Engineers, dentist team up to create occlusion-sensitive retainer

Two engineers recently partnered with a California dentist to create a retainer that detects dental occlusions.

Shijia Pan, PhD, is an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the University of California Merced, and VP Nguyen, PhD, is an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Texas Arlington. The two teamed up with Jun Ho Lee, DDS, of Merced, Calif., to create a smart retainer that measures teeth pressure. 

TeethVib, which is shaped like a night guard, is made with piezo sensors that monitor pressure when users bite down on the retainer. When pressure is applied, the sensors generate a minuscule voltage that can be measured and analyzed. 

The research team wrote a paper on the retainer's progress that was published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and they are gearing up to apply the retainer in human trials, the University of California Merced said April 4.

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