The new toothbrush in the news is called Blizzident. A digital scan taken by the dentist is used to create the CAD design and then uploaded onto the companyâ€™s server. From there, it is converted into a 3D object using stereolithography. This is printing technology which uses an ultraviolet light to cure liquid plastic into 2 bespoke moulds. The bristles, 100s of tiny ones, are fabricated to the right length to reach the gum line and added to the trays to create the finished product. The patient then places the Blizzident over the teeth and bites down and grinds. Bingo!
The brushâ€™s makers say that it can clean a personâ€™s teeth in six seconds. It is this aspect of the technology that Iâ€™m cautious about. I can believe that the conventional brushing time will be reduced because anything that is customised fits and works better. But even with the most efficient of systems, six seconds seems a very short time span for a thorough clean.
The other aspect which canâ€™t be ignored is the price â€“ an estimated Â£245 for a Blizzident which is likely to need renewing every year. From my point of view the news is very exciting: this new technology heralds the day when all dentists can produce bespoke toothbrushes for their patients in the practice. But itâ€™s not something I will be doing until the cost has come down a little bit!