Clear Aligner and CA Clear Aligner (1998 T.W. Kim, Korea) and CA Clear Aligner (2010, P. Echarri, Spain)
Kim’s Aligner-System was originally a largely handmade product. The first case of a patient being treated entirely with Clear Aligners was presented in 1988. The Clear Aligner process involves manufacturing the different sets of intermediate models centrally with the teeth fixed in the desired position and then sending them to an orthodontist who will use them to produce the Clear Aligners in his own laboratory. Since 2007, Clear Aligners have been marketed in Germany by the Scheu Dental company.
However, since 2010, Kim has further developed his system into a fully computer-aided one whereby the eCligners are then manufactured centrally. Those people who prefer to make the aligners in their own laboratory have developed the CA Clear Aligner system which is only partly computer-aided and follows the example of P. Echarri. The materials and laboratory aids required for this technology are available from Scheu Dental. In the case of Clear Aligners and CA Clear Aligners, the set-up models are manufactured centrally, whilst the production of the actual aligners takes place in the orthodontist’s own laboratory. A special feature of the Clear Aligner System is that each single movement of the teeth is achieved by using three aligners in succession, each with a different degree of elasticity. With the CA Clear Aligners, these different degrees are classified as CA Soft, CA Medium and CA Hard.
The respective Aligners have thicknesses of 0.5 mm (soft), 0.62 mm (medium) and 0.75 mm (hard). As always, the main field of application for the various types of Clear Aligners is to correct minor deviations of the front teeth. However, they are also specified for use in minor cases of deep bite and overbite, crossbite and scissor bite and minor Class ll/lll cases. But one significant difference between this appliance and Invisalign and eCligner is that several new impressions of the patient’s teeth must be taken because their manufacture is not fully computerised.