Align Technology, Inc. (“Align”) (Nasdaq: ALGN), a leading global medical device company specializing in the design, manufacturing, and sale of the Invisalign® System of clear aligners, iTero intraoral scanners, and exocad CAD/CAM software for digital orthodontics and restorative dentistry, has introduced a new SmartForce feature: attachment-free aligner activation. This innovation is aimed at reducing the number of attachments while ensuring consistent treatment outcomes. The attachment-free aligner activation feature leverages Align’s foundational biomechanics for clear aligners and draws from its extensive database of over 15.7 million Invisalign patients to optimize tooth movements. It represents the latest in a series of biomechanical advancements from the company, all geared towards enhancing the patient experience in Invisalign treatment.
Integrated into the Align Digital Platform, the attachment-free aligner activation feature represents the latest addition to the Align digital workflow. This workflow provides dedicated tools and capabilities for every stage of the Invisalign treatment process. An associated update to ClinCheck treatment planning will feature Live Update for 3D Controls, including an option for attachment-free aligner activation.
SmartForce features, which comprise optimized attachments in the form of small tooth-colored shapes affixed to teeth, are engineered to apply precise forces exactly where and when they are needed, ensuring more predictable tooth movements. For achieving desired mesiodistal root movements in upper central (front) teeth, double attachments are often necessary. While optimized attachments are indispensable for successful Invisalign treatment, this new release enables certain movements to be achieved using a comparable force system through aligner activation, thus reducing the need for double attachments on the central teeth. In cases where an attachment is still required for specific scenarios, aligner activation will be accompanied by a single optimized root control attachment, similar to what is used for other teeth like canines and premolars.
“After extensive research it was clear to us that our doctors and their patients needed an aesthetic solution for an enhanced Invisalign treatment experience,” said Raj Pudipeddi, Align chief product & marketing officer, executive vice president, and managing director Asia Pacific. “With this game changing innovation that builds on Align’s aligner activation innovations, we address the needs of doctors and their patients without compromising exceptional Invisalign treatment outcomes.”
With the introduction of the new attachment-free aligner activation feature, doctors can enhance the already excellent clinical care and improved aesthetics they deliver using Invisalign treatment. Analysis of over 2 million Invisalign treatment cases indicates that up to 38 percent of future cases may benefit from the new SmartForce aligner-free activation features for mesio-distal root movement.*
“Today, continued development of SmartForce features, especially SmartForce aligner activation, which uses strategic areas of contact of the aligners on the tooth for control of movements, allows doctors to reduce the number of visible attachments, including eliminating attachments in some cases, on the upper anterior teeth for diastema, mesio-distal uprighting, and midline shift to elevate their patients’ treatment experiences without compromising patient comfort and their treatment outcomes,” said Dr. Mitra Derakhshan, senior vice president, global clinical, Align Technology. “In cases where attachments are still necessary to ensure the optimal force systems, a single optimized root control attachment with SmartForce aligner activation is designed to achieve the same movement instead of the more visible double attachment.”
*Data on file, Align Technology
Projected data based on analysis of 2,395,068 primary order cases on ClinCheck software acceptance globally between April 1, 2021, and March 30, 2022. Case type analysis was on Invisalign Assist, Invisalign Full, Invisalign Moderate, Invisalign Go, Invisalign iGo, Invisalign Go Plus, Invisalign Teen, Invisalign Touch Up, Invisalign First, Invisalign Comprehensive Phase 2, Invisalign Lite, Invisalign Express, Invisalign Express 5, Invisalign Express 10, and Invisalign Comprehensive product types. Refers only to solutions for optimized root control attachment and attachment free aligner activation.
The new SmartForce feature with attachment-free aligner activation is expected to be available in the first half of 2024.
About Align Technology, Inc.
Align Technology designs and manufactures the Invisalign® System, the most advanced clear aligner system in the world, iTero intraoral scanners and services, and exocad CAD/CAM software. These technology building blocks enable enhanced digital orthodontic and restorative workflows to improve patient outcomes and practice efficiencies for approximately 247 thousand doctor customers and are key to accessing Align’s 500 million consumer market opportunity worldwide. Over the past 26 years, Align has helped doctors treat over 15.7 million patients with the Invisalign System and is driving the evolution in digital dentistry through the Align Digital Platform, our integrated suite of unique, proprietary technologies and services delivered as a seamless, end-to-end solution for patients and consumers, orthodontists and GP dentists, and lab/partners. Visit www.aligntech.com for more information.
For additional information about the Invisalign System or to find an Invisalign doctor in your area, please visit www.invisalign.com. For additional information about the iTero digital scanning system, please visit www.itero.com. For additional information about exocad dental CAD/CAM offerings and a list of exocad reseller partners, please visit www.exocad.com.
Invisalign, iTero, exocad, Align, and Align Digital Platform are trademarks of Align Technology, Inc.