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May 13th, 2014

A recent media campaign showcased a new product in the dental marketplace.  Produced by a British company in London, this product showcases the latest technologies to provide a unique approach for brushing teeth.
First you need to understand what a 3-D printer can do.  These devices can take a computer designed device and actually create it in solid plastic in a matter of minutes to hours depending on the size of the object.  Literally anything can be  custom made in an incredibly short time.  Well, take that technology and imagine using a model of someone’s teeth and creating a perfect fit “mouth guard” type device with just enough space between the plastic and the teeth to add brush bristles angled perfectly towards the teeth.  When the device is inserted in the mouth, all the teeth are brushed simultaneously and completely in about 10 seconds!
At a cost of about $350 is this just another ridiculous toy for the very lazy?  Well maybe for some, but can you imagine this as a tool for the physically handicapped or infirm?  A care giver can do a perfect job of oral hygiene in just seconds.  Someone with limited motor control can now properly care for their own oral health on a daily basis.  This can be a significant aid for those who need it and at a cost that is a fraction of the dental work that might result without proper care.
There’s not much involved in producing the 3-D brush.  Your dentist will take impressions of both arches, upper and lower along with a bite record and send the models to a lab in the U.S.  They scan those models into a computer and send the file electronically to the company in London.  Your completed brush is sent to your dentist in about 6 weeks.
The brush is said to last for a year and then can be sent back for new bristles at a cost of about $100.  A second brush can be made for a reduced amount as well since the scans of the original are saved and can reproduce more brushes as desired.

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