New technology makes teeth straightening simpler

By WEEK reporter

April 4, 2014 Updated Apr 4, 2014 at 10:41 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- When it comes to braces, usually you have to face the sticky goo used to make impressions of your teeth. But not anymore.

Pat Cusack is one of the first orthodontists in the area to get an itero scanner, which is used to replace impressions for Invisalign.

The scanner takes a laser image of your teeth and a digital impression is sent out.

Before this, patients had to face those dreaded impressions.

That included sitting through 12 molds filled with the purple liquid for about five to six minutes each.

Cusack said those impressions stopped some people from using Invisalign altogether.

"A lot of people have a fear of the impressions," said Cusack. "They don't want this thing in their mouth, and it feels like its going down their throat. This avoids that whole step. And my patients are thrilled to have this scanner. It's an amazing technology."

The scan takes about 10 minutes, which is almost nothing compared to the hour it took to make the impressions.