Christopher Piehler

This issue marks the end of our editorial series, “The Future of Orthodontics.” To give you an idea of how fast technology is moving, since we started the series in February with an article on cloud computing, the practice of running programs and streaming data located on remote servers rather than on your home computer has passed from the hands of hard-core techies and been firmly established in the consumer mainstream by companies like Amazon and Apple. So, as it always seems to, the future has arrived.

In the final article in our series, “Intraoral Scanning and Digital Orthodontics,” Michael J. Mayhew, DDS, MS, MS, gives orthodontists and their staff a step-by-step guide to taking plasterless impressions and using digital placement information to create indirect bonding trays.

Like cloud computing, intraoral scanning is not a pipe dream that may or may not make it to market. It’s a technique that orthodontists are using in the present, but what makes it fit in a series about the future are questions of usage. How many orthodontists currently take full advantage of this technology? Will the majority of orthodontists start using these products, and if so, when?

To answer these questions about a number of different products, our next series of articles, launching in February 2012, will be Product Usage Surveys. Our goal with these surveys is simplicity itself: to find out what products orthodontists are using and how you are using them. We’re also interested to know, among those who choose not to use, for example, 3D radiography: Why have you chosen not to employ that particular technology? And do you have any plans to try it?

Join the conversation by .

As you might expect, we will be asking Orthodontic Products readers for your participation in these surveys, so please keep an eye on your e-mail. And when you see our surveys (which will be very short, I promise), please take a few minutes to fill them out. Not only will we be offering prizes, but I believe the surveys will serve the profession by providing a snapshot of the state of orthodontic technology.

Thanks for reading, and I wish you all a joyous holiday season.

Christopher Piehler