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31 Jul 2015 | Australasian Dental Practice

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Align Technology awards US$310,000 in University Research Award Program


Align Technology, Inc., makers of Invisalign, has awarded US$310,000 in new funding to four universities in North America and eight international universities for projects seeking to better understand orthodontic treatment and the use of intraoral scanners.

"The number of applications for the Research Award Program increased tremendously this year," said John Morton, Align Technology director, research and technology. "The topics and quality of the proposals received from around the world are very impressive, making the program even more competitive than in previous years. We eagerly await the results of the university research efforts funded by this program as we endeavour to advance the field of clinical orthodontics."

The North America research award recipients for 2015 are:

  • Dr Joel Gluck, Dr Marion Messersmith, and Dr Sonia Rahangdale at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN), $25,000;
  • Dr Phimon Atsawasuwan, Dr Manika Agarwal, and Dr Spiro J. Megremis at University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago, IL.), $25,000;
  • Dr Carlos Flores-Mir, Dr Camila Pacheco-Pereira, and Dr Terry Carlyle at University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB), $25,000; and
  • Dr Miroslav Tolar, Dr Robert Boyd, Dr Mohammed Fallah, Dr HeeSoo Oh, and Dr Marie Tolarova at University of the Pacific (San Francisco, CA), $25,000.

The International research award recipients for 2015 are:

  • Dr Ali Darendeliler and Dr Alexandra K. Papadopoulou at University of Sydney (Sydney, Australia), $25,000;
  • Dr Graciela J. Barreda, Dr Elizabeth A. Dzierewianko, Dr Karina A. Muñoz, and Dr Gisela I. Piccoli at S.A.O. - U.C.E.S. (Buenos Aires, Argentina), $25,000;
  • Dr Jana B. Chabke, Dr Waddah Sabouni, and Dr Philippe Chanavaz at Paris Decartes University (Paris, France), $25,000;
  • Dr Isabelle Graf, Dr Bert Braumann, Dr Jorg Schwarze, Dr Carolin Keller, Dr Julia Supke, and Dr Andreas Stippig at University of Cologne (Cologne, Germany), $25,000;
  • Dr Bin Cai, Dr Tingting Ai, Dr Lixiang Mai, Dr Xiaonan, and Dr Lusai Xiang at Sun Yat-sen University (Guangzhou, China), $25,000;
  • Dr Phanomporn Vanichanon, Dr Supranee Vichiennet, and Dr Thanaporn Sowithayasakui at Chulalongkorn Univeristy (Bangkok, Thailand), $25,000;
  • Dr Wenli Lai, Dr Hu Long, Dr Renhuan Huang, Dr Rui Xu, and Dr Rui Zhao at Sichuan University (Chengdu, China); and
  • Dr Mimi Yow, Dr Linton J. Nash, and Dr Jason C. Sheng at National University of Singapore (Singapore), $25,000.

"As we further expand our growth in the international markets, especially in the APAC regions, more universities are now engaging in advanced research to further the capability of Invisalign treatment in all types of malocclusion and orthodontics," said Dr Mitra Derakhshan, Align Technology clinical international director. "Align Technology is honoured to be able to provide this funding to enable universities to better understand the issues involved in orthodontic treatment around the world today."

The research study proposals approved for funding in 2015 consist of evaluating long term flexibility and translucency of clear retainers; understanding of the factors that influence patients' satisfaction with their Invisalign orthodontic treatment outcomes; quantifying the amount of tooth movement achieved; evaluation of the magnitude of force applied by an aligner; evaluating the efficacy, effectiveness and treatment results and stability of open bite treatment; evaluating attachment surfaces; evaluating treatment duration for surgical class II patients; evaluating occlusal characteristics and oral health-related quality of life; examining the effect of orthodontic treatment on speech; analyzing occlusion in patients before and after Invisalign treatment; and comparing tooth movement efficacy and comfort with Invisalign treatment.

In 2013, Align introduced an intraoral scanner research award component in recognition of the rapid increase in the utilisation of intraoral scanning technology. The following are the scanner award recipients for 2015:

  • Dr Emiliya D. Taneva at University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago, IL.), $5,000; and
  • Dr Jing Guo at Shandong University (Shandong, China), $5,000.

The two intraoral scanner award proposals include evaluating palatal rugae patterns using 3-dimentional digital models obtained with the iTero intraoral scanner; and evaluating the repeatability and reliability of digital intraoral scanning by different operators under clinical conditions.

All proposals received were reviewed and prioritized by an independent academic committee in a blind evaluation. The 2015 academic committee is comprised of six members: Dr Sunil Wadhwa (Chair), director of the Division of Orthodontics at the Columbia University; Professor Donald Burden, director of the Centre for Dentistry at the Queen's University at Belfast, Ireland; Dr Emile Rossouw, chairman of the Department of Orthodontics at University of North Carolina; Dr Glenn Sameshima, chairman of the Advanced Orthodontic Program at University of Southern California; Dr Allen Firestone, associate professor of orthodontics at Columbia University; and Dr Timothy Wheeler, professor of orthodontics at University of Florida, previous academic committee chair and committee advisor.

The 2016 Align Research Award Program submission details are to be announced later this year.

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