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An Interview With Rick Matty, Vice President And General Manager Of Product Innovation At Ormco

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Below is our recent interview with Rick Matty, Vice President and General Manager of Product Innovation at Ormco:

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?

A: Ormco™, headquartered in Brea, Calif., is a global leader and innovator of orthodontic products and solutions to help enhance the lives of its customers and their patients. For 60 years, Ormco has partnered with the orthodontic community to help create over 20 million smiles in over 140 countries. Distinguished products range from twin brackets (Symetri™ Clear, Titanium Orthos™ and Mini Diamond™) to pioneering self-ligating appliances with the Damon™ System (including Damon Ultima™ System and Damon™ Clear2). Spark™ Clear Aligner System is designed to meet the needs of the orthodontist with our proprietary brand of TruGEN™ materials and 3D Approver software. Ormco’s Insignia™ Advanced Smile Design™ provides an all-inclusive customized bracket and indirect bonding solution for efficiency through personalization. From personalized service to professional education programs and marketing support, Ormco is committed to helping orthodontists achieve their clinical and practice management objectives.

Spark Aligners offer the latest advancements in clear aligners and a better patient experience. Spark Approver 3D application and advanced clear aligner technology with TruGEN™ material are designed to meet the needs of orthodontists, providing more efficient and effective tooth movement compared to the leading aligner brand. Spark Aligners are designed to give orthodontists more control and flexibility so that they can more easily achieve healthy, confident smiles.

Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?

A: In June 2021, Ormco Corporation received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for the use of its Spark™ Clear Aligner System for orthodontic treatment in patients with both primary and secondary teeth (mixed dentition), providing the green light for orthodontists to treat their younger patients who can benefit from clear aligner therapy.

Designed to fit the lifestyle of today’s active kids and teens, Spark Aligners are now one of the few brands approved by the FDA to safely and effectively treat younger patients with cases that range from simple to more complex. Spark Aligners are a doctor-directed treatment option that is clearer, more comfortable, and stains less than the leading aligner brand. In fact, 96% of patients prefer Spark Aligners to the leading brand based on clarity and comfort.* Spark Aligners have created healthy smiles worldwide since 2018.

Spark treatment works by creating a series of doctor-prescribed, custom-manufactured, clear plastic, removable aligners that patients wear 22 hours a day to incrementally and consistently move teeth with gentle forces to a more optimal state.

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Q: Can you give us more insights into the doctors who offer Spark Clear Aligners?

A: Our Spark Aligners brand works with top orthodontists worldwide. Not everyone understands the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist. They are not the same. There are nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. A dentist is a dental health generalist, and an orthodontist is a specialist with 2-3 years and thousands of additional hours of training and education, specifically in the alignment of teeth and jaws, cranial facial orthopedics, and approaches to finished smiles.

An orthodontist plays a critical role in orthodontic treatment. He or she creates an orthodontic treatment plan, manages the movement of teeth and their roots by seeing the patient’s progress during treatment, and is then able to course correct if challenges come up along the way.

These top orthodontists have practices across the country and beyond, including world-renowned doctors like Dr. Ivan Malagón. Based in Madrid, Spain, Dr. Malagón has more than 18 years of orthodontic experience treating thousands of patients with clear aligners.

Responses from Dr. Ivan Malagón:

Q: Dr. Malagon, tell us about your experience with Spark Clear Aligners?

A: I started using Spark Aligners two and a half years ago. Prior to using Spark Aligners, I had treated over 2,500 cases using other clear aligners. I have always taken a multidisciplinary approach to orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning. I not only focused on moving teeth but also looking at the patient holistically to ensure the correct function of the entire stomatognathic system. It was important to help extend the benefit of treatment for the entire life of the patient. By doing so, I believe we are not just solving for dental alignment and leveling but can ensure the survival of the entire dental structure; achieve better control of difficult movements (such as the torques and inclinations of the teeth); and manage the reaction of the periodontal tissues, which ultimately will support the teeth over the patient’s lifetime.

From the outset of using Spark Aligners and given my research-oriented approach to orthodontics, I set out to compare the effectiveness of Spark Aligners with respect to the leading competitor aligner, which I had used previously for many years.

To this end, I carefully selected 150 cases across main types of malocclusions, including open bite, overbite, crowding, and underbite to compare the effectiveness and efficiency of the two clear aligner systems. What I found in my practice is that with Spark Aligners, I have reduced the need for refinements by approximately 7% across these cases versus the leading competitor. As you might expect, the reduction in refinements—when using Spark Aligners—has been phenomenal in increasing the efficiency for my aligner patients and has paid off in cost savings for both my patients and my practice.

I believe there are two main reasons to explain the superior performance of Spark Aligners. The first is because of Spark’s TruGEN material and the more rigid TruGEN XR material. Both exhibit excellent force and mechanical properties, and I have seen excellent results with being able to switch to a slightly more rigid material at the end of treatment. Second, I find that the Spark Approver software and the ability to visualize root movement give me an important edge when treatment planning for my Spark Aligner cases.

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Q: Talk to us about the industry?

A: I believe that the world of orthodontics has changed more in the last 20 years than in the previous 200 years combined. Up until the year 2000, the orthodontic systems we were using were essentially the same as the prior 100 years, and only the material composition (especially preformed arches) had evolved.

Since the introduction of digital treatment planning and the application of the advances of digital technology to orthodontics, the improvements we see every year are exceptional. As it relates to clear aligners, the predictability and clinical results we are achieving today are light years ahead of what we were able to get with traditional orthodontics systems.

Clear aligner treatment has become my treatment of choice for many reasons. First, the gentle, continuous force from clear aligners helps to control the amount of force and magnitude of movements and results in the ideal response of surrounding periodontal tissues in the mouth. Second, combine this with the obvious benefits to the patient (comfort, convenience, oral hygiene, etc. ) and the irrefutable benefits to the orthodontic practice (reduced chair time, fewer emergencies, etc.) and the choice to use clear aligners is an obvious one.

Disclosure: Dr. Malagon is a paid consultant for Ormco. The opinions expressed are those of the individuals. Ormco is a medical device manufacturer and does not dispense medical advice. Consumers should seek the advice of an orthodontist. Individual results may vary.

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