Dental HINT™

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Across the country dental students and instructors struggle with the following problems as they try to learn and teach periodontal hand instruments.
• Instrument tips should be positioned at specific angles, however visual observation is subjective and inconsistent even for professionals. Reverse images (mirror) and varied tooth positions (upper/lower jaw) make it extremely difficult to judge and apply correct tip angles.
• Students must wait for instructors to watch them use an instrument and after a brief subjective evaluation they are left alone again. There is no equipment or method to determine the ACTUAL angles. This is a slow and stressful process for both students and instructors and a very inefficient use of their time.

Dental HINT™ (Hygiene INstrument Tutor) represents a paradigm shift in the training of periodontal hand instruments. Combining a sophisticated motion tracking system, proprietary positioning algorithms, and full training suite, HINT™ provides a variety of live feedback about the positioning of a periodontal hand instrument relative to a tooth's surface. For the first time ever, students and instructors have access to consistent and objective feedback that accelerates learning and allows for accurate assessment of performance. Until now there was no way to measure the actual angles.

While simulators for dental restorations exist, HINT™ is the first and only technology available to teach periodontal hand instrumentation. Early testimonials (see indicate there will be a large demand at the 450+ dental teaching institutions in the USA. Additionally HINT™ has great potential internationally, where dental hygiene training is still developing in many countries like China. Dental Offices can also use HINT™ to assess staff proficiency, adopt new hand instruments, and reduce the chance of injury to patients. As state and regional examinations and licensing move away from live patient exams, HINT™ can be used to help determine clinical competence in hand instrumentation.

A revolutionary new product HINT™ is the first and only product to use modern Electromagnetic (or Optical) Tracking technology with 3D modeling and sophisticated software to measure and display the actual Angulation and Adaptation angles of a periodontal hand instrument. A sensor in the handle provides six Degrees Of Freedom giving the position and orientation of the instrument tip and cutting surface. Sub millimeter 3D models of the teeth, held in a fixed location, enables the software to measure and record the actual angles between the tooth surface and the tip’s cutting surface and track the entire stroke in real time. HINT™ software will have a wide variety of teaching modes and lesson plans, all designed to accelerate learning and free instructors to better manage the entire class while pinpointing specific needs of individuals. It can also provide a permanent record of each student’s achievements and allow remote monitoring or playback.

The extraordinary accuracy and repeatability of HINT™ is simply impossible to replicate with a human observer. The consistent and objective feedback finally makes teaching and learning dental hygiene fast, easy and fun at a fraction of the cost of dental restorative simulators!



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  • Name:
    Vincent Bush
  • Type of entry:
    Team members:
    Angela Monson, Vincent Bush
  • Profession:
  • Vincent is inspired by:
    Good engineers dream but never pretend.
  • Software used for this entry:
    Autodesk 123D Design
  • Patent status: