Alaska Patent of the Month – January 2021

Dental health is very important, especially if you play sports, or if you just have a sweet tooth. Those of us who play sports such as football, rugby, or hockey, may know that mouthguards are important for protecting our teeth. But mouthguards can also be used during the exact opposite activity, sleeping. Many people struggle with teeth clenching or grinding, called bruxism, while they sleep; so they need a special type of mouthguard, a night-guard. There are many night-guards that are made to help bruxism, which include specific features that protect the teeth. However, without correct support and guidance, these night-guards could make bruxism worse and cause further damage in the jaw muscles. Night-guards that properly support and guide the teeth are custom made and require a lot of work by the dentist, so they are quite expensive. That’s why Alaska’s Dr. Kelly Lucas has developed a night-guard kit for dentists to make custom guards faster, easier, and more affordable for their patients all while providing new and improved treatment strategies not previously available.

Lucas’s night-guard kit provides three-dimensional control, meaning the patient receives complete coverage for tooth protection, along with anterior guidance and centric relation/centric occlusion correction. With these three points of protection and support, bruxism cannot worsen and there is a lower risk of further damage to the teeth or surrounding muscles; meaning the night-guard also acts as a form of dental therapy. The night-guard comes either pre-fabricated or as a custom-guidance assembly package so dentists can easily customize it as needed for more complex patient cases. It’s also available in many different shapes and sizes to accommodate a range of needs, such as missing teeth.

Are you adapting existing technology for a new application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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