Dental braces are definitely worth it. But if you've had them, you know what a hassle they can be. Brace faces often endure what feels like an eternity of orthodontic treatment to get the smile they want. Now there's a new type of dental braces that dramatically reduces the time it takes to straighten your teeth. The concept of SureSmile® dental braces is similar to that of speed braces. Unlike speed braces, where the difference is in the self-litigating brackets, SureSmile braces focus on the direct, precise movement of the wire to move teeth faster and more efficiently.
SureSmile is a state-of-the-art system that calculates your orthodontic dental treatment from the start. First, a device called an OraScanner maps the path of each patient's tooth movement. The OraScanner uses digital imaging to create a 3-D image of your teeth, which is projected onto a computer screen. Your dentist or orthodontist then uses high-tech software to move your teeth into the desired position. The computer calculates your treatment plan and your dental braces are constructed using robotic technology. Currently, SureSmile is the only system of its kind used specifically for dental braces. Considered an innovative breakthrough in dental technology, SureSmile dental braces may change the way dentists practice orthodontics in the future.
The SureSmile Difference
Planning orthodontic treatment is no exact science. Successful treatment of traditional dental braces relies heavily on the dentist's skills and the patient's reaction to treatment. Dentists use impressions and X-rays to estimate the placement of brackets before securing them to your teeth. The wire that connects the brackets contains a Shape Memory Alloy, a material that is flexible at room temperature but becomes rigid with heat. The temperature of your mouth causes the straight wire to return to its original shape, slowly moving your teeth over time. During the treatment phase, adjustments are necessary to maintain the correct pressure needed to move your teeth into position.
Like traditional dental braces, SureSmile uses a straight wire to move your teeth. But the difference is SureSmile dental braces are made by a robot, which shapes the wire to match the placement of your brackets. Straight wires require a high temperature to bend the wire with exact precision, which can't be done by hand. Prior to the development of SureSmile technology, the straight wire was simply threaded through the brackets. With the SureSmile system, the wire can now be customized to the exact shape needed to correctly straighten your teeth.
A Time Saver
SureSmile technology can reduce the time you spend in dental braces by less than half. The average time it takes to wear braces is two years, whereas with SureSmile it's six to twelve months. SureSmile dental braces also cut down on the number of dental visits needed to adjust or change your wires. That means missing less school or work for orthodontic appointments -- and less adjusting means less discomfort overall.
Time Is Money
There are some drawbacks to using SureSmile dental braces. While you may experience a shorter orthodontic treatment period, SureSmile braces can be more expensive than traditional dental braces. Not everyone has this system, and many orthodontists who do are still learning how to use SureSmile dental braces. But regardless of the disadvantages, many patients feel it's worth the extra cost to spend less time wearing dental braces.
If you're interested in SureSmile dental braces, speak with your dentist -- while not everyone has the SureSmile system yet, your dentist can help you decide on the right type of dental braces by discussing your orthodontic treatment options with you. Don't have a dentist? We can help you find one -- just call an operator anytime at