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The Role of Technology in Modern Orthodontic Treatment

The Role of Technology in Modern Orthodontic Treatment


Technology has revolutionised the field of orthodontics, making treatment more comfortable, efficient, and effective than ever before. From digital imaging and 3D printing to robotic arms and AI-powered software, modern technology is playing a significant role in improving patient care and achieving optimal results. 

Digital Imaging

Gone are the days of messy and uncomfortable dental impressions. Modern orthodontists utilise digital scanners to capture highly accurate 3D images of a patient’s teeth and jaws. This technology offers several advantages over traditional impressions.

  • Accuracy
    Digital scans provide a much clearer and more detailed picture of the teeth and jaws, allowing orthodontists to create more precise treatment plans.
  • Comfort
    Patients no longer have to endure the discomfort of biting down on a tray filled with impression material.
  • Efficiency
    Digital scans are processed quickly and easily, saving valuable time for both the orthodontist and the patient.

3D Printing

3D printing technology is playing a crucial role in modern orthodontics. It allows orthodontists to create custom-made appliances, such as retainers, splints, and even braces, with incredible precision and accuracy. This technology offers several benefits.

  • Improved fit and comfort
    Custom-made appliances are designed to fit each patient’s individual needs, resulting in a more comfortable and effective treatment experience.
  • Reduced treatment time
    3D printed appliances can be adjusted and modified more easily than traditional appliances, potentially reducing the overall treatment time.
  • Enhanced aesthetics
    3D printing allows orthodontists to create clear or tooth-coloured appliances that are more aesthetically pleasing than traditional metal braces.

Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM)

CAD/CAM technology is used in conjunction with digital imaging and 3D printing to design and manufacture custom orthodontic appliances. This integrated approach offers several advantages.

  • Precise planning
    Orthodontists can use CAD software to create a virtual model of the patient’s teeth and jaws, allowing them to plan and visualise the treatment process in great detail.
  • Streamlined workflow
    CAD/CAM technology can automate many aspects of the appliance design and manufacturing process, saving time and improving efficiency.
  • Improved accuracy
    By combining digital imaging, CAD software, and 3D printing, orthodontists can create custom appliances with unparalleled accuracy and precision.

Robotic Arms

Robotic arms are starting to be used in orthodontic clinics for a variety of tasks.

  • Archwire placement
    Robotic arms can be programmed to accurately place archwires into braces, saving the orthodontist time and ensuring consistent results.
  • Treatment monitoring
    Robotic arms can be equipped with cameras and sensors to monitor the movement of teeth during treatment, allowing orthodontists to make adjustments as needed.
  • Sterilisation
    Robotic arms can be used to automate the sterilisation of orthodontic instruments, reducing the risk of infection.

AI-Powered Software

Artificial intelligence (AI) is making its way into the field of orthodontics in several ways.

  • Diagnosis and treatment planning
    AI algorithms can be used to analyse patient data and images to assist orthodontists in diagnosis and treatment planning.
  • Predictive modelling
    AI can be used to predict the movement of teeth during treatment, allowing orthodontists to make adjustments and optimise the treatment plan.
  • Patient education
    AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can be used to answer patients’ questions and provide educational materials about orthodontic treatment.

The Future of Orthodontic Technology

The field of orthodontic technology is constantly evolving, and new and innovative advancements are being introduced all the time. Some exciting developments on the horizon include.

  • Tele Orthodontics
    This technology allows patients to receive orthodontic care remotely, using virtual appointments and monitoring tools.
  • Self-ligating braces
    These braces use a special mechanism that eliminates the need for elastic bands, making them easier to clean and maintain.
  • Biomaterials
    New biomaterials are being developed that are stronger, more comfortable, and more aesthetically pleasing than traditional orthodontic materials.

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in modern orthodontic treatment, offering significant benefits for both patients and orthodontists. From digital imaging and 3D printing to robotic arms and AI-powered software, these advancements are making orthodontic treatment more comfortable, efficient, and effective than ever before. As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more innovative solutions that will revolutionise the field of orthodontics and improve the lives of patients around the world.

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What People Are Saying

  • I completed the BOSS UK Diploma in 2021 and when it became available, signed up for the AU course as well. I completed the AU course at the end of last year and can honestly say BOSS (now Digital Orthodontic College) has completely changed my approach to clear aligner treatments and increased my confidence with treatment planning immensely. The fact that the course is 100% online was a huge drawcard for me initially since I have two young children, work clinically part-time and run my own business. It allowed me the flexibility to study when I had the chance and didn’t result in any loss of clinical time. Dr V is extremely passionate about orthodontics and more importantly sharing her wisdom and that comes through in her approach to teaching. The course is extremely comprehensive (NB: the AU course has quite a few complex assessments) and covers everything starting from the basics of tooth movement, which sets a good foundation and is therefore suitable even for beginners. The monthly/bimonthly webinars allow students to share cases and is a safe space, non-judgmental and therefore an incredible learning platform. I had been doing clear aligner treatments prior to starting this course, but BOSS helped me see patients with new eyes and has overhauled my treatment planning approach. I would not hesitate to recommend this course to anyone interested in learning, or to extend their knowledge about, clear aligner treatments.

    Thank you so much Dr V!

    Dr Lora Banicevic, Dentist NSW
  • The Australian accredited 10905NAT Graduate Diploma of Digital Orthodontic Treatment offers comprehensive training in the field, gives the candidate the opportunity to do things in a self-paced manner, while getting a personalised 1-on-1 learning experience with Dr Vandana Katyal. It was an excellent choice for me and gave me the flexibility to get the well-designed training done in my own time frame. I would strongly recommend the course to any practitioners who is looking to upskill themselves with a no-compromise high quality course, while also having to juggle between busy practices and family schedules.

    Dr Charles Sun, Dentist WA
  • I started this course unsure of how much I would benefit. The in-person lectures were fantastic (although the course is now 100% online) where I made good friends and learned a lot. The online resources are extensive and second to none, accessible at your convenience. The webinars were great – usually with the right mix of teaching, cases demonstrated and the attendees’ cases being discussed. I was also invited to deliver a webinar on intra-oral scanners, 3D printers and in house aligner manufacturing (from a dentist’s point of view) – which I enjoyed.
    Most of all the course gave significantly more confidence what can be done with aligners, how plan the setup efficiently with the end in mind and how to make the processes to get there smoother. As a result, a MUCH larger chunk of my work is now aligner based. My conversion rate for aligner treatments has definitely increased along with my confidence. The course has easily paid for itself. Full disclosure: I was invited to deliver a webinar on intra-oral scanners, 3D printers and in house aligner manufacture to my BOSS batch mates, which I also thoroughly enjoyed doing. I declined any remuneration for this, although it was offered.
    Dr Shammi Moopen, Dentist VIC
  • Since I have joined the postgraduate diploma in orthodontics I have noticed all the applied practical learning/knowledge on my patients and I am only half way through the year. Dr Vandana is a genuine educator. She goes way beyond to simplify every lecture and I really like her evidence based information and that is available for us 24/7. Her webinars helped a lot for busy dentists and loved the feedback we get in the one on one sessions with our cases. It make us think every step of the way. But the best thing I like is to see she is giving back to the community and her association with Smile Train in helping children with cleft palate is just beyond words. Thank you so much for being nice and approachable.

    Dr Claudia Braybon, Dentist NSW
  • Received my Diploma in Digital Orthodontics from BOSS and couldn’t be more stoked! Huge shout out to Dr Vandana Katyal and the BOSS team for a wonderful year. I would recommend BOSS to every dentist no matter their level of experience with Orthodontics and clear aligners. Starting off with barely any orthodontic experience, I have commenced about 9 cases in the matter of months and BOSS gave me the confidence to predictably deliver results for my patients through clear aligners which are the future of modern orthodontics.
    Dr Sarang Sathe, Dentist NSW
  • I chose Boss’s clear aligner diploma because I wanted to know the latest evidence based practice to enhance my treatment planning and case execution. I now have a much better understanding of how to diagnose, what movements can be done and what will get me into trouble. The flexible nature of the course delivery also fit perfectly into full time work and my otherwise packed schedule. The monthly case presentation webinars are also great to not only get feedback from Dr Katyal, but also to validate your own thoughts self-assess and see how you are tracking with your learning.

    Dr Gregory Nguyễn, Dentist NSW

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