LightForce Custom Braces: Everything You Need to Know

LightForce Custom Braces: Everything You Need to Know
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LightForce Custom Braces: Everything You Need to KnowClinical Content Reviewed by Dr. Jay Khorsandi, DDS
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Table of Contents

  1. What is LifeForce?
  2. The Difference
  3. How Does LightForce Work?
  4. What to Expect
  5. Find a Provider
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. References

Lightforce is the world’s first digital planning and 3D-printing orthodontic system for creating fully customized dental braces. It is a cutting-edge alternative to traditional braces, especially for people who want a predictable and personalized solution with fewer trips to the orthodontist’s office. 

LightForce braces offer more accuracy and convenience than traditional braces because it uses computer technology to create custom braces to match the shape and size of the patient’s teeth. With digital planning, an orthodontist can more accurately predict the final tooth position at the beginning of treatment.

What is LightForce?

Lightforce is the world’s first digital planning and 3D-printing orthodontic system for creating fully customized dental braces. It is considered an excellent alternative to traditional braces, especially for people who want a predictable and personalized solution with fewer trips to the orthodontist’s office. 

About the LightForce System

The LightForce system includes four main components:

  • Computer Aided Design (CAD): Your orthodontist will use CAD software to create a custom treatment plan based on digital scans of your mouth (teeth).
  • LightForce brackets: These white ceramic 3D-printed braces are available with customizable slots and bases for precise control of teeth movement.
  • LightTray: LightForce treatment incorporates custom-designed 3D-printed indirect bonding (IBD) trays to improve brace placement accuracy.
  • Bite Turbos: These are optional miniature trays for people who require bite correction. They can also help avoid undesired tooth contact during treatment. Dentists bond bite turbos to the teeth during treatment. Patients cannot remove them once in place.

What Makes LightForce Custom Braces Different

LightForce braces offer significantly more accuracy and convenience than traditional braces. This makes them a superior choice for both patients and orthodontists. 

Traditional braces are prefabricated, so the recipient doesn’t usually get the best fit for their teeth. This makes it necessary to return to the orthodontist multiple times over the course of treatment.

These lengthy treatment plans eventually produce good results, but they’re time-consuming, inconvenient, and make orthodontic treatment unnecessarily stressful. 

The LightForce system uses computer technology to create custom braces to match the shape and size of the patient’s teeth. With digital planning, an orthodontist can more accurately predict the final tooth position at the beginning of treatment. 

This extra accuracy means that most patients that use LightForce braces don’t require multiple repositioning appointments to adjust the treatment plan and keep their results on track. This makes treatment more convenient and more likely to produce the projected results.

How Does LightForce Work?

Treatment using LightForce’s 3D-printed bracket system follows the steps outlined below.

Initial Consultation

If you express interest in getting LightForce braces, your orthodontist will explain what this type of treatment involves and the risks and benefits associated with choosing it.

If you agree to be treated using LightForce braces, your orthodontist will then use a special X-ray tool to scan the inside of your mouth. Scans capture high-resolution 3D images of your teeth that are crucial for accurate bracket customization.

Treatment Planning
Your doctor will use the cloud-based LightForce software to create an initial treatment plan based on their scans of your teeth. This plan outlines the expected movement of your teeth and is customized based on your current alignment and your treatment needs. Although patients usually experience fewer treatment setbacks with LightForce brackets, plans can be adjusted if necessary.
Braces and Trays

Your Lightforce treatment plan incorporates two key 3D-printed components: the tray and the braces. Once the plan is approved, your orthodontist will 3D-print the trays and braces you need to move your teeth accordingly.

The brackets will be applied directly to your teeth, while the trays allow for more precise bracket placement for more effective treatment. The tray is for your orthodontist’s use only: you will not be expected to use it at home.

If your treatment plan includes any Bite Turbos, these will be placed at the same time as your brackets.

Benefits

Most orthodontists offering LightForce braces appreciate the streamlined workflow and the ability to predict outcomes at the digital planning phase. This type of treatment offers many benefits for patients as well.

  • Custom computer-designed braces are a better fit for your teeth than physical impressions. 
  • Custom-fit brackets are more comfortable and enhance straightening accuracy. 
  • Accurate treatment plans reduce your treatment time. 
  • Fewer appointments are needed to reposition the brackets or make adjustments to your treatment. 
  • You will receive highly precise treatment that will straighten your teeth, correct your bite, and enhance your smile.

What to Expect

Misaligned teeth (or malocclusion) are not just a cosmetic issue. Depending on the severity of the problem, they can cause eating, drinking, speech, or even breathing difficulty.

LightForce custom braces can straighten your teeth and restore these functions. Here’s how the 3D-printed bracket technology compares to other common orthodontic treatment options.

LightForce BracesClear AlignersPrefabricated Braces
Issues Treated: Malocclusion,
Overjet, Underbite,
Crossbite, and Crowded Teeth
YesYesYes
Customized TreatmentYesYesNo
Treatment ExperienceMore efficient, short, and
comfortable. Bite Turbos may cause some temporary
difficulty with eating and
speaking but shorten
overall treatment time
More efficient, short, and comfortableLengthy process, multiple
repositioning appointments,
and more discomfort
Office VisitsEvery 2 to 4 monthsEvery 2 to 4 monthsEvery 6 weeks
Treatment ComplianceGood since brackets are fixedRemovable, so compliance can be a challengeGood since brackets are fixed
Alignment PredictabilityHighly predictable teeth movementHighly predictable teeth movementPoor predictability
CostHigh-end optionMid-range optionCheapest option

How to Find a Provider

LightForce braces are a specialty solution offered by select orthodontists. You can look up a provider near you on the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) website. You can also contact LightForce directly to be referred to a provider in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do LightForce braces work?
The LightForce digital orthodontic system uses precisely fitted 3D-printed braces to straighten crooked teeth. Three-dimensional scans of your teeth allow providers to customize the brackets and trays for high-precision treatment.
Are LightForce braces ceramic?
Yes. LightForce braces are made from polycrystalline alumina, an attractive and highly durable type of ceramic.

References

Is Your Custom-Braces SystemTruly Customized? (October 20, 2020). LightForce.

Our Technology. (2022). LightForce.

Your Smile is Unique. Your Braces Should be Too. (2022). LightForce.

Misaligned Teeth and Jaws: Overview. (January 16, 2020). Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care.

LightForce and Invisalign for Doctors. (August 18, 2020). LightForce.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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