With over 11,000 providers, ClearCorrect is a global state-of-the-art orthodontics lab manufacturing custom-made clear aligners. In the short video above, CEO Jarrett Pumphrey and his team discuss how they evolved from a manual workflow to a completely digital, computer-based process based in part, upon 3D printing.
An important force multiplier for the company is their growing set of Objet 3D Printers. Using these machines the company can rapidly produce whole trays of individually-customized dental models which serve as extremely accurate casting tools upon which the clear aligners are then thermoformed.
What also sets ClearCorrect apart from others is that they then send both the dental model and the closely-fitted clear aligners to their providers. This means that if a patient loses or breaks his/her aligner the dentist can easily make a new one based on the original Objet 3D printed model. This saves both time and money for the dentist and their patients.
A Little Bit about Clear Aligners:
The ClearCorrect clear aligner system provides dentists and orthodontists an alternative to traditional metal braces when straightening teeth. With this system, teeth are straightened using a series of clear, custom, removable aligners. Each aligner moves the teeth just a little bit at a time until eventually the teeth and the smile are corrected - but without the lifestyle issues associated with the infamous metal braces we all remember from our childhood!
However, to fabricate a single clear aligner the traditional way require impressions to be taken, a stone model poured up and then micro-adjustments to be made on the stone model by sawing the target tooth/teeth models off the cast - and re-fixing them using base-plate wax after careful measurement of horizontal and vertical distances to the ideal position. Once the realigned position is ideal, block-out resin is then used for fixation.
This process of course, has to be repeated a number of times during the course of any treatment. It's messy and takes time and skill to achieve accurate results.
That was how it used to be done. With modern technology, the impressions are digitized and the sequential steps created through a computerized process based on the dentist’s prescription. The models are then printed on the Objet 3D Printer. Compared to the traditional way, the digital process is incomparably faster, more accurate and less costly. And the result is that orthodontic labs such as ClearCorrect are able to scale their business with ease, while making their orthodontic customers happier than ever before...
It's no wonder they've got a whole room full of Objet 3D printers!
For more images check out the gallery of 3D printed dental models here.