It is well-known that mobile technology is changing the face of certain industries — entertainment, publishing, retail.
And then there are the lesser-known areas being impacted by our hand-held devices … such as orthodontics. Yes, even the very precise and scientific process of straightening teeth is being transformed in the era of apps.
But Dr. Rooz Khosravi, who opened up his Sammamish practice, Porth (Personalized Orthodontics), in Sammamish Village last year, knows when to embrace the new ways and when to rely on the practices that have stood the test of time.
“I don’t want to change my core of training … I want to stay true to my core,” he said.
Smartphones — which have made it possible to do everything from banking to ordering a ride via an app — have also brought about the advent of DIY orthodontics, companies that treat people’s teeth over the internet without requiring patients to go to an orthodontist for regular exams. After an initial exam, patients track their progress by taking and sending photos of their teeth, and in return receive invisible aligners based on predictions of how their teeth should move.
Though the at-home method may sound convenient and easy, Khosravi warns that the only way to ensure that your teeth move correctly and in a way that will last is to have regular check-ups.
“You need to know the mechanics, how teeth move, how they respond to force,” he said. “There’s a lot of hype around artificial intelligence, but there are a lot of stages of moving teeth — you can’t just mix and match.”
Khosravi likens orthodontics to tennis; as long as you have the skill required to play, it doesn’t matter what kind of racket you use. So too in teeth — whether it’s through braces or invisible aligners or headgear, what matters is that there is an orthodontist with training and knowledge of how teeth move monitoring the process.
“To an orthodontist, moving the teeth is the core of it … it doesn’t matter what appliance you use, it matters that you get them to the end result” he said. “And to get there, you have to be trained.”
Training is certainly what Khosravi has in abundance. Born in Iran to a dentist mother and engineer father, Khosravi followed in his mother’s footsteps and studied dentistry at Azad University in Tehran. He then moved to North America to study oral health in Montreal and at Boston University, earning a master’s in epidemiology from the University of Quebec and a PhD in oral biology from Boston University.
When a friend at the University of Washington encouraged Khosravi to come out west, he enrolled in the orthodontics program at the University of Washington and, after graduation, joined the department as an assistant professor. When Khosravi isn’t busy straightening teeth in his office, he is teaching orthodontics to graduate residents and dental students at UW.
But while Khosravi stays true to his core principles, he also embraces some other technologies that can help him. For example, 3-D computer imaging allows him to look at a person’s entire mouth from all angles on a computer screen, making it easier to design a treatment plan.
Through the use of 3-D printers, he can create clay models of a person’s mouth through different phases of braces or other orthodontic treatment and predict how teeth might respond to certain forces
“Technology makes it easier to do it now,” he said. “You achieve things you wouldn’t have been able to 20, 30 years ago.”
And though Khosravi said that running a small business is challenging, he always prioritizes the patient’s well-being over making a profit — even if that means sending them to another orthodontist.
“It doesn’t matter who is gonna treat this patient … as long as they know what is going on,” he said.
Khosravi and his wife chose Sammamish for the practice because they thought it was a “great community” with educated, diverse people, and a good place to raise their son. With his office behind Metropolitan Market, in a spot where patients can look out at treetops while they’re being treated, Khosravi says he feels very fortunate.
“The fact that I can do these things amazes me and makes me excited every day,” he said.
Porth is located at 22620 SE Fourth St., Suite 210 in Sammamish. To inquire about making an appointment, call 425-526-2060, email email@example.com or visit www.porth.io.