Orthodontics – Check Out The New Invisible Braces
Align Technology Inc today re-launched invisalign.com, a website that helps orthodontists straighten teeth. The site – which targets both doctors and patients – is an integral part of the Invisalign System, a new, virtually invisible way to straighten teeth.
Align Technology launched the Invisalign System in June 1999. Since then, the Company has
certified over 30% of U.S. orthodontists to use the System. Over 2,500 patients are now straightening their teeth the ‘wireless’ way. Doctors treating patients with Invisalign spend approximately one hour per case on invisalign.com viewing a 3D graphical representation of their patient’s teeth via ClinCheck, a movie-like software program showing teeth moving from present position into a final, straightened state.
The doctor diagnoses and plans the case by scripting and editing the movie of the patient’s prescribed treatment, all via the web. This makes invisalign.com the only must view web-site in orthodontics and one of the stickiest websites in the medical world. There are already over 1000 registered users of invisalign.com. This figure is expected to grow rapidly as the website becomes a central means of communication between the doctor and Align Technology and, eventually, between the doctor and his patients.
invisalign.com is a powerful platform for bringing together the 8500 orthodontists in the US. As a group these doctors consume $1 to $2 billion in supplies per annum and have an aggregate income of over $2 billion, or $250k per doctor. In addition to providing a quality community site for the industry, Align intends to sell to orthodontists via invisalign.com everything they need to run their practices.
Orthodontists are not the only visitors to invisalign.com. The website is also valuable to potential patients looking for information on Invisalign; Invisalign-certified orthodontists in their neighborhood; testimonials of patients who have gone through treatment; and a customer service forum where they can interact with customer support representatives and current patients.
Orthodontists and their patients are just the beginning. Align intends to make invisalign.com the portal of choice for tens of thousands of dentists. For example, the site will offer dentists and patients new versions of ClinCheckÔ to help them visualize treatment solutions for cosmetic dental services.
Invisalign.com is another step in Align’s quest to bring 21st Century technology to the practice of orthodontics. Align has devised a multi-step system for straightening teeth without the use of metal braces:
- The doctor sends digital photographs, x-rays and an impression of the patient’s teeth to Align via email and by courier. Using this data Align makes the 3D movie showing the tooth movements
necessary for a straight smile.
- Then, the doctor uses invisalign.com to tell Align how to treat the patient’s teeth. This description becomes the script for the ClinCheck 3D movie predicting the entire course of treatment.
- Days later, both doctor and patient can view the movie using Align’s unique web-based diagnostic
tool. This revolutionary software allows them to take a virtual tour inside the patient’s mouth. The patient sees her teeth as they are now, the way they will be at the end of treatment and all the stages in-between.
- The doctor’s role is to edit the movie and approve the final cut. The editor’s remarks are entered into the website. Align then uses CAD/CAM technology to translate the approved final cut to
create a series of customized aligners for his patient.
The aligners are clear, lightweight polycarbonate devices that fit over the patient’s teeth and are worn at least 20 hours per day. Unlike metal braces the aligners may be removed for eating, brushing, flossing or even kissing. Most importantly, the aligners are clear, plastic and disposable, like contact lenses that straighten teeth.
They are nearly impossible to see when worn, which removes a major barrier for the millions of adults who wish their teeth were straighter but would never consider wearing metal braces. Just as contact lenses eliminated the need for unsightly spectacles, Invisalign eliminates the need for a mouth full of metal.
Maggie Scholz contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.teeth-whitening-smiles.com.
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