This 3D printing start-up helps orthodontists to straighten their teeth

It's time to host another startup in the clear teeth market. Meet ArchForm, a teeth aligner start-up software supported by a Y combiner that allows orthodontists to create, design, and print 3D aligners in their own offices. The idea is to provide orthodontists a way to better compete with some start-up dentists-aligners and reduce the cost of Invisalign.

The cost of invisible brackets and aligners – these transparent plastic pieces, similar to those of a mouthguard – varies, but treatments can range from $ 4,685 to $ 6,500 for teens, and Adult treatments can cost up to $ 7,135. investigation. Last year, the orthodontic market recorded revenue of $ 11 billion, according to the IBISWorld market research company.

ArchForm is attempting to exploit the increasing accessibility of the 3D printer market to enable orthodontists to 3D print their own transparent aligners to the desktop. Orthodontists currently pay about $ 1,700 per patient to Invisalign, the company says. So, to earn money, orthodontists sometimes charge more than $ 7,000 to patients. ArchForm bills orthodontists at only $ 50 per patient.

"I was inspired to start the business because I was working in my father's orthodontic office," said Andrew Martz, founder of ArchForm, in an e-mail at TechCrunch. "I've seen that 3D printers have made enough progress to make these devices in dental offices, and that the experience has taught me that an easy-to-use software for virtually moving teeth was the missing piece to allow each orthodontist to print his own aligners.

In recent years, a number of tooth-aligning starts have emerged. The pack includes the likes of SmileDirectClub, Uniform Teeth, Candid and Orthly. None of the startups are exactly the same, but all aim to reduce the cost of clear aligners, as well as the number of visits to the orthodontist – some having even cut the orthodontist visit in person. ArchForm takes a different approach by allowing local orthodontists to simply enhance their existing businesses.

"We believe that orthodontists do a better job of treating most patients when they can physically be there to treat them," said Martz. "In order for the aligners to work properly, raised buttons / attachments are placed on the teeth so that the aligner grasps the teeth and makes them fully straight." Telemedicine companies do not have any – this is a very basic part of orthodontic treatment. "

In today's ArchForm clientele, 75% of orthodontists who register to use the software already have 3D printers.

"If they do not already have one, the others are looking to buy a 3D printer because they cost only $ 3,350 and Invisalign costs $ 1,750 / patient," said Martz

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For orthodontists who prefer not to invest in their own 3D printer, they can send the design to orthodontic labs equipped with 3D printers and powered by the ArchForm software.