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Everyone’s teeth are different. Everyone’s orthodontic issues are unique. So your braces should be completely customizable, right? Well, good news… VanderWall Orthodontics is now a provider of LightForce braces — the only fully 3D printed, 100% custom braces on the market. At VanderWall Orthodontics, we embrace the latest orthodontic technology and are happy to offer LightForce state-of-the-art braces to our patients in Raleigh, Durham, and Cary, NC.

LightForce braces are digitally tailor-made from start to finish. Unlike traditional braces, LightForce brackets are designed to fit precisely to your smile only, for treatment that’s more precise and comfortable. Some might even say LightForce braces are the best braces for teeth! But let’s first talk about what they are, what the process is like for getting LightForce braces, and the benefits of LightForce orthodontics. Then you can decide if they’re the best braces for your teeth, whether you have an overbite, crossbite, or other misalignment issues.

What Are LightForce Braces?

LightForce braces are 3D printed braces that are custom-designed and printed on demand to fit a patient’s unique treatment plan. In contrast, traditional braces use the same ready-made brackets for everyone. 

Let’s mention credit where credit’s due: the beauty of LightForce braces is partially due to their custom-shaped, discreet brackets. LightForce brackets are made from polycrystalline alumina, a ceramic material that comes in white (called Cloud) or clear (called Light). The choice depends on your aesthetic preference: some patients choose white brackets so that colorful elastics can stand out; other patients like clear brackets because they’re nearly invisible. 

The base on LightForce braces — the side that’s bonded to your teeth — is anatomically designed to fit precisely against your tooth surface. This close fit results in a stronger, more even layer of bonding cement between LightForce brackets and your teeth. In traditional brackets, an uneven layer of cement is often needed to compensate for tiny gaps between the flat base of your brackets and the shape of your teeth. LightForce brackets’ precise fit also helps avoid unnecessary bends in the archwire.

How Does the Process for LightForce Braces Work?

Treatment planning with LightForce Braces is next-level orthodontic technology. The process is fully digital, and you get to see how your new smile will take shape from beginning to end. Here’s a step-by-step overview of what your LightForce braces treatment will look like with Dr. VanderWall and the expert team at VanderWall Orthodontics:

Step 1: Initial Consultation – At your free orthodontic consultation, we’ll complete a comprehensive digital scan of your teeth. It’s painless and quick, and gives Dr. VanderWall a full look at your teeth, jaw, and orthodontic concerns. The scan becomes a 3D digital rendering of your mouth and is then used to custom design each bracket for each tooth and build your treatment plan.

Step 2: Your Treatment Plan is Designed – LightForce brace’s software intuitively places brackets on your teeth for optimum results. A computer planning your orthodontic treatment? Now, we understand you might feel a bit skeptical about it, but don’t worry, Dr. VanderWall and LightForce technicians still have total control over the process. The LightForce system lets Dr. VanderWall review bracket and tooth positioning so he can make any adjustments and give final approval. It’s a great pairing of digital innovation and your orthodontist’s in-depth experience.

Step 3: Your LightForce Braces are 3D Printed – Once Dr.VanderWall is satisfied with your treatment plan, he will give the go-ahead to LightForce to 3D print your custom braces. And since LightForce software is cloud-based, communication between your orthodontist and the LightForce lab is in efficient real-time. Printing and delivery of your braces takes between 7-10 business days.

Step 4: Getting Your LightForce Braces Put On With LightTrays – For many traditional braces, attaching them is a bracket-by-bracket process: the orthodontist bonds each bracket one-by-one until all the brackets are secured. Then the archwire is threaded through. With LightForce braces, brackets are bonded all at once, using a custom tray system used only for LightForce brackets. 

What does this look like? First, brackets are placed on a 3D model of your teeth according to the placement prescribed in your treatment plan. Then we fit your LightForce brackets onto the LightTrays before sealing and curing them. Once ready, the trays fit over your teeth to attach all the brackets all at once. Your archwire is threaded through, elastics or rubber bands attached, and you’re good to go. Sometimes the LightForce process is done in an hour or less!

The Benefits of LightForce 3D Teeth Braces

By now, you’ve most likely figured out some of the benefits of LightForce braces. But here, we’ve gathered them in a tidy list for you to think about:

More comfortable – Because LightForce brackets conform exactly to your teeth, there’s less discomfort. These custom braces are also low profile, and have smoother, contoured edges and tie wings.

Shorter treatment time – These 3D printed teeth braces are designed with efficient treatment time in mind. Recent studies showed that customized brackets reduce treatment time by 37% on average.

More accurate results – LightForce’s braces’ custom design means more precise tooth movements that specifically address your unique smile concerns, like protruding teeth or gaps. And because your treatment from start to finish is digitally modeled, Dr. VanderWall can fine-tune your tooth movements right from the get-go for the best results.

More secure – The exacting fit between LightForce brackets and your teeth results in a reliable and strong attachment so you can worry less about damaging your braces. LightForce brackets even have a proprietary under-loc™ retention mechanism that provides deep undercuts for a secure bond. 

Additional attachments for more precise results – For more complex cases, LightForce braces have optional attachments like custom, 3D printed LightForce Bite Turbotrays and buccal tubes.

Turbotrays: These “bite turbos” can be added for bite correction and can be placed on incisors, canines, or molars. They help your elastics with moving your jaw into proper alignment.

Buccal tubes: Your orthodontist can add these to your first and second molars to make sure your wire can cover your entire arch and aid in incisor retraction.

Start with LightForce Braces at VanderWall Orthodontics

Your Lightforce braces provider in Raleigh, Durham, and Cary, NC, VanderWall Orthodontics is ready to design a smile that’s uniquely you. Ready to find out if LightForce orthodontics are the best braces for your teeth? Contact us today for your free initial consultation.

Dr. Clay VanderWall

Author Dr. Clay VanderWall

Dr. VanderWall attended Kalamazoo College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences. He spent a semester doing research at the Dental Research Center of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where he wrote his Senior Individualized Project (SIP). He furthered his studies at the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Dentistry, receiving his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1999. He graduated with honors and was inducted into the national dental honor society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU). He also received the Pierre Fauchard Academy Student Award and was a recipient of the Health Professions Scholarship from the United States Navy.

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