When asked, “what’s new in dentistry,” Doctors Haidy Messih and Anthony Black D.D.S. of Loudoun Family & Cosmetic Dentistry answer in unison: “Digital!”
Explains Haidy, “There’s no longer any need to take impressions of your teeth to fix them. All you need to do to make designs for a restoration, a crown, Invisalign aligners or veneers is to take a scan of the teeth. It works much faster and with better precision and fit than the old way.”
Anthony says their local practice has had the scanner for about a year now. It’s made by iTero, which was purchased by Align, the company responsible for making the popular Invisalign braces. As he demonstrates, a wand covered by a smooth, disposable liner is simply run across your teeth. It simultaneously records 3D external video, scans the internal structure of teeth and enables the construction of a time-lapse treatment program to correct teeth alignment or make other suggested fixes. This entire scan can then be transmitted to the dentists’ preferred lab in Costa Rica for custom manufacturing.
Anthony says the technology has completely changed the conversation between dentists and patients. “You can show a patient what their smile would look like after treatment right away.” Not only does it encourage patients by giving them something to look forward to, but, “it also takes a little of the apprehension out of things.”
Twenty weeks of progressively corrective liners then arrive to be dispensed as needed, at about 30% less cost than traditional corrective techniques. “It’s both an art and a science now, and a lot more fun for both the patients and for us,” Haidy said.
Loudoun Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, 44125 Woodridge Pkwy #160, Leesburg, VA 20176, (703) 643-4807. http://loudounfamilydentistry.com