• Potomac Photonics
  • November 24, 2020

Potomac Photonics Designs and Fabricates Innovative Dental Tool to Comply with COVID Protocols.

Potomac Photonics Designs and Fabricates Innovative Dental Tool to Comply with COVID Protocols.

3D printed dental device.

Potomac scientists and engineers innately see a problem and, especially in this time of Covid, can’t help but jump in to innovate a solution.  Just that happened when Potomac senior research scientist, Natalia Christensen, visited her dentist for an annual check-up. 

Explains Jessica Salmon, a 12-year dental hygienist veteran at Gentle Family Dentistry in Dunkirk, Maryland: “In order to reduce the spread of aerosols, we’ve started using high vac suction in our dental cleaning protocols.  The problem is that we usually have the mirror in one hand in order to see what we are doing, and the cleaning instruments in the other hand, leaving it impossible to also integrate the suction tube”

3D printed device with dental tools.

Ms. Christensen saw the dilemma at her appointment with Ms. Salmon and immediately recognized that the stop-gap solution of tying the mirror to the suction tube with rubber bands was less than optimal.  She brought the problem back to Potomac, realizing that the contract manufacturing company’s 3D Printing capability could prototype a design to ergonomically solve the problem.

Like all prototypes, the design could only be optimized by iterating successive versions that Ms. Salmon could test.  One of the first options caused the holder to crack when the mirror was inserted.

By working with dimensions, materials and other 3D Printing parameters, Potomac was able to finalize a design that perfectly solved the problem.   Potomac President and CEO Mike Adelstein says, “The FormLabs Form3B is a great SLA 3D Printer for rapidly prototyping solutions to problems in a wide range of industries it helped us quickly provide a functional prototype.”

Ms. Salmon can’t imagine working without this adaptation to her dental system.  “There are other solutions out there,” she explains, “but they require a big investment and re-configuration in the dental operatory.  The Potomac solution is light and portable – just what we needed to keep everyone safe during these times of Covid-19!”

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