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For kids (and sometimes adults, too!) going to the dentist or orthodontist can feel a little stressful, even scary. And if your child is highly anxious and/or has special needs, these visits can be extra difficult for them. Dr. Melanie Orthodontics is your San Diego/Rancho Santa Fe orthodontist who specializes in treating patients with high anxiety or special needs. We’re not only trained in gentle behavior techniques but we also use innovative technology to make treatment as easy, efficient, and comfortable as possible. 

What is this orthodontic technology we speak of? Well, let us tell you! Here, we’ll talk about the digital tools we use that make visits with us sensory-friendly.

1. iTero® Digital Impression System

Parents and grandparents might remember the old-school way of getting teeth impressions — a tray filled with putty you sink your teeth into and hold. The tray felt awkward, the putty tasted gross, and you couldn’t wait to stop clenching your teeth together. So you’ll breathe a sigh of relief knowing that many modern orthodontists today — Dr. Melanie included — use a completely digital system called the iTero Digital Impression System instead.

The iTero scanner makes diagnostics so much better for everyone but we’d say it’s an especially helpful orthodontic technology when treating kids with high anxiety or special needs. This cutting-edge orthodontic technology only takes a few minutes and your child doesn’t have to do anything except open up and say, “Aaaahhhhhh.” 

How does it work? One of our team members uses iTero’s small, handheld digital wand to scan your child’s teeth quickly and painlessly. Your child can breathe and swallow as normal during the process and it’s completely comfortable. iTero technology is totally safe, with no radiation or chemicals.

Highly accurate images render and show up on a screen almost instantly. And bonus? For some kids, it’s kinda cool seeing 3D images of their teeth pop up right before their eyes. 

2. In-House 3D Printer

Since she opened her practice, Dr. Melanie has embraced technology, establishing herself as a go-to San Diego and Rancho Santa Fe high tech orthodontist. Dr. Melanie has used an in-house 3D digital printer since 2018 for a variety of tasks including making in-house clear aligners, retainers and indirect bonding trays for braces. A 3D printer in the office allows Dr. Melanie complete control over the custom appliances she creates for her patients, leading to faster turnaround times between planning and the start of treatment, and, in the end, better results. 

How does the in-house printer benefit patients with anxiety or special needs? Indirect bonding trays allow Dr. Melanie to place braces brackets all at once instead of one at a time, so if your child needs braces and has autism or anxiety, for example, this speeds up the process so they don’t have to sit for a long time.

3. Grin Remote Monitoring

If you’re a parent of a special needs child, you might be happy to hear that we offer Grin remote monitoring. Yes, you can update us on your child’s orthodontic progress from the comfort of your own home, or from wherever you happen to be! Instead of coming into our office for every clear aligner check up, the Grin app allows you to send progress images from your phone and communicate with Dr. Melanie about your child’s progress. Patients with special needs might find this easier and more comfortable than coming into the office for every check in.

Personal, Patient, & Gentle – We’ve Got it Down Pat 

Dr. Melanie understands firsthand what special needs children need to feel safe, happy, and comfortable in a clinical setting. Your San Diego and Rancho Sante Fe orthodontist go above and beyond to treat your child with kindness, compassion, and patience. We ensure your child sees the same orthodontic assistant every time, and we’re happy to break up appointments into several shorter ones at no extra cost.

We’re also trained in specific techniques for treating special needs patients, and we collaborate with parents to create the best smile solution for their children. Isn’t it reassuring to know that orthodontics and autism, anxiety, or other unique challenges can go hand-in-hand? An experienced orthodontist for special needs patients like Dr. Melanie can help your child get the healthy, functional, and beautiful smile they deserve.

Want to meet Dr. Melanie and her team and start your child’s journey with braces or clear aligners? Contact your San Diego and Rancho Sante Fe orthodontist for high-quality, compassionate treatment for your special needs or anxious child.

Dr. Melanie

Author Dr. Melanie

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