How 3D Printing Has Revolutionised Orthodontics

September 21, 2017

Invisalign braces on a case

Invisalign is a highly effective system that gently moves your teeth into place with removable, near-invisible aligners. This means you can achieve your dream smile with minimal fuss and interruption to your daily routine.Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign uses cutting-edge technology to create custom-made aligners that address patient-specific issues. The system is flexible, and since there are no metal wires, it’s much more comfortable and convenient.Invisalign is now used by 4.5 million patients worldwide and has reached US$1.5 billion in sales for 2017. Everyone in the industry can agree that behind this success, is a state-of-the-art 3D printing technology that may very well revolutionise orthodontics forever.

Combining 3D Printing with Dentistry

The 3D printers used to create your Invisalign aligners are not the same 3D printers you see attached to desktop computers. Align Technology, the company behind Invisalign, uses high-end printing systems called Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printers to create custom-made clear aligners. Because of these 3D systems, Align Technology has the capability of mass customisation, producing patient-specific aligners for millions of cases.Forbes estimates that Align Technology has 50 to 60 3D printers that mass-produce 220,000 bespoke aligners every day. The number of aligners created yearly is projected to grow as Invisalign technology continues to improve, and more people learn about Invisalign’s advantages over traditional braces.

The Invisalign Treatment Process

Our dentist takes a digital scan of your teeth using an iTero scanning system, instead of taking a physical impression. This means there will be no awkward, uncomfortable procedures – only an accurate image of your teeth. We provide you with a treatment plan video that shows how your final smile will look.The digital scans are converted into digital files, and from here, clear plastic aligners are printed using SLA 3D printers and manufactured, allowing your teeth to adjust into position.You wear an aligner for two weeks and replace it with the next one in the series until the treatment is complete.The removable aligners must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day for optimum results. You may remove them for brushing, eating and drinking.

Impact of Invisalign

While Invisalign’s revenue is impressive, its market share remains relatively low, reaching only 9% of all its potential customers. There are approximately 10 million orthodontic cases each year, and of those, only 6 million are qualified for Invisalign treatment. And so far, Invisalign has only reached 9% of all the 6 million. That leaves plenty of growth for the creators, and a great opportunity to expand to a wider customer base.At Fresh Dental, we have made Invisalign available to patients who are unhappy with misaligned teeth and looking for innovative ways to address the problem. We have highly qualified Invisalign dentists, who will provide you with the highest level of care.Our principal dentist is part of the Invisalign European Aesthetic Dentistry Advisory Board and is a clinical speaker and trainer for Invisalign. Our practice is a platinum Invisalign provider, meaning we perform a large number of Invisalign treatments every year.Fresh Dental offers Invisalign Lite and Invisalign Full. To learn about these systems in-depth, contact us or book your consultation today.Get in touch with our London practice here or our Bolton practice here.

Laura Kate

I have just completed Invisalign treatment here and am thrilled with the results.

I have been seeing Monik at Freshdental for a while now and couldn't be happier with the service. I have just completed Invisalign treatment here and am thrilled with the results. Have recommended Monik to many of my friends & family and will continue to do to.


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