Clear Aligners Target Young Patients With Mixed Dentition

Richard Gawel


Align Technology’s Invisalign First clear aligners are designed for younger patients with early mixed dentition including primary and permanent teeth. They address a broad range of malocclusions specifically for the needs of young patients, the company says, including shorter clinical crowns, management of erupting dentition, and predictable dental arch expansion. 

“Early interceptive orthodontic treatment of children aims to prevent more severe problems or alignment issues that could get worse as they grow, while at the same time providing a foundation for permanent teeth to begin to erupt,” said Mitra Derakhshan, DDS, Align Technology vice president of global clinical.

Phase 1 treatment is early interceptive orthodontic treatment for young patients, traditionally done through arch expanders, or partial metal braces, before all the permanent teeth have erupted, typically between the ages of 6 and 10.

“Younger patients have smaller teeth with shorter crowns and anatomical differences that require specific features for Phase 1 treatment. Invisalign First is the first clear aligner product designed with software features specifically for younger patients,” Derakhshan said.

The Invisalign First clear aligners include SmartForce features such as optimized attachments that have been designed for younger patients with shorter tooth crowns allowing for improved predictability of tooth movements needed for developing the arch form, the company reports.

Also, the aligners’ SmartStage technology is designed to maximize treatment efficiency by producing the contacts and forces that support the tooth movement needed for arch form development specific to Phase 1 staging patterns.

The SmartTrack aligner material is designed to fit comfortably while applying gentle, constant force to the teeth. Plus, the aligners’ improved and expanded Eruption Compensation features make it possible to treat erupting or changing dentition, Align Technology says.   

“Phase 1 treatment makes up to 20% of orthodontic case starts each year, and we’re very excited that we can now enable doctors to offer the same benefits of Invisalign treatment to younger patients in their practices,” said Raphael Pascaud, Align Technology’s chief marketing, portfolio, and business development officer and senior vice president of the iTero scanner and services.

“Invisalign First clear aligners enable me to treat my younger patients in a way that is more comfortable for them and more convenient for their parents than traditional methods,” said Tarek El-Bialy, BDS, PhD, an orthodontist practicing in Alberta, Canada, who has used Invisalign First to treat nearly 20 Phase 1 patients as part of the Invisalign First pilot.

“With no food restrictions, no change in brushing or cleaning, and less chance of emergency visits, Invisalign First treatment is a less disruptive way to treat my Phase 1 patients,” El-Bialy said. “We’ve never had a clear aligner alternative to traditional orthodontic appliances on these little patients, but now we do.”

Invisalign First clear aligners have been used to treat more than 600 patients to date and will be commercially available to Invisalign-trained doctors in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the Europe-Middle East-Asia region beginning July 1, 2018.

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