CAD/CAM limitations

dental lab technician working on original cast of patient's teeth

Beyond Machines: The Human Touch Customizes Orthodontic Aligners

Patients of all ages are increasingly motivated by the notion of clear dental aligners. These individuals are not keen on wearing traditional metal braces, and they largely reject the idea of conventional orthodontic treatment for aesthetic reasons. Unfortunately, aligners produced by leading providers, namely Invisalign® and ClearCorrect®, have several limitations that make them less than ideal for a number of treatment cases. Why? These companies use CAD/CAM for the fabrication of their orthodontic aligners, all of which are created from the patient’s initial digital impression images. OrthoSnap creates every tray from an original cast, eliminating common issues and limitations in the CAD/CAM process.

Clear Aligners before Computer Technology in Dentistry

Before the sophistication of computer technology in dentistry, several doctors worked to introduce the idea of straightening teeth with invisible retainers. However, because digital impressions had not been invented yet, new Essix retainers were created at every dental visit. As you can imagine, this process was incredibly time-consuming.

With the introduction of Invisalign in 1997, CAD/CAM technology changed the world of orthodontics. Instead of crafting a new set-up for every new aligner, Invisalign trays could be created digitally, saving doctors a tremendous amount of time and money.

Advantages of CAD/CAM Technology for Dental Aligners

It’s easy to see why so many providers love the idea of CAD/CAM-created aligners. After a single set of digital impressions have been taken, those images are then used to manufacture every single set of orthodontic aligners in the treatment sequence. The design of each tray is based on the treatment recommendations set forth by the dental provider.

Clinical Limitations of CAD/CAM Technology For Dental Aligners

CAD/CAM technology has become irreplaceable for a number of procedures, especially in the field of prosthodontics. These methods have proven quite successful for restorations such as crowns and bridges. Unfortunately, CAD/CAM leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to the fabrication of orthodontic aligners. For example, the multi-step process utilized by companies like Invisalign and ClearCorrect leads to cumulative flaws that results in an inaccurate fit and less-than-perfect treatment outcomes. These limitations are even noticeable on many of the aligner trays used today. For instance, because it is not yet possible to 3-D print angled surfaces, the trays often have visible striation lines. Over the course of treatment, these minor inaccuracies add up. That is why OrthoSnap utilizes human hands where technology falls short.

The OrthoSnap Process

While digital impressions are certainly more convenient compared to conventional ones, physical impression molds offer unparalleled precision. That is why we begin the OrthoSnap process with a cast model of the patient’s teeth. The model is mounted into an articulated bite and each tooth is separated and placed on a movable pin. Each movement in the treatment plan is achieved by moving the pins, and every aligner is crafted on the original cast model. This process not only delivers aligners with a superior fit, but also trays that are more transparent than our competitors’.

Don’t Cut Corners for Convenience

At OrthoSnap, we treasure the value of technology. But we also understand that there are some areas in which the human eye still prevails. We fully anticipate embracing advanced technology as it emerges and utilizing it as an important aspect of our work.

Contact OrthoSnap to Learn More

If you are interested in learning more about OrthoSnap and incorporating our product into your practice, contact our office in Westbury, NY today. Give us a call at 516-506-7606 or schedule a meeting with our creator and founder, Dr. Yan Pogorelsky.

OrthoSnap Corp.

2000 Shames Drive, Westbury, NY

516.506.7606

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