Using 4D technology, a revolutionary innovation helps reduce the use of plastics for orthodontic clear aligners by up to 60%.
Intelligent plastic reduction has never been as relevant and urgent as it is today.
The good news is that actions to reduce plastic pollution worldwide are increasingly being taken by intelligent, conscious, creative people who innovate in search of efficient and affordable solutions. We all know the problems related to the excessive use of plastic bags, straws, and various single-use packaging. For example, in 2022, several European countries adopted laws banning and restricting plastic bags, so the number of countries having restrictions and fees for the excessive use of single-use plastics is ever growing.
But also for us in the field of orthodontics and dentistry the time has come to think about doing our part. Besides actually reducing the generation of plastic waste, our ecologically correct positioning will help demonstrate to patients that we have coherent conduct with the best intentions in all aspects of life.
When we think about high-tech orthodontics, there’s a lot of potential since clear aligners represent single-use, non-degradable plastic. Let’s have a look at the numbers:
Each year, 2 million patients are treated with aligners (this number will likely double by 2025).
Each patient on average uses 30 pairs of aligners per treatment.
Consequently, we have 60 million pairs of aligners manufactured per year.
On average, each aligner contains 2 grams of plastic.
We can assume that around 120 tons of plastic from aligners are discarded annually. However, the comfort, technology, chair-time reduction, and aesthetics of aligners very well defend a dentist’s choice for favoring clear aligners over more primitive methods of teeth straightening like brackets.
The good news is that an incredible innovation from a well-known German company in the white label clear aligner industry makes it possible to reduce the plastic caused by clear aligner treatment by up to 60%! That’s right - 60%! The revolutionary technology behind “ClearX”, which has been tested, validated, and refined for many years, allows aligners to be "activated" in order to change shape after one week of wearing.
The OEM clear aligner manufacturer K Line Europe, present in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, has recently launched the revolutionary Clear X 4D system, in which the aligners can change their shape to the next step of tooth position by inserting them once a week into the Clear X Booster. 4D Technology treats a material in a way as to adopt a “memory”. Changing environmental conditions to which the material is exposed alters the properties of the material - the memory is activated. This enables the ClearX clear aligner to shift its shape and proceed with the orthodontic treatment.
Using memory biocompatible plastics, which can advance to the next stage of tooth position without needing to change the aligner every time to move in the treatment, this incredible innovation is made possible. This means savings of 50 to 60% in plastic and other benefits, such as patient compliance. In addition, by activating the booster at home, controlled by the patient using the Clear X mobile phone app, it actively increases patient engagement and thereby solves a problem well-known among dentists: Lack of patient compliance.
Clear X also presents a far more fundamental innovation by introducing 4D technology for the first time into orthodontics! The concept of 4D is, in simple words, to create an object with other dimensions beyond the three already known: height, width, and depth. The fourth dimension is a mathematical projection of the other three, described by Carl Sagan and Albert Einstein: Time.
But how does it work in detail? How reliable and accurate are treatment results? And how can a doctor or practitioner get started?