Align Technology Patent Grants

System for determining final position of teeth

Granted: July 18, 2017
Patent Number: 9707054
An apparatus and method define a fit of a set of upper and lower teeth of a patient by generating a computer representation of the teeth; and determining an occlusion from the computer representation of the teeth using one or more keys.

Lens positioning system

Granted: July 18, 2017
Patent Number: 9709803
A scanner includes a lens assembly comprising a lens having a lens axis and a positioning system to adjust a focal plane of the lens assembly. The positioning system includes an outer element, an inner element that houses the lens assembly, and a linear-motion bearing that couples the inner element to the outer element. The linear-motion bearing includes a first element coupling and a second element coupling. The linear-motion bearing provides a single degree of translational movement of…

Probe head and apparatus for intraoral confocal imaging using polarization-retarding coatings

Granted: July 4, 2017
Patent Number: 9693839
A probe head for dental confocal imaging, comprises a light-guiding part for guiding a light beam towards a teeth portion, the light-guiding part having an entrance face through which the light beam enters the light-guiding part and an exit face through which the light beam exits the light-guiding part, wherein the light-guiding part is configured, in case of a linearly polarized light beam having two polarization components being perpendicular to each other, to change polarization of…

Method and system for providing automated high scale fabrication of custom items

Granted: June 27, 2017
Patent Number: 9691110
Method and system for providing volume manufacturing of customizable items including receiving a data package including a plurality of manufacturing parameters, each of the plurality of manufacturing parameters associated with a unique item, verifying the received data package, and implementing a manufacturing process associated with the received data package is provided.

System and method for scanning an intraoral cavity

Granted: June 20, 2017
Patent Number: 9683835
According to the invention, a method and system are provided for scanning, and for facilitating scanning of, an intraoral cavity. The target parts of the intraoral cavity that it is desired to have scanned are identified, and the spatial relationships between a scanning device and the target parts of the intraoral cavity suitable for enabling said target parts to be scanned by said scanning device, are also identified or otherwise determined. These relationships are then displayed, and…

Adjusting a tooth position

Granted: June 13, 2017
Patent Number: 9675427
The present disclosure provides methods, devices, and systems for adjusting a tooth position. A system for adjusting a tooth position can include an attachment configured to be attached to a tooth to be moved, a dental appliance including a guide slot configured to receive the attachment and to define an adjustment trajectory of the tooth, and an adjustment band to generate force on the tooth to move the tooth along the adjustment trajectory.

Confocal surface topography measurement with fixed focal positions

Granted: June 13, 2017
Patent Number: 9675429
An apparatus is described for measuring surface topography of a three-dimensional structure. In many embodiments, the apparatus is configured to focus each of a plurality of light beams to a respective fixed focal position relative to the apparatus. The apparatus measures a characteristic of each of a plurality of returned light beams that are generated by illuminating the three-dimensional structure with the light beams. The characteristic is measured for a plurality of different…

Confocal imaging apparatus with curved focal surface

Granted: June 13, 2017
Patent Number: 9675430
A confocal imaging apparatus includes an illumination module to generate an array of light beams. Focusing optics perform confocal focusing of an array of light beams onto a non-flat focal surface and direct the array of light beams toward a three dimensional object to be imaged. A translation mechanism adjusts a location of at least one lens to displace the non-flat focal surface along an imaging axis. A detector measures intensities of an array of returning light beams that are…

Methods and systems for dental procedures

Granted: June 6, 2017
Patent Number: 9668829
A device including a coded pattern for use in dental procedures is provided. Related methods and systems are also provided.

Multilayer dental appliances and related methods and systems

Granted: May 23, 2017
Patent Number: 9655691
A dental appliance for positioning a patient's teeth includes a removable orthodontic tooth positioning appliance having teeth receiving cavities shaped to directly receive at least some of the patient's teeth and apply a resilient positioning force to the patient's teeth. The appliance includes a hard polymer layer having a hard polymer layer elastic modulus disposed between a first soft polymer layer having a first soft polymer layer elastic modulus and a second soft polymer layer…

Multilayer dental appliances and related methods and systems

Granted: May 23, 2017
Patent Number: 9655693
A dental appliance for positioning a patient's teeth includes a removable orthodontic tooth positioning appliance having teeth receiving cavities shaped to directly receive at least some of the patient's teeth and apply a resilient positioning force to the patient's teeth. The appliance includes a hard polymer layer having a hard polymer layer elastic modulus disposed between a first soft polymer layer having a first soft polymer layer elastic modulus and a second soft polymer layer…

VCSEL based low coherence emitter for confocal 3D scanner

Granted: May 23, 2017
Patent Number: 9660418
Methods and apparatus for measuring objects comprise a plurality of light sources to generate a plurality of light beams directed toward a spot generator array comprising a plurality of spot generating lenses. The plurality of light sources is separated from the spot generator array with a separation distance sufficient to overlap the plurality of light beams at each of the spot generating lenses. The overlap of each of the beams at each of the spot generating lenses provides smoothing…

Speckle reduction method and apparatus

Granted: May 16, 2017
Patent Number: 9651419
An apparatus adapted for confocal imaging of a non-flat specimen comprising a coherent light source for producing a light beam, imaging optics adapted to focus the light beam into at least one spot on a surface of a specimen, and a detector adapted to receive and detect light reflected from the specimen surface. The imaging optics comprise at least one optical component located so that the light reflected from the specimen surface passes therethrough on its way to the detector. The…

Method and system for dental visualization

Granted: May 9, 2017
Patent Number: 9642678
In particular embodiments, method, apparatus and system for receiving digital representations of the initial parameters of a dentition; simulating a first orthodontic treatment process on the digital representations of the initial parameters, displaying a set of output results from the simulation of the first orthodontic treatment process, simulating a second orthodontic treatment process on the output results from the simulation of the first orthodontic treatment process, and displaying…

Method and apparatus for imaging three-dimensional structure

Granted: April 11, 2017
Patent Number: 9615901
An apparatus for determining surface topology of a portion of a three-dimensional structure is provided, that includes a probing member, an illumination unit, a light focusing optics, a translation mechanism, a detector and a processor.

Arch expanding appliance

Granted: April 4, 2017
Patent Number: 9610141
The present disclosure provides method, systems, and devices for expanding arch of teeth. A device for expanding an arch of teeth of a patient can include a removable shell formed of a first material having a number of cavities formed therein. The number of cavities are shaped to receive teeth of a patient. A device for expanding an arch of teeth of a patient can include an arch element extending from the removable shell in a lingual direction and across an arch width of the removable…

Tactile objects for orthodontics, systems and methods

Granted: March 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9597164
Methods, systems, and apparatus's for improving orthodontic treatments. In an embodiment, an orthodontic system including a tactile object is provided for modulating an engagement between a tooth attachment and an orthodontic appliance.

Method, system and model for indirect bonding

Granted: March 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9597165
A physical model of at least a portion of a patient's dentition has model dental surfaces corresponding to real dental surfaces of the patient's dentition. The physical model includes one or more targets, each configured for facilitating placement of an orthodontic appliance on the model at a desired location. The targets lack mechanical stops that are outwardly protruding from the original model dental surfaces. Also provided are a method of manufacturing a physical model for use in…

Virtual orthodontic treatment

Granted: March 14, 2017
Patent Number: 9592103
A method for virtual orthodontic treatment is provided in which a virtual set of orthodontic components is associated, in a virtual space, with a first virtual three-dimensional image of teeth, and then by a set of rules which define the effect of the set of components' teeth, the effect of the virtual treatment can be computed. This virtual treatment can be used to predict the results of a real-life orthodontic treatment as to design such a treatment.

Motion compensation in a three dimensional scan

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9589329
The present disclosure provides computing device implemented methods, computing device readable media, and systems for motion compensation in a three dimensional scan. Motion compensation can include receiving three-dimensional (3D) scans of a dentition, estimating a motion trajectory from one scan to another, and calculating a corrected scan by compensating for the motion trajectory. Estimating the motion trajectory can include one or more of: registering a scan to another scan and…