ortho patient optAlign Technology Inc, San Jose, Calif, has donated $220,000 in new funding as part of its 2013 Align Research Award Program to five universities in North America and seven international universities for projects seeking to better understand orthodontic treatment with clear aligners and use of orthodontic scanners.

“Align recognizes that university research is fundamental and vital to improving dental and orthodontic care, and we are excited about the research to be conducted as part of these grants,” said John Morton, Align Technology director of research and technology.  

The eight new research study proposals approved for funding in 2013 consist of a comparison of predicted tooth movement of ClinCheck® in the middle and at the end of treatment to the actual outcome; a comparison on clinical outcomes of periodontal regeneration of infrabony defect in combining orthodontic treatment after surgery; a study of pain perception; an evaluation on oral health-related quality of life among patients in orthodontic treatments; an analysis of bacteria concentration using different aligner cleaning methods; an evaluation on the duration of treatment, quality of outcomes, and patient satisfaction of combined orthodontic-surgical treatment with Invisalign; a retrospective study analyzing Invisalign treatment outcomes using indices; and a study on the association of aligner therapy with the dramatic reduction in the prevalence of External Apical Root resorption secondary to orthodontic treatment.

The new clear aligner therapy research award recipients in North America and abroad for 2013 are:

• Dr. Athena Papadakis, Dr. Alexander Yadegari, and Dr. Sam Daher at Université de Montréal (Montreal, Canada), $25,000;
• Dr. Chung How Kau and Dr. Clark Browne, Assistant Professor Nada Souccar at the University of Alabama (Birmingham, Ala), $25,000;
• Associate Professor Moschos A. Papadopoulos, Dr. Periklis Panos, and Dr. Andreas Karamouzos at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Thessaloniki, Greece), $25,000;
• Professor Giulio Rasperini, Dr. Gaia Pellegrini, and Dr. Giorgio Pagni at the Università degli Studi di Milano (Milan, Italy), $25,000;
• Associate Professor Alejandro Iglesias-Linares, Professor Enrique Solano-Reina, Associate Professor Rosa Maria Yanez-Vico, Dr. Beatriz Solano Mendoza, Dr. Boris Sonnenberg, and Dr. Bebora Elizabeth Bueso-Madrid at the University of Seville (Seville, Spain), $25,000;
• Professor Wenli Lai, Ms. Jian Fan, Mr. Zhangrui Liang, Mr. Hu Long, Mr. Junjie Xue, Mr. Niansong Ye, and Ms. Xin Yang at Sichuan University (Sichuan, China), $25,000;
• Professor Colman McGrath, Associate Professor Ricky Wong, and Associate Professor Balvinder Khambay at the University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong SAR, China), $25,000; and
• Professor Luca Levrini, Dr. Gian Marco Abbate, and Dr. Novara Francesca at the University of Insubria (Varese, Italy), $25,000.

This year, Align also introduced a new scanner research award component in recognition of the increase in utilization of intraoral scanning technology. The four scanner award proposals include an exploration on methods and training techniques for intraoral scanning efficiency; an investigation on iTero’s capability of reproducing the 3D dental anatomy accurately as compared to desktop laser scanners; an analysis on the reliability and accuracy of the intraoral scanner; and a validation on the use of 3D extraoral and intraoral imaging as a substitute for cephalometric radiography in orthodontic treatment planning and to determine the case types that require additional radiographic exposure.

The following are the scanner award recipients for 2013:

• Professor Greg Huang and Dr. Weitao Liu at University of Washington (Seattle, WA), $5,000;
• Dr. Mario Greco and Assistant Professor Aldo Giancotti at University of Rome Tor Vegata Fatebenefratelli Hospital Department of Orthodontics (Rome, Italy), $5,000;
• Associate Professor Mohamed Masoud and Dr. Amornrut Manosudprasit at Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine (Boston, MA), $5,000; and
• Professor Jeryl English, Dr. Benjamin Cozad, Dr. Sercan Akyalcin, and Dr. Clark Colville at the University of Texas Health Science Center (Houston), $5,000.

All proposals received were reviewed and prioritized by an independent academic committee in a blind evaluation. The 2013 academic committee is comprised of: Dr. Sunil Wadhwa, director of the Division of Orthodontics at Columbia University; Professor Donald Burden, director of the Centre for Dentistry at the Queen’s University at Belfast, Ireland; Dr. Emile Rossouw, chairman of the Department of Orthodontics at University of North Carolina; Dr. Glenn Sameshima, chairman of the Advanced Orthodontic Program at University of Southern California; Dr. Jeanne Nervina, postdoctoral scholar in orthodontics at University of Michigan; and Dr. Timothy Wheeler, professor of orthodontics at University of Florida, previous academic committee chair, and committee advisor.