The aligner and ClinCheck; the tool behind the tool

When a patient comes across clear aligners like Invisalign in Wimbledon they go through the normal road map; a consultation followed by the patient deciding if they wish to proceed. Then, they book their assessment, have their teeth scanned and start receiving the aligners in the post.

The core of Invisalign services is that they are completely hidden and in a true computing style, you could say it’s in the back end- if there was a back end! ClinCheck software which is written and maintained by Invisalign has moved to the cloud increasing access with less hardware and via mobile devices.

Why is ClicCheck important?

If you were to take a dental mould and cast an aligner from it, you would not have an aligner- you’d have a very thin, well-fitting gum shield.

The method by which aligners alter tooth position is by almost but not quite fitting over the teeth. Applying pressure to a different part of each tooth surface to coax them into a new position. Over time, the teeth compromise and move, that’s when the patient moves on to the next aligner. But the necessary forces and how they ought to be applied are not intuitive. ClinCheck builds a digital replica of the patient’s mouth from their oral scan and, assuming healthy gums and normal bone density can predict how the teeth will move over time.

It is then up to the dentist to move the digital teeth to their optimum position. From this ideal endpoint and the scanned starting point, ClinCheack calculates the minimum necessary movement and the minimum forces to achieve this movement. These calculations are not trivial; to ensure the model had high fidelity a great deal of anatomical detail is required. In ClinCheck Pro 6.0, moving all this heavy lifting to the cloud is a big step in protecting this work from being lost to a hardware failure, and giving orthodontists who use ClinCheck the freedom to work anywhere that has an internet connection.

On top of this, the new “In-Face” rendering feature is an attempt to mix the ideal tooth arrangement model with 3D digitalised photos of the patents face, allowing them to see a representation of how the treatment should look upon completion.

There has also been a rehaul of the interface based on user feedback. Increasing the intuitive aspects of the user experience, and streamlining the workflow for greater productivity.

The cloud service provided runs the software via a web portal which clinicians log into. There is no need to install clients or executables to the device interacting with the CliCheck servers, and patients data is securely stored. This has given the dentists using CliCheck much more flexibility and options to work from home.

Back to the aligner

Not that the patient will ever know the number crunching and hard work of dentists and programmers let alone the computer-aided design and manufacturing that went into their aligners, as they go about their day forgetting that they are even wearing one.