When an aligner pushes on a tooth, that tooth pushes its neighbors, who push their neighbors and so on. It’s a cascading interaction that’s impossible to guess at. Using an array of 3D printed teeth, the device makes minute adjustments in tooth position along 2 axes (down to 0.00005 mm increments), and measures minute changes in force in all 6 degrees of freedom (the sensors can read in the 2-6 gram range). Oh, and it does it for 16 teeth at once! With those data points, the scientists at Smile Direct Club can get actionable insight into the impacts of little tweaks, which trickles down to unlock improvements every area of aligner design, creation, and delivery.
A challenge as complex as that cannot be solved by a single person, no matter how expert. It takes a well-coordinated team of people, each with deep knowledge of their craft. That’s the team we have here, all under one roof. Mechanical engineers made it strong and reliable; industrial designers made the device beautiful and usable; the software engineers designed a sleek UI to match the device aesthetics and developed software capable of completely controlling the system while handling an incredible amount of sensor data concurrently. Smile Direct Club has been raising the bar for R&D in the dental space, and we are proud and grateful to be part of it.