Augmented Reality to Improve Dentistry

Swiss start-up uses AR to show outcomes of dental procedures.

Augmented reality (AR) is a tool that has seen increased use in various business areas and is starting to see use in areas such as education and healthcare. One Swiss start-up company is aiming to use AR technology to improve outcomes for dental surgery.

Usually when major dental work is needed to be done, a dentist will do a cast of the patient’s mouth and make replica of the teeth. This approach has barely changed for decades. Kapanu is introducing modern technology to the process by taking 3D scans of the patient’s mouth and using this information to create an AR recreation of the person’s mouth cavity.

It is not uncommon for dentists to take 3D images of patients mouths, so this existing information can be used to create an AR overlay that locks onto the patient’s mouth to show areas that would be changed or improved by the procedure, showing in much greater detail what would change. The patient can then choose to tweak various options, such as teeth spacing.

Kapanu is a spin-off of Swiss technical university ETH Zurich. The CEO, Roland Morzinger worked alongside Disney Research to create an AR engine for use in medical technology and decided that applying the technology to dentistry was a good place to start.

The system was showcased that the International Dental Show in Cologne, and reportedly impressed the attendees there. Subsequently, the company was acquired by Ivoclar Vivadent.

It is unknown if and when the AR dental software will be available commercially.

A video demonstration of the application is available to view below.

VRFocus will continue to report on new and innovative uses of AR technology.

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