LightForce Orthodontics, makers of the world’s first fully personalized 3D printed braces system, today announced it raised an $80 million Series D round led by Ally Bridge Group. Transformation Capital, and CareCapital. Omega Venture Partners, Matter Venture Partners, and the American Association of Orthodontics also participated in the round, as did existing LightForce investors, including Kleiner Perkins, Tyche Partners, and Matrix Partners. With the funding, LightForce will advance its mission to empower orthodontists to deliver personalized care with custom 3D printed brackets by scaling production with a new facility, advancing the use of AI in its workflows, and investing in education.
LightForce, the world’s largest manufacturer of directly 3D printed functional medical devices by volume, provides orthodontists with a comprehensive braces solution that improves treatment efficiency and outcomes for patients. LightForce’s 3D printed hardware is custom-made according to a personalized, digital treatment plan. From Intraoral and CBCT support to final prescription, the LightForce software incorporates powerful AI for generating accurate digital representations of patient anatomy, and optimal teeth positions for clinical efficiency and aesthetics. With the new funding, LightForce will continue to grow its world-leading team of engineers and scientists to further develop its software and hardware to improve patient experience with shorter treatment times and better clinical outcomes. The Series D round will also prepare the company to grow and scale production capabilities, with a new, 36,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Wilmington, Massachusetts.
Launching commercial operations in 2020, LightForce is changing a nearly century-old approach to braces with 3D printing and AI, enabling a new wave of personalization and efficiency for orthodontists. As LightForce scales production and advances its technology, it plans to address the need for education in the orthodontic industry by investing in clinical education resources that will provide orthodontists with the skills and technology required to transition from stock one-size-fits-all braces to a fully digital practice.
“This incredible syndicate of investors brings diverse expertise from the medical device, health IT, AI, and advanced manufacturing sectors to provide critical resources and expert guidance that will support our overall growth and continued innovation,” said LightForce CEO and co-founder Alfred Griffin III, DMD, Ph.D., MMSc. “Teen patients have been limited by the inaccuracy and inefficiency of non-custom braces for decades. LightForce was founded to provide fully personalized treatment options to orthodontists for each of their patients to improve their outcomes and experience while in treatment. With this funding, LightForce will continue to attract key talent, innovate through our incredible community of orthodontists, and scale operations as we seek to elevate the standard of care for teen orthodontic treatment.”
“LightForce is taking the orthodontic industry to the next level,” said Kevin Reilly, Managing Director at Ally Bridge Group. “Their solution applies highly innovative technologies to enable the personalization of orthodontic treatment via 3D printing, helping patients achieve their best smiles. We are excited to be part of a diverse group of top-tier healthcare and tech investors that believe in the benefits of personalized medicine in the orthodontic industry. The future of orthodontics is customization and digital workflow and we are excited to see the continued enhancement in patient care through this funding.”
Each tooth’s shape and every patient’s jaw is as unique as their fingerprints, so no one orthodontic treatment suits all patients. Treatment with traditional one-size-fits-all braces requires the orthodontist to perform multiple wire and bracket adjustments to achieve a patient’s ideal outcome, which can add many months to the treatment time. LightForce’s personalized approach dramatically reduces the need for adjustments, which results in shorter treatment times, fewer appointments, and better outcomes compared to traditional braces. A recent peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics showed that LightForce cases finished 45% faster with 41% fewer scheduled appointments than conventional bracket cases.