3Shape Digital Orthodontics

Digital solutions for the orthodontic practice

Orthodontics is racing into the digital era faster than most anticipated. Industry professionals agree that the trend will only accelerate.

There are many reasons. The clinical and patient benefits of going digital have become so well documented that the only reason not to use the technology is lack of resources, which is understandable. But for orthodontists and orthodontic labs alike, ROI studies and testimonials from colleagues and patients should help offset financial concerns.

When Italian orthodontist, Dr. Santiago Isaza Penco, discussed CAD/CAM’s impact on his practice, he summed it up: “Now anything is possible!”

Creating the digital patient
Digital technology provides doctors and labs with a unique, all-encompassing, and predictive view of their patients. In essence, you now create the digital patient.

Using software like 3Shape Ortho Analyzer™, orthodontists and lab technicians can merge CT/CBCT data, intraoral scans, X-ray panoramics, cephalometric tracings, and photos with digital models. Enabling professionals to take what were once separate steps in the workflow and melt them into a more comprehensive single step and process: digital patient analysis, treatment planning and monitoring, and orthodontic appliance production — are all achieved onscreen.

Choose treatments like Invisalign® with just a click
And because you are now working digitally, your team shares treatment analysis, planning, monitoring, and even appliance-production effortlessly between the lab, orthodontist, and when relevant, the patient.

For example, doctors using TRIOS® who choose an Invisalign treatment for their patients can simply just pick Invisalign from the drop-down menu list of orthodontic solution providers in TRIOS’ software and click to send the case. This is synergy driven by digital technology that makes the entire ortho-dontic workflow more efficient and more effective. TRIOS case submissions to Invisalign will be available from Q4 2016.

Digital improves your workflow
When discussing the clinic-to-lab workflow benefits of going digital, the aforementioned Dr. Penco says, “Communication between a lab and orthodontist is very, very important. In Italy, labs must build all orthodontic appliances, so the cooperation between the two is extremely important. In the old days, our lab partner would come to my office every 2 days from hundreds of miles away to pick up and check models and design appliances. Now this is no longer necessary — everything is done in real time, digitally.

“Just 2 years ago, we were still sending traditional impressions. It would take 3 to 4 weeks to have the appliance designed and shipped back. Now it only takes 2 to 3 days for a retainer. This is a tremendous change!”

Digital promotes patient buy-in
Achieving patient buy-in is obviously important to any orthodontic practice. But an interesting and rarely discussed benefit of using digital technology is its impact on young people: an orthodontist’s biggest customer.

As Dr. Penco points out, “The majority of my patients are young people, which is great because they are also the best for marketing our work. They go on our Facebook page or website and watch the videos. They want to see our intraoral scanner (3Shape TRIOS) because they have seen videos about it.

“With children, it has always been difficult to take traditional impressions. Having TRIOS has made it much easier. I also discovered, if I switch off the lights, the children watch the screen when I scan. It’s a show. We both can relax and take our time. Like adults, it is important for children to see everything. In that way, they are convinced about the treatment from the start.”

Brazilian orthodontist, Dr. Carlo Marassi, elaborates: “Digital orthodontics makes it easier for us to communicate with patients. It’s great to have a 3D image of the patient’s occlusal situation and to show this to the patient during clinical examinations. Showing the 3D model makes it much easier to describe problems and treatments because most people do not know what occlusion means or have never even seen their own posterior teeth.

“Patients don’t know what a crossbite, or other orthodontic problems, look like.  When you can show the patient a 3D image, including occlusion already from the first visit, it helps their understanding of the problem and its treatment options. This understanding also helps motivate them towards taking the next step in treatment.”

Italy’s Dr. Penco agrees: “Patient compliance is very important in orthodontics and medicine, in general. When you are convinced that you need an orthodontic treatment, you cooperate. But you need tools to explain the treatment with. That’s where the TRIOS intraoral scans are invaluable. They make it easy. When your patient understands what you can do to solve the problem, they cooperate. Communication is key. In fact, with the scans and software, I can simulate my proposed treatment. I can even bring the parents in during diagnosis, show the scans, and describe the treatment. Patients believe that because I am using new technology when I demonstrate the treatment, I will deliver better results. When the patient understands where we can put the tooth to achieve the best results, it becomes very important information for them. It makes the patient’s decision easier and the whole process go faster. They can go home and make a decision based on knowing what the treatment will entail. They accept it. And the reason they accept it is because of digital scans and treatment simulation.”

Young people are digital by nature; it make sense to involve them digitally in their treatment.

TRIOS® digital color impressions
The tagline — making a great first impression — may apply to orthodontics more than any other branch in dentistry.

There are numerous benefits to using intraoral scans within orthodontics. The Austin Journal of Orthopedics & Rheumatology recently listed what it considered the advantages were in an article, “Intra-oral Scanners: A New Eye in Dentistry.”

For the orthodontist, advantages of digital scanning include improved diagnosis and treatment planning, increased case acceptance, faster records submission to laboratories and insurance providers, fewer retakes, reduced chair time, standardization of office procedures, reduced storage requirements, faster laboratory return, improved appliance accuracy, enhanced workflow, lower inventory expense, and reduced treatment times.

Benefits to the patient include an improved case presentation and a better orthodontic experience with more comfort and less anxiety, reduced chair time, and easier re-fabrication of lost or broken appliances, as well as potentially reduced treatment time.

The advantages of intraoral scanning are exactly what make 3Shape’s TRIOS intraoral scanner your right choice too. TRIOS separates itself from the pack because of the award-winning intraoral scanner’s documented accuracy, speed, RealColor™ digital color impressions, automatic occlusion capture in real time, and never a need for powder.

Plus TRIOS and 3Shape Orthodontics continue to create more and more integrations with global orthodontic solution providers like Invisalign®, Incognito, and many more, making it easy for orthodontists and GPs to pick and choose the right treatment for their patients from TRIOS’ long list of partner integrations. And because the integrations are cloud-based, doctors can share cases with solution providers and TRIOS® Ready labs with just a click from within the TRIOS software.

TRIOS_3_with_sticker_CMYK300dpiADigital model production
The practice of digital model-making is surging forward as better digital impression systems, new CAD software, and improved manufacturing technologies create digital model-making solutions at lower costs with higher accuracy and increased efficiency.

For orthodontic labs, providing digital model-making as well as digital archiving services have now become revenue generators. As orthodontists are required by law to keep models of their patients, digital models provide them with a regulatory compliant, space, and cost-saving alternative to storing gypsum models.

Dr. Carlo Marassi discusses what digital model-making has meant to his practice, “I have been practicing orthodontics for more than 20 years now, and by law, we have to keep our case records for 10 years. We rent another office just to store all our gypsum models. 3Shape technology is now enabling us to digitize all our models and close our special storage rooms. This will save us money, not to mention the time and manpower it takes to maintain a physical storage system.”

He adds, “Gypsum models are typically fragile and can break, and then you simply lose the case information. This can’t happen with digital models. Naturally, we back up our digital archives like any critical IT system.  But the option to create digital models makes the whole matter of archiving cases cheaper, more efficient, and more robust.”

3Shape orthodontic solutions enable you to create digital study models from alginate impressions and plaster models as well as digital intraoral scans.

Digital technology provides doctors and labs with a unique, all-encompassing, and predictive view of their patients. In essence, you now create the digital patient.

CAD-designed digital appliances
CAD-designed orthodontic appliances are nothing new. Global orthodontic solution providers use state-of-the art digital technology to create treatment solutions on an assembly line scale. Up until recently, that amount of programming power and connectivity was unavailable to ordinary orthodontic labs — at least not at an affordable price.

The development of our Ortho Analyzer™ and Appliance Designer™ solutions have made analysis, treatment planning and appliance design simpler, repeatable, faster, and affordable for smaller labs.

Orthodontic labs using CAD/CAM software like Appliance Designer can now design and manufacture with the same accuracy and efficiency as the global orthodontic solution providers. From clear aligners, night guards, and retainers to splints, Herbst appliances, and more, labs can essentially design any type of orthodontic appliance.

Depending on their CAM equipment, they can manufacture the appliance themselves or outsource the production. This cuts delivery time down from weeks to days and hours. And it makes it possible for smaller orthodontic labs to offer competitive services to global orthodontic solution providers.

Throw into the mix new generation 3D printers that make it affordable to print 3D models as well as fabricate orthodontic appliances, including retainers, metal appliances, aligner technology, and indirect bonding, and it makes CAD/CAM an indispensable asset for orthodontic labs.

“Digital being better would be stating the obvious”
According to Australian orthodontic lab owner, Ari Sciacca, “CAD/CAM has enabled my lab to do things virtually and streamline and/or eliminate laborious processes like duplicating models, cutting out teeth, and doing them in wax.” He adds, “Digital being better would be stating the obvious.”

Italian Orthodontic Laboratory, Team Orthodonzia Estense’s owner, Stafano Negrini agrees, saying, “CAD/CAM has enabled us to compete against bigger labs. We can provide everything from digital study models, digital archiving, to planning and manufacturing. And we can do it quickly. Going digital means that the work we do is now virtual. We can edit, save, share, and even remake a patient’s appliance with just a click. It’s a much more effective way to work.”

Digital treatment monitoring
Perhaps no other area in orthodontics benefits more through digital technology than patient treatment monitoring. Intraoral scans can be compared side-by-side to precisely monitor and document tooth movement, the oral situation, and the treatment plan.

Digital technology also enables orthodontists and labs to virtually debond brackets and compare the current patient situation with their treatment plan. Because of this, more and more orthodontists and labs are using 3Shape orthodontic software to digitally remove and place brackets on virtual models to save their patients visits and to better ensure that treatment plans stay on the right track.

Doctors and labs can simulate orthodontic treatments like extractions, interproximal reductions, the constraints, and full details of tooth movement digitally. If you combine this with using virtual articulators to optimize occlusion in real time, the benefits of digital technology are just too powerful an opportunity for professionals to ignore.

Digital technology has changed the way we live. Orthodontics maybe its greatest benefactor. While not practicing in the orthodontic branch, leading prosthodontist and 3Shape-user, Dr. Jonathan L. Ferencz, sums up the digital advantage best: “My patients get it. My staff gets it. I get it. Go digital!”

Orthodontic solutions for practices
TRIOS® digital color impression solution
TRIOS® intraoral scanner features RealColor™ intraoral photographs to enable orthodontists to create high-quality digital impressions in lifelike colors as well as capture the bite automatically in real time. TRIOS’ speed and accuracy helps orthodontists to save time, see more patients, and digitally archive cases to save storage space. TRIOS is integrated with many leading orthodontic solution providers like Invisalign®. The easy-to-use digital color impression solution features a removable autoclavable tip and comes in a pen grip design, handle grip, and chair-integrated versions.

3Shape orthodontic treatment planning and analysis software enables orthodontists to integrate all patient data, including IO and CBCT scans, to improve diagnostics, patient comfort, and treatment acceptance

Orthodontic solutions for labs
3Shape orthodontic treatment analysis and planning and appliance-design software help labs to attract new customers and expand the services they offer. Coupled with 3Shape’s complete range of lab scanners, orthodontic labs can now create and archive digital study models as well as digitally plan treatment and design and manufacture orthodontic appliances.

3Shape orthodontic lab scanners
3Shape delivers a full range of orthodontic lab scanners from the industry’s most powerful, R2000 all-in-one scanner with simultaneous two-model scanning, to the entry-level R500. All 3Shape lab scanners are ISO-documented accurate and provide industry-leading speed. Importantly, lab scanners are the perfect tool for digitizing orthodontic gypsum study models. For example, this enables labs to lease their lab scanners to orthodontic practices for digitizing models.

This information was provided by 3Shape.


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