Dublin researchers unveil ‘smart’ mouthguard

Innovative sensor technology

A team of Dublin dental researchers has secured a €100,000 investment from the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC) to launch an “intelligent” mouthguard that monitors and records bruxism.

Dr Padraig McAuliffe and Professor Brian O’Connell from Dublin Dental Hospital and School of Dental Science at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and Dr Ramesh Babu and Dr James Doyle from AMBER, the Science Foundation Ireland-funded materials science centre based at Trinity College Dublin, have licensed sensor technology from TCD through their spin-out company SelfSense Technologies Ltd.

The invention, called SmartSplint, is expected to be brought to market by the autumn. The company is taking part in the NDRC VentureLab programme for sci-tech start-up companies.

SelfSense Technologies has already secured more than €700k in grant funding from EI, SFI and HRB at Trinity College Dublin and the Dublin Dental Hospital. The team is seeking to raise investment in the next few months and continues to collaborate with the research and clinical facilities at the Dublin Dental Hospital and the AMBER Centre.

Dr Padraig McAuliffe, co-founder of SelfSense Technologies, said: “As a dentist, it can be very difficult to know whether an individual patient has bruxism until we see that some damage has been done. By then it’s too late. Early diagnosis and prevention of damage are key.

“We developed SmartSplint because there were no bruxism tests available that we considered suitable or practical for widespread use at an affordable price. The success of treatment for tooth decay and gum disease were revolutionised by the development of simple tests and we hope that SmartSplint can do the same for bruxism.”

Above picture from left to right – Professor O’Connell, Dr Babu and Dr McAuliffe