Israeli researchers and entrepreneurs are helping dental professionals take better care of your mouth.
By Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel21c
We don’t know anyone who actually enjoys sitting in a dentist’s chair with an assortment of instruments probing their teeth and gums.
So we won’t promise that any of the dental innovations from Israel, detailed below, will make you eager to get into the chair under the big light.
But if an innovation can shorten both the treatment and healing time for a variety of procedures, that is something to smile about.
According to the Israel Export Institute, the Israeli oral and dental industry landscape of more than 120 firms is improving tele-dentistry, robotic dentistry and digitalized dentistry.
“These solutions aim to enhance clinical performance, reduce chair time and increase efficiency and ease of treatment for both dentists and patients,” the institute explains in its catalog of the sector.
Solutions include intraoral scanners, 3D printing for restorative dentistry and orthodontics, laser treatments, treatment planning software, 2D and 3D diagnostics, simulators for dental education, and artificial intelligence (AI) for diagnostics and treatment planning in orthodontics, implantology and aesthetics.
Here’s the lowdown on some of Israel’s hottest dental technologies.
Grin, a portfolio company of Triventures Fund, is bringing the option of remote care to the world of dentistry and orthodontia.
When it’s time for an evaluation or checkup regarding braces, aligners or tooth whitening, patients open the Grin app and use the Grin Scope to send the practitioner images in real time. If the images indicate adjustments are needed, many can be guided remotely as well.
Orca Dental AI
AI and algorithms allow users to generate instantaneous reports and analytics based on oral imaging data including dental cone beam CTs.
Orca’s tools are used by general dentists, orthodontists and prosthodontists for anything from cavity detection to bone evaluation to tooth and root segmentation.
BioChang’s one-of-a-kind tissue regeneration technology, ReGum, heals gum disease (periodontitis) in dogs. A formulation for humans is expected within a few years.
ReGum’s unique scaffold implant triggers a mechanism of repair and regeneration by the patient’s own cells at the injection site.
The scaffold is based on natural biomaterials designed for standard injection or minimally invasive surgical placement. Over time, the scaffold biologically degrades, leaving behind only autologous, regenerated, healthy tissue.
Image Navigation’s Image Guided Implantology (IGI) system, based on the patient’s CT scan and LED motion tracking, enhances safety and proper placement while reducing procedure time and expense and minimizing patient trauma.
“Computer-aided surgical navigation already exists, but we’ve solved the particular problems that apply to dentistry, which is that the patient is awake and moving,” says Executive Chairman and CEO Lawrence Obstfeld.
“When you have a moving patient, your screen rendering has to be a lot faster. Imagine looking through video glasses while driving a car or shooting a basketball. If you had an onscreen delay of even half a second, you would not get good results.”
Using two camera eyes picking up the position of tiny LEDs embedded in a tracking device attached to the teeth, IGI shows the dentist exactly where the drill tip is. Red and green lights indicate proper positioning, regardless of the patient’s movement.
The first iteration of IGI, used in more than a dozen countries since 2001, is being replaced by an updated version compatible with today’s dental technologies, including in-office CT scanners.
Nova Plasma’s implant activation device, Active+, gives dental implants a deep-cleaning cold plasma bath immediately before they go into the patient’s mouth.
Clinical results show this 30-second procedure can improve integration and shorten healing time by 50 percent. The company is eyeing additional markets such as orthopedics and spine surgery.
Attached to standard dental implants, Magdent’s patented pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) healing abutments activate and accelerate the body’s natural healing processes.
The caps stimulate bone formation and improve the quality of both hard and soft tissue, shortening recovery time by two-thirds.
CEO Benny Barak says Magdent’s device “is proven to reduce inflammation, becoming an essential component in treatment of peri-implantitis, a condition that occurs in about 40% of implant procedures and can lead to implant failure.”
Barak says the device’s “curative properties enable oral health professionals to improve patient outcomes, especially for high-risk patients such as heavy smokers, for whom traditional implants may not be possible.”
Magdent’s healing abutments are already sold in Israel and the EU, and an FDA application in process to expand to the American market.
People suffering from chronic inflammation can get relief without drugs through daily low-level laser treatments at home using the B-Cure Laser.
The portable, rechargeable device stimulates the release of anti-inflammatory enzymes and speeds the healing process. Patients begin with 1.5 minutes at the point of inflammation, gradually increasing to 8 minutes twice a day for two weeks.
A study in 2015 proved that B-Cure Laser killed more than 60% of the germs causing inflammation in the mouth. B-Cure’s device also can be used at home to treat jaw pain from conditions including temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.
Dentalics provides an easy method for a difficult task: choosing the right shade for an implant or crown that will match the surrounding teeth of the patient.
Using the Dentalics app and the mobile phone’s camera, the dentist takes a photo of the patient’s teeth. The app’s algorithms detect the shade and display it in the Vita color scale system, which dental labs use as the basis for making porcelain crowns, bridges and veneers.
Common causes for dental implant failure are the immune response against oral bacteria and titanium particles shed by the implant. These can generate an inflammatory response, leading to destruction of bone tissue around the implants or around natural teeth.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University developed a molecule called SNV that protects against bone loss around orthopedic and dental implants as well as natural teeth.
Mouse studies (it’s not yet tested on humans) found that SNV can significantly suppress inflammation and the resulting bone destruction, offering a potential preventative topical treatment for people with joint or dental implants and gum recession, which also is caused by bone loss.
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