Buyer's Guide Update: Orthodontic appliances

Dear Buyer's Guide Update Member,

These are exciting times in orthodontics. Despite the economic downturn and the impact this has had on much of cosmetic dentistry, the orthodontic specialty has remained relatively healthy.

What is behind this trend? One key driver is technology and product advances that, in turn, are broadening the eligible patient base and prompting more general dentists to begin offering orthodontic treatments.

There are now brackets made of flexible "memory wire" and ceramics that are tooth-colored or clear. Lingual brackets are applied to the inside of the teeth, making them virtually invisible. Self-ligating bracket systems have dramatically reduced treatment times for full-phase cases, a trend that is expected to continue.

And who can deny the allure of clear aligners? About two-thirds of patients with conventional braces could use clear aligner therapy and about a third of patients in every doctor's database are good candidates for it, according to one vendor. While Align Technology has been the market leader for some time and earlier this year launched some interesting product updates, other clear aligner options are available.

Click here to see all the orthodontic appliance products and companies listed in the Buyer's Guide.

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