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Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Clear aligners seem to be the best fit for patients’ lifestyles to align their teeth and improve their smiles. The Invisalign system of clear aligners was first introduced 25 years ago by Align Technology, when five employees in a small duplex in California envisioned making slight progressive movements of dentition using a series of removable polyurethane aligners created through computer software and a 3D printer. A year later, in 1998, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) cleared the Invisalign system for use in patients with permanent teeth.
In 1999, Align launched the Invisalign system in the U.S., followed by the advertising campaign and began distribution in the country. Two years later, the company expanded to Europe. By the end of 2001, Align had already manufactured one million unique clear aligners, helped treat hundreds of patients and trained over 10,000 doctors. By combining digital treatment planning and mass-customization, with shape-engineering based on biomechanical principles, Align changed the orthodontic industry and the Invisalign system has continued to evolve over the last 25 years. In 2021 alone, Align invested 250 million dollars in research and development efforts to make the doctor-prescribed Invisalign system the most predictable, comfortable, convenient, and trusted clear aligner treatment on the market.
Continuously evolving for users and dentists
Today, Align Technology, a global leader in medical devices, designs and manufactures the Invisalign system, iTero intraoral scanners and exocad CAD/CAM services for orthodontics and restorative dentistry. These technology components enable enhanced digital orthodontic and restorative workflows to improve patient outcomes and practice efficiency for more than 225,000 doctor customers worldwide. The tools developed by Align over its 25 years of existence provide comprehensive support at every stage of patients’ treatments, determining and interpreting progress and building doctor and patient confidence. These digital technologies play an important role in supporting dental practices by complementing and facilitating office efficiencies through well-organized and simplified processes and workflows.
As a result, over 14 million patients, including 3.5 million teens1, have already benefited from a doctor-led treatment with the Invisalign system and the digital solutions. Angelo Maura, General Manager, Middle East & Africa, Align Technology, commented: "In recent years we have seen an increased demand in clear aligner treatment from patients across the globe and in the Middle East, who are searching for the best option to have their teeth straightened. At Align, we are committed to offering doctor-led therapy to the patients, and we seek to provide them with the best tools to make this possible. Our Invisalign system has not only continued to evolve with the pace of digital transformation in the region, but also offers more possibilities, expanding the percentage of the cases in which it can be applied to almost 90% of orthodontic cases. This is only one of the many reasons why both doctors and patients choose this treatment option.
Align believes that the safe and effective movement of teeth can only be reliably performed under the direct care and supervision of trained, qualified professionals. Today, Align continues to offer optimal treatment options for both patients through doctors, thanks to customized treatments designed specifically for the needs of each patient by dedicated professionals.
Much more than aligners: digital transformation
In addition to the Invisalign system, Align is also globally recognized for the digital transformation it has helped drive for dental practices. The Align Digital Platform provides doctors with high-tech resources that improve the efficiency of their practices, allowing them to develop deeper and more meaningful relationships with their patients from the initial consultation through treatment and follow-up, generating the type of personalized care patients value. Align’s comprehensive solutions such as smile simulator, iTero intraoral scanners 3D visualization tools for teeth and applications that connect doctors with patients to monitor treatment remotely, have become invaluable tools for dental practices.
As Angelo Maura added: "25 years of Align`s presence reflects the care and commitment the company puts into patient’s oral health. We continue to reinforce our mission to offer the best tools to doctors to optimize their practices and improve patient’s overall experience. Over the last 25 years, we have focused on digital transformation and the evolution of our aligners to integrate processes and workflows that improve the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of patient progress seamlessly and efficiently. However, our work is not done. We will continue to remain at the forefront of innovation, doctor experiences and patient care for the next 25 years, especially in growing markets like the Middle East, which has become a global example of innovation within the healthcare sector."
- Metrics as of Q2, 2022