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How Are Active Aligners Made?

What are Active Aligners and clear aligners?

Lets first have a look at what Active Aligners and clear aligners are.

Prescribed by your dental professional, Active Aligners are clear aligners that have been developed specifically for aligning your teeth in a predictable, smooth, clear and comfortable manner. Instead of metal brackets, wires or screws, you’ll be wearing a thermoplastic material to achieve your desired results – while going unnoticed by the people around you. Additional information and in-depth FAQ’s can be found here.

Clear aligners work on basic orthodontic principles. They are used for the correction of crooked teeth, gaps or rotation, while achieving the desired results in an organized and planned fashion. These customized trays are “invisible” and move the tooth in the desired direction. This is achieved through wearing a series of Active Aligners, each for 22 hours a day, 1 to 2 weeks at a time (one stage), which move the teeth per stage until their optimal alignment has been reached. 

There are a few steps in aligner fabrication for that magical smile.

Clinical steps

  1. Oral health check by provider
  2. Impressions – digital or physical
  3. Quality Control Images
  4. X- rays

Laboratory steps

  1. Scans or 3D imaging
  2. 3D Treatment planning
  3. Printing of 3D models
  4. Positive pressure thermoforming
  5. Quality check

Active Aligner Laboratory Procedure.

3-D Imaging and treatment planning

A 3D scan or impression is taken to achieve a replica of your teeth. Once the imaging is ready, 3D models are manufactured for each stage of the Active Aligner treatment and a smile summary is created. A virtual setup is then prepared to show the dental professional the planned treatment through each stage as well as the end result. This gives an edge to Active Aligner therapy compared to traditional orthodontic treatment, as the provider sees the end result even before you begin treatment. 

Clear Aligner treatment planning - Active Aligners

3-D Models

3D models are printed per stage of the Active Aligner treatment using Structo 3D printers with MSLA technology. 

Not all 3D printers are made equal

After more than three years of R&D, Structo has perfected a truly unique method of accurate 3D printing. Structo’s revolutionary MSLA technology enables their printers to achieve record-breaking printing speeds which are much faster than the existing SLA or DLP printers around.


The thermoforming stage is where 3D printed models meet the thermoplastic material which is used to create Active Aligners. 

High pressure thermoforming is required to form aligners over 3D printed models. The reason this is important is that in order to create clear aligners with predictable tooth movement, accuracy is required across the teeth, gum line definition and gingival textures.

Clear Aligner Thermoforming - Active Aligners

Quality Check

Before allowing Active Aligners to be delivered to your provider, a through quality check is done to check all margins, borders, thicknesses, numbering and arch form of your aligners. The Active Aligner Difference is clear – Click here to learn more.

Clear Aligner and Active Aligners, quality is not optional

Basic Clear Aligner Instructions

  1. Aligners are to be worn 20 – 22 hours a day
  2. Switch to the next set after 1 to 2 weeks (or as per your providers instruction)
  3. Seat the aligner with the help of chewies
  4. Proper insertion and removal are important
  5. Cleaning of the aligners is important to maintain good oral hygiene.

All Active Aligners are delivered to your provider with a comprehensive patient instruction manual. 

Active Aligners are also known as: Clear Braces, Invisible Braces, Clear Aligners, and See-through Braces

Provider and dentist for clear aligners and clear braces