Orametrix, Richardson, Texas, has been assigned a patent (8,121,718), for its SureSmile system. Developed by 14 co-inventors, the patent refers to an "interactive orthodontic care system based on intraoral scanning of teeth." The co-inventors are Rudger Rubbert, Thomas Weise, Friedrich Riemeier, Rohit Sachdeva, Werner Butscher, Peer Sporbert, Hans Imgrund, Lutz Pfeil, Hans-Florian Geerdes, Dimitrij Kouzian, Mario Leichner, Stephan Maetzel, Peter See, and Jens Troeger.
The abstract of the patent published by the US Patent and Trademark Office says that an "Interactive, computer-based orthodontist treatment planning, appliance design and appliance manufacturing is described. A scanner is described which acquires images of the dentition which are converted to three-dimensional frames of data. The data from the several frames are registered to each other to provide a complete three-dimensional virtual model of the dentition. Individual tooth objects are obtained from the virtual model. A computer-interactive software program provides for treatment planning, diagnosis and appliance from the virtual tooth models. A desired occlusion for the patient is obtained from the treatment planning software. The virtual model of the desired occlusion and the virtual model of the original dentition provide a base of information for custom manufacture of an orthodontic appliance. A variety of possible appliance and appliance manufacturing systems are contemplated, including customized archwires and customized devices for placement of off-the shelf brackets on the archwires, and removable orthodontic appliances. "
The full text of the patent can be found here.