KKU Dentistry’s breakthrough in orthodontics, joining Align Technology Ltd. to transform instruction and research, and reduce teeth-aligning time

Faculty of Dentistry, Khon Kaen University and Align Technology (Thailand) Co. Ltd. come up with new-era orthodontics, the digital integrated approach, becoming one out of ten universities in Asia Pacific in this regard. The collaboration between the faculty and the company will be on research studies under the curriculum program.

March 1, 2020 – Faculty of Dentistry, Khon Kaen University held an MOU signing ceremony with

Align Technology (Thailand) Co. Ltd. in order to train dentists in digital dentistry and to develop orthodontics innovation. At the ceremony, Assoc. Prof. Waranuch Pitiphat, Ph.D., D.D.S., Dean of the Faculty welcomed the delegates and attendants. Assoc. Prof. Poonsak Pisek, Ph.D., D.D.M., Head of the Department of Preventive Dentistry and Head of the Orthodontics Unit made the reporting speech. Khun Sasithorn Thianthong, Managing Director, SEA, introduced the company while the executive team of Align Technology (Thailand) and administrators of the Faculty of Dentistry witnessed the MOU signing. The event was held at the Continuing Education Training Room, 7th Floor, the 6th Anniversary Commemoration Building, Faculty of Dentistry, Khon Kaen University.

Assoc. Prof. Waranuch Pitiphat, Ph.D., D.D.S., Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry said in her welcoming address, “It is an honor for the Faculty of Dentistry, Khon Kaen University to welcome executives from Align Technology (Thailand) Co. Ltd. I’m pleased to receive assistance in instruction and research from the company to train dentists in digital dentistry and to develop orthodontics innovation. We believe that the collaboration will bring about benefits to dental treatment in a wide circle. We will be able to strengthen the potentialities of dentists in orthodontics. The Faculty’s instruction will receive the benefits and will be more modernized in terms of teaching and learning in the long run.”

Khun Sasithorn Thianthong, Managing Director, SEA said, “Align Technology (Thailand) Co. Ltd. was founded 25 years ago. The head office is in USA. It is a leading company in invisible alignment, with the vision of “Transform Smile” or making the patient smile, happy and have a better life. Dentists are the important part in making the patient smile beautifully. As a representative of Align Technology, I’d like to thank the Faculty of Dentistry, Khon Kaen University, for the chance to be part of the instructional development and support for the new-generation dentists to learn about modern technologies and to be able to modify these in their work. I also hope that the company can continue to collaborate with the Faculty in the future.”

Assoc. Prof. Poonsak Pisek, Ph.D., D.D.M., Head of the Department of Preventive Dentistry and Head of the Orthodontics Unit explained, “Align Technology is the company that designs and produces Invisalign, which is the modernist invisible alignment in the world. The company has treated more than 8,000,000 patients with the Invisalign technique. There are the digital dental system developed for oral scan with iTero and exocad CAD/CAM – the two breakthroughs in dentistry. Orthodontics, with these techniques, has been modernized with digital integrated dental treatment. Benefits go to the patients because of the higher efficiency. This MOU brings a good chance for the Orthodontics Unit of the Faculty to upgrade the instruction and research as well as to reduce the time in teeth alignment. Khon Kaen University has been selected as one out of 10 universities in Asia Pacific to collaborate in instruction and research under the Curriculum Program, which is the training of post-graduate students in Orthodontics.”

Assoc. Prof. Poonsak Pisek continued, “The digital innovation in dental treatment is important for the Orthodontics field of the Faculty. It enables dentists to diagnose and plan efficient treatment for the patients. It also reduces the long-term treatment and therefore the patients will benefit more from quality treatment. Dentists will be able to bring the knowledge and approaches to create innovations in their treatment procedures and to produce efficient tools for their work.”

“The tools and equipment for invisible alignment have arrived in Thailand for 20 years now. Khon Kaen University was among the first institution in Southeast Asia to learn and instruct students about the technique. These tools and equipment have been used with the patients, both the patients in general and those with abnormalities of skull and face. We have extended the knowledge and modified the tools in research and in building innovations.”

“Align Technology Company principally supports us in terms of technologies available at the company, including the 3-dimension oral scanner that also records data for treatment plans. This can be adjusted to match the software in the treatment. The software of Align Technology is outstanding in diagnosis and treatment planning, due to its 3-dimensional characteristics which has long been used. The tools and equipment of Align Technology have been accepted because they have been widely used all over the world, with more than 8 million patients. At the beginning, invisible alignment was a controversial topic when it came to efficiency. Later, it was found that with good treatment planning and selection of suitable tools, it would enable us to use the tool to treat both patients in general and those with skull and facial abnormalities. At present, the Faculty of Dentistry has the invisalign equipment to serve these patients, with the overall cost of 180,000 – 200,000 baht. Under the Faculty’s studying program of KKU, the cost is around 95,000 baht,” ended Assoc. Prof. Poonsak Pisek.

The collaboration in bringing the digital dental innovation to treat patients is an important step in the progress of Orthodontics. It also helps upgrading research and instruction of the Faculty of Dentistry of Khon Kaen University. Besides the optimal benefits for dentistry students, lecturers and relevant personnel, the patients receiving teeth alignment treatment also obtain good outcomes.

News / Photos: Watchara Noichompoo

Tape Transcription: Sahassawat Siawsirikul, student under Cooperative Education Program from Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


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