Escudo de la República de Colombia

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UNal designed bracket positioner patented

The prototype provides greater accuracy in orthodontist procedures, reducing treatment times and diminishing costs.

Bogotá D. C., 10 de febrero de 2016Agencia de Noticias UN-

With the prototype these orthodontics procedures will take less time. Photo: UNal Archives

The tool will allow greater precision when it comes to placing brackets. Photo: UNal Archives

Gabriel García Acosta, Director of Institution of Technological Research. Photo: Nicolás Bojacá

They used dummy heads to simulate placing the brackets. Photo: UNal Archives

The positioning handles were designed at the Laboratory of Ergonomy. Photo: UNal Archives

David Puentes, Professor of the UNal School of Industrial Design. Photo: Nicolás Bojacá

This is a tool developed by Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) researchers to place brackets on teeth more accurately. The device has an ergonomic handle for an easy grip, a tip with a guide which determines the position of the bracket and a LED light directed to the center of the tooth to paste it on the exact place.

The idea of the prototype came from the experience of UNal Orthodontics Graduate School Professor Sara Stella Parada, whom during her professional experience had many issues trying to place brackets with precision using the existing instruments.

Professor Gabriel García Acosta, Director of the Institution for Technological Research says this achievement was obtained with a project which has been in the making for 8 years by an inter-disciplinary group.

The Products and Processes Micro or Macro Ergonomy Research Group (Mimapro, for its Spanish acronym) with advice from several expert orthodontists worked on the prototype which helps place, make the foundation and paste the bracket in just one procedure.

“The main issue is that the accuracy of placing a bracket falls on the skill of the orthodontist; if not done correctly the brackets will be maladjusted and treatment will last longer”, said García.

With support from the UNal Laboratory of Ergonomy they designed a prototype which fits in the palm of the hand and has a very small tip.

“We performed research on the hand anatomy to produce the handle, which included movement compatibility, adaptation and comfort features. The tip is 14 millimeters long and with a diameter of 8 millimeters, which required a very precise equipment to manufacture, said David Puentes, Professor of the UNal School of Industrial Design.

To carry out the tests we used dummy heads to simulate bracket placement. This expedited the verification process to avoid doing it directly on patients.

“We installed a camera and developed a prototype and with a see-through tooth we could observe how to place the bracket in the middle of the tooth with different types of grips. We designed different handle models and tested them to see which one had the greatest accuracy,” said García.

During the process more students were involved and Professor Sara Parada carried out grip tests with patients. “These protocols were tested with more than six orthodontists and with all the feedback we made adjustments to the design,” said Fuentes.

Afterwards they began to develop and write a patent which was submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in August of 2013.

They were pioneers in several aspects, for instance, this is the first patent granted to the UNal School of Industrial Design. “We were the first project to have prototypes using high technological equipment. For this process they were in need of students which could draw in 3D and in parametric software models,” he said.

The greatest social impact of the tool is that orthodontists will complete the process with better results and the patient will use brackets for far less time, which then reduces expenses.

“The importance of it all is that with the prototype the quality of the treatment is maintained but we cut the bracket duration short,” said García.

(Por: Fin/VC/MLA/APBL
)
N.° 73

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