Our Projects

Robotic laser dental device

Project description and overview:

Handheld dental laser systems have been available for some time with their major benefit to patients being a more pain free dental experience without noisy drills and vibration. However, the technology has experienced difficulties penetrating the market and appealing to general dental practitioners (GDPs). This is due to somewhat more complex settings;  lack of control; a relatively high cost; and dentists believing it is too difficult to redevelop and regain the required “feel” when using laser dentistry visa-a-vis the conventional turbine handpieces.

Dentroid Technologies (Emudent) will bridge these handheld laser problems by developing a hands-free robotic dental device that combines the precision and efficiency of laser with the appropriate digital control. The dentist will attach the device to the tooth being repaired, then use a joystick to fire and move the laser. The system will automatically correct the operator in case they accidently go beyond pre-specified parameters. There is no need to manipulate different settings for varying level of skills and procedures.

The technology also represents a platform for mobile and remotely controlled dentistry, with particular benefit to rural, remote and disadvantaged communities; conflict and disaster zones; offshore naval vessels; and cruise ships. Additionally, early stage diagnosis and intervention may be performed through units installed at schools, rural health centres and aged care facilities. This can potentially save critical time by avoiding waiting lists and commuting, as there will be no need for a dentist to be physically present at this initial stage; a nurse or a staff member with basic training can clip the device onto the tooth of concern and the dentist will log-in, check and analyse remotely.

The technology is expected to reduce the costs of dental treatments. Automation reduces physical and mental burnout of dentists and increases productivity. Dental treatments can be done in fewer visits, particularly when Dentroid is paired to an in-clinic milling machine. Improved precision and standardisation will also reduce human errors and consequently medico-legal complications.

Until now, dental clinics have not existed on the data grid. Industry 4.0 has had little applicability in the dentist settings and armamentarium. Dentroid will not only automate clinical work, but it will also convert the manual/analogue mode of working into a complete digital process. Hence, the visual feed will be recorded and analysed. Data can be shared, aggregated and processed by artificial intelligence (AI). It is through this AI that Dentroid will introduce Industry 4.0 to the dental industry which will allow clinical guidance and optimisation of the surgical work.

COVID-19 has recently highlighted the need for low-contact and tele-dentistry. Dental drills generate a significant volume of aerosols and splatter which carry infectious viruses. With regular surgical face masks offering only an 80% filtration rate, dentistry has the highest risk of any profession in relation to contracting the COVID-19 virus if they unknowingly carry out a dental procedure on an infected patient. Contrary to their medical counterparts, there are no available solutions for tele-dentistry. Dentroid Technologies may well be the only company in the world working on a meaningful solution to provide low-contact and tele-dentistry.

Despite having world-class dental research led by more than nine dental schools, dental device manufacturing is lacking in Australia. The same applies to the use of lasers in dentistry. Dentroid Technologies believe this project will foster the development of dental manufacturing in Australia and harness the advanced research and expertise we already possess as a country.

EXPECTED IMPACT

  • Increased spending on R&D
  • Higher information and communication technologies (ICT) intensity
  • Larger patent portfolio
  • Increased levels of automation
  • Greater share of services in total revenue
  • Increased level of extensive backward links

EXPECTED GROWTH

  • Dentroid Technologies expects sales of $347,750,000 over the next 5 years

EXPECTED JOBS

  • Dentroid Technologies anticipates that the project will generate 6 -10 employment opportunities over the coming 12 months
  • Dentroid Technologies anticipate that within the first year of the manufacturing stage 40+ jobs will be generated
Contributions:

Government Funds: $250,000​ | Industry: $250,000 | In-Kind: $290,160

Project Participants