How the selfie is impacting Orthodontics

Selfies and invisalign

The selfie – love it or hate it, there’s no denying it has had a major impact on the dental world.  It has become a go-to form of expression for many people, almost as socially acceptable as a handshake!  People will snap dozens of shots, cherry pick the one they like the best, and share it with the world.  In the course of taking multiple selfies you get to see your smile up close and zoom right in.  In the industry, this is referred to as “Photographic self-assessment”.

As a direct result of selfies we see many patients come to our door with specific concerns or requests about how to align their teeth just right for that perfect look!  That is great from my perspective, since the more specific patients are about their concerns, the better I am able to tailor a specific treatment plan to address them.
And this type of specific planning is where our new software for Invisalign treatment really shines.  First, we create an individualized smile-plan by taking a 3-dimensional scan with our state-of-the-art ITero Element scanner.  We then create a computerized simulation (called a “Clincheck”) of how the teeth will move from the start to the end of treatment, taking care that the final result addresses all of the patient’s concerns.  The Clincheck simulation also includes views of how the teeth should look at each week of the treatment, allowing us to monitor how well the teeth are responding to treatment and whether things are proceeding on schedule.  And, for patients who love to take selfies along the way, they can compare their selfies to the simulation to reassure themselves that everything is on-track.

Now, one final note about selfies – we definitely want to create a plan that addresses all of our patient’s esthetic concerns.  But we also have to keep in mind the health of the teeth, gums, and jaws.  This is why we always create plans that not only address the appearance of the front teeth, but also the back teeth and the bite, which you can’t see on the selfie.   Without doing so, the teeth may straighten but may develop gum disease, jaw aches, and may not be stable in their new position.

So take a selfie and make a list of your goals….and realize that as your orthodontist, I will likely have important input to modify that list to get you a smile that is not only dazzling, but also will last for the long-term.  And realize that obtaining that perfect smile will likely take some time, but short-cuts often end up costing more time and money in the long-run.  As the old expression goes,  “There are no short-cuts to anywhere worth going.”

What is ITero 3D Scanning and why it matters to you.

3D Scanning iTero

Recently, our office decided to invest in an ITero machine. Traditionally, when orthodontists needed 3-dimensional models of teeth (either to measure the teeth or to make braces or retainers), we took dental impressions. This involved mixing a goopy, rubbery material, squishing it in place over the teeth, and holding it there for 1-2 minutes while waiting for it to harden.

Although I have developed several techniques for making dental impressions less unpleasant for my patients, many have told me that having dental impressions taken was their least favorite part of the whole orthodontic process. I found that, more than any other fear that new patients had, they feared the dental impressions – having been told stories of gagging and vomiting by their friends and relatives. Well, the times have changed. ITero is a new system which uses a 3-dimensional scanner instead of dental impressions. We simply run a scanner (looks like a thick pen) over your teeth to capture the 3-D image. We can take as many breaks as you need, and no goop goes into your mouth. Say goodbye to gagging and horror stories about orthodontists! And the measurements and appliances that we make are more accurate than ever before.

As an added bonus, once we’ve scanned your teeth, we can immediately show you the scan on a monitor and do a mock-up of what your teeth will look like once they’ve been straightened – all at your first consultation visit, free of charge! We stay on the cutting edge of technology to give you innovations to make your treatment better and more comfortable than ever before. That is our commitment to you!

We invite you to visit our web page here for more info on how the ITero machine works and to watch a video.

There are many Orthodontists in Toronto. Why choose us?

Toronto Orthodontist

Since there are many Orthodontists in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), the question sometimes arises: “Why would I drive or take the TTC to your Sheppard Avenue office when I can just walk down the street (maybe) to see another orthodontist?”

At face value, that’s a logical question.  Here’s the logical answer!

Because we are going to know one another for a significant amount of time, you should pick an orthodontist that’s going to work for you and your specific needs.

When you are comparing Orthodontic offices, here are a few things to consider:

1) Does the Orthodontist do all the work themselves?

You’d be amazed at how many practices, especially in a busy metropolitan area like the GTA, delegate the work to hygienists!  Many corporate style offices book patients in and have them turned around in the fastest time possible, sometimes without even seeing the orthodontist!  At Kellerstein Orthodontics, all the work is done by Dr. Kellerstein himself.  No part of your treatment is delegated to an assistant or hygienist, so you can be confident that you are receiving the best possible treatment from the most qualified provider.

2) Convenient appointment times to suit your busy schedule.

We often book early morning and after work appointments to suit your busy and hectic lives!  We invite you to speak with our reception to see about booking a time slot that best suits your family.

3) Cutting edge, carefully selected technology.

Dr. Kellerstein carefully selects the best new and evidence-based technologies for his patients.  At this office, you will not find every new gadget on the market until that gadget has been shown to benefit patients.  We will never try to up-sell patients with expensive technology unless it will reduce your treatment time, improve your comfort, or show some other tangible benefit. For example, we recently invested in an iTERO scanner which will be in our practice very shortly For more information on iTERO and the many benefits of 3D scanning, please click here.

4) Can you talk with your orthodontist?

It may seem like a strange question, but think about it: How important is it for you to be able to discuss your concerns and questions in a comfortable and supportive environment? Have a look at what some of our patients have to say about our service.

==> When shopping around for your provider, ask yourself: do they offer every “latest and greatest” invention, or is their treatment plan based on knowledge and sound medical advice?

==> Are they even a specialist?  Some braces and Invisalign providers aren’t even orthodontists but general dentists!

==> Who will provide the best possible care and who is best equipped to handle any potential problems that may arise?

When you consider that appointments on average are once every 2-3 months, traveling to see us from surrounding neighbourhoods and cities actually makes sense given all the benefits of working with our practice. So make sure you take all these factors into account when deciding about your orthodontic treatment. If you’re not sure, come meet with Dr. Kellerstein for a free consultation and see for yourself our difference!