Align Technology Inc, San Jose, Calif, has announced awards of $160,000 in new funding to four universities in North America and four universities abroad. Along with $60,000 in renewals, the company will award a total of $220,000 in scientific research funding for projects seeking to better understand orthodontic treatment with clear aligners.

“The diversity in the research projects being supported through the award program in 2012 will not only lead to greater insight into clear aligner therapy, but also to a better understanding of Align’s intraoral scanner technology as it relates to orthodontics,” said Eric Kuo, DDS, MS, Align Technology’s vice president of Clinical Technology.

The new research award recipients include teams from Baylor College of Dentistry, University of North Carolina, Tel Aviv University, and the University of Melbourne Orthodontics Unit.

The eight new study proposals approved for funding in 2012 include the following:

• an evaluation of the enamel width at the contact points of the permanent dentition in association with interproximal reduction (IPR);

• an analysis of specific tooth movements in teenagers treated with Invisalign aligners;

• an analysis of canine rotations treated with Invisalign aligners;

• a study on oral hygiene levels and the quality of bacterial plaque during orthodontic treatment;

• an evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of clear aligner treatment in Class I, moderate-crowding malocclusions;

• a risk-factor study to identify potential biomarkers for caries and periodontal disease in orthodontic patients;

• a finite-element analysis evaluation of tooth movement with clear aligners; and

• an evaluation of the accuracy and reproducibility of orthodontic measurements using the iOC® intraoral scanner.

All proposals received were reviewed by an independent academic committee. The committee chair for 2012 was Timothy Wheeler, DMD, PhD, professor and chairman of the Department of Orthodontics at the University of Florida.

For more information about this and other orthodontic companies, visit our Buyer’s Guide.