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When it comes to taking images of your pearly whites, there may soon be no more need for cardboard expanders, lead vests, robotic arms and the sight of your dentist slipping behind a substantial wall while the x-ray machine is in operation. The Mabi Smart Mouth Scanning System is a concept that anticipates a handheld device that’s significantly more user-friendly and much more effective as a means of mapping a patient’s jaw and teeth.
Lucas Terra’s pen-sized handheld device has a hi-tech surveying tip that sends information wirelessly to a computer to create three-dimensional images of the oral cavity. A digital model is formed, making it possible for a life-size reproduction of the person’s mouth to be 3D-printed. The implications for orthodontics would enable added ease in the molding of retainers, trays, dentures and configuring braces.