Exponential Orthodontics – The Foundations
To build a system that can be scaled exponentially we need to revisit first principles.
I have six honest serving men
They taught me all I knew
There names are What, and Where and When;
and Why and How and Who.
– Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).
Why – Straighter Smile, Self Esteem. (Psychology)
What – Force Application & Guidance ~> 14 hours /day (Biology)
When – Until Self Esteem Satisfied (Psychology)
How – Brackets & Wires, Springs, Plastics, 4D Materials (Technology)
Who – Orthodontist, Dentist, Algorithm (Politics)
Where – Hospital, Clinic, Anywhere (Technology)
33% Psychology, 17% Biology , 33% Technology & 17% Politics
99% of people choose orthodontics because they want a straighter smile to increase their self esteem, literally to feel better about themself.
Their measured outcome is a feeling
It is a proven biological fact that teeth move in response to forces. The exact duration needed is unclear but it is accepted to be around 14 hours a day to enable remodelling of the bone and subsequent movement. Orthodontics is essentially a course of force application and supervision to achieve the agreed outcome of tooth position.
Forces move teeth
The reason the person pays for and consents to the orthodontic treatment is to feel better about their smile. They are thus motivated to continue the treatment until they stop feeling better about the improvement in their smile.
The outcome is a feeling. They are now happy with their smile.
For teeth to be moved forces needed to be directed and applied. Traditionally this has been done by attaching materials with intrinsic elastic properties to the teeth. This is largely by brackets and wires glued to teeth, either on the front of the teeth (labial) or behind the teeth (lingual). Then there are spring appliances which are removable plastic appliances with springs to move teeth. More recently we have clear aligners which are closely fitting plastic appliances which locally elastically deform to result in micro tooth movements similar to a single animation frame. There is now evolving a class of materials that change shape over time in a pre-programmed manner in response to stimuli.
Force application is moving from analog to digital.
Professions evolved, specialised training developed, different systems of brackets, wires, springs and philosophies evolved. This meant it was mainly Orthodontists, that glued and applied these appliances. Then General dentists also did and as technology began to evolve to digitise the forces more with aligner treatment more general dentists began to do so. We are now at a place where the forces required can easily be forecasted, planned and encoded by algorithm. Computer vision technology is perfectly capable of recognising complex facial characteristics as well as the emotional meaning of expressions, so detecting the location & tracking the movement of a large white calcified object such as teeth surrounded by pink tissue is well within existing capabilities.
It is only a matter of time before more cases are done this way with human clinicians supervising 10x the volume of cases they do now assisted by A.I platforms.
Force programming is evolving from human only to autonomous supervised systems
Orthodontic treatment used to be delivered in hospitals and specialised clinics, it made sense when there was a need for complex adhesives, glues, small dangerous brackets that can easily be swallowed and sharp wire fragments clipped and cut in the mouth. All of these present many hazards and most dental/orthodontic materials used for bonding don’t like moisture thus requiring suction units and long appointments to fit these precise appliances. The smallest errors could result in problems, dangerous movements and pain. Thus requiring further specialised lighting, magnification and support staff. The progressive digitisation of force delivery into aligners has eliminated the need for much of this.
Advances in impression materials and 3D scanning have made the record capture even easier. Home impression systems and portable 3D scanning solutions have further shifted the location of orthodontic treatment out of the clinic into the high street and even the home or office. There may not be widespread social acceptance of this amongst clinicians but that is to do with their perceived protection of vested interests not to do with actual technical capability.
The location of care is shifting from only starting in the clinic to starting anytime and everywhere.
The 33% Psychology will never change
The 17% Biology will never change
The 33% Technology is developing exponentially.
The 17% Politics cannot block/stop technology.
The Digitisation of all industries is a global megatrend. Orthodontics is no exception. New more effective technologies are enabling more and more people to benefit from the advances, so that more people than ever before can access Orthodontics. We are looking at a 10X -100x growth in the number of people seeking straighter teeth all powered by the digitisation of assessment, treatment & supervision. If you would like to learn more about becoming an Exponential Orthodontist visit www.straightteethdirect.com/dentists