At Accorde Orthodontists, we believe orthodontic treatment should be as easy as it is effective. As a premier orthodontic practice serving patients of all ages throughout the Maple Grove, Rogers, Champlin, & Albertville areas, we're proud to help our patients achieve beautiful, healthy new smiles, and we offer a wide range of orthodontic treatments to suit the diverse needs of our patients. We strive to make treatment as convenient as possible, and we're proud to use a variety of cutting-edge technologies so your treatment is always as safe, effective, and convenient as possible.
Self Ligating Brackets
While it's true that self ligating brackets certainly share a lot in common with traditional metal braces, they include a number of advancements that allow them to not only operate more freely, but to also start generating results far faster than ever before.
With self ligating brackets, each bracket is fitted precisely to the surface of a patient's teeth before being connected together with an archwire. However, there is absolutely no need for elastics, clips or other types of solutions to hold each one in place. This is because the brackets themselves have a unique sliding mechanism, thus allowing the archwire to response to the movement of a person's teeth as that movement is happening.
There are two main types of self ligating brackets to know about:
1. Passive brackets, which include a door that does not create any pressure on the archwire when closed. A smaller archwire is used that creates less friction in general, allowing your teeth to move more freely during treatment.
2. Interactive brackets, which have a clip that works to press on the archwire to assist with leveling and aligning during treatment.
At Accorde Orthodontists, we're proud to use the American Orthodontics Empower brand of self ligating brackets. Their Empower 2 brackets not only give patients the choice between fully interactive, fully passive or a combination dual activation system, but each bracket is also built to the highest standards with cutting edge, high performance technology.
The Benefits of Self Ligating Brackets
The major benefit of self ligating brackets has to do with how they speed up the alignment stage of orthodontics. This is key, because initially there is less (if any) friction between the wires and the metal doors on the brackets when the teeth are rotating and straightening - thus increasing the speed at which both of those things happen over time.
Likewise, self ligating brackets are very helpful in terms of maintaining appropriate oral hygiene. Because the metal doors on the brackets are far smaller than elastic ties, they can be easier to clean in some cases. In most instances, self ligating brackets won't interfere with someone's lifestyle at all - and they'll be more visually pleasing for the duration of treatment, too.
In the old days, the only way to make a model of the teeth was through putty impressions. This messy process consisted of having the patient bite down on two trays filled with orthodontic putty. After the putty hardened, it could be used to make a physical model of the teeth that helped plan treatment. While effective, the process was messy, uncomfortable, and produced a model that wasn't always accurate. Thankfully, there's a better way: iTero.
The iTero digital impression system provides a more convenient, effective, and accurate alternative to traditional putty impressions, making it easy for us to create an incredibly detailed model of your bit. Instead of physical putty, iTero uses a digital imaging scanner to take hundreds of pictures of your teeth, compiling them into a 3D computer model of your mouth and bite. All we do is wave the iTero wand around your mouth to capture every area of your tooth surface, then let the computer work it's magic to construct the model.
iTero comes with a number of advantages over traditional impressions:
1. Unlike traditional impressions which could easily contain bubbles or other anomalies, the iTero scanner perfectly captures the details and contours of your teeth, producing an extremely accurate model.
2. While physical impressions require you to bite down on dental putty for several minutes, creating an impression with iTero takes seconds and only involves waving a wand over the teeth.
3. Not only is an iTero digital impression more accurate, but we can actually use the software to virtually move the teeth and visualize what your smile will look like once we complete treatment.
Heat Activated Archwires
Utilizing technology developed by NASA, heat-activated archwires allows us to move your teeth more quickly and accurately than ever before. These wires use a special metal that's soft and pliable at room temperature, allowing us to carefully shape it to match the unique contours of your teeth and bite. However, once exposed to the body heat in your mouth, heat-activated archwires straighten out and return to their initial shape, applying a precisely-calibrated force to your teeth while doing so. Using heat-activated archwires lets us apply gentle, precise forces, minimizing your overall treatment time and the number of trips you have to make to the orthodontist's office.
Digital x-rays, also called radiographs, let us get a clear picture of your mouth and smile as safely and accurately as possible. Digital x-rays use an advanced wireless sensor and cutting-edge computer software to generate x-ray images, which lets us take comprehensive images of your teeth and bite with 90% less radiation exposure. Digital x-rays are integral to our treatment process, and they let us keep you safe than ever before.
Contact Your Rogers, Champlin, Albertville, & Maple Grove, MN Orthodontist
Technology is just one of the ways we strive to make treatment convenient, and whether you're getting braces or Invisalign, we'll work with you to help you achieve a beautiful new smile as quickly and comfortably. Feel free to give us a call at 763-425-9888 if you have any questions on technology or orthodontic treatment in general, or if you'd like to come in for an appointment, you can reach out to us at our contact page or request an appointment online at one of our three offices. We strive to maintain a gold standard in every aspect of treatment at Accorde Orthodontists, and we look forward to helping you achieve the smile of your dreams.