The 20th Anniversary of LM-Activator™

This year, we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of LM-Activator™. For 20 years,
LM-Activator™ has been helping children by correcting dental arches and creating beautiful smiles!

How the LM-Activator™ became an established form of orthodontics for children in Finland

Dr. Katri Keski-Nisula

In the early 1990s, in Ostrobothnia, Finland, Dr. Katri Keski-Nisula worked as a consulting orthodontist in cities where traditional orthodontics faced challenges due to a high need for treatment. Keski-Nisula wished to find a solution for treating large numbers of patients more efficiently. Appliances, similar to the eruption guidance appliance, used for guiding the erupting permanent teeth to their right place and position within the dental arches, had already been introduced abroad. The forces used were low and did not cause damage to the erupting teeth. The appliance was mainly used at night only, and it was important that the child cooperated and used the appliance.

– With the help of Plandent Oy, I managed to get these appliances into use, and we first introduced them to our staff’s children. We quickly got amazing results and were encouraged to include eruption guidance appliances in our treatment routines. In four years, we managed to change treatment practices so that at least 90% of the children in need of orthodontic treatment were treated with this new method. We were also able to dissolve the waiting lists for orthodontic treatment, shorten the patients’ visit time, and extend the check-up intervals to 3 months. The need for emergency appointments was rare, and this enabled us to treat customers in need of other types of dental help, says Katri Keski-Nisula. In 1998, a study on the treatment effectiveness on the dental arches and skeletal relationship of the jaws led by Katri was launched at the Jalasjärvi, Kurikka and Seinäjoki health-care centers. The study included more than 500 children in total. The results were encouraging and the treatment effective.

In 1999, Planmeca acquired LM-Instruments Oy, a company that focused on the manufacturing of dental hand instruments. That same year, a ban on PVC containing phthalates was introduced in the EU due to the health risks these plastics posed for children under 3 years of age, and this sparked many discussions. The eruption guidance appliance that was used in Finland at the time contained the banned material, and as a responsible company, we made it our goal to find an alternative solution. A task force was founded at LM-Instruments to figure out how silicone could be used as a material for eruption guidance appliances. Silicone is safe and easy to use, and it can be cleaned with a toothbrush and by boiling. Product development and placing the appliance on the market required tremendous amounts of work and cooperation with different experts. The silicone eruption guidance appliance called LM-Activator™ was presented at the Finnish Dental Congress in 2004. Sales began soon after and exceeded all expectations during the first year.

The factors contributing to the success of LM-Activator™ were the support of orthodontists, safety, and the reputation of being a Finnish product. Additionally, the field work of Plandent’s Johanna Palomäki contributed significantly to the implementation of the new product, as she diligently visited clinics to showcase the product and train users. The LM-Activator™ eruption guidance appliance offered patients a pleasant treatment alternative. It was effective, easy to use, and showed quick results. The sales support of Plandent and the world-class expertise LM-Dental™ had on the manufacturing of silicone products were essential factors in this success story. LM-Activator™ made early orthodontic treatment simple and effective, and its popularity was built on the positive experiences shared by the users. Katri Keski-Nisula’s need to find a solution to the practical challenges in orthodontic treatments and the cooperation of LM-Dental™ and Plandent resulted in a solution that made early orthodontic treatment with the LM-Activator™ an established treatment method for children in Finland.

Johanna Palomäki

However, the success story continued, as LM-Activator™ gained a lot of interest elsewhere in Europe and in the Far East as well. Today, we can say that LM-Activator™ has helped hundreds of thousands of children around the world in achieving healthy dental arches and beautiful smiles!

LM-Activator™
Growing happy smiles

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