Less time wearing braces + better oral health
While braces can fix dental problems and give you a beautiful smile, the force they apply can damage your teeth's roots. Plus, getting that perfect smile can take a few years. Root damage is not only hard to treat, it can also jeopardize the health, functionality and life of teeth. But UAlberta technology that promotes the growth of dental tissue could change that. And shrink the time you have to wear braces.
From university lab to dentists and patients
UAlberta spin-off company SmileSonica was created to move the technology out of the lab and into the hands of patients who can benefit from it. While completing his graduate degree, Smilesonica founder and CEO Cristian Scurtescu, was involved in developing and testing the new technology in the lab. After seeing the technology at work, he wanted to get it into the hands of dentists and patients. So after graduating, he licensed the technology and started Silesonica to take the technology public. It took him over eight years to develop the technology from concept to viable product. Now the Aevo System™ is a clinically tested, regulatory approved medical device available in Canada, Europe and Australia, with plans to expand into other markets/countries.
How it works
The Aevo System is a portable, rechargeable home-use orthodontic therapy. The device looks like a mouthguard connected to a smart phone and applies low-intensity, pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) to the wearer’s dental tissue, accelerating tooth movement. The device doesn’t eliminate the need for braces, but works with braces and accelerates the process, and can be used with wired braces or clear aligners. Regular use for 20 minutes a day enables faster tooth movement than braces alone, decreases orthodontically induced tooth root resorption, shortens orthodontic treatment time, and improves long-term oral health—with no pain, discomfort or undesired side effects. A clinical trial showed:
- Average increase of 29.0% in tooth movement rate.
- Control teeth had a root resorption rate averaging 220.8% higher than teeth using the Aevo System.
- No increase in adverse events or pain.
Science behind the technology
UAlberta professor, researcher and orthodontist Tarek El-Bialy ‘accidentally’ discovered tissue regrowth while researching effects of ultrasound on jawbone. His research showed that LIPUS applied to teeth for 20 minutes a day for four weeks, massages the gums to stimulate jaws, and encourages root growth and heals dental tissue. It was the first time that new dental tissue had formed that fast and the first time ultrasound was used in dentistry for anything other than cleaning teeth.
Entrepreneurship: a challenging and lengthy process
It took Cristian Scurtescu over eight years to get the Aevo System market ready, including creating a unique gel to use with the system’s mouthpiece. When he started Smilesonica it was just him and his vision to create something to benefit the world but simple enough that anyone could use it. Edmonton-based Smilesonica is now a company with global reach and employs over a dozen people, many with advanced degrees from the University of Alberta.