Orthodontic treatment for bite correction is a very difficult and tedious process, during which a patient has to pay careful attention to a doctor’s advice. But more often than not, after lengthy treatment with braces, and successful occlusion correction, patients forget about the importance of retainers, which hold teeth in position after their realignment.

The problem with insubordinate patients is pretty difficult to solve, but turns out, it’s possible! Researchers from California have developed “smart” dental retainers, which will help both patient and doctor accurately control how long a retainer should be worn.     

A lot of doctors, researchers and scientists are working on perfecting this device.

The working principle of the device lies in a Bluetooth sensor, which records exactly how long the device is used. The device can also be controlled via Android and Windows mobile apps.

This orthodontic device also has a special built-in sensor that measures the difference in room temperature and body temperature, which is how it knows if the retainer is in the mouth or not. This information is sent to the website of the dental practice where the patient is being treated, so the doctor can control the process. Another interesting aspect is that for correct and timely usage of the device, the patient is “rewarded” by cellphone for accomplishing a set goal.

The device also reminds the patient if he/she forgets to put in the retainer or doesn’t wear it long enough by sending a text message to their phone through a mobile app, which is later saved to the patient’s history.

There are a lot of famous scientists working on the retainer technology, like Sneha Oberoi, DDS and Philip Chung, PhD (biodesign laboratory). The device has not yet been tested on humans, but researchers plan to start the first clinical study of the new orthodontic retainer very soon and a larger and more in-depth evaluation will take place over the next two years.

By Dr. Iryna Todoriyuk, BiMedis Company