A fully robotic toothbrush for disabled patients

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At last: A fully robotic toothbrush for disabled patients

Samba is a new robotic toothbrush for people with disabilities that cleans teeth automatically. (Image: Curaden)
Curaden

Curaden

Thu. 22 February 2024

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KRIENS, Switzerland: According to World Health Organization data, almost 45% of the global population has some form of oral disease. For people with a disability, that figure almost doubles. To make good oral health accessible to those with limited dexterity, Curaprox has released the Samba toothbrush. The launch of the fully robotic Samba—hailed by Time magazine as one of the best inventions of 2023—marks the first time that a global oral care brand has addressed the difficulty of toothbrushing for those with a disability.

A long-awaited solution

For those dealing with a physical or mental disability, effective brushing can pose a challenge. They are often forced to rely on a caregiver or family member to clean their teeth for them, or they do the brushing themselves with a subpar technique. Either option ends up compromising the oral health of these patients, exacerbated by a lack of understanding of proper brushing techniques and areas to focus on, particularly in the case of implants or orthodontic appliances. Exact numbers are difficult to come by, but according to one study, an estimated 88% of individuals with a disability suffer from dental problems. More than anything, this staggering figure reflects the need for a tailored solution.

The Israeli start-up DentFreak conceived the Samba brush specifically to tackle this health disparity. Eight years of extensive development later, manufacturer Curaprox released it to the market. “Samba was developed with the conviction that everyone deserves a healthy mouth, and that disability should not interfere with oral hygiene,” explained Samba inventor Eran Eyal, founder and CEO of DentFreak.

“Disability should not interfere with oral hygiene.”—Eran Eyal, founder and CEO of DentFreak

The brush’s innovative design means that, even without manual dexterity, people with disabilities can take care of their oral health independently. “They no longer need help,” said Swiss dentist and co-developer Dr Michael Keller. “They just need this tool and then they can look after their oral health without effort,” he explained.

Perfect cleaning, with or without disability

Samba’s secret lies in its perfect reproduction of toothbrushing with a superior technique. It makes up for the various challenges faced by individuals with disabilities, such as fatigue and compromised motor skills, which impact grip, pressure and control. Samba has a large handle that is easy to hold on to and employs brush heads that move with a dynamic brushing motion at a predetermined pressure. The bristles embrace the teeth in a U-shape and move along the teeth and gingival margin thanks to an ingenious application of mechanics. Biofilm removal is achieved by a pioneering combination of low- and high-frequency oscillations.

A major difference to regular brushing is the short time it takes Samba to clean all the teeth. It cleans fast: 30 seconds per arch. Whereas a traditional toothbrush is only able to clean one tooth surface at a time, Samba can clean 36 surfaces simultaneously. The brush features 12,900 soft bristles, mainly grouped into 17 micro-brushes, that clean every tooth surface and groove at once. The resulting deep clean is one that few patients are likely to achieve and makes the brush a game-changer for any patient, regardless of whether they have a disability or not. For those patients with a disability, however, it can be a life changer.

More information about the Samba toothbrush can be found here.

Editorial note:

The Samba toothbrush was formerly known as CleanTeeth. The product was renamed after the brand was acquired by Curaprox in October 2023.

Visitors to the Chicago Society Dental Meeting can learn more about Samba at Booth 1329.

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