Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Voodoo Manufacturing Inc. is entering the orthodontics market with 3D printing and thermoforming services to produce clear dental aligners for its partners to sell directly to consumers wanting to treat mild to moderate crooked or gapped teeth.
Founded in 2015, Voodoo expanded this year with a new wing of Formlab 3D printers and an automated post-processing line able to produce more than 20,000 flexible and discreet polyurethane aligners every month.
Voodoo is taking on partners to sell its clear dental aligners under their private labels. The company's first major direct-to-consumer partner is Draper, Utah-based Smilelove LLC, which has been selling at-home teeth straightening kits and aligners since 2017.
Clear dental aligners generally come in a series of 10 to 50 sets that slip over teeth and move them in stages to straighten positions or close gaps. Each stage takes about two weeks. The patient then uses the next set of aligners until the desired look is achieved.
Smilelove and other newcomers like Orthly, Candid and Uniform Teeth are poised to take a bite out of the sales of Invisalign, a brand leader that saw $2 billion in sales in 2018 through dentists and orthodontists, as well as SmileDirectClub Inc., which started selling clear dental aligners online and at drugstores in 2014.
SmileDirectClub made an initial public offering Sept. 12 with the price on the Nasdaq set at $23 per share to raise $1.3 billion. That gives the teledentistry pioneer a valuation of $9 billion.
Nearly undetectable and removable, clear dental aligners are gaining popularity as a remedy for some teeth problems that can get results with less pain and hassle. There are no orthodontist appointments to keep or metal wires and brackets to tighten and replace. The plastic aligners apply a gentle force to move teeth into position.
Voodoo Manufacturing CEO Max Friefeld sees many opportunities for his company and partners. He points to demand from people who had braces in the past but didn't wear their retainer to maintain the alignment and now want to straighten their teeth again. While the market is growing rapidly, Friefeld said it is hampered by a lack of modern manufacturers capable of delivering such personal and unique products at scale.
"We're offering a fully automated digital process to anybody who wants to start an aligner brand," Friefeld said in a phone interview. "We also sell directly to dentists and orthodontists. We're really hoping to open the market and level the playing field here."