Choosing between “one-size-fits-all” and a custom fit usually is an easy decision. It’s the Goldilocks principle — with one-size-fits-all, for some it will be too big, for some too little, and for a few, it will be just right. While there are some types of braces in the market with custom aspects created by welding or extra composite, LightForce customized braces are created with 3D-printing technologies that result in the only 100% custom braces system — one size fits one — providing complete personalization in 3D bracket technology.
“LightForce was established because we acknowledge the value of customization in orthodontics,” said Dr. Alfred Griffin III, CEO and founder of LightForce. “Every patient’s case is different; their teeth, jaws, and faces are unique. Teeth alone are as unique as fingerprints. Orthodontists are accustomed to expending much time and effort using one-size-fits-all traditional bracket and wire treatment. I believe treatment plans can be more accurately and precisely carried out if the brackets used were fully custom, and we start with the end in mind.” Dr. Griffin continues, “Our mission at LightForce is to deliver an individualized treatment tool for every patient, with the details of customization controlled by the experts. Lightforce is an old idea enabled by brilliant execution and application of bleeding edge technologies in the 3D printing and CAD software space. LightForce is raising the bar for what we deem ‘clinically acceptable’ from the orthodontics manufacturing community.”
Learn how orthodontists are transforming their practices with our fully customized 3D printed tooth-moving technology.
What do we mean by customized braces?
LightForce technology’s FDA-approved bracket is fully customized from the slot to the base. 3D-printed slots are more accurate and precise than injection molded slots, preventing divergence.1,2 “Intelligent” indirect bonding trays are designed and 3D printed for each unique clinical situation, providing superior placement accuracy. Thanks to this true customization, the brackets can be placed anywhere on the tooth, mesial or distal, without compromising rotation and avoiding occlusal interferences. The customized fit provides the option, where allowable, for the orthodontist to delegate bonding, turbo placement, and rebonds to team members.
While certain aspects of other types of brackets are customized, Dr. Griffin asserts, “We are the only fully custom labial bracket in the market that has ever existed. Even the base is custom, and the slot can be modified as needed.” Every LightForce bracket has the exact same cement space between the tooth and the bracket regardless of the tooth anatomy. “Tooth anatomy is taken completely out of the equation as a variable for bond strength and that is really important when indirect bonding because if the bracket doesn’t stick to the tooth, the value of the indirect bonding is lost. If you need to bond it back on directly later, it ultimately impacts your workflow and your business,” says Dr. Griffin.
With a traditional or partially custom bracket, if the patient’s teeth are crowded and rotated, the bracket cannot be bonded on the center of the tooth, and it can’t be indirect bonded. The orthodontist needs to wait and re-bond later. A LightForce fully custom bracket can be bonded on to the mesial of the tooth, or whatever part of the tooth is accessible that day regardless of the crowding or rotation, and it doesn’t have to be moved. How is this possible? The software automatically builds an offset into the bracket. Dr. Griffin says, “That has come in handy so many times. A fully custom bracket with custom base makes a lot more sense for indirect bonding — indirect bonding has been waiting for fully custom brackets, it’s a perfect marriage of technologies.”
For orthodontists who already use digital systems, LightForce can provide cost-effective custom dental braces for every bracket-and-wire case. “Our custom braces platform allows for mass customization in the orthodontic space,” notes Dr. Griffin. He adds, “It makes the orthodontist a differentiator among the competition and increases appointment capacity.” He explains that financially, the amount that the orthodontist charges does not necessarily need to change, but with fewer, shorter duration office visits and the option to increase intervals between appointments during alignment, the orthodontist can improve profitability per appointment with the LightForce system.
Dr. Griffin sums up, “LightForce custom braces represent the future of orthodontics that clinicians can access now. The days of bracket prescriptions are gone. We welcome the days of ‘tooth prescriptions,’ with mass-customized appliances like aligners and LightForce that can adapt to every change in tooth position.” In a specialty that depends on precision and accuracy, what more can patients ask for in an orthodontist than to straighten their teeth with a technology-focused system and custom made brackets especially for them — made to fit “just right.”
1. Silver M, Griffin, et al. Novel methods reveal that parallelism contributes to the functional vertical slot dimension in ceramic and metal brackets. The Angle Orthodontist. 2018;88(6):812-818.
2. Unpublished company data and independent academic research.