Align Technology Patent Grants

Dental positioning appliance having metallic portion

Granted: November 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9820829
Embodiments are provided for utilizing metallic portions in dental positioning appliances. One embodiment includes a removable dental positioning appliance having a shell having one or more cavities shaped to receive and reposition one or more teeth from a first orientation to a successive orientation and where at least a portion of the shell is formed from a metallic mesh material.

Estimating a surface texture of a tooth

Granted: October 31, 2017
Patent Number: 9801698
Embodiments for estimating a surface texture of a tooth are described herein. One method embodiment includes collecting a sequence of images utilizing multiple light conditions using an intra-oral imaging device and estimating the surface texture of the tooth based on the sequence of images.

Arch expanding appliance

Granted: October 24, 2017
Patent Number: 9795461
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…

Methods, systems and accessories useful for procedures relating to dental implants

Granted: October 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9782238
A method and system are provided for manufacturing a physical dental model. A virtual model is provided representative of at least a portion of the intra-oral cavity including at least one dental implant implanted therein, and the virtual model includes a virtual portion representative of each dental implant. The virtual spatial disposition of each such virtual portion is determined with respect to the virtual model, corresponding to a real spatial disposition of the respective implant…

Virtual and physical dental models of dental surfaces and analog socket structure of a dental implant and related procedures

Granted: September 19, 2017
Patent Number: 9763758
A system and method for manufacturing a physical model of a dental structure wherein the physical model is configured to allow a dental analog to be inserted into the physical model. A virtual model of the dental structure is provided including a virtual implant spatial disposition with respect to the virtual model corresponding to a physical implant spatial disposition of the dental implant. Using the virtual model, a physical model corresponding to the virtual model is manufactured,…

Chromatic confocal system

Granted: September 5, 2017
Patent Number: 9752867
A system for determining surface topography of a three-dimensional structure is provided. The system can include an illumination unit configured to output a two-dimensional array of light beams each comprising a plurality of wavelengths. An optical assembly can focus the plurality of wavelengths of each light beam to a plurality of focal lengths so as to simultaneously illuminate the structure over a two-dimensional field of view. A detector and a processor are used to generate data…

Dental appliance with cavity for an unerupted or erupting tooth

Granted: August 29, 2017
Patent Number: 9744001
A method includes to receive, via a computing device, data representing a plurality of teeth, identify data indicating which of the plurality of teeth are unerupted or erupting, predict at least one characteristic of a tooth of the unerupted or erupting teeth after they have fully erupted using one or more tooth eruption prediction factors, generate new data representing the unerupted or erupting teeth in multiple states of eruption based upon the predicted at least one characteristic of…

Reduced registration bonding template

Granted: August 29, 2017
Patent Number: 9744002
A dental template for positioning an object on teeth of a patient and method for fabricating the same. The method includes creating a digital model of the patient's teeth, creating a simplified template model based on the digital model, and fabricating the dental template based on the simplified template model. The template model is simplified by removing certain features of the patient's tooth anatomy. The dental template can be located on a patient's teeth using four or fewer…

Release agent receptacle

Granted: August 15, 2017
Patent Number: 9730769
The present disclosure includes method, system, apparatus, and indicator embodiments. One apparatus includes an appliance for placement over one or more teeth and a release agent receptacle including an outer portion provided on appliance surface, an inner portion provided within the outer portion, and one or more apertures formed in the outer portion.

Method and system for providing feedback data useful in prosthodontic procedures associated with the intra oral cavity

Granted: August 15, 2017
Patent Number: 9730779
Feedback data useful in prosthodontic procedures associated with the intra oral cavity is provided. First, a 3D numerical model of the target zone in the intra oral cavity is provided, and this is manipulated so as to extract particular data that may be useful in a particular procedure, for example data relating to the finish line or to the shape and size of a preparation. The relationship between this data and the procedure is then determined, for example the clearance between the…

Viewfinder with real-time tracking for intraoral scanning

Granted: August 8, 2017
Patent Number: 9724177
Methods and systems for scanning an intraoral cavity of a patient provide capturing one or more viewfinder images of the intraoral cavity and scanning the intraoral cavity with an intraoral scanner to generate one or more topography scans of the intraoral cavity. The one or more topography scans may correspond to the one or more viewfinder images. The methods and systems further provide capturing a viewfinder image of a portion of the intraoral cavity, the viewfinder image overlapping…

Confocal imaging using astigmatism

Granted: August 1, 2017
Patent Number: 9717402
The present disclosure provides computing device implemented methods, apparatuses, and computing device readable media for confocal imaging using astigmatism. Confocal imaging can include receiving an image of a portion of an object captured by a confocal imaging device having a particular astigmatic character, determining an image pattern associated with the image, and determining a distance between a focus plane of the confocal imaging device and the portion of the object based, at…

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…