Enabling research and innovation

Research award program

Align Technology believes in enabling research and innovation within the dentistry industry with a goal to improve orthodontic and dental treatment for communities around the globe.

In 2010, Align Technology began the Research Award Program with the goal to support clinical and scientific orthodontic and dental research in universities across the globe. Since its inception in 2010, we have funded over $2.7 million in research awards. Research has provided insights into various areas including tooth movement efficacy with clear aligner therapy, oral hygiene and microbial bacteria presence or absence with clear aligners, and comparisons in quality of life with aligners as compared to fixed appliances.

Each year, awards are made available for dental research at universities across the globe. All applications are reviewed by an independent academic committee that forwards its recommendations to Align Technology for final selection.

Awards available for 2022 for dental research at universities were available in the following regions: Americas (US, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America): Four one-year awards of up to US$25,000 each; EMEA: Four one-year awards of up to US$25,000 each; and, APAC: Four one-year awards of up to US$25,000 each.

Eligible applicants for dental research awards include full- and part-time faculty involved in dental or scientific research at universities at which Invisalign® treatment or the iTero scanner is available.

All award applications received were first reviewed and prioritized in a blind evaluation by an independent academic committee. The final recipients were then determined by Align Technology.

The Americas research award recipients for 2022 are:

  • Rutgers University (New Jersey, US) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Anil Ardeshn
  • University of California, San Francisco (California, US) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Christine Hong
  • University of Colorado, Anschutz (Colorado, US) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Kristen Lowe

The European research award recipients for 2022 are:

  • UniCamillus, International Medical University (Rome, Italy) receiving two awards – Primary Investigator, Dr. Roberta Lione
  • Gazi University (Ankara, Turkey) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Nehir Bavbek
  • University of Insubria (Varese, Italy) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Luca Levrini
  • University of Turin (Turin, Italy) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Ambra Sedran

The Asia Pacific research award recipients for 2022 are:

  • Sichuan University (Chengdu, China) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Wenli Lai
  • Xi’an Jiaotong University (Xi’an, China) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Yu-cheng Guo
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai, China) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Bo Wang

The funded research studies cover a wide range of topics for projects seeking to better understand treatment in orthodontics and dentistry including, but not limited to: distalization, stability in retention, pre-surgical treatment of cleft palate, maintenance of space in mixed dentition with aligners, consideration of periodontal conditions in treatment, and the demand for education regarding treatment with aligners.