A film crew from Boston, United States, recently, came over to Southwick Sunderland in order to capture the now largest orthodontic lab in the UK, Ashford Orthodontics on how they are upgrading technology and standing out from the crowd!

Ashford Orthodontics is the largest orthodontic laboratory in the United Kingdom with a 12,000 square foot facility and over 50 employees. The lab offers specialist orthodontic technical services to orthodontic and dental professionals and produces a variety of orthodontic appliances from complex, fixed, and functional appliances, to anti-snoring and sleep apnea appliances and mandibular advancement devices.

Sean Thompson, who founded Ashford in 2001, has always strived to keep the lab at the forefront of the industry, which today is now more important than ever. Orthodontics is currently in the midst of undergoing its most significant technological evolution to date, from traditional workflows to digital technologies.

Traditionally, clear aligners and retainers are manufactured by thermoforming over stone models that are produced from manual impressions. With the emergence of 3D intraoral scanners in dental practices, these manual impressions are replaced by digital scans.

To cater to digital clients, dental and orthodontic laboratories have to adopt digital workflows. Digitally, treatment planning for clear aligners and retainers is done using CAD software, then each substep of the treatment is fabricated by 3D printing a model, and thermoforming over these models.

In many cases, digital workflows can be more expensive, and labs struggle to offer prices that are competitive with traditionally produced appliances. By running a fleet of 12 Form 2 3D printers, however, Ashford has managed to produce clear aligners and retainers cost-effectively at scale.

The below video gives an insight into Ashford Orthodontics work and adaption with the new technology:

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