aligners are inserted over the teeth to shift them into place. Because a young child’s teeth move relatively easily, new aligners are introduced about every three days instead of every two weeks. This advancement makes it easier to correct an orthodontic issue by catching it earlier on, avoiding a lot of treatment time and cost when your child is older.
Easier Treatment Process
A recent development in the orthodontic process is the use of a digital scanner to take images of your teeth rather than making impressions with gummy putty. There’s less mess and less discomfort all around.
The ongoing treatment process is not as invasive or painful as it was in the past. Adjustments and orthodontist visits do not take as long and often aren’t as frequent, so you will not miss as much school or work.
Invisalign makes doctor’s visits even easier. With no wires or elastics to tighten and adjust, you just need periodic check-ups to receive your new set of aligners and make sure your teeth are moving according to plan.
Virtual Consultations and Appointments
With the advent of telemedicine across many medical practices, dental monitoring technology means that orthodontic treatment can now be accomplished in fewer visits. Instead of coming to our office for every appointment, patients submit photos of their progress, which the Milnor team reviews. Then we send feedback and any suggestions we have for improving treatment. Dental Monitoring also allows patients to ask questions about their treatment without scheduling an appointment.
Not only do virtual consults with Dental Monitoring reduce the number of trips to the office, they also can reduce treatment time because it’s easier to keep treatment on track. This is especially helpful with Invisalign treatment. A patient only has to come into the office a few times, so you get to live your life without worrying about scheduling so many in-office visits.
The future of orthodontics is here! With so many technological revolutions, patients are getting high-quality and faster orthodontic care. We’re here to help you through your orthodontic treatment and promise to make it as easy as possible.
At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 230-3187 or visit milnororthodontics.com to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.