Dental technology innovation showcase

DENTAL BOFFINS: Dental Technology students showcased their innovations at the BTech Innovation Showcase

Everyone has the potential to innovate.

The BTech Dental Technology class recently proved that thinking out of the box is doable.

Annually the class is tasked by their lecturer, Abduraghman Latief, to design and construct a cost effective machine that plays a crucial role in the day to day activities of dental technologist.

This year the class, who teamed up in groups, came up with several innovative devices, with some having the potential to be patented.

Student Jodi Kock and his team manufactured a steaming device they named “Extreme Steam” from basic materials, including a metal box and parts of a cappuccino machine.

Jodi explains that a steam cleaner is a practical devise that can be used at all stages during the manufacture of a dental appliance.

However, he says many dental technologists still rely on using a sterilized bristle brush to clean the models or  dental appliances during the manufacturing process.

“Whenever a dental appliance is finished, you have to boil it off  to remove the wax residue. This is where our device comes in to play,” he says.

“An affordable  steam cleaner is very practical because it is easy to use.”

Chantal Isaacs, Buyani Masala and Santino Orso put their ideas together and manufactured a cost-effective smart polish electrolytic bath, using basic materials such as glass and a standard timer.

The machine is used to polish dental applications and relies on an electro-chemical process to get the job done.

Currently machines that perform this task retail for up to R20 000, but the trio’s device cost just over a R 1000 to construct.

Monique van der Merwe and her team opted to recreate a cost-effective version of an electroplating machine that is used to gold plate  as well as polish certain  dental appliances, such as cobalt chrome.

“By introducing new and innovative ideas and concepts to existing ideas, we can improve on the manner in which we produce dental prosthesis,” says Monique.

Thierry Bazire and his team introduced a Bunsen burner using the process of electrolysis to convert H2O into Hydrogen and Oxygen molecules which produces a hot flame.

Latief says he is impressed with this year’s projects.

“I think every year the level increases,” he says.

Latief says it’s important for students in this industry to be aware of innovation and technology and the role it can play in improving their services to patients.

He says such projects also broadens students’ horizons and stirs their interest in research.





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