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Having impeccable teeth is an external sign of health. A beautiful alignment is an indicator of self-confidence, good oral health and, whether we like it or not, a certain charm. However, not everyone is lucky enough to have had orthodontic treatment during their teenage years. And once you reach adulthood, the prospect of wearing metal braces is unappealing to many people.
In order to combine the need to have a good dentition without having an invasive process, clear aligners have become an increasingly popular and successful choice. With the arrival of new technological solutions on the market, it has never been easier for patients to take the plunge. Clear dental aligners are an easy, invisible and comfortable solution for impeccable teeth.
For dental professionals, it is therefore essential to manufacture high-quality alignment molds in an industrial way with the highest quality standards and cutting-edge technology.
Behind a clear dental aligner, there is a clear and functional process to go from a 3D printed model to the final product.
Depending on the treatment, each patient may need between 10 and 50 clear dental aligners. Multiply the number of clear aligners by the number of patients and you will understand why an industrial level manufacturing process has become a standard with controlled costs, indisputable speed of production, and repeatability of the entire process.
Behind a 3D mold, there is always specialized software capable of processing files. That will then be integrated into a 3D printer. This is the basis for the manufacturing of clear aligners.
The choice of software is important. Because, depending on its features and functional scope, it can greatly improve your workflow and save you a lot of time.
Prodways works with a network of validated partners to provide a complete ecosystem to produce transparent aligners:
– 3Shape is a digital impression software solution that helps you improve patient care, treatment quality and efficiency. From visualization and treatment planning to design and fabrication,3Shape software is the centerpiece of your digital workflow.
– Oqton is a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) software. That integrates systems to digitize production and helps plan, track, and trace all actions in a dental laboratory environment.
A comprehensive technical solution will always be more effective in creating transparent, efficient, and accurate 3d molds with high traceability.
Once the treatment plan is validated, it is transformed into a production plan. A professional 3D printer, such as Prodways Tech’s LD20, can simultaneously support up to 55 clear dental aligner molds for production in less than an hour.
Each 3d mold, identified by a unique identification generated by the 3D modeling software. It is built in successive phases until it constitutes a replica of the half-dentition at a stage of its treatment.
Equipped with a micrometric precision, 3D printers allow a mass production in controlled times.
This approach is essential to meet the requirements of the dental alignment market, with reduced lead times between request and delivery. The use of high productivity 3D printers allows laboratories:
If the printer is important, the resin that composes the invisible dental splint is just as important. Color, texture, manufacturing quality, it plays an important role in the manufacturing process. Prodways formulates and produces its own resins so that they are perfectly suited to the layering and UV curing process.
Absolute Aligner is a revolutionary new resin created by Prodways Tech’s R&D team for the industrial production of alignment molds. That offers an ultra-smooth surface finish with a more natural feel. This allows the user to achieve more accurate thermoforming results with exceptional precision and clarity.
The prepared 3D molds are then placed on a production tray in a thermoforming machine. Whichis an essential part of the clear aligner workflow. Dental thermoforming machines work by applying heat and pressure to a plastic sheet. That is positioned over the 3D printed molds designed specifically for that customer.
These machines use films of different thicknesses, chosen according to the needs of the patient. The operation of the machine is supported by constant digital control and again does not require high-level technical skills.
Hamer, a validated partner of Prodways Tech, offers two different solutions for this with several configurations available on each. The TVP12 is intended for medium-sized productions and the TVP25 is intended for large productions. These solutions can thermoform between 100 and 1,300 clear aligners per hour.
To further improve quality, consistency and eliminate manual labor in the workflow, Digital Dental, another Prodways Tech partner, has a scalable hardware and software solution that automates clear trimming of aligners, allowing one technician to produce more than 100 clear aligners per hour, every hour.
Once manufacturing is complete, clear aligners are cleaned and marked to comply with growing regulatory expectations for Unique Device Identifiers (UDIs). This marking requirement implies an extremely precise traceability of the alignment molds during the entire production cycle. This is an indelible and invisible inscription method.
The production of clear dental aligners combines human know-how and state-of-the-art technology. Choosing a partner with a validated network of solution providers at each stage of clear dental aligner production is essential to achieve maximum productivity and return on investment rates.
The digital transformation that is affecting all parts of the dental industry. It is making it possible to work more smoothly and efficiently with a connected ecosystem. And that means a better experience for your patients’ smiles.
If you would like to learn more about the 3D ecosystem to produce clear aligners, you can download our Ebook “Everything you need to know about producing clear dental aligners“. Or feel free to contact one of our experts! We would be delighted to accompany you in your project.
Prodways Tech and these partners, Hamer and Digital Dental will be at IDS Dental Show 2021. To set up a conversation with one of our Dental Experts at IDS! Click here. Unable to make it to travel to IDS this year? Fill out the form here and one our experts will be in touch to set up a conversation.