Dentist develops orthodontic world first

An innovative retainer that can be fitted before treatment is over has been developed by an award-winning young dentist

Dr Tom Sealey, who won Best Young Dentist South East at The Dentistry Awards last year, has created the system with an eye to raising the bar on the long-term success rates of all teeth-straightening outcomes by preventing post-alignment relapses, with his unique dual retention system.

Ortho innovation

Developed in conjunction with Cfast, the system is fitted towards the end of a patient’s treatment and before the removal of any orthodontic brackets.

Tom, a 33-year-old Essex-based cosmetic dentist and practice principal at Start-Smiling, has combined an invisible fixed-lingual retainer with a removable acrylic retainer to develop the world’s only dual retention system. The SOLID (Single-visit Orthodontic Lingual and Invisible Dual) Retention System is an all-new concept in orthodontic retention that means dentists can place two different types of retainer in only one appointment – and from only one impression.

Only last month, the British Orthodontic Society (BOS) published The BOS Guide: Orthodontics for Adults, with a view to supporting the decision-making of the rising number of adults opting for orthodontic treatment. At the launch, BOS president, Alison Murray, commented: ‘By virtue of their design, systems designed to deliver short-term results are likely to have limited objectives. Problems can occur when patients have high expectations of the outcome of a treatment.’

From a dento-legal perspective, leading indemnifiers, Dental Protection, have revealed that the risk of a claim is often in relation to failures in retention and the subsequent tooth movement relapse.  They explained that ‘the patient’s assessment of clinical success is diminished if they have not been told about the need for a permanent retainer’, with patients often left dissatisfied after placement of a metal-wire retainer.

SOLID Retention System

Tom explained that the SOLID Retention System has been developed to reduce the risk of failure, providing both dentist and patient with double protection with the two-retainers-in-one appliance.

Unknown-2Once the patient is happy with the final position of their teeth, an impression can be taken with all the orthodontic fixed brackets still in place, thereby eradicating the possibility of tooth movement that can occur during the time period between when the brackets are de-bonded and any retainer fitted.

Tom explained: ‘There are limitations with both fixed and removable retainers and so dual retention is widely considered to be the gold standard. ‘This system completely eliminates the possibility of de-bond or relapse, which are the possible risks when only one type of retainer is provided to a patient.

It meets the treatment expectations of the two primary types of patient who currently seek teeth straightening: the 23-30 young professionals, who had braces when they were younger but whose teeth are now misaligned due to not wearing retainers, and the 55-plus age bracket whose kids have grown up and now have the money to spend on the straighter smile they’ve always wanted.

‘With all the advances in modern materials and adhesive dentistry, it seemed crazy that we are still using old and aesthetically displeasing techniques. I thought it was about time someone developed the next generation of orthodontic retainer.

It certainly ticks all the boxes as far as the dentist is concerned, and by being aesthetically-focused and minimally invasive, it keeps the patients very happy, too.’

Having launched in the UK last month, Cfast now plans to roll out the SOLID System – or Sealey Retainer – across the US and Europe in the coming months.

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