Align Technology Inc, San Jose, Calif, has awarded $165,000 in scientific research funding to three North American and three international universities for 1- and 2-year projects seeking to better understand orthodontic treatment with clear aligners. This is the first year awards have been made to universities outside North America.

North American award winners for 2011 are researchers from the University of the Pacific, San Francisco; Baylor College of Dentistry, Dallas; and the University of Connecticut, Farmington, Conn. International recipients include researchers at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece; the University of Bonn, Germany; and the University of Insubria, Italy.

The study proposals approved for funding include a periodontal health evaluation of teenagers treated with Invisalign aligners, an analysis of treatment changes in adolescent clear aligner patients, a biomechanical evaluation of clear aligners, and assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of clear aligner treatment, an evaluation of root resorption and periodontal status of patients treated with Invisalign aligners, and a color evaluation of ViveraÆ orthodontic retainers.

Align Technology first announced the Clear Aligner Research Award Program in 2009. Eligible applicants include full- and part-time university faculty involved in orthodontic scientific research, as well as non-orthodontic scientists whose work may contribute to the improvement of clear aligner therapy.

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