Since its recognition as the first specialty of dentistry, the practice of orthodontics has been influenced by the development of new materials, techniques, bracket designs and prescriptions, appliances, and software. However, never before has there been as revolutionary a change as digitization. Digitization and automation are transforming the entire landscape of how orthodontics is practiced, and the consequence is the “do it yourself” concept. With the technology available today with intraoral scanning, CBCT imaging, and CAD software, we can create the virtual patient and manipulate dental models virtually.
Not only does this enable better and more precise treatment planning, but it also facilitates better communication with the patient. Perhaps most exciting is that it permits in-house designing and printing of the majority of orthodontic appliances. This book describes the current digital technology that is used in orthodontics, including volume and surface scanning, 3D printing, CAD software, and artificial intelligence, before delving into a “design it yourself” guide presenting the application of this technology in all aspects of orthodontic treatment. It describes all the necessary technologic ingredients to be used in a self-sufficient digital orthodontic clinic, and it focuses on the in-house design and production of tailor-made appliances by digitally diagnosing and evaluating the virtual patient and then creating an individualized treatment plan. Now you can design your own expanders, retainers, clear aligners, brackets, indirect bonding trays, and even wires with a wire-bending robot. It is incredible what technology has to offer; we just have to have the courage to learn and experiment with it. For the benefit of our patients, the challenge is laid.