Back in 2007, Drs. Rathburn and Stewart began using a technology that would come to revolutionize our office and other offices across the globe – Suresmile. What is Suresmile and how has it helped us develop as orthodontists? Well, there’s a lot so buckle up!
Perhaps it’s best to describe how traditional orthodontics works first to compare. Basically, the braces are placed on the teeth and we spend the initial part of treatment “leveling and aligning” (ie straightening). Depending on how crowded the teeth are this could be quick or a longer process. Once the teeth are straight we may have patients wear rubber bands while we begin what’s called “detailing.” Usually this involves us looking for any remaining errors in the alignment of the teeth, marking the wire, and then using some orthodontic pliers to make subtle bends in the wire to help move the teeth. This is where the “art” of orthodontics comes into play. Obviously there is some inefficiency in this method because if a bend is too big or too small a tooth may move too much or too little. As orthodontists we have always been after ways to improve our efficiency.
Enter Suresmile. With Suresmile, once the teeth have been generally aligned, a digital model of the teeth is created with the brackets on. The orthodontist then uses this information and can digitally move the teeth into the ideal final position. From there, a fully customized archwire is actually bent by a robotic arm (at labs in Dallas and Germany) and sent back to the orthodontist. We then place the wire and Voila! Now the teeth can move more predictably to their final position. No wire bending and no more wasted time! This effectively relates to both improving our results and cutting down on our treatment times. Now, moving the teeth is less of an “art” and more of a science. Check out The Suresmile Wire-Bending Robot in Action!
Since 2007, Suresmile has grown into a fully digital orthodontic platform. We can now use Suresmile for making our in-office aligners (so we can cut down on the cost to our patients) as well as other aspects of orthodontics like lingual braces, indirect bonding, restorative simulations, 3-D printing etc. In addition, the use of Cone Beam – CT scanning allows us to more accurately see the roots of the teeth and the bone that surrounds them; very important factors in orthodontic treatment planning.
At AOS, every comprehensive patient is treated with Suresmile. We don’t pick and choose because we feel that this technology truly helps us improve our skills as orthodontists and we feel every patient ought to experience that same level of care.
Stay tuned for next time when Dr. Tyler discusses expanders and when they are necessary! Please feel free to send any questions or feedback to Dr. Tyler at firstname.lastname@example.org