Europe’s clear aligner market heats up as Impress opens new production facility
BARCELONA, Spain: Orthodontics company Impress has opened an automated clear aligner production facility that uses HP industrial 3D-printing technology. The company raised more than €40 million in funding earlier this year and has made no secret of the fact that it aims to disrupt the orthodontic market.
Since 2019, the company has provided clear aligner therapy to tens of thousands of patients in Spain, the UK, Italy and France. Impress has been steadily scaling up its business operations, and it now has a presence in nearly 100 cities. It was named one of the fastest-growing direct-to-consumer health technology start-ups by business news website Sifted in 2020, and the company says that its new production facility will further strengthen its upward trajectory.
Vladimir Lupenko, CEO and co-founder of Impress, told Dental Tribune International (DTI) that the new facility spans 1,500 m2 and is located in Barcelona’s important Zona Franca industrial area. Impress says that it is the largest technology-driven clear aligner treatment and planning facility in Europe. The company has partnered with 3D-printing specialists Carbon and HP on the facility, and HP Jet Fusion 5200 3D-printing technology will be used to tailor clear aligner trays to the treatment plans of Impress patients. The company will create around 1,000 jobs in the next few years not only in clear aligner production but also at forthcoming flagship stores in the UK.
“We are proud to say that after these last few years we are the first company to create a fully digital orthodontic chain of a new generation”
– Vladimir Lupenko, CEO, Impress
Lupenko explained to DTI: “The creation of the new factory in Barcelona and new flagship stores in Manchester and London will create jobs in the UK, although an exact number cannot be specified just yet. Our aim is to continue to expand our offering to UK residents, so watch this space!”
He added: “Impress currently has two clinics in the UK, one in London and one in Manchester. More importantly, in a matter of weeks, we will be announcing the opening of our flagship stores in London and Manchester.”
Lupenko said in a press release that the company was conceived as a disruptive player in the orthodontics market. He explained: “We are proud to say that after these last few years we are the first company to create a fully digital orthodontic chain of a new generation with our IT technology, professional medical team, and our own clinics.”
“Now, we have made the next very important strategic step with vertical integration,” he continued. “In-house treatment planning and our production facility will allow us to reduce turnaround and our patients will be able to start the treatment within just 5–7 days after the first visit.”
Impress’s clear aligner treatment model for mild to severe malocclusion will be familiar to most orthodontists. Patients receive a clinical check, which includes radiographs and a 3D intra-oral scan. A personalised treatment plan is created, aligner trays are shipped, and patients can monitor their treatment using a dental mobile application.