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Technology may help make dental care more comfortable
Updated: 6/18/2009 5:00:50 PM

Despite many people practicing great dental hygiene throughout their lives, inevitably age does take its toll on teeth and gums.

While some are able to have cosmetic dentistry to fix age-related teeth issues, others have to resort to dentures and currently dentists take impressions of the patient's mouth using a plaster model.

Patients have to bite down into a silicone template which can be uncomfortable, but now researchers at the Fraunhofer institute have developed new technology using camera optics to measure the entire jaw arch from 360 degrees.

A computer will highlight the tooth area and several cameras photograph different angles of the mouth to create a three-dimensional image of each tooth.

While this may help those who need dentures, teens about to get braces may also be able to avoid biting down on a tray of silicone, for these images will allow dentists to view which teeth are growing incorrectly.

This imaging process will be fairly easy and painless, according to technology group manager Dr Peter Kühmstedt, who states "the image sequence for each measurement position is captured in less than 200 milliseconds," indicating dental care might be speedier in the future.

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