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Access to proper dental care equipment can be a real problem for dentists in developing parts of the world as well as those in underprivileged areas. The gear can be expensive and difficult to keep functioning.
However, a team of students from Rice University recently designed a new portable dental suction device that runs on batteries. Many dentists in rural and developing areas don't use suction machines because access to electricity and fund to purchase the devices are limited .
This has led many dentists to use gauze to soak up fluids in the mouth following procedures, but this leaves behind many particles that can cause dental problems. Professor Maria Oden, who served as the team's advisor, said that the device could go a long way towards solving this problem.
"The system can run without direct electrical service and should protect patients from swallowing debris during procedures, save dentists time as they perform these procedures and greatly reduce the amount of waste the team needs to dispose of - all at low cost," she said.
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