3M Oral Care introduces new material option to 3M Clarity Aligners 

3M Oral Care recently introduced 3M Clarity Aligners Flex + Force, bringing together two aligner materials in one treatment design. Orthodontic Products spoke with Jay Issa, global portfolio director for orthodontics at 3M, to learn more about this latest launch. 

Orthodontic Products: How is the new 3M Clarity Aligners Flex + Force product unique?

Jay Issa: The newly introduced 3M Clarity Aligners Flex was developed by 3M materials scientists and features proprietary 5-layer blend of materials that offer new flexibility to direct movement. The 5-layer construction achieves somewhat contradictory objectives. For example, the material is flexible, so it fits well, but it also offers excellent force persistence for predictable movement that has shown to retain 75% of its force over a two-week period. It also offers durability, clarity, and stain resistance.    

When Clarity Aligners Flex is used in conjunction with 3M Clarity Aligners Force (the new name for the original tray material), it’s possible to develop treatment designs that simply aren’t possible when using just one type of aligner tray material.

OP: How does the Flex + Force system improve patient treatment outcomes?

Issa: Every case is different, and the orthodontist is the expert behind every treatment. 3M Clarity Aligners Flex + Force brings that magic to the forefront and allows the practitioner to provide an individualized approach to each case to optimize tooth movement, and the turn-around time for customization is comparable to industry standards.   

OP: How does 3M find inspiration to create new product design ideas, and what role does the private practitioners’ feedback play in the decision-making process?

Issa: At 3M, everything we do is done with a customer-first approach. Inspired by orthodontists, the new 3M Clarity Aligners Flex material complements the existing 3M Clarity Aligners Force material and incorporates many desirable characteristics that enable orthodontists to truly tailor treatment.

OP: What’s the key to success with 3M’s ability to stay ahead in the orthodontics industry?

Issa: We’ve been partnering with orthodontists to create beautiful healthy smiles for over 70 years. The innovation process always starts by listening carefully to customers. Using customer insights, we combine technology and proven techniques to create esthetic, efficient and economical outcomes that can change lives. Innovation differentiates 3M, and last year we invested $3.4 billion in the combination of research and development and capital expenditures, enabling us to both invent and manufacture unique solutions for customers.

OP: What’s next for 3M?

Issa: Expanding on our commitment to lifelong oral health, we will continue to connect our expertise in advanced materials science with data science and digital workflows for better patient outcomes.