Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Imagine No More Dental Impressions!

Millions of impressions are taken each year for the fabrication of orthodontic models and appliances. Orthodontic offices take a number of these “patient hating” procedures on a daily basis. A new system is now available that creates digital free impressions of a patient’s teeth.
The iOC Scanner, a digital orthodontic impression system powered by iTero, ensures a more accurate impression from the start, which results in improved orthodontic treatment.
The iOC scanner will eliminate the need to take physical impressions of a patient’s mouth. Instead of taking oral impressions which is one of the most anxiety producing procedures for patients undergoing orthodontic care, we will soon be able to use the iOC scanner which employs laser technology to capture accurate images of the mouth, doing away with the traditional messy impression. Imagine no goop, gagging or discomfort!
The iOC Scanner is the product of Cadent, now a part of Align Technology. It scans the mouth with a radiation-free laser and in six to eight minutes renders a digitally perfect, 3-D impression of the teeth and soft tissue structures. The iOC Scanner can be used for any orthodontic treatment including traditional metal braces and clear aligner-based orthodontic systems and it is the only product that can be used with Invisalign.
RiteBite Orthodontics, one of the top invisalign providers in the Waterloo Region with practices in Cambridge, Waterloo and Listowel, continues to embrace cutting edge orthodontic technology. If these scanners prove to be as accurate as they claim, you can rest assured that we will be one of the first offices to bring this technology to the Waterloo Region.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Essix versus Hawley Retainers

Both Hawley and Essix type retainers are commonly used by orthodontists. The traditional type is the Hawley retainer, which includes a metal wire that surrounds the teeth and keeps them in place. Named for its inventor, Dr. Charles Hawley, the wire is anchored in an acrylic arch that sits in the palate (roof of the mouth). The advantage of this type of retainer is that the metal wires can be adjusted to finish treatment and continue moving teeth as needed.  The Essix retainer is a vacuum formed retainer. This is a polypropylene or polyvinylchloride material, typically .020" or .030" thick. Essix is a brand name many dental offices are familiar with. This clear or transparent retainer fits over the entire arch of teeth and is produced from a dental mold. Is there any difference between these two type of retainers related to stability and patient acceptance?

A recent prospective study by Kumar and Bansal (2011) compared the effectiveness and acceptability of Essix and Hawley retainers.  The study consisted of 224 patients who had undergone comprehensive orthodontic treatment. The results showed that there was, no clinically significant differences in stability and irregularity, when the two types of retainers were compared. They also found that Hawley retainers were more acceptable for biting and Essix retainers were more acceptable for appearance and comfort.
So what can we take away from this? Basically, that your Essix retainers work just as well as traditional retainers but they are more comfortable and you will probably be more pleased with your appearance as well!

Kumar AG, Bansal A. Effectiveness and Acceptability of Essix and Begg Retainers: A Prospective Study. Aust Orthod J 2011; 27 (May):52-56.