Innovation

Ultrasonic X-rays

Nevada startup S-Ray develops a radiation-free alternative to the dental X-ray.
Source: S-Ray

Innovator: Steve Baird
Age: 60
Chief executive officer of S-Ray, a Reno, Nev.-based startup with four full-time employees
 
Form and function
ClearView Scan, a combo of ultrasound hardware and 3D-imaging software, is meant to take the place of dental X-rays. It emits no harmful radiation and, its inventors say, makes more precise measurements than X-rays do.
 
Origin
Baird formed S-Ray in 2008 to develop the product after Oregon dentist Ken Johnson brought him a prototype based on the ultrasound devices used to examine lumber.
 
Funding
Some 200 individuals, including Johnson and about 100 other dentists, have invested about $10 million in S-Ray.
 

1. Scan
A patient bites a mouthpiece connected by USB cable to a dentist’s laptop. The dentist uses ultrasound transducers in the mouthpiece to scan the patient’s teeth in 40 seconds.
 

2. Image
S-Ray’s cloud service allows dentists to receive instant 3D images. They can then check for cavities and cracks, diagnose gum disease, and measure for braces, dentures, or implants.

scan and imaging
Source: S-Ray

 
 
Hardware
Baird says a ClearView Scan reusable mouthpiece will cost $9,850.
 
Software
Dentists pay $6 per image, less than the cost of an X-ray.
 
Next Steps
“This is the kind of disruptive technology that may really change the dental world,” says Joerd van der Meer, a dentist and professor at the University of Groningen Medical Centre in the Netherlands. Baird says S-Ray will release ClearView Scan by next year, pending U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, and that he’s also working on a countertop product that can scan dental impressions.

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