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Imagination fueling innovation: The new Waterpik Sonic-Fusion

Jan. 3, 2019
Despite the design and engineering challenges, the Water Pik Sonic Fusion team created an innovative product that blends sonic brush technology and water flossing, all housed into one novel device. 

The road trip from inspiration to a marketable product is never predictable, especially when an innovative idea gets tossed out in an email or sketched out on a scrap of paper. It is even trickier if the concept is new. But true visionaries do not stop when they believe that their ideas have merit. They persevere and the end result can be a remarkable breakthrough—thus the story of Water Pik’s newest innovation, the Waterpik Sonic-Fusion.

The pathway to create the Sonic Fusion started over a decade ago. When Water Pik’s American scientists and engineers came up with the idea of a unique hybrid unit, a power toothbrush that could also be a water flosser, no one knew how long it would take. Yankee ingenuity and tenacity propelled them forward. They never lost sight of their goal. They knew if they could pull it off, their innovative idea had the potential to change patients' health trajectories.

Here is what clinicians know. Most patients have some level of periodontal disease, ranging from gingivitis to periodontitis that is either isolated or generalized. Current scientific research indicates that regular and thorough disruption of pathogenic plaque biofilm is critical for oral wellness and the overall health of the entire body. Patients frequently struggle with traditional methods of biofilm removal, and some dental professionals cling to recommending oral hygiene practices that were taught decades ago. No one wins in this situation. Disease continues, patients feel scolded, and clinicians feel frustrated and devalued.

Dental professionals everywhere agree that daily disruption of supra- and subgingival biofilm allows healthy aerobic microbes to proliferate, a process that supports both oral and systemic health. Effective removal of pathogenic microbes is particularly critical for patients with or at risk for diabetes, heart attacks, pregnancy complications, dementia, certain cancers, and autoimmune disorders. Patients need an easy-to-use device or protocol that provides thorough and efficient removal of pathogenic microbes.

Despite the design and engineering challenges, the Sonic-Fusion team was determined to create an innovative product that would blend sonic brush technology and water flossing, all housed into one novel device. After more than a decade of R & D, the Waterpik Sonic-Fusion initially debuted at the California Dental Association's meeting in Anaheim. The response was amazing. The Sonic-Fusion was the first water-flossing power toothbrush, a true technology breakthrough.

In July, a handful of users reported their units were overheating. Water Pik immediately initiated a voluntary recall of all Sonic-Fusion units. The Water Pik engineering and product quality team spent the next few months investigating the problem. A solution was found.

The road trip for the Sonic-Fusion had a bit of a detour, but the product was relaunched with great success at the 2018 Greater New York Dental Meeting in late November. Thumbs up to the company for responding so rapidly and for creating a Sonic-Fusion that meets the highest standards for safety, quality, and effectiveness. Clinicians and end users are the ultimate beneficiaries of this innovative new way to achieve health through biofilm disruption.

We live in the world of sound bites, so here is a quick and easy-to-understand list of why the Waterpik Sonic-Fusion is important in today’s world:

  • Water flosser tip integrated into brush head
  • User selects application: brushing, water flossing, or both
  • User chooses activity sequence
  • Simultaneous brushing/water flossing mode: a multitasker bonanza
  • Can be used with any mouthwash
  • ADA Seal and a three-year warranty

Companies who lack vision and commitment often shelve an idea early on if they are not willing to support what it takes to morph dreams into reality. Kudos to Water Pik for embracing an innovative idea and sticking with it!

The Waterpik Sonic-Fusion: Additional features

From an end-user standpoint, here are additional Waterpik Sonic-Fusion features:

Brush head and handle

  • Easy-to-grip, lightweight, balanced handle
  • Mode buttons are easy to activate
  • Two-minute timer with 30-second pacer
  • Replaceable brush head
  • Converts to a portable, on-the-go power brush

Irrigation hose

  • Delivers irrigant directly into brush head
  • Smooth 360 handle-end swivel
  • Easy to attach and uncouple
  • Flexible yet neatly coiled

Delivery unit

  • Stylish, contemporary, and clean unit design
  • Compact, space-saving countertop footprint
  • Lightweight and stable—does not tip over during use
  • 10 water pressure settings—smooth, rotating dial
  • Vented fluid reservoir—unit air dries between uses
  • Global voltage

Anne Nugent Guignon, MPH, RDH, CSP, provides popular programs, including topics on biofilms, power driven scaling, ergonomics, hypersensitivity, and remineralization. Recipient of the 2004 Mentor of the Year Award and the 2009 ADHA Irene Newman Award, Anne has practiced clinical dental hygiene in Houston since 1971, and can be contacted at [email protected].