Our Blog

Digital technology provides opportunities to add value to the care orthodontists offer their patients

Innovations in technology are disrupting the orthodontic profession.  These changes affect both orthodontic care delivery and the economics of care delivery – the orthodontic marketplace.  “Disruptive Innovation in healthcare involves technologies, products, or services that are cheaper, simpler, and more convenient, making it possible for less-expensive professionals to provide advanced services in affordable settings, or even for patients to care for themselves.”1,2.  This is not the first time that the orthodontic profession has experiences disruptive innovation.  Consider the advent of the direct bonded appliance or the straight wire appliance in the 1970’s. Orthodontists at the time where concerned that these changes in technology would result in an increase in the number of general dentists and pediatric dentist doing orthodontics. In reality, these advances in technology provided benefits to patients and the orthodontic profession as a whole. Consider the advent of Invisalign in 1999;  orthodontists at the time were again concerned that general dentist would now treat more orthodontic patients. It is true that dentist have treated more orthodontic patients since the introduction of Invisalign, but so have orthodontist!. In fact the “orthodontic Pie” has increased in size and both general dentists and orthodontist are providing more orthodontics treatment. In fact, Invisalign through their enormous advertising budget is probably responsible for the aesthetic adult orthodontic market that all of us enjoy today.    Digital technology is making custom orthodontic appliances like Clear aligners possible. Today we are experiencing disruption of the orthodontic marketplace through the “direct to patient care” model through corporations such as Smile Direct Club, Candid Co, Byte, etc. due to the advent of custom orthodontic appliances. The same digital technology that makes this corporate direct to patient care model possible offer us as orthodontists real opportunities to improve the care we offer our patients. There are primary advantages that digital technology offers orthodontist to improve the care they offer their patients. 1) Proactive Treatment Planning, 2) the use of custom orthodontic appliances coordinated on a unified digital platform and 3) using 3D printing to take control of our workflow to provide our patients true customization at a minimum cost.  We will be expanded on each of these three points in subsequent blog posts.


1  https://innovations.ahrq.gov/perspectives/harnessing-disruptive-innovation-health-care
2 Will Disruptive Innovations Cure Health Care. Christensen C., Bohmer R, Kenagy J. Harvard Business Review. Sept-Oct 2000

Albert H. Ketcham Memorial Award

We were all attending AAO meeting 2019 this past weekend in Los Angeles Convention Center.  AAO meeting is the Annual Session of American Association of Orthodontists.   Dr. Michael Riolo (Dr. Chris Riolo’s father) received the Albert H. Ketcham Memorial Award.  This award was created by The American Board of Orthodontics in 1936 to commemorate the achievements of Dr. Albert H. Ketcham, one of the pioneers in the specialty of orthodontics who had dedicated himself to the improvement of orthodontics.  His commitment to the orthodontic specialty and research was exemplary.  Dr. Ketcham was the first president of the American Board of Orthodontics and remained a member of the board until he passed away.  The award was meant to inspire advancement of orthodontics.   It is awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the science and art of orthodontics.  The first recipient was Dr. John V. Mershon in 1937.  Traditionally, ” The remarks in accepting the Award were very brief but of great significance.” as mentioned in an article published in the American Journal of Orthodontics (1957) .  Congratulations to Dr. Michael Riolo on being the recipient of 2019 Albert H. Ketcham Memorial Award! Dr. Mike was a former ABO president and member of the American Board of Directors.  He has made numerous contributions to the orthodontic specialty, education, and research.  We are very proud of him!

Dr. Mike Riolo standing with the American Board of Orthodontics as he is receiving Albert H. Ketcham Memorial Award and giving his speech
Dr. Mike Riolo with his family of orthodontists (Drs. Chris Riolo, Burcu Bayirli, Greg Scott and Jon Scott) after he receives his award

Past recipients of Ketcham Award are:

2018 – Birte Melsen
2017 – Sheldon Peck
2016 – W. Eugene Roberts
2015 – David L. Turpin

2014 – John S. Casko
2013 – Thomas J. Cangialosi
2012 – Lee W. Graber
2011 – Vincent G. Kokich
2010 – James L. Vaden
2009 – Katherine W. Vig
2008 – James A. McNamara, Jr.
2007 – Bjorn U. Zachrisson
2006 – Herbert A. Klontz
2005 – William R. Proffit
2004 – Anthony A. Gianelly
2003 – Donald R. Joondeph
2002 – O.B. Vaughan
2002 – Robert J. Isaacson
2001 – Paul Louis Tessier
2001 – Lysle E. Johnston
2000 – Jack G. Dale
1999 – Charles J. Burstone
1999 – Dale B. Wade
1998 – Fujio Miura
1998 – Lennart A.T. Weislander
1997 – Lloyd E. Pearson
1996 – Samuel Pruzansky
1996 – J. Daniel Subtelny
1995 – Rolf Frankel
1994 – Arthur A. Dugoni
1994 – Harry L. Dougherty
1993 – Sten Linder-Aronson
1992 – Wilbur J. Prezzano
1991 – Robert E. Gaylord
1990 – Donald G. Woodside
1989 – L. Levern Merrifield
1988 – Robert E. Moyers
1987 – Brainerd F. Swain
1986 – James E. Brophy
1986 – Paul D. Lewis
1985 – John R. Thompson
1984 – Raymond C. Thurow
1983 – Richard A. Riedel
1983 – Joseph R. Jarabak
1982 – Frederick T. West
1982 – Fred F. Schudy
1981 – Reed A. Holdaway
1980 – Eugene E. West
1980 – Faustin N. Weber
1979 – Earl E. Shepard
1978 – Arthur B. Lewis
1977 – P. Raymond Begg
1977 – Conraad F. A. Moorrees
1976 – Kaare Reitan
1975 – T. M. Graber
1975 – Robert M. Ricketts
1974 – Herbert I. Margolis
1973 – Alton W. Moore
1973 – Arne Bjork
1972 – B. F. Dewel
1971 – Frank P. Bowyer
1970 – Herbert K. Cooper
1970 – Silas J. Kloehn
1969 – Wilton Marion Krogman
1969 – Lowrie J. Porter
1968 – George W. Hahn
1968 – Cecil C. Steiner
1967 – Harry Sicher
1966 – William R. Humphrey
1966 – Jacob A. Salzmann
1965 – Wendell L. Wylie
1965 – George M. Anderson
1964 – Philip E. Adams
1964 – Andrew F. Jackson
1963 – Hays N. Nance
1962 – C. Edward Martinek
1962 – Charles B. Bolton
1961 – William B. Downs
1960 – Charles H. Tweed
1960 – Sheldon Friel
1959 – Robert H. W. Strang
1959 – Allan G. Brodie
1958 – H. D. Pollock Sr.
1958 – Joseph D. Eby
1957 – Oren A. Oliver
1956 – Leuman M. Waugh
1955 – Joseph E. Johnson
1954 – Charles R. Baker
1953 – Spencer R. Atkinson
1952 – James D. McCoy
1951 – Benno E. Lischer
1949 – William King Gregory
1948 – Clinton C. Howard
1946 – Raymond C. Willett
1944 – B. Holly Broadbent
1942 – Harry E. Kelsey
1941 – Frederick By Noyes
1940 – George Wellington Grieve
1939 – Milo Hellman
1938 – Alfred Paul Rogers
1937 – John Valentine Mershon

3D Printing in Orthodontics

3D printing in Orthodontics at Riolo Orthodontics

At Riolo Orthodontics we employ a number of different 3D printers using different printing technologies

We use our 3D printers to create retainers, aligners to move teeth without metal braces on the front of the teeth as well as many other orthodontic appliances. Combined with the 3D digital scanner we can create models of your teeth that are much more accurate than traditional impressions. As a result this method of capturing your tooth anatomy will create a more accurate retainers compared to the traditional method of taking a mold of your mouth. At the time you get your retainer you will also receive the 3D printed model of your teeth. This model can be brought in to make a new retainer if you lose your retainer or your dog happens to chew it. We also keep a digital copy of your teeth that can be reprinted if you happen to lose both your retainer and 3D printed model.

How the 3D printer works

First, we acquire a scan with our intra-oral digital scanner. Next the file is edited to have a base added and holes in the surface mesh are repaired. After the file has been edited it is uploaded to the 3D printer. Our Printer employs either SLA (Stereolithography) or DLP (Digital Light Projection) printing technology which hardens resin with a ultraviolet laser in very small layers building upon each other. After the print the build supports of the model are removed. The model is then cleaned using isopropanol. This 3D printing technology is used in the production many orthodontic appliances including Invisalign.

The benefits of the 3D printer for patients

The intra-oral scanner is less invasive and more accurate than the traditional impressions. Since the these digital models are printed in house we can turn these models around the same day!  We now have the ability to produce retainers the same day as the braces are removed.  This means there is no chance the teeth will move before you get your retainers. The 3D scan and 3D printing is also more accurate than impressions so the retainer will fit your teeth perfectly.  We use this technology to produce Movement Aligners, Clear Aligners specifically design for each of our patients to align their teeth as quickly and efficiently as possible.

We teach this technology to dentiat and orthodontists.  If you are interested in learning more you can contact us at TheToothMovement.

We are continuously working to improve the quality and convenience at Riolo Orthodontics.  You can contact us at SeattleOrthodontist.com to make an appointment or just ask us a question.