LightForce Orthodontics Improves Old Technology to Find White Space in Sector

Over the last decade teeth-straightening clear aligners have greatly increased in popularity and accessibility. This is shown by the takeover of the Dental category of the AI Biotech Patent Forecast® by Align Technology, the manufacturer of the Invisalign. The company has a large patent portfolio consisting of 46 patent assets with its next closest competitor in the sector having 11 patent assets. In this time, traditional braces have been left behind, with very few technological improvements being made. However, LightForce, founded in 2015 has decided to change this with its fully customizable 3D printed bracket system. The system includes LightForce’s LightPlan web-based software, which assists clinicians with designing a treatment plan. Once the plan is complete, LightForce 3D prints the ceramic brackets and bonding trays, which enable several brackets to be placed at once in their exact planned locations. Furthermore, the bracket placement for each tooth can be customized within one-thousandth of a millimeter. This extreme customization results in shorter treatment plans for patients and requires less appointments throughout the straightening process. As of November 2021, LightForce secured 50M in series C funding. According to Alfred Griffin, the company’s CEO, the funding will be used to help the company target the teen market, expand its operations, and provide orthodontist clients training on using the platform. Currently, LightForce has 4 published patent applications in the AI Biotech Patent Forecast®. Align Technology’s dominance in the sector will be very hard to overcome, however LightForce’s focus on braces rather than clear aligners gives them leverage. 

To keep an eye on LightForce and learn about other emerging technologies check out the AI Biotech Patent Forecast®!