Home Critical engine Digital dentistry with Align Technology gives patients reasons to smile – Middle East & Gulf News

Digital dentistry with Align Technology gives patients reasons to smile – Middle East & Gulf News


With the 2020 pandemic changing the healthcare industry as we know it, a number of telehealth offerings have sprung up in response to the need for remote care.

Align Technology, the makers of Invisalign, delivered on the promises of digital dentistry, promises made long before the need arose.

AMEinfo had the following interview with Markus Sebastian, Senior Vice President and General Manager EMEA, Align Technology. We asked:

What can we learn from thereour recent experience with telehealth?

Being at the forefront of cutting-edge technology in the dental industry is and will remain Align Technology’s DNA. Although digitization has been present in the orthodontic industry for some time, COVID-19 has acted as a major catalyst in the adoption of teledentistry as it has quickly become a critical necessity for business continuity. for many practitioners in the region.

At the end of 2020, we decided to conduct a survey to understand how dental practitioners have been affected and how they have pivoted amid the pandemic. From a pool of 1,000 respondents, split between the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, we found that while only a third of potential patients were using digital tools to connect with their dentist during the pandemic, 78% of them said they found it more convenient than before. . Almost all said they would like to continue using it after the COVID-19 pandemic as well.

Although in-person interaction is still very important for dental practitioners and patients, teledentistry is here to stay.

What are the digital innovations that have allowed dental doctors/practitioners to continue their practice?

As technology has evolved, we’ve seen how those who have taken a digital-first approach have been able to pivot their business operations to continue serving patients remotely, even during shutdowns. With the pandemic calling for an agile and rapid response, the pace of digitization accelerated and the opportunities it offered were enhanced.

Marc Sebastian

Last year, in the early stages of the pandemic, we launched our virtual Invisalign appointment tool, designed to facilitate patient-doctor interaction and to provide a solution that would allow doctors to monitor Invisalign treatment between visits. in the office, by reviewing the submitted photos. by a patient via the My Invisalign app. Chief among these advantages are convenience and efficiency. By implementing teledentistry more widely, dentists and orthodontists can treat more patients in less time, as well as ensure continuity of care.

What should be done to sustain the industry?

When discussing the future of dentistry, we must consider that we are not talking about the notion of replacing traditional healthcare with digital tools, but rather using the technology at our disposal to complement it in a way that which benefits both practitioners and patients, especially in a region where interpersonal relationships are highly valued.

Dentists and orthodontists should sooner rather than later think about how they can make the best possible use of these new circumstances. The switch to integrating digital dentistry is worth it because it can be easily combined with conventional manual methods.

The key to success is often to use a smart and balanced mix of digital and traditional methods. Single recommendations cannot be given. Rather, physicians should consider individual strategies that best suit their situation, with good judgment and pragmatism.

Align Technology- youhe invisalign system and the iTero element FAmily scanners are your two heart some products. Tell us more about them.

Invisalign aligners are a removable and transparent teeth straightening solution made using digital and 3D technologies. The Invisalign system is the most advanced transparent alignment system in the world, with 11.6 million patients worldwide. Transparent Aligner Technology is a combination of proprietary virtual modeling software, rapid manufacturing processes and mass customization, and custom aligners with patented aligner material. It can handle approximately 90% of early orthodontic cases – from minor cosmetic dental corrections to more complex cases. In all cases, it is the doctor who makes the assessment and recommends the treatment.

As the technology behind Invisalign treatment has continued to evolve over the past 24 years, we have introduced Invisalign G8 innovation with the activation of the SmartForce aligner which specifically contours certain areas on the aligner surface to create strategic contact areas on the tooth surface, delivering up to 2x more improvement. in the clinical predictability of incisor intrusion.

On the other hand, our iTero element intraoral scanners are truly propelling today’s orthodontic and restorative dentistry into the future with their innovative technology, high patient experience and improved clinical scanning accuracy in 3D. Its parallel confocal imaging technology uses optical and laser scanning to achieve color-accurate scans.

Our newest series in the iTero family, the iTero Element Plus series, which we launched globally last year, is the latest installment in a long timeline of innovations.

How will he approach the underpenetrated market opportunity in EMEA?

In terms of our performance from Q1 to Q3 2021, we have been very successful in EMEA, with growth driven by several markets such as Spain, the largest national market for Invisalign treatment in EMEA. This performance can be attributed mainly to the acceleration of digital processing during the pandemic. Looking at third quarter 2021 global performance, the company’s revenue was up 38.4% year-over-year. It was a good quarter for the company, with 11.6 million patients treated to date. We couldn’t have done this without more than 210,000 Invisalign-trained doctors around the world, between dentists and orthodontists.

What I would like to highlight is how we have done on the scaling side: digitization has really moved up significantly on everyone’s agenda. This is one of the reasons why iTero scanners have been in high demand during the first three quarters of the year, all over the world, as well as in Europe and the Middle East.

Our new manufacturing facility in Poland is another attempt by Align to be closer to dentists and orthodontists here in EMEA. Three years ago, we moved three operational centers, where ClinCheck treatment planning is performed, from Costa Rica to Europe – Germany, Spain and Poland, to be precise. This year we also added a treatment planning center in France. We are continuing this trend towards regionalization in order to be present in all major markets in the future with dedicated centers.

The manufacture of aligners also plays a major role for us in order to be much closer to dentists, which obviously has many advantages. We plan to open the manufacturing facility in Wroclaw, Poland in 2022, and over time manufacture all of our EMEA Physician Aligners from the new facility. This is a major investment for Align Technology, with our plans to create over 2,500 jobs over the next few years.

What is the role of AI in teledentistry, if any?

Data is the fuel that powers the AI ​​engine and provides better access to more and better datasets. In the healthcare sector and specifically in the dental industry, we can create better algorithms on which engines are trained, leading to more useful discoveries and insights – for example, to learn from previous patient cases in order to offer more predictable treatment outcomes for future patients.

The “My Invisalign” app, which combines multiple technologies into one product, including virtual reality, facial recognition, and includes in-depth content on how the Invisalign system works, as well as machine learning technology to simulate what wearers’ smiles will look like after using the medical device. It’s been an amazing tool for our doctors and patients, and we’ll continue to embed data science into all apps to deliver great visualization experiences and quality results – to make our technology work better in the hands. doctors.