Pandemic Sparks Key Improvements in Digital Orthodontics at SLU’s Heart for Superior Dental Schooling

Pandemic Sparks Key Improvements in Digital Orthodontics at SLU’s Heart for Superior Dental Schooling

Ki Beom Kim, D.D.S., Ph.D., program director within the Orthodontic Division at CADE, locations a newly 3D-printed aligner within the centrifuge. Picture by Sarah Conroy.

Now, dental professionals from numerous international locations are touring to SLU to study extra about two technological developments not out there anyplace else on this planet.

ST. LOUIS – The COVID-19 pandemic galvanized researchers at Saint Louis College’s Heart for Superior Dental Schooling (CADE) to discover key improvements in digital orthodontics and basic dentistry.

Ki Beom Kim, D.D.S., Ph.D., the Dr. Lysle Johnston Endowed Chair in Orthodontics, and this system director within the Orthodontic Division at CADE, says the pandemic intensified the necessity for digital orthodontics as many clinics had been shut as a result of lockdowns and motion restrictions. COVID-19 swept away many of those obstacles, resulting in the speedy adoption of digital options and reworking methods of working and repair supply.

“Orthodontics is a pondering sport, like chess. You’re continually maneuvering items to resolve issues that won’t solely enhance a affected person’s smile however their high quality of life,” Kim mentioned.

By means of a partnership with Graphy, a South Korean 3D printing materials firm, SLU researchers have spent the previous three years testing direct 3D–printed aligners.

The researchers discovered that controlling materials dimensions, construction, and properties of aligners immediately — in comparison with thermoforming plastic sheets like Invisalign — has the potential to make the method of tooth motion quicker, much less wasteful and extra exact.

Ki Beom Kim, D.D.S., Ph.D., program director within the Orthodontic Division at CADE, with 3D-printed aligners. Picture by Sarah Conroy.

Their findings had been not too long ago revealed within the Progress in Orthodontics paper “Power Profile Evaluation of Direct-Printed Aligners Versus Thermoformed Aligners and the Results of Non-Engaged Floor Patterns.”

Kim says it’s a big improvement with the potential to take 10%, or greater than $5 billion, of Invisalign’s market share.

“Invisalign is a $25 billion firm. There’s business curiosity from many firms attempting to develop this sort of materials, however we’re the primary college to take action,” Kim mentioned.

Dr. Kim highlights that retention in orthodontics has lengthy been a difficult facet. Whereas many orthodontists acknowledge the benefits of utilizing mounted retainers, there are sometimes two components that hinder their widespread adoption. The primary concern is the time-consuming nature of the method, and the second revolves round potential tooth motion as a result of wire untwisting, as highlighted in case reviews of improperly bent wires.

Addressing this problem, YOAT, a medical know-how producer based mostly in Seattle, has efficiently revolutionized the sector of orthodontics. By collaborating with YOAT, Saint Louis College is at present testing an on-site retainer-bending machine that guarantees to create exact retainers whereas drastically lowering the time required for alterations. Early outcomes from the research have already proven that sufferers expertise improved stability in comparison with conventional retainers.

Previously, orthodontists needed to manually bend retainer wires. SLU’s partnership with YOAT extends to creating a ending wire bending machine, scheduled for testing this fall. The introduction of this new machine is predicted to additional elevate therapy high quality by providing personalized ending wire choices, pushing the boundaries of orthodontic care.

Different researchers on the paper embrace Evan Hertan, D.D.S.; Julie McCray, D.D.S.; and Brent Bankhead, D.D.S. from Saint Louis College. The paper’s digital object identifier is:

About The Heart for Superior Dental Schooling

The Heart for Superior Dental Schooling’s mission is to attain the very best stage of excellence in scholarship and affected person care whereas educating dentists within the specialties of orthodontics (tooth straightening), endodontics (root canal therapy), pediatric dentistry and periodontics (gum illness remedy). The middle goals to serve its college students, the career of dentistry, the neighborhood of St. Louis, and the communities wherein the graduates of CADE will follow their dental specialty.

About Saint Louis College

Based in 1818, Saint Louis College is likely one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic establishments. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering historical past as the primary college west of the Mississippi River, SLU gives greater than 13,500 college students a rigorous, transformative training of the entire particular person. On the core of the College’s various neighborhood of students is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares college students to make the world a greater, extra simply place.