High-Tech Braces Cut Time and Discomfort

Irving orthodontist one of few to offer high-tech service.

Many people put off getting braces due to the time it takes to complete the process, but an Irving orthodontist says a high-tech system can cut the wait time to perfect teeth.
"Instead of getting out of braces after 24 months, they're getting out -- in my office --16 and 18 months sometimes, said Dr. Kim Travers

North Texan Kimberly Mahoney wore braces for two and a half years when she was younger and when she found she needed braces again, she hesitated.

"It's like going back to high school, which is something that I don't ever want to experience again," Mahoney said.

She said her robot-designed braces have cut her treatment time in half.

"I got into my braces in January this year," Mahoney said. "Dr. Travers has told me that I'll probably be out in January '09, which is very, awesome."

Travers uses the SureSmile system, which uses high-tech software to create a 3-D image of a patient's mouth. From a computer in her office, Travers can examine the 3-D model, and make virtual changes and tweaks that will result in a perfect smile for each of her patients.

"From here, I can move each individual tooth however I want it to go," Travers said.

The prescription is sent to an outside lab, where a robot precisely bends the wires for the patient's teeth. All of these things are typically done by hand.

"It just allows me to be much more accurate than I can be just pulling back the teeth and looking into the patient's mouth," Travers said.  "It's not that we're moving the teeth any faster.  They move at a healthy rate. But we are able to plan the treatment so precisely and use these pre-bent arch wires, that the teeth go directly from where we started, to where we want them in a much shorter path than we've traditionally been able to do."

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