SensAble dental lab system wins 2008 Best of What's New award

Nov. 12, 2008
Award from Popular Science magazine honors use of haptics to ease transition to digital dentistry.

WOBURN, Massachusetts--SensAble Technologies, Inc., a provider of touch-enabled modeling solutions and haptic devices, has announced its SensAble Dental Lab System won a 2008 "Best of What's New" award given annually by Popular Science magazine.

SensAble's integrated hardware/software system allows dental lab technicians to use technology appealing to the Nintendo Wii generation in their daily work to scan, design and fabricate multiple types of common dental restorations, such as partial dentures and crown and bridge.

By incorporating haptics, or "artificial touch," SensAble's system allows dental lab technicians to work digitally, while keeping the manual dexterity and sense of touch to which they are accustomed. It also helps labs of all sizes and levels of computer savvy to attract young technicians to a mature field, while replacing time and labor-intensive manual processes.

A winner in the personal health category, the SensAble Dental Lab System allows lab technicians to design dental restorations using a PHANTOM haptic (touch-enabled) device instead of a computer mouse. Lab technicians use virtual wax-up tools to literally "feel" the on-screen model as they apply, smooth and carve "digital wax."

This touch-enabled system mimics the traditional method of hand modeling dental restorations that many technicians have spent decades perfecting--yet adds the precision and repeatability of a digital system.

SensAble's system is also the first integrated digital solution to support the production process for partial dentures, as well as crown and bridge--giving dental labs more ways to leverage their system investment, and new opportunities to add to or expand their business.

Typically a lower margin, complex dental prosthetic, partials have seen little technology innovation, and production has increasingly been outsourced--often overseas. With the SensAble Dental Lab system, lab owners now have a cost-effective solution to help them regain local control and recapture business.

Labs can design more restorations in less time--while maintaining greater precision and fast turnaround to dentists and their patients.

"Our lab is completing digital partials in half the time, as well as saving time and money with materials with the SensAble Dental Lab System," said Scott Udell, co-owner of Udell Dental Laboratory in St. Louis Park, Minn. "The patient work designed with the SensAble system is more accurate and easier to fabricate, and the system's versatility really helped us to cost-justify the investment to 'go digital.'"

"We're honored by the Best of What's New award," said Bob Steingart, president and general manager of dental products for SensAble Technologies. "While our lab customers are reaping the benefits of working digitally, their customers--the dentists and their patients--are also benefiting. A dentist even told one of our lab customers, 'I don't know what you did, but these are the best parts I've ever seen.' This type of feedback indicates that, with SensAble parts, dentists are making fewer chairside adjustments, and therefore patients are spending less time in the dentist's office, which makes everybody happy."

"For 21 years, Popular Science's Best of What's New awards honor the innovations that make a positive impact on life today and change our views of the future," said Mark Jannot, editor-in-chief of Popular Science. "PopSci's editors evaluate thousands of products each year to develop this thoughtful list, there's no higher accolade Popular Science can give."

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