Leone Orthodontics and Implantology is one of those few orthodontic product companies that can trace its history back over 90 years. Since 1934, the company, headquartered in Florence, Italy, has been a leader in the orthodontic manufacturing space, producing a full range of orthodontic products, including its latest innovation, the Leaf Expander Series for maxillary expansion treatment, an alternative to traditional rapid palatal expansion (RPE) devices. The company, which has been a member of the Orthodontic Manufacturers Association since 1992, exclusively distributes the Leone orthodontic product range to the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, through LeoneAmerica Dental Products Inc, located in Oxnard, Calif. 

Orthodontic Products spoke to Gabriele Scommegna, director of research and development at Leone’s Italy headquarters, about the Leaf Expander series, how this product series offers orthodontists and patients more convenience, and about what’s next for the company. 

Orthodontic Products: What’s new at LeoneAmerica?

Gabriele Scommegna: LeoneAmerica is constantly growing and evolving, and it’s focused on the market’s needs. We have introduced a range of new orthodontic products to our catalog that offer a better experience to orthodontists. Highlighting the importance of the early treatment, we introduced the Orthodontic for Kids line, a selection of products dedicated to pediatric patients. At the same time, in the past year, we have focused on increasing our know-how about the fabrication of anti-snoring products, enhancing some of the features on our products to allow clinicians to better manage anti-snoring therapy.

OP: Last year, the company introduced the Leaf Expander and the Leaf Self Expander for maxillary expansion treatment. How are these two products different from traditional RPE devices? 

Scommegna: The Leaf Expander series looks like a rapid palatal expander with the addition of nickel titanium MEMORIA Leaf springs. The biomechanical action of this expander series is a result of the super-elastic properties of the unique nickel titanium leaf-shaped springs, which release controlled and continuous force. 

Reactivation of the Leaf Expander is completed in the dental office according to a suggested simple and straightforward clinical protocol, while the Leaf Self Expander does not require any periodic re-activation. Each model is available in two force levels and two expansion capabilities to meet nearly all maxillary deficiencies.

OP: In what circumstances should an orthodontist utilize each device? 

Scommegna: Basically, it comes down to the needs of the patient and the clinician. The biomechanical action is the same for both devices. When scheduling periodic appointments for the Leaf Expander, and activation is difficult for the orthodontist or the patient, we suggest use of the Leaf Self Expander. It’s also an effective choice for uncooperative patients that don’t well tolerate additional chair time. On the other hand, the Leaf Expander can be used when the orthodontist wants more consistent control of the treatment.

OP: What are the advantages of the Leaf Expanders? 

Scommegna: To use the words of one of our friends and trusted clinician, Dr Yan Razdolsky, the “Leaf is a game changer!”

Thanks to the Leaf Expander series, orthodontists will see an improvement in clinical efficacy and reduced appointments. First of all, with no need for home activation, patient compliance is improved. The whole treatment is managed by the clinician. In addition, there are no calls or additional appointments because patients doubt that they are activating the expander at home correctly; and there is no risk of them getting it wrong—giving patients a better treatment experience. Moreover, the orthodontic office can better plan its day.

OP: Do orthodontists need any special training to implement this device into the clinical workflow? 

Scommegna: No, the device does not need any specific training or expertise, and there is just a little learning curve. And despite its “young age,” the Leaf Expander series already has substantial and well-proven clinical results in the scientific literature, most recently in an article titled “Evolution of the Leaf Expander: A Maxillary Self Expander,” by Beretta et al., published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics’ May 2019 issue. And, on our website, several articles and clinical reports about the Leaf Expander are available. 

OP: What’s next for LeoneAmerica?  

Scommegna: We are always analyzing market feedback, especially with regard to all the new digital technologies introduced in the orthodontic market. Moreover, LeoneAmerica and Leone are always looking for opportunities to increase our already numerous collaborations with universities and scientific societies. We are dedicated to the improvement of our products to give both the orthodontist, and the lab technician, the best working tools. OP