[BLT Insight]Transparent orthodontics in Korea

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Transparent orthodontics refers to a method of dental correction that uses nearly invisible plastic frames ("aligners") instead of visible brackets and wires (wires) used in conventional orthodontic treatment. Transparent orthodontics corrects teeth discreetly, causing minimal discomfort during pronunciation, and offers the advantage of being removable, allowing the device to be taken off when necessary. There are two methods for manufacturing transparent orthodontic devices: manual production and production using a 3D scanner and 3D printer. Manual production involves manually arranging the teeth in a dental laboratory, posing a relatively significant problem due to labor costs.

[Image] Transparent Orthodontic Device and Conventional Transparent Orthodontic Device Manufacturing


In the United States, Align Technology introduced Invisalign, which settled digital transparent orthodontics by utilizing 3D scanning for the first time. Digital transparent orthodontics replaced the manual process of cutting teeth from plaster models and moving them slightly to rearrange them with a computer. This differs from the conventional orthodontic device manufacturing method, where adjustments are made manually, as the computer automatically calculates the intermediate steps once the final state is set, dramatically reducing labor costs. However, Invisalign requires essential 3D scanners and 3D printers supplied by Align Technology, making it expensive. In the early 2000s, Invisalign was almost the only digital transparent orthodontic option available, but now various transparent orthodontic systems, such as E-Clear Aligner, Thru Aligner, Clear Aligner, Flex Aligner, Real Aligner, and Standard Aligner, are proliferating.


[Image] Invisalign Transparent Orthodontic Device and Digital Transparent Orthodontic Software


Korean company TNS Co., Ltd. (CEO Jang Won-geon) successfully raised investment (Series A, 5 billion won) with the transparent orthodontic device brand SERAFIN. SERAFIN provides transparent orthodontic devices based on self-developed multilayer sheets that have minimal deformation and are suitable for tooth movement. Additionally, through advanced 3D modeling software called SERAview, TNS provides patient-tailored orthodontic plans, management of the orthodontic process, results, and more. TNS plans to use the raised investment to enhance the SERAFIN system, research and development, expand manufacturing infrastructure, and focus on developing setup software to increase service efficiency and effectiveness, thereby achieving increased market share in the domestic market and expanding into the global market.


[Image] TNS' Transparent Orthodontic Device 'SERAFIN' and 3D Modeling SW 'SERAview'


The development of transparent orthodontic device technologies by domestic companies is active. ODS Co., Ltd. (CEO Park Seong-won) developed transparent orthodontic device technology using 3D scanning and 3D modeling. Odyssey's technology scans the oral structure of patients using a 3D scanner, generates and stores information about the oral structure, inputs various correction values into the computer, and then directly outputs them using a 3D printer, making it easy to manufacture in hospitals. This dramatically lowers the production cost of transparent orthodontic devices. Additionally, Ulsan University developed technology that utilizes clinical big data to provide correction models tailored to patients. This technology shortens the production time of transparent orthodontic devices by creating a transparent correction model focusing on the correction target area rather than the entire alignment of the teeth.


[Image] ODS' Transparent Orthodontic Device and Related Solution 'PW1'


The transparent orthodontic device market is rapidly expanding. According to market research firm Global View Research, it is expected to grow to $32.3 billion by 2030. In particular, it is expected to grow rapidly at an average annual rate of 30.08% compared to 2023. With increasing global interest in dental aesthetics, the market for transparent orthodontic devices is expected to grow rapidly. Transparent orthodontic devices are anticipated to replace conventional prosthetic orthodontic devices. This change is expected to open up new market opportunities for companies.


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