The Silicon Review
In the ideal situation, our teeth would bite down in a very specific way to optimize function and oral health. Unfortunately, our teeth are almost never naturally perfect. This causes problems with chewing, oral hygiene, and speaking.The most common orthodontic problem is a ‘bad bite’, and is often times a genetic problem. Such simple orthodontic problems can be addressed by a general practitioner with a general diagnostics and a list of treatment objectives. But complex challenges should be managed only by expert orthodontists.Align Technology is a global medical device company that is changing lives through better smiles. The company reimagines and reinvents the way orthodontic and restorative treatment is presented and delivered to millions of people around the world.
The company believesthat a better smile has the power to create a better future, so it creates digital technology and experiences to help people move forward in life.
How it all started
In 1997, five employees in a small duplex in Redwood City, California, founded Align Technology with a simple concept in mind - how to leverage technology to straighten teeth. Just a few years later in 1999, Align Technology pioneered the invisible orthodontics market with the introduction of the Invisalign system and soon launched a large U.S national advertising campaign. By 2001, Align had manufactured one million unique clear aligners, helped treat hundreds of patients and trained over ten thousand doctors.
By combining digital treatment planning and mass-customization, with shape-engineering based on biomechanical principles, it has revolutionized the orthodontic industry. The Invisalign system has continued to evolve over the last 23 years. Building upon its experience, a data base of over 8.3 million cases, continuous innovations in aligner materials, software algorithms, 3D force systems, the Invisalign system can be used to treat a wide range of cases, from teens to adults.
In 2011, the company acquired the iTero intraoral scanner. Digital scanning technology was a natural extension to its digital treatment processes of the Invisalign system, enabling enhanced patient scans and an improved patient experience. With more than 5.2 million restorative crown, bridge, and custom implant cases enabled by the iTero scanner to date, Align Technology continues to increase its investment in digital restorative workflows. Today’s practices require a range of digitally enabled solutions – from chairside visualization, prosthetic CAD capabilities, in-office milling options, and laboratory workflows for restorative dentistry, to tools and applications exclusively designed for Invisalign® treatment, which only iTero Element can provide.
Today, it has helped treat over 8.3 million patients with the Invisalign system and are driving the evolution in digital dentistry with the iTero intraoral scanner − helping to modernize today’s practices by enabling enhanced digital orthodontic and restorative workflows to help improve patient outcomes and practice efficiencies.
Align Technology has continued to evolve significantly over the last 23 years.Its goal is to help doctors participate in a new and larger market by investing in innovative products and building brands to drive millions more consumers to their practice. By combining advanced 3D modeling for digital treatment planning, shape-engineering based on biomechanical principles, and mass-customization and 3D printing, it has revolutionized the orthodontic industry.
Today, doctors in over 100 countries around the world use the Invisalign system and iTero scanners to improve smiles for every type of patient – from simple tooth alignment to complex corrections, kids to adults, orthodontics to multi-disciplinary restorative treatment. Over 8.3 million patients and counting have benefited from these solutions, and tens of thousands of orthodontic and dental practices have made us a part of their modern, digital approach to improving smiles.
Technology behind the smile
The Invisalign system: The Invisalign system is the most advanced clear aligner system in the world. Backed by two decades of innovation, the Invisalign system has helped bring smiles to over 8.3 million people including over 2 million teens.The Invisalign system is used for straightening teeth with a series of custom-made aligners for each patient. It is a combination of proprietary virtual modeling software, rapid manufacturing processes and mass customization, and custom-made aligners with patented aligner material.
Invisalign doctors: The Invisalign system is prescribed to patients through Invisalign-trained orthodontists or general practitioner dentists (GP dentists). Align provides clinical education programs and the tools needed for orthodontists or GP dentists to offer Invisalign treatment options in their practices. Patient pricing for Invisalign products is determined by the doctor, depending on the treatment plan.
Latest innovations: Invisalign treatment with mandibular advancement is the latest product announcement for the Invisalign system and is the first clear aligner solution for Class II correction in growing tween and teen patients. This new offering combines the benefits of the most advanced clear aligner system in the world with features for moving the lower jaw forward while simultaneously aligning the teeth. Invisalign treatment with mandibular advancement offers a simpler, more efficient and patient-friendly treatment option than functional appliances and without the need for elastics typically used to treat teen Class II patients.
Meet the leader behind the success
Joseph M. Hogan, Director, President and Chief Executive Officer: Mr. Hogan joined Align in June 2015 as President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and a Director of Align Technology. Mr. Hogan is an accomplished chief executive with extensive experience across multiple industries including healthcare, technology and industrial automation. Before joining Align, Mr. Hogan served as CEO of ABB, a $40 billion global power and automation technologies company based in Zurich, Switzerland. During his five years at ABB, Mr. Hogan oversaw a 25% increase in revenues. Prior to ABB, Mr. Hogan spent 25 years at General Electric (GE) in a variety of executive and management roles, including eight years as CEO of GE Healthcare, where he drove significant geographic and market portfolio expansion and more than doubled revenues from $7 billion to $16 billion. Mr. Hogan earned an M.B.A. from Robert Morris University and a B.S. degree in Business and Economics from Geneva College, both in Pennsylvania.