I was always taught to start with the end in mind. How can you know the route to take if you don’t know the final destination? For things like household projects or landscaping, the contractors usually work something up in CAD-like software to give you an idea of what your house will look like when they’re done. What a great way to motivate people to say yes to a project!
Around a decade ago, Dr. Christian Coachman had the idea to bring this to dentistry and created Digital Smile Design (DSD). This was a revolution, and it really brought great concepts into discussion like the motivational mockup. The issue with DSD has always been the disjointed nature of the process. The smile design software was its own thing, and apart from a visual communication tool for an orthodontist, data didn’t really transfer over or work from specialty to specialty. It was siloed.
Invisalign Smile Architect breaks through those silos and brings the digital smile design concepts to a software that unites ortho and restorative into one easy-to-use platform.
Many ortho cases need restorative at the end. Maybe that restorative is some bonding to fill diastemas or increase incisal edge length, or it could be more dramatic restorative such as veneers or crowns. Regardless of the extent of the restorative, it takes a skilled eye to anticipate where the teeth need to go orthodontically to get the restorative outcome we want. That can be difficult not just for patients to visualize, but also for even really talented dentists. Smile Architect by Invisalign gets this issue under control by bringing it into a software we already use and understand: ClinCheck.
When you do a Smile Architect case with Invisalign, you can combine the orthodontic and restorative outcome into the ClinCheck software for your case planning and for getting the patient to say yes. Gather all your case data that you would for an Invisalign case. Submit an Rx and choose Smile Architect. It will ask you the traditional questions on an Invisalign prescription plus a few more about your desired restorative plan.
A couple of days later, you will get a ClinCheck back with some new views. In addition to the traditional orthodontic views, you will also have the ability to turn on and turn off the planned and predicted restorative outcome. You can also change the opacity of the final restorations so you can visualize if the restorative will be additive or reductive or both. Smile Architect is an amazing case planning tool for dentists. It helps me figure out where I need to get the teeth orthodontically to do the restorations I want to do. It’s also an amazing communication tool for getting my patients on board. I have not had a Smile Architect patient yet who didn’t say “Wow!” after seeing the In-Face Visualization of their Smile Architect ortho and restorative treatment plan. Not only will Smile Architect allow you to treat these comprehensive patients more confidently and predictably; it will also allow you to treat more of them because your case acceptance will go up. For more information on Smile Architect, chat with your Invisalign rep or see the Invisalign education website.
Editor's note: This article appeared in the March 2023 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.