Tagged With dental

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The world is still trying to figure out why every home would need a 3D printer, but in the professional world they continue to thrive. At the International Dental Show currently going on in Germany, Stratasys announced a new 3D printer that uses multiple materials at once to create startlingly realistic dental models in a single print run.

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Teeth don't grow back, as your dentist might like to remind you while revving up the drill for a root canal. But scientists have now found a way to regenerate dentin, the hard stuff in the middle of the tooth, right in the mouth. It's surprisingly simple too — all it takes is a blast of laser.

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Scientists are hard at work on making teeth regrow the crystals that make up dentin and enamel, allowing them to phase out fillings and drillings completely. The goal is to spot tooth decay early and then get the teeth to grow healthy tooth-matter over the bad spots. No fuss, no muss. They say that the tech will be ready for primetime in just a few years. So long, toothbrush! I don't need you anymore!

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Flossing sucks. I tell my dentist I floss, but I really don't, because I hate flossing. Using a waterpik is a nice alternative to flossing, but I'm not the kind of guy who goes out and buys fancy appliances for my mouth. This, however, could change that: the ShowerFloss. Attach it in your shower behind your showerhead and add your gums to the list of body parts you clean in the shower. It comes with two different coloured piks so you and your significant other can share the bounty of healthy gums, and it'll set you back a mere $US25. Your dentist will be so proud!

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Say hello to Simroid, a new robot from Japan designed to help train dentists. Forgive me for being a little off-colour here, but this thing looks like it's better suited to give BJs, but it's looking a little too downsy to sell well in any of Japan's numerous sex shops. In any case, it's loaded up with sensitive teeth so it can say "that hurts" if it gets stabbed in the gums or something. It also has a gag reflex so it can react if an "instrument" is stuck down its throat. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to step away from the keyboard before I write jokes about this thing that'll get me fired. Must… practice… restraint…

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Allow me to present to you the worst iPod accessory yet: a teeth-whitening system. Yes, the "Rock My Teeth" system promises a whiter smile with just 30 minutes of use. It works by sticking peroxide strips on your teeth. You then put the mouthpiece in your mouth, plug it into your iPod, and crank it up. You can listen to the music through bone conduction, and the vibrations apparently make the strips work better. At the end of the day, you'll have whiter teeth and a lower iPod battery. Yahoo's Christopher Null tried it out and said that it worked about as well as just using the strips, with the added bonus of the mouthpiece making you into a freakish, drooling mess. Yeah, I'll pass, thanks.

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Out here on the toothbrush beat, you run into all sorts of fear-mongering products such as the VIOlight Toothbrush Sanitizer. Now you can take that germophobia out on the road with the VIOlight Travel Toothbrush Sanitizer, a smaller version of that near-miraculous home version that probably does no good but might make you feel better anyway.

Just like the home version, this travel version works with ultraviolet rays, and its makers claim that 99% of the germs are killed in seven minutes. Never mind that the 1% of bacteria that are left are probably superstrong, and might just put the hurt on you 10 times as much. But then, the way you feel about this product is probably a whole lot more important than the way it actually works. But hey, it's your $27.99.

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At last, we have an excuse other than stress to crack our molars and spend thousands on dental repair. Researchers at Osaka University have developed a remote sensitive to tooth grinding. Surprisingly, it's fairly low-tech in nature. IR sensors are placed over patients' temples because the temples are an area that moves only with the specific activation of rear molar movements. In other words, talking and eating won't open your garage door.

As of right now, the device can only turn a CD player on and off (I mean, give a guy a DVD player at least). But scientists are confident that the controls have far more potential, with the goal of checking email on a mobile device. It reminds me of Back to the Future II. "You get to use your hands? That's like a baby's toy!"

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newVideoPlayer("mouth_brush_gawker.flv", 475, 376);Toothbrushes, they just need updating. Right? Well, according to yet another delusional contestant on American Inventor, a better solution would be a little nub you stick on the tip of your tongue. You then use your tongue to get your teeth clean, hoping it doesn't come off and get lodged in your throat, giving you a really embarrassing obituary. It's sure to turn the whole dental care industry on its head!

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This is Dento-Munch, a robot developed by scientists to help with research into dental products. Kazem Alemzadeh of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory is one of the engineers behind the team, at Britain's Bristol University, and he reckons that Dento-Munch could cut down the time needed to trial new products, as machines up until now have been poor imitators of humans.

Dento-Munch's upper and lower "jaws" consist of two platforms. The lower one is capable of moving six degrees of freedom (unlike the current lab simulators, which are only capable of 2 degrees) and can move and rotate up and down, forwards and backwards, and left and right - just like its human counterpart.

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Our own Charlie White got a chance to fiddle around with that fancy UV Sonicare Flexcare toothbrush we showed you this morning, and he came away impressed. He says it runs as quiet as a mouse, which is good if you don't want to wake up your wife with a toothbrush that sounds like a chainsaw, and it feels nice and solid in your hand. It has a few different modes, including a timed three-minute brush and a click brush. The UV sanitizer that nukes germs is available separately, just in case you don't want to invest in a whole new brush setup.

Unfortunately, they wouldn't let Charlie stick the thing in his mouth to try to clean up the Dorito crumbs and whisky breath, so I guess we'll just need to wait till August to test their claim that it removes more plaque than any other electric toothbrush.

galleryPost('philipstoothbrush', 5, 'philipstoothbrush'); –Adam Frucci

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We got the chance to play with Oral-B's new Triumph electric toothbrush this afternoon. The $149 brush comes with a palm-size wireless display (it uses RF technology to communicate) that provides real-time feedback as you're brushing so it lets you know how much time you've spent brushing and also what quadrant of your mouth you should be brushing.

The Triumph doesn't have any ultrasound waves, but for all you sensitive gum types (like myself), the brush has four modes: polish, brush, clean and massage. There's even a built-in pressure sensor that keeps you from brushing too hard. The brush comes out this September for $149. – Louis Ramirez

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How would you like to have a watch that's shaped like a tooth? No? Us neither. But Seiko's just created a "Cavity" watch that's both shaped like a tooth and has a gigantic hole in the middle to display the time.

The watch comes in either silver or gold, but costs only $140 (16,800 yen). The point? To remind you every day that it's time to go to the dentist. Or eat more candy. – Jason Chen

Seiko Cavity Tooth Watch

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Here's an entrant from the Modern Marvels Invent Now Challenge. He's a dentist with an Idea: a machine that cleans your teeth called the ClearSmile. It works by pumping cleansing solution around your teeth for those times when mouthwash just won't do. Even with as awkwardly as this gadget looks to operate, we have to respect that he's developing the (detergent?) tablets with an accredited university.

Notice his Freudian slip of "Scrubbing Bubbles"—so young, so much potential, so sued before never turning a profit. – Mark Wilson with video by Richard Blakeley