A Reno dental laboratory’s expertise is helping a Truckee dentist take his next big step toward helping patients who suffer from the effects of a bad bite.
Dr. Donald Reid of Tahoe Dental Artistry first developed software animations to help patients understand the effects of bad bite.
Now he’s launching a finely crafted dental appliance to help solve the problem.
The appliance — you probably think of it as “night guard,” although dental professionals call it a “bite splint” — was brought to reality by Daniel Llop, founder of nSequence Center for Advanced Dentistry in Reno.
Llop worked with Reid for about a year to get the manufacturing right, a process that demanded rigorous attention to accuracy, experiments to find the right materials to create the bite splints and tests to ensure they worked correctly with patients.
Reid says he’s marketing the newly developed dental appliance to dentists and their patients around the world.
But his initial focus is existing clients of BiteFX, the animation that helps dental patients understand why they’re having headaches or grinding their teeth.
The animation software was developed by a partnership of Reid and Doug Brown, a software animation developer who runs Dyanamic Thought LLC in Truckee.
The BiteFX animation explains the complexities of bad bite — in dental terms, “occlusion” — in a way that patients can understand, and dentists around the country have been signing up in droves for the animation service that’s priced at $100 to $197 a month.
But even though the animation allowed dentists to better explain the problems of bad bite, Reid wasn’t satisfied with existing bite splints that are worn by patients with occlusion problems.
After getting encouragement from Llop, Reid decided to design his own as the result of his dissatisfaction with other products.
It’s harder than it looks.
Each bite splint is created individually to fit teeth and mouth structure of an individual patient, a process that takes careful measurements as well as accurate impressions.
Reid initially used a loupe — a small magnification device sort of like the eyepiece used by jewelers — to see small details. Now he’s using an operating room microscope.
Precise digital manufacturing of each splint is undertaken at nSequence Center for Advanced Dentistry’s facility at Kietzke Lane and Neil Road.
The center provides professional training for dentists along with operation of a high-end dental laboratory, and Reid teaches classes in reconstructive dentistry and other professional subjects at the center.
As Reid rolls out the BiteFX Splint, he says professional education — either through Webinars or in first-person sessions at nSequence and other professional settings — will be critical to the launch of the product.
That’s because dentists will need to carefully follow precise procedures to make sure the BiteFX splint is effective for their patients.