Aligner therapy has quickly become one of the most popular components of dentistry, and for good reason. Aligners are a convenient, esthetic, and efficient way to achieve a gorgeous smile. And it isn’t only aligners–whether it’s sleep apnea devices, night guards, or protective mouthpieces for sports, removable dental appliances represent a vast majority of the professional dental product market. No matter the apparatus, though, all are susceptible to a buildup of bacteria, yeast, and mold. Without proper care, patient adherence drastically decreases across the spectrum of removable appliance therapy, and the likelihood of sickness from harmful debris increases. Given the proliferation of aligners and other removable dental appliances within the dental space, an effective cleaning solution has become a vital part of every patient’s oral care routine.
Catapult is an organization that consists of more than 50 clinicians spread throughout Canada and the United States. As a company, manufacturers pay a fee for their product to be evaluated and what we deliver are truthful, independent answers from surveys that we develop with them. We have had many products that have either had to be altered before hitting the market or simply never arrived because of our openly honest evaluations. In this way, Catapult assists the manufacturer to avoid potentially releasing a faulty product, or simply a product that needs refinement. Lastly our clients are omnipresent in the industry, small to large, no favoritism, simply reviewing the latest products in our practices.
In spring 2021, members of Catapult Education were asked to evaluate Steraligner by Hier Labs. Steraligner is a dental appliance sanitizing solution that removes 99% of bacteria by leveraging a blend of oxygen-based cleaners to neutralize stains, odor, and adverse taste from accumulated biofilms on the surface and within the grooves of the appliance. Seventeen members of the evaluation team tested Steraligner in their practices for 8 to 12 weeks. During that time, they saw, gave a diagnosis to, and treated more than 200 dental patients, with each evaluator leveraging Steraligner in some form. In fact, 100% of our doctors said that within their practice they all use a variety of removable appliances, including partials, full dentures, sleep appliances, aligners, night guards, fluoride trays, and periodontal carriers.
The Catapult Education members were asked to evaluate the necessity of a product like Steraligner as well as its efficacy with patient therapy. They were also asked about the economics of using the product in their practices. Regarding the cleanliness of the appliances, 88% of members said that patients had concerns, with 1 reviewer noting that patients often comment on “how gross the appliances become.”
Independent laboratory testing shows that Steraligner removes the 17 most common types of bacteria, yeast, and mold. Conversely, traditional tablets clean only 4 to 6 strains of common odor-causing bacteria, which is an insufficient sanitizing standard in a post–COVID-19 world. Unlike tablets, which can take up to 45 minutes to clean, Steraligner cleans in just 3 minutes while a patient brushes their teeth. When our educators asked whether or not patients would like an easy 3- to 5-minute system to clean removable appliances, the answer was a resounding yes, with 100% of patients responding in the affirmative.
This aligner cleaning solution was specifically designed to eliminate bacteria and sanitize any dental appliance. From sleep apnea devices, to night guards, to mouth pieces, Steraligner is suitable for any dental appliance. It is said to utilize oxygen-based cleaners to eliminate stains, odor, and bad taste from the surface and grooves of the appliance. Daily application is all that is necessary for peace of mind for dental appliances.
800-564-1970 | steraligner.com
Catapult Education also asked its members whether or not they were excited by an opportunity to make supplemental income in their practice by selling Steraligner. Eighty-two percent of respondents confirmed their interest in offering Steraligner to their patients to make additional revenue every year.
Our educators found that patients were thrilled with Steraligner when comparing it with traditional cleaning solutions: eighty percent of respondents were spending more time cleaning their appliances versus using Steraligner. Seventy-five percent of patients said their appliances had a funny smell and/or were sticky despite frequent brushing and rinsing, and 88% were concerned about bacterial buildup on appliances despite 77% of them cleaning their appliances daily. Eighty-eight percent said their appliances smelled better, had a fresher feel, and felt cleaner overall when using Steraligner. Ninety-four percent of respondents said they would likely purchase Steraligner versus tablets and alternative cleaning processes.
The Steraligner cleaning solution was created by Sam Daher, DDS, a Vancouver Canada-based orthodontist and a top Invisalign provider in North America, to meet the daily cleaning needs of clear aligner patients.
“Aligners can accumulate plaque buildup after long periods of wear, depending on the interaction of naturally occurring oral bacteria with saliva and other factors in some patients,” said Dr Daher. “I wanted to go beyond simple cleaning to develop the most effective cleaning approach possible to help my patients maintain great hygiene and get that new aligner look and feel every day. After numerous rounds of development and laboratory testing, we achieved that with the Steraligner cleaning solution, and I’m thrilled to make it available to Invisalign providers and their patients through Invisalign resource sites.”
It is clear that Steraligner was seen as a superior product by both doctors and patients. Notably, a 3- to 5-minute daily application of this product was well received. Of the doctors who participated in this evaluation, 94% want more information on this product line as they saw the benefits for long-term maintenance on removable oral appliances. Based on our team’s clinical evaluation, Steraligner was given the “Catapult Vote of Confidence.”