Competition in the clear aligners space is heating up. According to a recently released report by Research and Markets, the global clear aligner market is expected to increase at high growth rates during the forecasted period, 2016 to 2020. Technological innovation, increasing consumer confidence, increasing disposable income, and rising per capita healthcare expenditure are all cited as growth drivers.
It's also worth noting that some manufacturers are taking different approaches to delivery that can impact the treatment experience for both dentists and their patients.
Align Technology recently announced a supply agreement with SmileDirectClub to manufacture non-Invisalign clear aligners to supplement an at-home teeth straightening service. This system allows patients to begin the treatment process without an in-person initial exam. Rather, Align provides a case setup through SmileDirectClub’s SMILECHECK viewer portal, and upon review and approval by a participating licensed orthodontist or general dentist in SmileDirectClub’s network, Align will manufacture clear aligners and ship them directly to SmileDirectClub.
Dentsply Sirona Orthodontics, comprised of GAC and Raintree Essix, differs from that approach with the MTM Clear•Aligner System that begins with the in-office consultation. This system provides shorter treatment time, with 73% of patients completing treatment in less than 6 months. Other advantages include clear and predictable upfront costs and treatment times, reduced chair time, and an under-10% refinement rate, according to data on file. One free refinement is provided, if needed. MTM Clear Aligners don’t have attachments and are made in a U.S. lab, adding to their patient appeal. Moreover, they have the full support and backing of Dentsply Sirona. Clinical outcomes and patient testimonials are available on the MTM Clear•Aligner website.