One of our goals at Glades Orthodontics is to be able offer multiple treatment options to patients. Central to this is not only offering traditional metal and clear braces, but also being able to offer aligners to achieve a beautiful smile.
There are two primary pieces of technology that are needed to accomplish this: an intraoral digital scanner and a 3D printer to make models.
Because we value quality and flexibility, our office uses a Medit i500 intraoral scanner. This produces extremely high-resolution scans of teeth in a short amount of time and is also open-source for the flexibility to use any aligner system on the market -- including our own. It's also more comfortable for patients due to its smaller scanner head (not installed in the photo below).
Once you have the scan of the teeth, next is what to do with it. We can 3D print that scan directly to get a model and fabricate a retainer. Or we can put the digital file into software that lets Dr. C move the teeth to make aligners. Because of our comfort with technology, most aligner patients are treated in-house without the need for an outside company (such as Invisalign) to make the aligners for us. This results in faster delivery of aligners to patients and complete control over their treatment by Dr. Cronauer to obtain the best results.
Once we've moved the teeth and have digital models ready, the next step is to turn those digital models into the real thing. Glades Orthodontics has 3D printers in our lab to print the models from a digital file into a hardened resin model. From that, we make aligners or retainers!
Technology is ever-changing, but here at Glades Orthodontics, rest assured that we're at the cutting edge. If you've been thinking about aligners or if you're not sure which treatment is best for you, visit us for a consultation where we can discuss all the options and pick the best one for you. :)