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In House Aligners Made Simple

The Opportunity

Almost every patient could benefit from aligner therapy. Whether it is to correct a mild relapse, de-band earlier, or make that final precise movement. O3D’s affordable 3D tooth movement and printing services allow you to deliver better patient care and be more profitable at the same time. Register at today to provide your patients with the best alternative in Aligner Therapy.

The Process

The system is easy and efficient to use. Mail your impressions or submit STL files from your scanner via our web portal, and the O3D team will provide a narrated treatment plan video. Once we have your approval for the patient’s tooth movements, we will print and ship the models for your staff to vacuum form the necessary aligners. We provide tutorials on how to make the aligners . . . a simple process that takes no more than two minutes per aligner. You can even purchase your aligner materials from our website.

Aligners have become an accepted alternative to braces, and there are now many companies offering an aligner system. But they can be expensive, with lots of features you may not need, or more aligners than you need. How many times have you seen a relapse case that you could fix with as few as two aligners or had a consult with a prospective patient whose teeth could be corrected in 12 months or less if you had access to a more economic process?

Digital orthodontics has made tremendous advances over the past few years; intraoral scanners & 3D printers are revolutionising the way dentistry is done. Combining these with specialised orthodontic planning software makes making your own aligners a fast, simple & cost-effective proposition. Orchestrate 3D & Carestream Dental provide technology and tools that bring it all together


The process begins with a digital impression from the Carestream Dental CS 3600. The scanner is ideal for orthodontic cases, with its high-speed capture of dual arches. An Intelligent Matching System enables users to fill in any missing information in the data set, and the CS 3600’s three interchangeable tips—normal, side-oriented and posterior—make scanning in hard-to-reach places easier. Clinicians can then choose to send the open STL files from the CS 3600 to Orchestrate for either treatment planning and 3D printing; plan the treatment and have Orchestrate 3D print models for aligners or other appliances; or plan and 3D print the case completely in-office.
Since 2012, Orchestrate 3D has helped doctors in 15 countries dramatically lower costs and increase clinical control in their practices. Today Orchestrate 3D offers a spectrum of workflow options. At one end of the spectrum is the practitioner who is interested in 3D printing but doesn’t want to actually buy a 3D printer. This practitioner has the intraoral scanner and the treatment planning software, then turns to Orchestrate 3D for printing services. These printed models would then be shipped to the practice where the appliances can be made in the office. “A lot of practitioners start off that way,” Todd Ehrler, D.D.S., founder, Orchestrate Orthodontic Technologies says. “They get the intraoral scanning and the software down, and then once they have those things operating efficiently in the office, they will then purchase a 3D printer and just plug that 3D printer into their workflow.”
At the middle point on the spectrum are the doctors that have 3D printers but don’t want to do the treatment planning. A common scenario is the doctor who likes the convenience of having the 3D printer in-house to make appliances but is too busy to spend time with the treatment planning software to plan out the case. In this scenario, they upload the patient’s scanned files with a brief prescription to Orchestrate 3D and the company’s lab technicians do the treatment planning. The practice can then print the models and manufacture the appliances in-house. At the other end of the spectrum are those doctors who want to do it all themselves and are ready to buy the equipment to do so. Orchestrate 3D offers the O3D software suite, as well as the Juell O3D-2 printer and resin materials. The O3D Complete package gives practitioners all the tools to have in-house control over aligner therapy and other treatments.
The final component of the digital workflow is the 3D printer. “There is no question that 3D printing is rapidly changing the field of orthodontics,” says Ehrler. “The Orchestrate 3D treatment planning software and 3D printing solutions provide the practitioner with turn-key solutions to in-source aligner therapy and other orthodontic appliances. Our host of products, services and comprehensive training allow the practice to quickly integrate orthodontic-specific 3D printing technology and software.” To those who wonder if the 3D printing technology is ready to meet the needs of orthodontics, Ehrler says yes. The printers on the market today are faster, smaller, and less expensive. And as for materials, Ehrler argues the vast majority meet the needs of orthodontics—with one caveat. Ehrler contends the materials to directly print aligners are not quite there yet. The resins that do have the thickness, resiliency, and clarity practitioners need are too expensive. “The qualities and the cost are not there yet, but I’m confident it will happen,” he adds.
So, what should you look at when buying a 3D printer? Well, first take a look at your needs. Look at your patient volume and determine what type of printer you need to meet it. “I’ve always thought 3D printers are only expensive if you don’t use them. The ROI for using a 3D printer is enormous just because we can make so many appliances for a fraction of the cost [of outsourcing this step]. But if they’re not using the printer, then they’re not getting the ROI.” It’s as simple as that, says Ehrler.
And it should be staff—the assistants—who are working with the printer. “There’s a learning curve with it just like there was with intraoral scanning, but it’s just a new skill that needs to be practiced,” he says. “I would say there’s a lot of correlations with taking a regular alginate impression and pouring it up in plaster. The first time you did it, it was awkward because you didn’t know the steps.” For the practice that makes the plunge and buys a 3D printer, there is tremendous clinical control to be had, says Ehrler. In the case of his aligner-only patients, he has a completely digital workflow that keeps all the steps in-house. “I can scan the patient in my office, then with Orchestrate treatment planning software, I can move the teeth and create the treatment plan. Then I can print the models and make the aligners.” All of this can be done at a lower cost and, if he wants, in the same day. “In this scenario, I have tremendous clinical control over the process because if the patient is not tracking how I want, I can just simply rescan them and make a new aligner within a day if I want to.” Ehrler is confident that every practitioner who owns an intraoral scanner will eventually own a 3D printer; and more importantly, he contends it will help dental practices better compete with direct-to-consumer companies. “With 3D printing, you can compete and make aligners at price points the consumer is comfortable with,” he says. Pacific Dental Specialties is an authorised distributor of the Carestream Dental CS 3600 intraoral scanner, Orchestrate 3D software, the Juell O3D-2 Printer & the Formlabs Form 2 3D printer. For more information, pricing or to arrange a demonstration.