New Jersey Patent of the Month – June 2021

Retainers are often the final step of orthodontics, but many people fail to wear them consistently. Decorating these retainers – or even mouthguards – is a tactic used by many orthodontists to make treatment more fun and interactive. The traditional decoration method involves mixing a physical decoration – like glitter – with the material that is then used to shape the retainer. This traditional method leads to limited design options. Dentagrafix, LLC. has developed a new styling method that expands the stylistic options.

Their process uses FDA-compliant plastic material that can be formed into a retainer (or other dental appliances). The desired graphic is fabricated out of a carrier film and resins. This graphic can be heat-stamped and fused onto the retainer material. The design can be controlled or limited so that the front teeth remain clear, with the design on just the back teeth. The design can be made of anything, though their traditional style is any small circular graphic – like a sports log or happy face, but the options are quite endless. In addition to increasing the chance of being worn, a decorated retainer is much more difficult to lose. This process makes it easy to fabricate these customizable, FDA-compliant retainers, mouthguards, and aligners.

Are you developing new technology for an existing 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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