It has almost been 2 full years since we have updated this blog and boy have things changed! I’m excited to get back into this and hope to continue more regularly with some fun and hopefully educational posts. But before that, let’s review some things that have happened over the last couple of years. One of the biggest pieces of news, if you ask me, is the arrival of my son, TJ! He is now 18 months old and every bit of a toddler boy. He loves trucks and animals and you can usually find him climbing on anything and everything that is close to his height. Reese is turning 4 (what?!) in August. She continues to be an amazing ball of energy and has daddy’s height and both mine and my wife’s affinity for the water. Maybe a future Emory Eagle?
We have gone through a technology evolution recently. The biggest news is that we established a commercial 3D printing lab, Motor City Lab Works. TDR had been doing so much 3D printing with outside sources that it made sense to bring the process “in house.” In order to not pull our staff in too many directions, we set this up as a fully separate company. We not only work with all TDR offices, but also close to 150 offices all over the country. We are committed to helping other orthodontic offices transition to digital technology. Having our own 3D printing lab has allowed us to deliver high-quality appliances with a faster turnaround than using an outside lab. The lab is in the Birmingham rail district but not in our Birmingham office. The photo below is of our print room that houses two Stratasys Eden 3D printers. The technology is amazing!
Just a few months ago we made an upgrade to our intraoral scanners. It has been a few years since we purchased our iTero scanners and the landscape has changed immensely. Since our initial iTero purchase we have completely eliminated impressions from the practice. The only downside is that our children will no longer be able to complain about the nasty impressi\on at the orthodontist! They will go through treatment without ever having to experience something that almost defined orthodontics in the past. Our 3Shape TRIOS scanners are significantly faster (sometimes just a couple of minutes for a full scan compared to close to 10 with the iTero), do not blow any air on the teeth (which can cause discomfort for those with sensitive teeth), and integrate directly into the 3Shape system that we are utilizing in the lab (makes the whole process a lot easier on our side). We still have a couple of the iTero scanners in the office that are used when we are in a bind but that is not terribly common.
We have maintained our Top 1% in North America status with Invisalign. This is the result of taking our time and studying how to move teeth with plastic. I will go more into this in a future blog post but it comes with many hours of studying, taking continuing education courses, and asking colleagues how they are approaching difficult cases. It was not that long ago that Invisalign was not suitable for the majority of cases, and now it is safe to say that Invisalign IS suitable for most cases. We take great pride in our ability to leverage technology and cutting edge treatments in a very efficient and pragmatic manner. Invisalign is a great part of our toolbox that we have learned to use very effectively. Both of the cases above were treated in under 1 year with Invisalign!