The braces you don’t know about: NASA technology, 3D printing and invisible braces

17 March, 2017

Over the past few decades, dental technology has seen an incredible amount of innovation and improvement. Now, dental problems that previously took years to fix – if they could be fixed at all – can be fixed in a matter of months or even days.

Take a look at braces, for example. It is said that Hippocrates and Aristotle first considered methods of teeth-straightening in 300BC. Whatever their methods may have been, we can be certain that they were a far-cry from today’s technology of Invisalign braces – which are so discreet, many people don’t even realise they are there.

2017 is set to be another amazing year for developing technologies in the dental industry. Here are just some of the treatments and processes available to you when you visit your orthodontist:


Damon Braces are a revolutionary technology that takes into account more than just straightening out your teeth. With the Damon process, you can expect faster treatment with fewer appointments, alongside an experience that is more comfortable than traditional braces.

Instead of using braces that are tied with elastics, which is the case with traditional braces, Damon Braces use a sliding mechanism which holds a high-technology, shape-memory wire (developed by NASA), allowing it to move freely, quickly, and comfortably. This means more comfort, easier care, and fewer orthodontist appointments.

For more self-conscious patients, Damon Clear Braces are available, with clear brackets fitted to allow for discreet and comfortable braces.


Invisalign pride themselves on their virtually invisible treatment that straightens your smile in a way that is tailored exactly to your needs. Their SMARTForce Technology creates a series of custom-made removable aligners that are a perfect fit to only you. Gradually, as you advance through your aligners, your teeth are moved to their ideal position.

Compared to traditional braces, Invisalign is nearly invisible. Also, they are removable – allowing you to avoid getting food trapped inside and to easily brush and floss your teeth. You are also given a clear idea of what your teeth will look like at the end of the process before you even start. All this means more freedom to go about your life: no metal in your mouth, minimal change to your appearance, minimal change to your brushing/flossing routine, and appointments needed only every 6-8 weeks, compared to every 3-4 weeks. Not a bad deal for those looking to perfect their smiles!


Who remembers being sat in the orthodontist’s chair, preparing to have a small tub of silicone forced into your mouth? Silicone moulds have been the traditional way to create a mould of a patient’s mouth for years, but they haven’t been without issues. Not only do they take much longer than newer methods, but it is also difficult to get young children to comply, and patients with a strong gag reflex also have a hard time.

Thankfully, traditional silicone moulds might soon be a thing of the past thanks to the iTero Element – a hand-held wand that instantly and painlessly creates a 3D model of your teeth. After a 5-minute scan, a 3D image of your mouth displayed on the screen. You can then watch your teeth shift into correct position, seeing firsthand the path your teeth will take to perfection.

One of the most advanced aspects of the iTero Element is the ability to send that 3D image of your mouth to brace manufacturers – allowing them to create Invisalign, Damon, and Incognito braces that are 100% personalised to you.

As the technology develops further, mouthguards, retainers, and traditional braces will be able to be created too.


For Incognito Braces, the iTero Element can be used to create a retainer that is a perfect fit to your mouth and contains Incognito fittings. When the retainer is put in, the braces attach to your teeth, similar to a sticker. When you take the retainer away, the Incognito braces stay in place – fitted perfectly.

The full process takes around 30 minutes, compared to the 1.5 hours required to fit traditional Incognito braces.


Many dental procedures require an X-Ray, and some dental practises do not have the in-house technology required to provide one, meaning you have to take even more time out of your busy schedule to visit a radiologist or other facility to have an X-Ray done.

At Solas Orthodontics, essential X-Rays are done in-house and usually during the same visit as your consultation.


At Solas Orthodontics, we’ve spoken before about our E-Consult technology. Instead of scheduling out a large block of time to visit your orthodontist, you can snap a pic of your smile and send it to us along with any notes you’ve got.

Our orthodontists then analyse your teeth and give you our professional feedback within 48 hours. From there, if you need to book in an appointment to discuss a further treatment, you can do so – it couldn’t be simpler!

At Solas, we deal in all of the above. Every innovation listed above, we specialise in (and then some)!

To get in contact with Solas Orthodontics today and talk about the treatments we can offer you, call us on 0893837600.