Clear Plastic Aligners are Evolving with Modern Technology

dentist holding a 3d printed sculpt of jaw and teethDentistry has not been as prominent when it comes to health technology innovations. The industry has been moving forward in various ways, and at a constant rate. New technologies are introduced every day to improve the patient experience.

Today, it is less painful to go to the dentist. It’s also less embarrassing to have the teeth aligned. Using clear plastic aligners are a lot better than traditional metal braces and the use of the latest technology has made it an even better option for patients.

3D Printing

One reason modern aligners fit better is the 3D printing technology. But before the aligners are made, X-rays of the teeth, jaws, and the rest of the skull are made. Photos are taken and impressions are done to create a complete model of the bite. All this information is used to determine if clear aligners are the right appliance to use. The data gathered aims to determine if the use of aligners to move the teeth will not compromise the patient’s overall dental health. These are designed to be used for mild to moderate problems with crowding or teeth spacing.

The process uses a sequence of removable invisible plastic trays that move the teeth to a specific position. The trays are 3D computer generated and are unique to each patient.

Preventing Bacterial Growth

Aligners take time to move teeth. In the meantime, bacterial growth is a serious possibility. The bacteria attach to the plastic clear overlay appliances (COA), developing bio films that are difficult to treat. Researchers have developed a layered film that loves water and prevents bacteria from adhering to the surface. The new material reduces bacterial growth by as much as 75% compared to untreated COA. It’s also stronger and more durable even in acidic conditions like the mouth.

Aligners are designed to move teeth and prevent crowding. The use of COA allows for a faster and cheaper treatment. Additional research has also shown a way to prevent bacterial growth on COA.