An amazing alternative to metal braces – Clear 3D printed teeth aligners
Yes you read that right!
With over a decade of booming advancements in Science and Tech, we have finally stumbled upon a less risky, painless and beautiful way to get our teeth aligned perfectly.
For more than two decades, people with irregular teeth alignment have been going through an incredibly ugly and painful process for fixing their teeth misalignment.
The traditional process merely got better with time but most of the discomforts stays true till date. As many of you are aware, traditional braces comes with a tonne of limitations. Restricted from consuming favorite food to laughing with freedom, brushing cautiously everyday and the frequent gum and tooth aches really gets to one’s self esteem.
“According to Invisalign, 91% of teens feel that traditional braces makes them uncomfortable and feel isolated from their peers”
Fortunately, this trend is set to change rapidly in the future with gaining feasibility and popularity of clear teeth aligners. Emerging technologies like high resolution 3D Scanning, 3D printing and 3D Designing techniques has helped in arriving at the right solution.
The new clear teeth aligners developed using the above technologies has proved to be a game changer in the dental industry. The new aligners negates all the disadvantages of traditional braces. It also provides more freedom and less vulnerability to the user.
The whole process is fairly simple and painless.
3D Scan → 3D Design → 3D Print → Vacuum Forming → Transparent braces
Here is a quick overview of the whole process,
1. 3D Scanning:
Credits: iTero Digital Scanner
Initially, the teeth of the patient is scanned using high resolution 3D scanner for the best virtual replication. Sometimes, plaster mold of the user is used to create the virtual replica.
2. 3D Design:
Credits: Macomb Orthodontics
A few tweaks and processing is done on the virtual model. The entire treatment is planned virtually in the 3D Design software split across multiple stages.
3. 3D Print:
Credits: 3D Printing Industry
After the accurate virtual teeth model is generated, a highly accurate physical replica of the teeth model is created using additive manufacturing / 3D Printing.
4. Vacuum Forming:
The teeth model is completely covered by special type of transparent plastic (harmless, non toxic) with air tight precision using the vacuum forming process. Later, this plastic can be separated from the model.
But now, the plastic composite takes the shape of the teeth structure — a perfectly customized transparent braces for the individual.
These transparent aligners require minimal effort to place it in the teeth of the patient.
Few more advantages of the braces includes,
- Wearing and removing the braces at will.
- Most people won’t recognize your braces.
- This treatment proves effective upon most cases like crowding, spacing, crossbite, overbite and underbite.
- Allows the user to brush, eat and smile normally.
Though the technique has been around for sometime, the patent expiration of SLA and SLS 3D printing has brought down the costs dramatically.
With the meteoric rise of innovations happening around 3D printing, the treatment is expected to become more affordable and efficient. Invisalign, Clear Correct and Insignia who are the leading pioneers in this technique are constantly helping dentists and researchers in perfecting the whole process.
Apart from braces, 3D printing has also started to affect various areas of dental. You can read more about it below,