Machine learning helps Invisalign patients find their perfect smile
Align Technology’s mobile app helps Invisalign wearers stay on schedule, while machine learning and other features help lure prospective consumers to try the orthodontic device.
The mobile computing trend requires enterprises to meet consumers’ expectations for accessing information and completing tasks from a smartphone. But there’s a converse to that arrangement: Mobile has also become the go-to digital platform companies use to market their goods and services.
Align Technology, which offers the Invisalign orthodontic device to straighten teeth, is embracing the trend with a mobile platform that both helps patients coordinate care with their doctors and entices new customers. The My Invisalign app includes detailed content on how the Invisalign system works, as well as machine learning (ML) technology to simulate what wearers’ smiles will look like after using the medical device.
“It’s a natural extension to help doctors and patients stay in touch,” says Align Technology Chief Digital Officer Sreelakshmi Kolli, who joined the company as a software engineer in 2003 and has spent the past few years digitizing the customer experience and business operations. The development of My Invisalign also served as a pivot point for Kolli to migrate the company to agile and DevSecOps practices.
The pitch for a perfect smile
My Invisalign is a digital on-ramp for a company that has relied on pitches from enthusiastic dentists and pleased patients to help Invisalign find a home in the mouths of more than 8 million customers. An alternative to clunky metal braces, Invisalign comprises sheer plastic aligners that straighten patients’ teeth gradually over several months. Invisalign patients swear by the device, but many consumers remain on the fence about a device with a $3,000 to $5,000 price range that is rarely covered completely by insurance.
SHARE: FacebookTwitterLinkedinPinterestGoogle+tumblr Dr. Jim Raman. Photos obtained from Irmo Smiles website and Facebook. It was announced that a local orthodontist at Irmo Smiles, Jim Raman, has passed away. Irmo Smiles sent out a letter notifying patients of the doctor’s death, describing it as “a tragic loss.” It was mentioned that all appointments of Raman’s wife Misti, who is also a…
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Dr. Michael O’Leary, of O’Leary Orthodontics, will retire after 42 years practicing orthodontics in the Wisconsin Rapids area.
“I extend my deepest and sincere thanks for the confidence, trust, and support shown throughout the years by my patients and the community,” Dr. Michael O’Leary said. “Superior care for my patients is of utmost importance to me. We took some time to find the right doctor and I am thrilled to announce that Dr. Kan Tsunoda joined the practice in May. I will miss all of you very much, but I know you will really like him.”
Dr. Kan Tsunoda will continue to provide orthodontic treatment under the new practice name “Rapids Orthodontics.”
“Rest assured, the familiar faces on the orthodontic support team will still be at Rapids Orthodontics to provide the same level of personalized care,” the company said in a release.
Tsunoda attended dental school at Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine-IL and completed his masters in oral biology and orthodontic specialty certificate at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Tsunoda said he enjoys the outdoors and is excited to be a part of the community with his wife and four daughters.
CRANSTON, R.I. — It was Columbus Day and Joseph E. Pezza and his wife had gotten back from a weekend in Nashville. The Pontiac Avenue orthodontist decided to stop by the office to check the mail and make sure everything was set for Tuesday morning.
But someone was already waiting in the office. He’d come through the office window, a fully grown wild turkey.
The waiting area was strewn with broken glass, Pezza said, and at first he thought he been the victim of a burglary. He went into his office to leave a message for the building manager and while he was wondering if he should call the police, the reason for the carnage became apparent.
“I went back into the room and all of a sudden this bird flies over my head,” Pezza said.
Pezza said he immediately headed back to his office, closed the door and waited for the building crew.
Pezza and his son Gregory are Pezza Orthodontics, located in a four-story office building off Pontiac Avenue near the interchange with Pontiac Avenue and Route 37. Birds sometimes bump into the back windows of the building, some of the office staff said, but the turkey was a first.
“It was double-pane glass, “ Pezza said, in wonder that the bird could fly high enough and fast enough to smash through the window. And survive
The maintenance crew worked to get the bird into a large bucket to get the bird out of the building, Pezza said, but it collapsed and died, possibly of shock or injuries suffered in the crash.
For now, the window is covered with a square of wood, with a felt turkey hanging from the center.
He declined to say if the incident was going to affect his plans for Thanksgiving.
With more adults being referred for orthodontic care, it’s necessary to create an office that is welcoming not only for children, but for older patients, as well.
The first thing your patients notice when they walk into your practice is the design. With that in mind, use these office design techniques to make your practice feel more welcoming for patients of all ages.
Filling an orthodontics office with toys, video games and family-friendly movies may be a hit for kids. However, the approach does not provide key conveniences for adult patients, who account for one in four of the orthodontic patients in the U.S., according to the American Association of Orthodontists.
“Most ortho practices are set up to be efficient for providers, and attractive to children and adolescents, who are generally their target market,” said Spear Resident Faculty member Dr. Cheryl DeWood.
After 22 years in private practice as a general practitioner, Dr. DeWood chose to pursue an education and career in orthodontics.
Based on her experience as a practicing orthodontist since 2005, Dr. DeWood learned that an office designed around child-like elements fails to make adult patients feel welcome.
“This type of set-up emphasizes a ‘fun’ or juvenile atmosphere and is generally lacking in adult amenities, including private treatment areas,” Dr. DeWood said. “For GPs who are looking to refer adults, this isn’t very appealing.”
“I have been telling my colleagues for years that they are missing a growing part of the ortho market by limiting their ability to accommodate adult patients,” she said.
For example, the ADA Marketplace blog recommends that “stacks of magazines, books or newspapers can help keep the adults happily preoccupied.”
The ADA also encourages having soothing music playing in the office and access to refreshments like coffee and tea.
Effective use of color and light
The color scheme you pick for your practice can have a significant psychological impact on your patient. According the ADA Center for Professional Success, utilizing bright and bold colors like red and yellow can cause your patient’s anxiety to rise, whereas shades like sky blue or cool-toned purples can have more of a relaxing or cheerful effect.
Orange, the complement to blue on the color wheel, can be used for smaller touches in an orthodontics office for a bright accent. But if orange is used too much, it can be overstimulating.
Industry experts also recommend adding a few lamps with warm bulbs to your office to create a sunny, inviting space, or swapping out old light fixtures for lamps with a modern look for a fresh, new atmosphere.
Reduce stress with aquariums
It’s no accident that fish tanks are utilized in numerous dental and health care offices.
A 2015 U.K. study by the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth University and the University of Exeter found that viewing an aquarium display led to lower blood pressure, lower heart rate and an improvement of mood, and these benefits increase as the number of fish increase.
The study says that “an individual does not need to spend long in front of an (aquarium), just five minutes, to derive significant benefits.”
The ADA Marketplace blog adds that aquariums can be particularly helpful for offices that have pediatric patients but can decrease stress in patients of all ages.
According to the ADA, “not every aquarium has to have the grandeur (or price tag) of a 1,000-gallon tank. A simple tank is a great tool for keeping people calm as the colors, lights and animal life provide a healthy distraction from stress.”
The Benefits of Visiting an Orthodontist : When we know that something is going wrong with our teeth, a toothache or sensitivity perhaps, we generally think about making an appointment to see a dentist. However, what about when you have a dissatisfaction with your smile?
If you have always been unhappy about the state of your teeth or you just want to see an improvement in your smile, then what you need to do is visit an orthodontist. You may be interested to know that your orthodontist in Stockport can offer various non-surgical treatments that your dentist can’t. Read on to find out what services your orthodontist can provide:
What does an Orthodontist do?
An orthodontist is a qualified dentist who has undertaken years of study to become a specialist. He or she can help adults and children alike with common dental problems using a variety of non-surgical procedures and corrective appliances. These include aligners such as Invisalign or metal braces to correct crooked teeth, but this is just one of the issues an orthodontist can help with.
An orthodontist can diagnose a problem which may not have occurred to the patient, but which has been causing significant difficulties in eating and smiling and could even have been causing pain. These can include:
An incorrect jaw position or jaw joint disorder such as temporomandibular disorder, or night-time teeth grinding can also be diagnosed and treated.
Other services which an orthodontist can provide include:
Why visit an Orthodontist?
Too many people are inclined to simply put up with dental problems, particularly where there are cosmetic anomalies rather than having things fixed. The problem is that if things are not treated, they can go on to become much worse over time.
For example, where the teeth are overcrowded or overlapping, they can be difficult to clean properly. Eventually, this could lead to tooth decay and even gum disease. A gap in the teeth, which is called a diastema, can become larger over time and this can have the effect of pushing adjoining teeth out of position. An orthodontist can correct this by pulling the teeth back together essentially filling in the gap.
Problems with the teeth generally start in childhood and having misaligned teeth, or too many teeth, in childhood can be especially problematic for the child as they grow. Early visits to an orthodontist are advisable where braces will usually be recommended and fitted to precisely correct the child’s problem teeth.
Dentists will always advise on how to prevent gum disease and will tell you that the best way is to practice correct oral hygiene through regular brushing and flossing of the teeth, and using the correct type of toothbrush and toothpaste. Unfortunately, gum disease is still a problem which if left untreated can have far-reaching effects.
Gum disease begins with plaque, which if not properly removed turns into tartar. This build-up can cause the gums to become sore and inflamed. Tartar is very difficult to remove and can only be removed professionally by your dentist or orthodontist.
When teeth are misaligned or overcrowded, there is a greater likelihood of developing gum disease through an inability to clean them properly, but if your teeth are correctly aligned and spaced this likelihood reduces. Corrective orthodontic treatment, along with advice on correct brushing and flossing techniques, will ensure good oral health as well as a healthy smile you can be proud of.
Related Videos about the Benefits of Visiting an Orthodontist :
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The benefits of Orthodontics and Straight Teeth In Children and Adults – Winnipeg Dentist
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(MARINA DEL REY, Calif.) — NEWS: Throughout his 30-year career, Dr. Mario Paz is used to hearing reasons why patients grind their teeth at night, but now it’s about COVID-19. “Fears of the virus are creating new anxieties causing patients to clench their jaws for sustained period. This alters their bite causing pain,” he says.
According to Dr. Paz, “Stress is something we must attempt to manage, or it will manage us. Teeth grinding may lead to jaw pain and what is known as Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD), which may require braces to correct.”
Instead, Dr. Paz encourages people to focus on gratitude as a way of reducing their anxiety. “The first step is to be intentional, acknowledging stress takes a toll on the body and the mind. A powerful antidote is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude,” he advises.
According to a Harvard Mental Health Letter dated June 5, 2019, “In Praise of Gratitude,” expressing thanks can lead to improved health and greater happiness. The article gives six suggestions for cultivating gratitude, including writing a thank you note and jotting down three to five things you’re grateful for each week. “As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you,” the article states.
Patients suffering symptoms due to excessive grinding should contact their dental professional after COVID-19 quarantines have been lifted. “Hopefully, we can all better manage stress from this virus in the days ahead,” says Dr. Paz.
About Dr. Mario Paz Orthodontics
Since 1990 when Dr. Paz opened his Beverly Hills office he has been as known as a pioneer in lingual braces technology, better known as “invisible” braces. Past president of the American Lingual Orthodontic Association (ALOA), Dr. Paz taught lingual braces at the UCLA Orthodontics School for two years and is a member of the European Society of Lingual Orthodontics, Sociedad Ibero-Americana de Ortodoncia Lingual, the American Association of Orthodontists, American Dental Association, the Western Los Angeles Dental Association and founding Member of the World Society of Lingual Orthodontics. Dr. Paz is now exclusively located in Marina Del Rey.
This post was sponsored by the Invisalign® brand and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
A couple of months ago, we were presented with the opportunity to partner with the Invisalign® brand for complimentary treatment for our daughters. Our girls are 9 and 11, so they’re right at the age where we are exploring different options for orthodontic treatment. We knew Zoë definitely needed to have her overbite corrected and Kaylee has expressed interest in having her teeth straightened, so they were both pretty excited to go see the orthodontist.
We were worried about braces since snowboarding is such a huge part of the girls’ lives. I can’t imagine how painful it would be to smack your face with braces. So the idea of Invisalign treatment over traditional braces was definitely appealing to all of us.
To find out if they qualified for treatment, we scheduled an initial consultation for both girls! Brian even created a really great video of our entire visit so you can actually experience the initial consultation first hand. After watching the video, you can read more details about our experience under the video.
What is Invisalign Treatment?
If you’re not familiar with Invisalign treatment, it’s an alternative to traditional braces. It’s actually considered the most advanced aligner system in the world! Unlike braces, Invisalign treatment is a convenient system for straightening teeth that allows you to remove the nearly clear aligners to enjoy the foods you love and maintain good oral hygiene.
How it works is that you get a series of clear aligners made that will slowly straighten your teeth by shifting them just a little bit at a time. The material the aligners are made from has been shown to straighten teeth more predictably than any other clear aligners*, so that’s something to keep in mind when you’re considering your options. I was surprised to learn that Invisalign clear aligners are able to move teeth horizontally, vertically, and can even rotate them if necessary. I always assumed, incorrectly, that they were only for minor corrections.
* Compared to off-the-shelf, single layer .030in material
Since they’ve been on the market for over 20 years now, they’ve had a lot of experience helping people with everything from simple to complex orthodontic cases. So far, more than 6 million people have gone through Invisalign treatment**.
** Data on file at Align Technology as of October 29, 2018
Since our daughters snowboard and are very active, we were much more interested in Invisalign clear aligners than traditional braces.
In case you’re curious, the cost of Invisalign treatment is often comparable to braces and many dental insurance plans cover Invisalign aligners just as they would any other orthodontic treatment, so check with your provider.
Our Initial Consultation
Our initial consultation was with Hoff Orthodontics, which is a local Invisalign-trained orthodontic practice.
When we first walked in, we were greeted and checked in. Then we were given a tour of the office.
After the tour, it was straight over to imaging for both girls. They took pictures of their face, all of their teeth and their bite.
Then did a 3D scan of their heads so we could see everything that is going on.
We then headed back over to the Dr. Hoff’s office where he could examine the girls’ mouths and talk about the imaging with us. We discussed Kaylee first since she’s younger.
Kaylee Still Has a Lot of Baby Teeth
Right now, Kaylee isn’t quite ready for Invisalign clear aligners because she still has too many baby teeth, as you can see in the 3D image of her head. We did learn, however, that she needed to have a special retainer made to hold space in her mouth for her adult teeth to come in properly.
We’ll reevaluate whether she’s a good candidate for Invisalign treatment again when she has lost her baby teeth.
Zoë is Ready for Invisalign Treatment
After we finished up talking about Kaylee, it was time to talk about Zoë. She just turned 11, but she only has one baby tooth left. We knew she had an overbite, but we didn’t realize she had other things in her mouth that needed to be corrected like a cross-bite.
Dr. Hoff explained, in detail, the issues with Zoë’s teeth, then concluded that she would be a good candidate for Invisalign treatment. He expects her treatment to take up to two years to complete.
He explained the advantages of Invisalign treatment over traditional braces to us (you can watch his full talk in the video above). Some of the points he made were that eating food is easier since braces aren’t in the way and maintaining good oral hygiene is easier since you’re not trying to brush around brackets. You simply remove your aligners in order to eat, brush, and floss as you normally would.
We live in the mountains and have to drive over an hour each way to the orthodontist. That’s no big deal, we’re used to it, but with traditional braces, there are emergencies that need to be addressed. A bracket comes loose, a wire breaks or the wire is poking into your child’s gums and it’s straight to the orthodontist to get it fixed.
You don’t have those same issues with Invisalign clear aligners. There are no wires to worry about and no emergency appointments to fix them if they break. That is a huge reassurance for us since we do live so far from the orthodontist.
No More Pink Goo: On to Digital Impressions
After we decided that Zoë was ready for treatment, it was straight to get the scans to have her Invisalign clear aligners made. It was such a fascinating process! You have to watch the video further up in this post to see how it works.
When I had braces, I had to bite into that messy pink goo to get my impressions done. It tasted awful and it made me gag. If you had braces, then you probably have vivid memories of that experience too. While you can still use the goo for impressions if your practice doesn’t have a digital scanner, you can now also receive impressions digitally with Invisalign treatment, on their iTero® digital scanner. My sweet daughter didn’t have to experience my childhood memory of the pink goo.
The iTero® scanner takes thousands (6,000 to be exact***) of images every second to recreate a 3D digital image of the inside of your child’s mouth on the computer. This allows the orthodontist to create a treatment plan and the Invisalign brand to create your child’s clear aligners.
*** Data on file at Align Technology as of November 7, 2018
When they’re done scanning, you even get to see a rendering of what your child’s new smile could look like. It’s really neat!
Follow Zoë’s Invisalign Treatment Journey
We’ll be talking about Zoë’s Invisalign treatment journey on the blog and social media over the next year. In the next post, you’ll get to see Zoë in her Invisalign clear aligners, so stay tuned!
Find an Invisalign Treatment Provider
If you’re curious whether Invisalign treatment is right for your child, you can use the Doctor Locator feature on the Invisalign® brand website to find an Invisalign-trained orthodontist in your area.
Have you or your child had Invisalign treatment? I’d love to hear your experience in the comments.
An Illinois orthodontist won the American Dental Association’s 2019 John W. Stanford New Investigator Award for her research paper evaluating the effects of eight cleaning methods on copolyester polymer, a material commonly used in clear thermoplastic retainers.