Won’t be the first time that a newer technology replaced vinyl, huh? Then again, the heydays of cassette tapes and CDs are long gone as well. Does this mean that vinyl impression material will soon become “wall flair” like restaurant nostalgia record albums? CREEEpy.
So Align Technology has officially agreed to purchase Cadent, makers of the iTero intra-oral scanning system. That means that in a few years, the only offices using impression material will be the same ones that use film and developer for x-rays. A few hours ago this email was sent out to all iTero users. I’d consider this the death knell for polyvinyl impressions:
Dear iTero Partner:
I am writing to share some exciting news that offers tremendous potential for Cadent and our customers. Today, Align Technology, makers of the Invisalign system, announced a definitive agreement to acquire Cadent Holdings, Inc. Align shares our belief that intra-oral scanning is one of the most exciting technologies available to doctors. Intra-oral scanning systems provide a chair-side platform for accessing valuable digital diagnosis and treatment tools, with tremendous potential for enhancing accuracy of records, treatment efficiency, and the overall patient experience.
While working together on interoperability and Invisalign applications to run on Cadent iTero and iOC scanners, we saw an opportunity to combine our two companies’ capabilities and market-leading technology to bring innovative new diagnosis and treatment tools to our customers, thereby extending the value of intra-oral scanning in dental practices.
After the satisfaction of all legal and regulatory requirements, Cadent will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Align Technology. Align is committed to supporting and investing the technology and scanning systems that are Cadent’s core competencies. They plan to keep the existing family of Cadent products, and will combine their expertise with ours to bring innovative new tools to our customers. This type of integration will take some time; while under way, each company will remain focused on its own customers and service commitments. Once the acquisition closes – which we expect in the second quarter of this year – we will have more information to share with you about the benefits of this integration for our customers.
Finally, you may know that we have been working with Invisalign to establish interoperability, which will allow doctors to submit Cadent intra-oral, scans in place of traditional PVS impressions for Invisalign treatment. We are currently in the final stage of Beta testing and are on track to announce interoperability in the second quarter of this year.
We believe we are only scratching surface of what we can accomplish through 3D imaging and intra-oral scanning. Once we’ve captured an accurate digital impression of a patient’s dentition, the possibilities for how to use that data in all areas of restorative, cosmetic, orthodontic and preventative treatment are endless. Both Cadent and Align see the broader potential this technology has for improving dentistry, and together, we have the resources and expertise to turn those possibilities into valuable tools for your practice and patients. We look forward to sharing more details with you in the coming weeks and months.
Vice-President of Marketing, Cadent
Is it really the end of goopy gagging? Vinyl impression material (and alginate, for that matter) will probably always have its place, but this is the first step to making digital impressions a standard part of dentistry instead of the hip fringey thing it is now.
And my shoes thank you, Align.
Added March 30th
For all you Invisalign lovers, this parody by the two Dr. Glassmans made me giggle to myself: