Robotic Orthodontics

Advancements in orthodontics have led to the emergence of companies like SureSmile, which utilize high-powered computers, robotics, and three-dimensional imaging to enhance treatment efficiency. While the claims of reduced treatment time are yet to be validated through extensive research, Dr. Newhart is actively involved in a national study club that evaluates this technology’s uses, advantages, and limitations.

The process begins with scanning the teeth, either through a cone beam scanner or handheld scanner, to generate a detailed 3D image. This information is then refined using computer algorithms. Dr. Newhart provides specific bracket and wire placement instructions, which are transmitted to the SureSmile facility via the internet.

Robotic pincers come into play, gripping the orthodontic wire and utilizing heat to shape it into a pattern that guides the teeth into their desired positions. Similar to Dr. Newhart’s proprietary Time-Release™ archwire, this wire possesses shape memory properties, being rigid when warm and highly flexible when cool—opposite to most metals.

Even if the wire is intentionally bent, it can regain its predetermined shape by immersing it in warm water. Once in the mouth, the wire remains firm due to the natural body heat and applies the necessary tension to facilitate tooth movement.