By Dr. Jeff Beyer
As much as I’ve worked hard to innovate my orthodontic practice to maximize patients’ health and comfort, there is one area that’s always been a somewhat unpleasant experience for patients — and that’s making impressions of the teeth and bite. You know this as the “goop”, that icky substance we place in your mouth to create impressions of your teeth that act as the mold for braces, retainers, Invisalign and mouth guards. Even though we have more than 10 flavors available, it can still test your gag reflex and research has shown it’s one of the top reasons folks dread going to the orthodontist.
New innovations in software technology and 3D printing are rapidly being integrated into all aspects of dentistry, and I am proud to say that we have taken a huge step in eliminating the “goop” here at Commonwealth Orthodontics.We now an iTero Intraoral 3D Scanner in our offices. This is the third generation of this model and it incorporates the latest and greatest technology that is available today.
Here is how it works: Patients sit comfortably in a chair while one of my technicians or I simply wave a wand over and around their teeth and gums, capturing images at 6,000 frames per second. On the adjacent screen, detailed 3D renderings of your mouth are displayed, giving me everything I need to to perfectly fit orthodontic appliances to your unique bite.
This third generation iTero Scanner isn’t just more cutting edge and comfortable – it’s much faster, too. We are able to do a complete scan in less than seven minutes. Plus, we have a digital image that is stored forever (no more plaster!!), so we can send that to any orthodontic or dental lab in the world in a matter of seconds, and have appliances made with much shorter turnaround times. And here is one more REALLY cool benefit: the scanner looks into the future, with the ability to virtually “show” the proposed treatment outcome!
Needless to say, we are beyond excited to have this technology in our office and available to our patients. If you have been considering having treatment and been putting it off, ask to see the iTero Scanner during your next appointment, or set up an appointment to be scanned to see how your smile can be improved. The next generation of orthodontics is upon us, and we are proud to be one of the first practices in the area that is going “GOOP-FREE”!!!
By Dr. Jeff Beyer
Shouldn’t the perfect wedding day come with the perfect smile? It’s a question that a number of brides fret over: “Should I get braces before or after my wedding? And then what if I have to wear braces for my wedding…?!”
While a wedding day doesn’t last forever, the pictures do. And with the great lengths that brides and grooms take to be at their best for their big day, it makes sense that correcting tooth alignment and bite problems with an orthodontist could come up sometime after “I will” but before “I do.” It’s a topic I speak about with a number of patients, and I thought I’d share three things to consider to help you make your decision easier.
1. If possible, consider Invisalign: Invisalign has become increasingly popular with brides because of their nearly invisible design, ability to be removed at any time, and also because these appliances improve a patient’s smile in a relatively short period of time. As an Invisalign Preferred Provider for more than 15 years, I’ve found this to be a great solution for a number of patients who are planning their weddings. Best of all, the average treatment time with Invisalign is 9-12 months in our office, which is actually less than the average engagement time!
2. Can I remove my braces for my big day? I get this question a lot from patients who are anticipating their upcoming nuptials, but aren’t due to have their braces removed until well after the ceremony: “Can you take my braces off?” There are a number of individual factors to talk through before reaching a decision. Whether a patient requests to have all of her brackets removed or just those in front, we need to carefully assess the risk. Removing braces for an extended period (3 weeks or more) can cause some of the progress that has been accomplished to relapse. However, removing some or all of the braces can be done for short periods of time. In cases where this is manageable, patients should wear a retainer whenever possible during this short window of time. Keep in mind that removing some or all of the braces and then having to reapply new ones will incur additional costs. Many times with patients who are wearing clear braces, simply removing the wire is sufficient as the high quality ceramic braces we use are practically invisible anyway. There are also many brides who are just fine smiling with their braces on during wedding photography, knowing they will have that perfect smile to look forward to.
3. Have the photographer remove the braces: A photographer’s willingness and ability to effectively remove braces from your wedding photography using Photoshop or other editing software can widely range. If this is your plan, ask for work samples and references that clearly demonstrate the photographer’s ability to make this happen to your liking.
The issue of brides and braces comes up a lot more than you might imagine. It’s a great privilege to make a couple’s special day even brighter by helping patients achieve the perfect smile. Be sure to ask as soon as you get the ring — or even sooner — to make sure you are aware of all of your options.