At our practice, many of our patients are referred to an orthodontic specialist to get braces to straighten teeth, align bites, correct crowding and close spaces. Nowadays the majority of these patients have their teeth straightened using computer generated incremental clear plastic tooth arch forms called Invisalign. Recently, Align Technology, the makers of the Invisalign orthodontic treatment, has just announced its newest clear aligner material called SmartTrack. SmartTrack by Invisalign improves orthodontic outcomes to yield better extrusions and rotations. Their in-house study of 1000 subjects treated with the SmartTrack’s new material revealed significant improvement in tooth movement control when compared with the old Invisalign material.
Tested on 3400 subjects, feedback indicates that patients reported a better fit. Overall, patients felt the new material allowed for improved “flex” and found that insertion and removal was easier.
It was no easy task to find the right plastic for Invisalign’s SmartTrack. Previous models used a standard thermoplastic. But to achieve an improved flexibility to the material, over 260 different plastics were tested. Some plastics were sent by other firms, while some samples were created and tested internally by Invisalign’s labs. With testing underway, Align’s Research and Development team required certain criteria to be met to substantiate an improvement upon the current models including flexibility, constant force and clarity.
The correct flexibility had to be reached to allow a certain amount of stretch. Clarity also had to be maintained with the new formula since consumers required it, and force was required to maintain an equal but constant amount of pressure throughout the patient’s planned treatment.
Overall, Invisalign’s improved technology delivers more patient comfort than previous models. According to John Morton, Director of Research and Technology at Align, there will be no increase in price as related to the new material being used.
And that is, indeed, good news in this recession.
See you next Time!
Dr. Mark W Langberg, DDS, MAGD
26206 West 12 Mile Road, Suite 303
Southfield, MI 48034